By Andrew Ujifusa
We’ve written a lot about states’ long term goals in their plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act. Some of those goals deal with students’ successful transition from K-12 schools to higher education. But the extent to which states are aligning those two systems varies, at least as far as their ESSA plans go.
That’s one general conclusion reached in an analysis of ESSA plans released Wednesday by the Education Strategy Group, a consulting firm that works on college- and career-readiness with state education departments, districts, and education-oriented groups.
The group’s report found that 41 states addressed college- and career-readiness in some fashion in their proposed ESSA accountability systems. However, just 17 states “directly linked their long-term K-12 goals in ESSA to the state’s higher education attainment goals.”
Source: Do State ESSA Plans Have Strong Connections to Higher Education? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Larry Gordon
While California continues to have the lowest community college tuition in the county, the costs for UC rank above the average of other research universities, a new report shows.
Listed at $1,430 for a full-time student, the tuition and fees for California’s community colleges are the lowest nationwide in 2017-18, as they have been for years, according to the study by the College Board. That annual price, before being adjusted for financial aid, is less than half the $3,570 national average, the survey found.
California’s ranking as having the least expensive community colleges was not affected by plans in other states like Tennessee and New York that offer free college tuition in various forms and durations. The College Board noted that those states still establish a tuition level and that their programs are partly dependent on federal aid or cut off the grants for higher income students. California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a law that could make the first year of community college free to all if funding is allocated and the schools adopts key reforms.
Source: California community college tuition still the lowest nationally; UC above average, study finds. | EdSource
The list of available colleges to pursue a higher education in or near Solano County is plentiful for area residents.
The colleges give prospective students the opportunity to initiate higher education, pad their resume by expanding their knowledge, update an existing degree, learn a vocational trade or increase their current upper education degree by obtaining a master’s or doctorate.
Source: Higher education options abound throughout Solano County
By Alyson Klein
When the Every Student Succeeds Act passed, one of the things that educators were most excited about was the chance to cut down on the number of tests kids have to take, Specifically, the law allows some districts to offer a nationally recognized college-entrance exam instead of the state test for accountability.
But that flexibility could be more complicated than it appears on paper.
Here’s a case in point: Oklahoma, which hasn’t finalized its ESSA application yet, has already gotten pushback from the feds for the way that it had planned to implement the locally selected high school test option in a draft ESSA plan posted on the state department’s website. In that plan, Oklahoma sought to offer its districts a choice of two nationally recognized tests, the ACT or the SAT. Importantly, the state’s draft plan didn’t endorse one test over the other—both were considered equally okay.
Source: ESSA’s New High School Testing Flexibility: What’s the Catch? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Mikhail Zinshteyn
A new policy from the California State University system will soon allow some students to take math classes with pre-requisites other than intermediate algebra to satisfy the math requirements they need for graduation.
The new rules go into effect starting in the fall of 2018 and will apply to both CSU freshmen and community college students transferring into the 23-university system. The changes will permit students who are not pursuing math or science majors to take non-algebra based math courses for general education, such as statistics, personal finance or even game theory and computer science.
Source: Cal State drops intermediate algebra as requirement to take some college-level math courses | EdSource
By Alyson Klein
When Betsy DeVos was tapped as U.S. Education Secretary, educators and advocates were terrified the longtime voucher fan would try to “privatize” the nation’s schools. But DeVos has now been in office for going on six months, and she’s been way more active on higher education than she has on K-12.
We’re still waiting around for the details of a big, new school choice plan. Meanwhile, DeVos and company have been slowly scaling back, pausing, or moving to overhaul Obama-era student financial aid regulations.
Recently, for instance, the department started gathering information to begin reworking two Obama rules. One, gainful employment, seeks to hold schools accountable for whether or not their graduates are able to find jobs that allow them to repay their student loans. The other, “borrower defense,” deals with how students who have been defrauded by lenders can seek loan forgiveness. (Great explainer from U.S. News here.) Supporters say those regulations were designed to protect borrowers, but detractors say they are overly punitive and unnecessarily hurt schools and lenders.
Source: Betsy DeVos Is a K-12 Advocate. So Why All the Action in Higher Ed? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Richard Bammer
Democratic attorneys general from 18 states, including California, and the District of Columbia sued U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Thursday over her decision to suspend rules that were meant to protect students from abuse by for-profit colleges.
