Friday, May 22, 2009
* All-campus meeting looks at budget, future
Vice President for Academic Affairs John Backes speaks at the all-campus meeting, Friday, May 22, 2009.
Budget cut $2.7 million
Shoreline Community College will have 10.7 percent less money in its budget for the coming two year state budget cycle.
“That means $2.716 million for Shoreline Community College,” Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell said the May 22, 2009 all-campus meeting. To get to that number, Campbell said $2.1 million will come in salary and benefits and $417,000 in various operations-related items.
After adding back $48,000 to the operations line, the school is left facing a $419,000 gap. That gap, Campbell said, is where the added revenue from a state-approved 7 percent hike in tuition comes in.
“We expect that 7 percent will mean about $650,000, based on our current enrollment numbers,” he said. “That means it looks like we’re well-positioned to offset (the budget deficit).”
Whatever cushion might remain should be carefully guarded, Campbell said, referring to the uncertainty about the health of the state budget. Gov. Chris Gregoire, in signing the state budget earlier in the week, alluded to her concerns that the bottom of the current crisis may be still to come. “Until (the economy does stabilize, I’d say we’re not in the position of rehiring,” he said.
Yes, the implications of state-forced budget cuts were reviewed at the May 22, 2009 Shoreline Community College all-campus meeting, but attendees also got an impassioned vision of the future for not only SCC, but all community colleges.
“We can take the path of hoping the situation will get better and things will go back to the way they were,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “Or we can take the path of planning for the changes that are coming. I’m hoping that everyone here would want the latter.”
The session started with a presentation by Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell drawing an analogy between the business models of the troubled newspaper industry and higher education. Campbell outlined how funding for colleges has been shifting away from taxpayer support and moving toward student-paid tuition.
Nationwide in 2002, community college students’ tuition paid 27 percent of their education, Campbell said. By 2006, that number was at 33 percent. “And if we looked today, it would be dramatically higher,” he said.
Campbell noted a fundamental change, the rise in need for pre-college classes for students now coming to community colleges. “We now see that 45 percent of students need remedial math,” Campbell said. Community colleges have responded, but many of those students pay less than full tuition and receive some kind of state support at a time when the state has less money for that support.
To make up the difference, those students who can pay are being asked to pay more. As the funding burden shifts, Campbell said, the ability of colleges to perform the role that is expected by society is diminished as more resources swing toward preparing students to be able enter needed jobs programs.
The result is that community colleges are facing competition. “The demand can’t be met by the traditional model,” Campbell said. “Who is meeting the demand? Private for-profits.”
Campbell presented statistics showing that in the past several years, across the U.S., community colleges showed 2.1 percent of overall growth and actually declined in market share. Private for-profit schools experienced 16.4 percent growth over the same period and accounted for 31 percent of all higher education growth in the U.S.
Lambert noted that the University of Phoenix, a national chain of private for-profit schools, recently applied for and was given the ability to grant two-year associate degrees in Washington.
Lambert said that the current state budget problems are masking this underlying shift in higher education. “The state’s problems will pass, but this issue we’re seeing here will not pass,” he said. “I believe we can respond, but we’re going to have to do business differently.
“The question is, can we do it in a more strategic, more flexible and, in some cases, a more accelerated fashion.”
Lambert noted that Shoreline has already made strides and is well-positioned for this future:
“We’re the No. 3 online provider in the state,” he said. “That’s because our faculty have embraced the technology. We have nationally recognized programs. We’re stepping up, too. Moving from 95 to 90 credits is huge, the one-stop concept in Student Success and eAdvising.
“We recognize the importance of partnerships. In the CEO/LCN program we work with King County and the Workforce Development Council.”
Lambert also noted that the Board of Trustees this year has been moving toward a policy governance model. “The trustees will look at the big picture and then demand greater accountability from the college for showing that we’re doing what we say we’ll do,” he said. “And by the way, the new accreditation process is moving in the same direction.”
