Pima Community College Placed on Probation

In the midst of major turnover from the top down, Pima Community College is now on probation. The Arizona school has been notified by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, that it has two years to turn things around or lose its accreditation status. With an executive team in limbo and reports of poor – and even unethical – management in recent years, it looks like Pima has its work cut out for the next two probationary years.
 
Problems from the Top Down
 
Tucson News Now reports that the problems at Pima that resulted in probation may have initiated from top administration officials. The publication specifically cites allegations of sexual harassment against Ray Flores, the former chancellor of the school, which were left unaddressed by school administrators for a number of years. The commission investigating the school also found a “hostile working environment” was reported by many staff members of the community college.
 
Other issues reported by the Arizona Daily Star include corrupt contracting practices. Executives of the school have been accused of approving expensive contracts without going through the appropriate bidding process. Throughout the accusations of mismanagement, there is a common thread of a culture cultivated of “fear and retribution” and an ineffective governing body that failed to address concerns or manage situations that made it challenging to work at the college.
 
Report Specifics that Led to Probation
 
Inside Higher Ed reports that the four-member accreditation team from the Higher Learning Commission found complex issues with the . . . read more

Interested in learning how community colleges throughout the state of California are performing? Now, it is easier than ever before to check on the progress of these schools, through a new scorecard system, that provides measurable date regarding student performance and success. The new web-based scorecards, which were recommended by the Student Task Force, provide statistics on completion and persistence rates, as well as other significant data.
 
About the New System
 
According to Inside Higher Ed, the new scorecard system was created in the midst of a series of reforms to improve the California Community College System overall. The scorecards represent an effort by community colleges to become more transparent to the general public, so that students considering higher education will be able to make more informed choices about schools in the state. There is also a hope that the accountability associated with the scorecard system will motivate schools to raise the bar on student performance and completion rates.
 
Community colleges have traditionally provided a cost-effective means of pursuing higher education for students of all backgrounds and income levels. However, reports of dismal completion rates, coupled with the system’s inability to accommodate all students in recent years, has placed greater scrutiny on the value of these schools. The current administration’s focus on community college as a means of turning out more college graduates has also created a need for more accountability for these schools.
 
The Purpose of the Scorecards
 
Brice W. Harris, chancellor of the California Community College System, told Inside . . . read more

Culinary arts have become a popular degree program at community colleges across the country. What is fueling this sudden surge of foodies? Some believe it is the growing number of cooking programs on television that tend to glamorize what was once known as a relatively mundane, low-paying industry. TV has also increased interest in food enjoyment, which has further fueled the need for talented chefs – providing more opportunities for those who pursue a two-year degree in culinary arts. As the cycle continues, more college students are taking a serious look at the potential for a culinary arts degree, as well as the best schools to pursue an education in all things culinary.
 
Los Angeles Colleges See “Explosion” of Enrollment
 
The culinary arts programs at community colleges in Los Angeles have never been healthier. According to the Daily Breeze, enrollment in some programs has more than doubled within a few years. Some schools are reporting an overflow of students in classes and an even longer wait list for students who were unable to get into the classes of their choice.
 
For example, the culinary arts program at Los Angeles Mission College has more than doubled the student population in just three years – from 250 students to 600 currently. The school has recently expanded the space for their program, adding an extensive new facility that boasts seven full kitchens equipped with some of the latest cooking technology. The $40 facility seemed to go up almost overnight, with plans . . . read more

The Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007 was a glaring indication that community colleges are not immune from the deadly violence that has impacted school campuses across the country. That single incident defined the risks students undertake when they head to classes every day. While schools of all kinds are taking another look at how to keep students safer, unique challenges face community colleges in this area. At the same time, a recent string of community college attacks has highlighted the need for a higher level of security, despite potential obstacles facing these schools.
 
Attacks at Wyoming School Precede String of Incidents
 
The first in a recent string of community college attacks took place at a Wyoming school last November. Reuters reports that the son of a professor at Casper College shot his father in the head with a crossbow and arrow in front of a classroom full of students. Students were able to safely exit the classroom as the father and son engaged in a struggle that left both of them dead. Later, authorities found a third victim, another college professor who had been living with the first victim, slain in her home.
 
“I can’t even imagine what the students in that room had gone through,” Chris Walsh, chief of police in Casper, told Reuters.
 
Texas Community College Sees Two Incidents in Three Months
 
Lone Star Community College in Texas has seen not one, but two incidents that left staff and students with injuries. The first was a shooting . . . read more

Ready to kick your dead end job in favor of more lucrative prospects? A community college degree might be just the ticket. Many of the jobs in the U.S. that were hot at the end of the 20th century are barely simmering today. Now might be the perfect time to make a career change with the help of the two-year school in your area. Check out these jobs gaining ground and alternatives that might put you back on a positive career track once again.
 
Desktop Publisher
This job was a hot one at the end of the last century, as many small business owners turned to pros to turn out their marketing material and newsletters. However, new and improved software has made the job significantly easier, which makes the job of the desktop publisher less cost-effective today. Some companies are also outsourcing this type of work to save a buck. According to Yahoo Finance, this field is expected to decline by more than 14 percent over the next decade, as businesses turn to other sources for their publishing needs.
 
Instead of stagnating in the fading world of desktop publishing, Yahoo Finance suggests an alternative career in drafting. Drafting takes you from published designs to manufacturing designs, creating technical drawings and plans for everything from the cardboard holder for your coffee cup to full-size building structures. Many community colleges across the country offer two-year degree programs to help you launch a new drafting career. Average annual pay for drafters is . . . read more
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