Filed in federal court in Washington, the lawsuit says DeVos violated rule-making laws when she announced a June 14 decision to delay so-called “borrower defense to repayment” rules, which were finalized under President Barack Obama and scheduled to take effect July 1.
In her announcement saying the rules would be delayed and rewritten, DeVos said they created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools.”
Source: 18 states sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules
By Daily Republic Staff
The wave of the future is upon us and it is happening at a unique intersection that has Solano County on the cutting edge of technological and academic development.
Existing manufacturing companies in a range of fields are finding a lack of qualified workers to fill numerous positions across the country. As a result, government, industry and academia have collaborated to help fill that employment void.
That’s where a newly developed biomanufacturing degree program offered through Solano Community College comes in. The degree program is a new frontier – a four-year degree option at a traditionally two-year setting. Students graduating from the program will learn how to grow living cells that can then be applied to a range of purposes, from health care to beer making.
Source: Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future
By Larry Gordon
The California Legislature’s final actions this year on higher education funding will please some middle-income families but may lead to conflicts with Gov. Jerry Brown.
The embattled Middle Class Scholarship program that Brown sought to end was kept alive in the conference committee budget legislation that both houses are expected to approve this week. Saying it was too expensive and not efficient, Brown wanted to phase out the program that provided aid for about 50,000 middle class students at California’s two public university systems this year. But parents around the state whose income was not low enough to qualify for Cal Grants lobbied the Legislature for the Middle Class aid to continue.
Source: California middle class families may still get scholarship help | EdSource
By Richard Bammer
The Vacaville Teachers Association, its 680 members highly aware of the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, will award up to $15,000 in five different scholarships to graduating seniors from Vacaville, Will C. Wood and Buckingham Charter Magnet high schools.
The scholarships are funded by voluntary contributions from VTA members and other Vacaville Unified employees, Tracy Begley, VTA president, noted in a press release issued Wednesday.
The scholarship recipients and their respective high schools are: Mikayla Canales, Buckingham; Dominique Sloper, Vacaville; Amy Rich, Vacaville; Mackenzie Howard, Wood; and Jessica Alvarado, Wood.
“These winners were selected after passionate debate amongst the hard-working members of our scholarship committees,” Begley said in the prepared statement. “Since there were high-quality applicants for these scholarships, the decisions by our committee members weren’t easy ones, but we are so happy to do our part to ensure that students have access to the best educators in all of our schools.”
Source: VTA awards up to $15K to five VUSD seniors
By Nick Sestanovich
For the past year, students in Annette Fewins’ iQuest class at Benicia High School have been interning at local businesses to gain skills in the fields of their choice. Last week, students began discussing what they learned as part of their finals.
This was the first year the iQuest course was introduced to Benicia High’s Career Technical Education department as a way for seniors to get hands-on experience outside the classroom. In the past year, students have interned at the Benicia Police Department, Benicia Fire Department, Solano County Friends of Animals, Flat Iron Civil Engineering, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and more.
Cheyenne Reeves detailed what she had learned from working in Dr. Barry Parish’s office at Benicia Family Dentistry, including how to suction, how to take notes, working in the sterile room and ask questions of patients. She also started a blog about her experiences for the class and shared it as part of the final. Reeves plans to go to Diablo Valley College in the fall to take general education courses and prerequisites to eventually apply to a hygienist program.Andrea Wilson delivered her final on her experiences as a social media intern at Coldwell Banker, which she did for a year.
Source: iQuest students reflect on life skills learned in senior internship
By Richard Bammer
Solano Community Foundation has awarded sizable scholarships to 10 Vacaville high school seniors, it has been announced.
Seven students received Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Scholarships, five from Will C. Wood High, including Dylan Nute, Ian Kitamura, Mercedes Hall, Willow Rigney and Hailey Milsaps; one from Buckingham Charter High, Mikayla Canales; and one from Vacaville High, Cassidy Aberson. Each four-year award is worth $14,000, or $3,500 per year.
Cassiel Nortier-Tilly of Vacaville High School received the Grace B. Powell Vacaville High School Scholarship, a one-time award of $5,000. Powell was principal of Vacaville High and promoted academic achievement. An annual citywide spelling bee is named after her.
Kristoffer Hernandez of Vacaville High and Rita Zughbaba from Buckingham Charter will receive an Auldin Briggs Achievement Scholarship of $2,500 each for one year. Briggs was a sheet metal worker at Mare Island, and later taught mechanical drawing at Solano Community College.