Lambert assured those in the audience that these recent efforts are paying off. “We’ve rebuilt our image at the state board,” he said. “We’re viewed as a college that can get results.”
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
* Bear sightings in Shoreline area
A number of reported black bear sightings in Shoreline and north Seattle are prompting officials from Shoreline Community College, the city of Shoreline and Shoreline School District to urge caution.
“The college campus is 83 acres, much of it heavily wooded and connected to other greenbelt areas,” SCC Director of Safety and Security Robin Heslop said Tuesday, May 19, 2009. “This bear has been reported in parks, neighborhoods and yards, not just wooded areas.”
Heslop advised that if one sees a bear, do not approach it and call 911. According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, if you see a bear:
Remain calm. If possible, move away quietly when it's not looking. As you retreat, observe its behavior.
If it approaches you, stand up, wave your hands above your head and talk in a low voice. (Don't use the word "bear" because it might associate the word with food ... people feeding bears often say "here bear.")
Don't throw anything and avoid direct eye contact.
If you cannot move away safely or if the bear continues toward you, clap your hands, stomp your feet and yell. If in a group, stand shoulder-to-shoulder and raise and wave your arms. If it persists, use pepper spray if you have it.
Don't run unless safety is near and you are certain you can reach it. Climbing a tree generally is not recommended.
Shoreline School District officials say a bear was seen Tuesday morning, May 19, by a jogger just west of Kellogg Middle School and Shorecrest High School, headed into the Hamlin Park woods. On Monday afternoon, the bear was reportedly seen near Parkwood Elementary School in the Twin Ponds Park area. A bear was also reported Sunday in the Magnolia and Ballard neighborhoods of Seattle.
While bears are unusual, wildlife in Shoreline is not, according to city officials. The city has more than 380 acres of park land. The green spaces provide recreation opportunities as well as wildlife habitat. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, rabbits, beavers, mountain beavers, turtles and coyotes all make their homes in Shoreline. Highlands neighborhood residents have reported seeing a cougar in their area in the past and Innis Arden is currently home to a pair of nesting bald eagles.
More information about black bears is available at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/bears.htm
The city of Shoreline offers tips about urban wildlife at:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
* Health officials update swine flu response
As more information becomes known about the current swine flu outbreak, public health officials are changing their recommendations about how organizations such as Shoreline Community College should respond.
“We’re no longer recommending schools close when they have a confirmed case (of swine flu),” Matias Valenzuela, spokesman for Public Health - Seattle & King County, said Thursday, May 14, 2009. “In fact, we’re no longer alerting schools."
Valenzuela added that the agency is no longer collecting tracking type data about new cases of swine flu because, " We know it's here."
Valenzuela acknowledged that early in the outbreak - the first cases in King County were reported April 27 – officials were exercising caution over this new strain of flu. The majority of cases in King County are affecting young people, ages 10-19. Some of those were in public schools, which quickly closed as a response to containing the spread of illness
“Now, this is playing out like a typical flu season,” he said. King County has confirmed 162 cases of swine flu as of May 14, 2009, but Matias said health officials know the actual number is higher. “This flu is turning out to be relatively mild. We’re sure that there are cases out there where people may not even realize they are sick.”
According to the federal Center for Disease Control, swine flu is in 47 states with 4,298 confirmed and suspected cases across the country. Three people with the flu have died, including one person in Snohomish County who had multiple other serious health issues, according to health officials there.
Matias said health officials are now recommending taking the normal precautions outlined for a normal flu season. Those precautions are to “practice good health behaviors,” he said.
Shoreline Community College officials met April 28 to review emergency procedures. As part of that review, the college did take some actions, including:
Posting new posters on hand-washing and germ-containment practices in all restrooms
Making sure all restrooms are well-stocked with soap and paper towels
Reinforced focus on custodial practices such as:
In addition, officials for campus food-service vendor, Chartwells, reviewed their procedures, said Matt Johnson, the on-campus manager.
“Normal food-service handling requirements are designed to guard against germs, so we reinforced those," Johnson said. "In addition, any employee who is sick for any reason will stay home for five days and any employee who travels to a swine-flu hot zone will stay away form work for seven days after returning.”
