Fiscal Emergency for 2-Year College in New York

Cayuga Community College is wrestling with serious money problems, according to the Auburn Citizen. The college, which is located in New York, declared a state of fiscal exigency this week. It is working to cut a $1.5 million budget gap, the newspaper reported, and might lay off employees. 

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Challenge of Measuring Work-Force Outcomes

Accurately tracking the job placement rates and earnings of college graduates is tricky business, according to a new paper from the American Association of Community Colleges. Policy makers are pushing hard for work force performance measures, but the data are often problematic. For example, students' paths after community college might include more college or enlistment in the military, the paper said. And institutional earnings data vary widely based on students' majors and earned credentials.

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Value of Associate Degree Before Transfer

Community college students on average will receive more economic benefit from their higher education if they complete an associate degree before transferring to a four-year institution, according to new research from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College. The study considered data on credit accumulation, completion and labor market returns for students from North Carolina's Community College System. One reason for the eventual pay-off of a two-year degree, according to the study, is that relatively few students who transfer early ever complete a bachelor's degree and therefore end up leaving college with no credential.

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Benefits access program aids community college students

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A program is helping low-income students at seven community colleges discover new avenues of financial support, in hopes of increasing college completion.

Developments in San Francisco Crisis

Robert Agrella is the new "special trustee" for City College of San Francisco, which may lose its accreditation next year. The California community college system chancellor, Brice W. Harris, appointed Agrella to the role on Monday. Agrella had previous served as the system's representative on the City College governing board -- a position that was created last year, after the college's received a stiff sanction from its regional accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The new trustee position will come with added and "extraordinary" powers, according to Harris.

Meanwhile, the American Association of University Professors weighed in with an initial take on the crisis. In a news release the faculty group cited criticisms about the commission that professors at City College and faculty union leaders in California have voiced, including that the accreditor has been "excessive and unfair" in its treatment of CCSF and other community colleges. The association promised to investigate those concerns and urged the commission to reconsider its decision to yank City College's accreditation.

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An Apology From Pima Community College

Pima Community College has faced a series of controversies and been placed on probation by its accreditor in the last year, all the while generally defending its actions. But The Arizona Daily Star noted that the college's latest report on dealing with its accreditation woes takes a different approach, admitting problems and apologizing for them. Among other things, the college has been accused of ignoring issues of sexual harassment and moving too quickly to change admissions policies. Among the statements in the college's report that the Daily Star highlighted:

  • "We accept full responsibility and say we are profoundly sorry for the serious breaches of integrity."
  • "The era of inattention and heedlessness is over."
  • "We failed to respond quickly and give proper credence to allegations of sexual misconduct."
  • "Our constituents, stakeholders and colleagues spoke, but we did not listen. For this, we are truly sorry."



Grad Rate Goals for City Colleges of Chicago

City Colleges of Chicago has announced a strategic plan that aims to boost its graduation rate from 12 percent to more than 20 percent by 2018. The two-year system has also set a goal of increasing the number of degrees it issues each year by almost 40 percent. And it seeks for more than half of graduating students to transfer to four-year institutions. Cheryl L. Hyman, the system's chancellor, has promised to make improving student completion a priority. Graduation rates stood at 7 percent before her arrival in 2010.

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Arizona Sues Maricopa Over Immigrant Tuition Rate

Arizona has sued the Maricopa Community College District, seeking to block it from granting in-state tuition rates to students who lack the legal authority to live permanently in the United States who qualify under President Obama's executive order for work permits, the Associated Press reported. The suit claims that the district is violating Arizona law barring any benefits for immigrants who are not legally entitled to stay in the United States. But Maricopa officials said that President Obama's executive order in fact does give these immigrants legal status.


Future Job Seekers Will Need Higher Education

The U.S. economy will create 55 million job openings between now and 2020, according to a new study from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. Roughly 65 percent of those jobs will require at least some college credits, the study found. A bachelor's degree will be a minimum requirement for 35 percent of job openings. Given current rates, the economy will face a shortfall of 5 million workers with some higher education.

Salary Data for Graduates of Calif. Community Colleges

California's community college system this week unveiled a new Web tool that provides average salary levels of graduates of the state's 112 two-year colleges. The Salary Surfer database includes wage data for graduates of degree and certificate programs in about 25 disciplines. It lists the median annual salary for students two years before, two years after and five years after earning a specific credential. In April the system released Web-based "scorecards" on student performance at each college.

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