communitycolleges

2 Embattled Presidents Resign

Leslie McClellon announced that she is stepping down as president of Rochester Community and Technical College, in Minnesota, The Star Tribune reported. In an email to the campus, she said that leaving the position she has held for 18 months is "in the best interest of the college." Student and faculty leaders have been pushing for McClellon's ouster, complaining about spending they consider lavish, hiring decisions they question and what critics call poor communication.

Also on Thursday, Nancy Carriuolo announced she would resign as president of Rhode Island College, a position she has held for more than seven years, NBC 10 News reported. Many faculty members have been pushing for her to leave, saying that she treats them and others unprofessionally and fails to consult others at the college about key decisions. While supporters said that the president improved the school, her resignation statement noted that the college is "divided" in ways that are not healthy for the institution, leading to her decision.

Report examines easing access to public benefits for low-income students

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A new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy recommends supplementing financial aid with other government assistance programs to help low-income students succeed in college.

Achieving the Dream pilots retail pathway at four community colleges

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Achieving the Dream promotes increased access to "middle skill" careers for community college students.

Groups band together to improve transfer pathways for community college students

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Improved transfer pathways from community colleges to four-year institutions may be the best answer to America's college completion woes, say three influential groups that will prod states and colleges on transfer.

Alabama Will Consolidate 7 Community Colleges

The board of the Alabama Community College System voted Thursday to consolidate seven community colleges into two, AL.com reported. While merger proposals are frequently controversial, there was no opposition to (or discussion of) the proposal at the board meeting. The plan still requires other approvals, including from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, the accreditor of the institutions.

The plan would consolidate three community colleges under Faulkner State Community College. They are Jefferson Davis Community College, Southern Community College and Reid State Technical College. Two other community colleges -- Southern Union State Community College and Chattahoochee Valley Community College -- would be merged into Central Alabama Community College.

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Reverse transfer plans go beyond handing out degrees

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For some colleges, reverse transfer isn't just a way to hand out degrees to boost completion numbers.

Ohio Community College Settles Disability Suit

Terra State Community College in Ohio settled out of court Tuesday a suit alleging the college violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by dismissing a nursing student with a hearing disability.

Shirley Parrott-Copus, a licensed nurse practicing for 15 years, has “profound sensorineural hearing loss,” per the suit. She attended Terra State for three semesters before being admitted in 2014 to Terra State’s Registered Nurse Degree Program, which offers training for a more advanced nursing qualification. Three weeks in, however, the suit alleges Terra State “rescinded her admission on the basis of disability, failed to provide the auxiliary aids and services necessary for effective communication, failed to make reasonable modifications, and retaliated against her for requesting such auxiliary aids and services.”

Terra State said it did rescind her admission but denied all the other allegations in a court filing. One week later, however, the college made an offer of judgment, which is similar to an out-of-court settlement. The college offered Parrott-Copus $75,000 ($50,000 in damages and $25,000 for her legal fees), which she accepted.

Terra State did not respond to a request for comment.

Maricopa Chancellor Announces Retirement

Rufus Glasper, who has served for nearly 13 years as chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Glasper is accepting a position as the president and chief executive officer of the League for Innovation in the Community College, a nonprofit international organization that serves and advises two-year institutions. The league's current president and CEO, Gerardo de los Santos, announced he will step down in February.

Glasper has worked at Maricopa for more than 29 years and was named chancellor in 2003. He's watched as the state has completely pulled all state funding for the community college district, but also transitioned into finding new revenue by partnering with large corporations.

"This decision was not an easy one," Glasper said, in a memo to employees. "I believe that the many organizational and academic initiatives that are now in motion throughout the Maricopa Community Colleges are well on their way to enhancing the district's position as a leader among community colleges nationally."

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St. Louis CC's 25 Years of Enrollment Declines

Officials at St. Louis Community College are trying to understand how to reverse a pattern of enrollment declines over the last 25 years, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Enrollment this fall is about 19,000, down from 32,000 in 1990. The declines also affect institutions like the University of Missouri at St. Louis, which historically admits many transfer students from the community college and is also now seeing a small enrollment drop.

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President of Minnesota's Rochester College faces backlash in her first year

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Faculty and student leaders alike criticize leader of Minnesota's Rochester Community and Technical College over issues of spending, hiring and communication.

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