What is swine flu?
H1N1 virus, also known as "swine flu" and "swine Influenza A" is a virus that can spread from people who are infected to others through coughs and sneezes. When people cough or sneeze, they spread germs through the air or onto surfaces that other people may touch. H1N1 virus is not transmitted from pigs to humans or from eating pork products.
Confirmed human cases of swine flu have been reported in multiple states. Internationally, there are reported outbreaks in Mexico, Canada and other countries around the world. While some cases have resulted in deaths, most H1N1 human swine flu infections have been mild. Still, health officials are closely monitoring and responding aggressively to the outbreaks in an ongoing effort to reduce the spread and severity of illness.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
* SCC takes step toward new master plan
Representatives from across Shoreline Community College got an early glimpse at what the campus could look like in 2035.
Consultants Walter Schacht and Cima Aslani unveiled two preliminary looks at a potential master plan for the college. Faculty members, classified staff and administrators – members of the college Strategic Planning Committee, College Council and others - filled the Board Room Tuesday, May 12, 2009, to see the presentation. The meeting was one in a series the consultants are using to better understand the needs of the campus community. Both proposals showed significant differences from what the college looks like today and addressed three core problems with the current college layout.
“When we looked at the existing site, we found a lack of a formal main entrance, lack of clarity in parking and problems with stormwater runoff,” Schacht said. Aslani talked about the lack of clear pedestrian traffic patterns. “We sometimes refer to this school as the “Chutes and Ladders” campus,” she said, referring to the children’s board game with multiple ways to move about.
In general, the two early proposals coalesce numerous smaller buildings into fewer larger buildings, but preserve the current sense of open space. "We're trying to give a plan that in 50 years, the buildings are renovated," Schacht said. "You have a nice looking campus, but at the end of (the buildings') useful life, have to be thrown away."
Both plans would rework the entrance area along with a new building that would house most of the current student services offerings. Both reworked the existing parking into a more coherent, grid-like layout.
Stormwater is a big problem, Schacht said. “The current system collects and discharges it into Boeing Creek,” he said. That would have to change to meet current runoff standards he said. One idea is to use the existing piping, but utilize the lower Greenwood parking lot as a stormwater detention area. “It could become a high performance sustainable solution (to runoff),” he said. To compensate for the loss in spaces, both plans show the current soccer field as an additional parking area.
Landscaping would also play an important role in mitigating runoff, he said. Bioswales and plantings between parking rows would filter stormwater. On campus, many of the current large trees would remain and additional features such as rain gardens and decorative cisterns would reflect the current landscaping theme.
The other thing common to both of the tentative proposals is a long timeline. Funding for any of the work would have to be approved by the state Legislature which funds in two-year cycles.
“Even if you’re incredibly fortunate and get something each biennium, it would take 25 years for either of these plans to happen,” Aslani said.
Schacht made it clear that the plans presented Tuesday were preliminary and that much could change before the next regulatory step, presenting a plan to city of Shoreline officials for approval. The master-plan process was put in place by the city council this past fall.
Schacht said more work is needed before that step. “I think the next step for us, for the college, is to talk to state officials,” he said.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
* La Leche League’s Mariana Petersen discusses infant health care in Guatemala
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Mariana Petersen talks about her work advocating for better infant health care in Guatemala at the free lecture, “Infant Health Care in Guatemala,” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 27 at Shoreline Community College.
Petersen is a life-long advocate for improved maternal and infant care. She currently educates nurses on the technique and value of breastfeeding, along with other infant-centered techniques such as “kangaroo care” for premature babies, at Roosevelt Hospital, the largest public hospital in Guatemala. Guatemala has the highest infant mortality rate in Central America.