Source: Solano Community Foundation bestows Nelson Scholarships
By Ryan McCarthy
University of California President Janet Napolitano told students at Armijo High School who have been accepted into one of the 10 universities in the statewide system that they “already have achieved something significant by getting in.”
Talking to more than 70 students Friday at the school library, Napolitano noted the universities received more than 200,000 applications and accepted about 70,000 students.
“We draw from the top students in California,” she said.
Source: UC president, in talk at Armijo High, cites quality, diversity of university students
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
David Avina aspires to a career in psychology after taking an advanced placement course on the subject.
Kamari Spires wants to study nursing, with the goal of working in obstetrics and gynecology.
The two high school seniors, Rodriguez and Fairfield, respectively, are among the more than 270 applicants hoping to garner some of the approximate $130,000 in Assist-A-Grad scholarships.
Spires and Avina plan to start their studies at Napa Valley Community College before transferring to four-year colleges. Both said securing funds toward college would be a great help.
Source: Assist-A-Grad continues to help high school seniors realize college dream
By Daily Republic Staff
Eight Vanden High School students will tour a variety of Ivy League campuses as part of the first Solano Ivy League Project.
The trip will be from April 15-22 and includes participation in student panels, networking and meeting admissions officers from universities such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Wesleyan and Columbia. The tour is led by Martin Mares, who is the founder of Ivy League Project.
Organizers are hoping to add students in the years to come.
Source: Vanden students get Ivy League look
By Richard Bammer
Prominent educators and equally prominent members of business communities, it seems, are finally beginning to talk about preparing students for the 21st-century workplace, as local school district trustee have for many years.
On Wednesday, a Jelly Belly vice president spoke to some 40 AVID students at Armijo High in Fairfield, telling them what employers are looking for in a prospective employee.
On Friday, a revived K-12-community college committee met for the first time in Sacramento about how the two educational sectors can work together to help more Californians find success in the job market and strengthen the state’s workforce.
John Jamison, vice president of retail operations at Jelly Belly, the giant candymaker in Fairfield, generally spoke in broad terms about what employers seek in young people entering the labor force.
By Daily Republic Staff
The 2017 application period for scholarships at three Vacaville high schools – through the Solano Community Foundation and the Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Vacaville Endowment Fund – opens Monday.
Graduating seniors at Vacaville High, Will C. Wood and Buckingham Charter Magnet High are eligible.
Seven four-year scholarships of $3,500 each year will be awarded. Additionally, two Auldin Briggs one-year scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded. One $5,000 Grace B. Powell one-year scholarship will be awarded to a Vacaville High graduate
Source: Vacaville scholarship application period opens
By Todd R. Hansen
Community colleges have long been a pathway to vocational goals – often the course chosen by those students who see no value in a four-year degree that has no useful purpose for their careers.
And while students who want to be teachers may attend a community college to kick off their academic lives, eventually tradition required they go to a university to get at least a bachelor’s degree and earn a credential.
A bill recently introduced by state Sen. Bill Dodd would allow community colleges, like Solano College, to develop their own teacher credentialing program.
Source: Bill would allow JCs – including SCC – to issue teaching credentials
By Richard Bammer
An increasing number of Vacaville High students are college-ready and the building of new classrooms at the West Monte Vista Avenue school will get under way in the coming days, Principal Ed Santopadre told Vacaville Unified leaders during his twice-yearly report about the campus he oversees.
As part of a 20-minute slide presentation Thursday in the Educational Services Center, Santopadre updated the seven-member governing board on myriad aspects of the school, from the mission and Advance Placement test results to standardized test results and graduation/dropout rates to school climate and multimillion-dollar Measure A projects. As expected, his news was mostly upbeat, with an eye cast on improvements in academic areas and responses to intervention for at-risk students.
Not quite midway through his presentation, he noted that the number of college-qualified VHS seniors has jumped from 26 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2015.
Source: VHS principal: Increasing number of grads are college-ready
By Ryan McCarthy
Students at Solano Community College can get a four-year degree for about $10,000 in biomanufacturing and finish college without debt, professor Jim DeKloe said Thursday at a meeting of three local chambers of commerce.
Industrial biotechnology professor DeKloe recounted how Genentech said in 1994 it would open a Vacaville site and how the corporation has assisted Solano College.
“They have been a wonderful partner,” DeKloe said.
Source: 4-year degree for about $10,000, Solano College professor tells business groups