18 states sue DeVos for delaying for-profit college rules – The Reporter

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

Solano College 4-year degree program represents wave of the future – Daily Republic

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

California middle class families may still get scholarship help | EdSource

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

VTA awards up to $15K to five VUSD seniors – The Reporter

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

iQuest students reflect on life skills learned in senior internship – Benicia Herald

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

Solano Community Foundation bestows Nelson Scholarships – The Reporter

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

UC president, in talk at Armijo High, cites quality, diversity of university students – Daily Republic

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

Assist-A-Grad continues to help high school seniors realize college dream – Daily Republic

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

Vanden students get Ivy League look – Daily Republic

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

Can educators, business leaders bolster state’s workforce? – The Reporter

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.

 

Vacaville scholarship application period opens – Daily Republic

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

Bill would allow JCs – including SCC – to issue teaching credentials – Daily Republic

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

VHS principal: Increasing number of grads are college-ready – The Reporter

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

4-year degree for about $10,000, Solano College professor tells business groups – Daily Republic

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

Tom Torlakson Highlights Science Standards – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today saluted the innovative science instruction taking place at Edna Brewer Middle School in the Oakland Unified School District—instruction that will be coming to all of California’s public schools as a result of recent efforts to dramatically enhance and modernize science education.

“As a former science teacher, I couldn’t be more excited by the learning I saw today in Jeri Johnstone’s eighth grade integrated science class,” Torlakson said. “It’s hands-on, interactive, and collaborative. Students and teachers ask lots of questions and work like scientists. These are the kinds of skills needed for success in high school, college and the modern workplace.”

The Oakland Unified School District is one of eight school districts and two charter school management organizations participating in the early implementation of California’s next Generation Science Standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in 2013.

“I want to thank all the innovative, creative, and dedicated science teachers in California for working to improve science education. It’s a huge effort, but it will be well worth it when we see students who are thinking like scientists and fully engaged in their lessons,” Torlakson said.

Source: Tom Torlakson Highlights Science Standards – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

Number of college courses taught in high schools increasing statewide | EdSource

By Fermin Leal

This spring, juniors and seniors at Redlands Unified School District in San Bernardino County will take community college courses at their high schools, including engineering, sociology, business administration and music appreciation.

The courses, offered at no cost to students at Redlands High, Citrus Valley High and East Valley High, will allow students to earn college credits while in high school that they can transfer to most colleges and universities, including all University of California, California State University and state community college campuses.

“These courses offer our high school students the opportunity to get a jump-start on their college education,” said Stephanie Lock, the district’s assistant principal on special projects – college and career pathways. “For some kids who might not be thinking of college right away, this will get them to the next level.”

Source: Number of college courses taught in high schools increasing statewide | EdSource

Vaca High to join in new College Board AP program – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville High is among some 1,000 schools worldwide to join in a College Board Advanced Placement program that focuses on inquiry, research and writing as a way to better prepare for college and the 21st-century workplace, it has been announced.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Principal Ed Santopadre, referring to Capstone, said, “I am excited to be a part of this innovative program that prepares a broader, more diverse student population ready for college and beyond.”

The first of the program’s two courses, AP Seminar, will start in fall 2017. The other course, taken in sequence, is AP Research.

The program comes in response to feedback from college-level educators and admission officers, and “complements” other AP courses and exams, Santopadre noted in the prepared statement.

 

Source: Vaca High to join in new College Board AP program

Top state educators ask Trump to protect “Dreamers” – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The incoming California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and the heads of the University of California and California State University have formally asked President-elect Donald Trump to continue an Obama policy allowing children of undocumented immigrants to pursue higher education in the United States.

Their Tuesday letter comes as the Republican businessman campaigned on a platform of being a strict enforcer of U.S. immigration laws and eliminating many of President Barack Obama’s executive orders, including the policy (not a formal executive order) of giving “particular care” before deporting students, military veterans and others, many of them Hispanics and Latinos who are deemed low risks.

Of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in America, 2 million of them were brought here as children. About 800,000 of these “Dreamers” qualified for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the 2012 Obama program that would shield the children from deportation and allow them to obtain work permits, driver licenses and a sense of hope and safety.

Source: Top state educators ask Trump to protect “Dreamers” – The Reporter

 

From a high school senior’s perspective: The college application process – Benicia Herald

By Jasmine Weis

In 1636, Harvard University was founded, earning itself the epithet as “the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.” And while there is still controversy surrounding the validity of this claim, with the University of Pennsylvania and College of William & Mary also vying for the coveted title, there is no denying that universities have had a significant presence in American society for centuries.

Colleges have evolved from exclusive institutions reserved for wealthy white men to a a socially accepted and expected rung in the educational ladder. While there is still a wide racial gap in the amount of people obtaining college degrees, more high school graduates are enrolling in universities than ever before. And while the spike in students pursuing higher levels of education should be applauded, more people applying to colleges translates to fewer openings. This inevitably leads to increased competition, so it’s no surprise that these days applying to college feels like playing the most intense game of musical chairs ever.

Source: From a high school senior’s perspective: The college application process

Solano College offers new 4-year biotech degree – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Students at Solano Community College can now earn a bachelor’s degree in biomanufacturing.

The college announced that its bachelor of science program has received approval from the state’s Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

“We are delighted about this program,” Superintendent-President Celia Esposito-Noy said in a statement. “This will give our students the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art skills and prepare for exciting careers in biomanufacturing.”

Source: Solano College offers new 4-year biotech degree