Roosevelt, with an average of 60 births a day, is seeking designation from the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “Baby-Friendly Hospital.” Petersen is responsible for training staff, helping and informing mothers, establishing a Human Milk Bank and reforming traditional childbirth practices such as separating mothers from newborns at birth and providing formula. She has been a La Leche League (LLL) leader in Guatemala since 1983. From 2000 to 2005 she was the LLL International Regional Administrator for Latin America, responsible for supporting local LLL groups and training new leaders in 16 countries
The “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative” is a global campaign launched by UNICEF and WHO to support all mother's in their right to choose breastfeeding for their babies. To earn the "Baby Friendly Hospital" award, facilities have to show that they have adopted certain practices to support successful breastfeeding.
The lecture, sponsored by the International Programs, Global Affairs Center and Nursing Program at Shoreline Community College will be held in the 9000 Building in room 9208.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
* SCC redesigning interface with students
Shoreline Community College officials are looking to redesign several key pieces of the way the school interacts with students.
“We need to assure that our programs and services are flexible, responsive, and timely.,” Vice President of Student Success Dr. Tonya Drake said. Now might not seem like the time for such a move, given layoffs and other impacts of state budget cuts, but Drake said it is exactly those factors that mandate change.
The redesign includes five elements and Drake is quick to point out that it is not just her plan. “We’ve been meeting, talking, and involving as many people as possible,” she said. “We even conducted a design institute to bring everyone together at one time to talk about ideas and solutions.”
Perhaps the most visible change to students will be the “one-stop concept” in the Enrollment Services and Financial Aid areas. “With all the cuts, we just physically couldn’t continue with the same process,” said Drake, who called the current system the “industrial” model. “We move the student along, station to station, through the process.”
The current model allows an employee to become expert in a specific piece of the process. However, Drake said that staff reductions mean more flexibility is needed to adjust to student needs or times of heavy demand. “Where we’re headed is having more people trained in a wider variety of duties, so that a student can come to one person and get most if not all of their needs taken care of,” she said. “Even though the departments will have fewer people, we’ll still be able to give students great service.”
Drake said the change will involve more training for some employees and, ultimately, a different physical layout to reflect the new service concept. “We’ll start with the training, but it could take up to a year for full implementation,” she said. In describing her vision for the new model, Drake invoked the image of a crowded grocery store with just one checker: “As soon as two or three people are in line, they call for help, work through the crush and then move back to what they had been doing.”
As part of the one-stop idea, responsibility for student entrance testing will be consolidated in the Office of Special Services, under Director Kim Thompson. “We are consolidating services, for example, we had Compass testing in one area and Special Services did testing in another area, so it just made sense to put it all in one place,” Drake said. That switch is scheduled for July 1.
Several other changes will also occur, including shifting the position responsible for the Information Management System and some Web development as a direct-report to Drake. In addition, the enrollment recruiting position will move to the Office of Advancement. “Advancement is responsible for marketing, community outreach and college events,” she said. “Recruiting can be a big part of those efforts.” Those changes are scheduled for July 1.
Change is also coming for the advising and counseling area. Drake said the focus will remain on academic advising and try to build on the success the department has had with two dedicated advisors for the Humanities and Science divisions. Drake said she’d like to explore expanding that arrangement to other divisions. While discussions are continuing, Drake said the adjustments could occur as soon as December.
Also included in the redesign are the equity and student connections areas, meaning the Women’s Center, Multicultural Center and student government. Budget cuts meant the loss of a director-level position so multiple hats will be the dress code here. In this case, the Assistant Director of Student Services for the International Program will also serve in a temporary appointment to oversee the programs. “Mari Kosin will be in this dual role and we know it’s a lot,” Drake said. “We have great confidence in Mari’s abilities and we will reassess for the following year.”
Another switch involves athletics. “Athletics has a strong connection to the Student Success Division because the athletic teams are primarily supported by student-controlled funds,” Drake said, noting that athletic teams and physical education classes come from different funding sources. Starting July 1, the Athletic Director will report to Drake.
One thing that isn’t changing under the redesign plan is the Parent-Child Center, Drake said.
Another thing not changing is the mission, she said: “We’re staying focused on students, their learning and their success.”