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When she was 54, Cyndie Hammond became the second person in North Idaho to earn a doctorate in education through the University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene. Since then, the longtime Inland Northwest resident has spent eight years as executive director of Lewis-Clark State College in Coeur d’Alene and the state’s five northern counties. LCSC, which has its main campus in Lewiston, is one of the main colleges in Coeur d’Alene’s fledgling higher education corridor – a collaboration that will enable students to enroll in the combinations of courses they need without having to travel outside Kootenai County.
When Erik Nelson went back to school to become a pharmacist, he faced a long road, in more ways than one. A young father living in Spokane, Nelson enrolled in Washington State University’s pharmacy program – the first two years of which were based in Pullman. He wound up spending his weeks on the Palouse and commuting home for weekends.
The chair-elect of the Washington State University faculty senate says getting everyone to agree with the administration’s money-saving plan to combine the College of Liberal Arts and College of Sciences will be difficult. David Turnbull, who’s also associate professor of music, finds himself neutral to supportive of the plan but says he has been exposed to the opinions of professors throughout the university.
Nineteen months ago, Washington’s higher education officials did what higher education officials do. They looked at a problem and wrote a report.
The University of Washington plans to vote on a proposal to raise tuition 20 percent this fall, while also considering a plan to use much of that increase to pay for more scholarships, restore class offerings and reopen the school’s writing and learning centers.
A Washington program that’s offered four-year college scholarships to outstanding high school students for 30 years could become another casualty of a down economy. Letters sent out last month notifying 2011 graduates that they’ve been named Washington Scholars also included this warning: “due to severe economic conditions affecting all state expenditures … we recommend that you pursue educational plans without consideration of a monetary benefit from this award.”
SEATTLE – Lawmakers say they’ve come to an agreement in principle on a higher-education bill that would give the state’s five public universities and the Evergreen State College authority to set in-state undergraduate tuition for the next four years. The legislation would help four-year schools make up some of the steep cuts being proposed in higher-education funding. It also would provide some financial aid for middle-class students to help them cover the higher tuition costs.
It’s the wildest doomed building you’ve ever seen. Blue, painted tree branches sprout from the hallway walls, which are a riot of color and forms. A forest of whittled limbs crowds the room behind the sliding glass of an abandoned reception desk. The basin of a drinking fountain, thick with paint, is filled with charcoal briquettes. Bark, moss, broken glass, a car hood – the flora and detritus of the Spokane River are being transformed into art, along with paint, charcoal and the more ordinary materials of creation.
A group of Eastern Washington University students have begun a weeklong protest on the Cheney campus to draw attention to imminent spending cuts by the state Legislature, now beginning its second week of a special session. The protesters, largely comprised of students in the School of Social Work and Human Services, are calling on lawmakers to consider eliminating millions of dollars worth of tax loopholes in order to soften the coming blow to education, health care and social services.
Washington's public colleges and universities face a bleak future under the budget approved by the state House: Double-digit tuition increases, fewer slots for Washington natives, and drastic program reductions are just a few of the money-saving measures under consideration.
Martin Meraz-Garcia would drive his mother to the Tri-Cities fields at 4:30 in the morning and together they picked cherries and his nose would bleed, stinging with pesticides, and he would think back to his childhood in Mexico, one of 14 children, the son of a murdered father, and how he worked shining shoes in the street until the family moved to the United States, and he was teased so ruthlessly his first day in sixth grade that he told his mother he would never return, and she insisted he go back, and then one day as a teen in the orchards he realized that even if he were the fastest cherry picker in the world, he would never rise out of this poverty. He decided that day to be anything but a field worker.
Our leaders are great at selling the value of higher education and its importance to the overall health of national, state and local economies, but they fail in keeping the doors of public institutions propped open to qualified students. In fact, the rhetoric seems to rise in inverse proportion to the investment. In 1987, Washington state covered 80 percent of an in-state student’s costs at its public colleges and universities. Recent projections indicate that this could drop to 40 percent by 2013. In the past 18 months, Washington State University has been hit with a 30 percent funding cut and many classes and majors have been eliminated. The long slide in state support corresponds with a steady rise in outstanding loans. A typical WSU graduate is handed a diploma and about $20,000 in debt, thanks to a near doubling of tuition in the past decade.
Washington state has to change its popular prepaid college tuition program or risk financial problems down the road, a legislative panel learned Wednesday. The Guaranteed Education Tuition Program could face insolvency in the long-run because the fund’s return on investments isn’t keeping pace with rising tuition costs.
PULLMAN – Mercedes Sheffield works three jobs, receives state help to buy food and will graduate from Washington State University this year with more than $20,000 in debt. Sheffield, a senior criminal justice major, is paying her own way through school with a work-study job at the campus library, as a security guard for football and basketball games and as a mentor for the university’s multicultural centers.
BOISE – Falling state funding for higher education could lead to higher property taxes in North Idaho, state lawmakers were warned Wednesday as they heard North Idaho College’s budget request for next year. Priscilla Bell, NIC president, said the Coeur d’Alene community college has seen dramatic growth: Student enrollment, measured by total head count, has soared from about 3,500 when she started at the college in 2007, to some 6,700 this spring.
Today’s nursing school graduates continue to find good jobs even as the economy stumbles along and the uncertainty of health care reform looms. Anne Hirsch, senior associate dean of the WSU College of Nursing and a director of the Washington Center for Nursing, says the types of jobs are changing and colleges are struggling to turn out enough graduates to fill the open jobs across the state. Q.Are there jobs for today’s nursing school graduates?