Reporter’s notebook

From the class straight to the field

Several graduates of Wallace Community College’s pre-apprentice line worker program are currently helping area power companies to repair damage caused by Hurricane Michael. Some of those line workers graduated from the Alabama college as recently as August.

These Wallace-trained workers received a quick course in crisis management and teamwork with line workers who volunteered from other states.

Stepping in to help

Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee is reaching out to students of Fountainhead College of Technology who were displaced by that institution’s closing this week.

“We understand this can feel like an insurmountable setback to Fountainhead College students, and we invite them to contact us to see if one of our career programs or transfer programs are right for them,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president for enrollment services.

Fountainhead College students may be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, Touzeau added. The last-dollar scholarship for adults covers college tuition and mandatory fees that aren’t paid for through other state and federal financial aid.

Better learning through technology

Houston Community College (HCC) is one of 11 institutions of higher education selected to participate in the Sony Electronics Future Learning Collaborative, an initiative designed to foster open and candid dialogue among higher education institutions about the role of technology in supporting teaching and learning.

The colleges and universities are working together with Sony designers and researchers to develop new classroom technologies and enable more effective teaching methods. The goal is to create a deeper and more immersive learning experience for students.

“HCC’s participation in the Sony Collaborative places it at the forefront of researching, testing and evaluating innovative technologies, and teaching and learning methods to more effectively engage our students and to help ensure their success,” said Butch Herod, director of HCC’s West Houston Institute.

Nixing the $137 math textbook

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is planning to replace a $137 math textbook expense with an open educational resource fee of only $15. The savings to TCC students will begin with the 2019 spring semester, if approved this month by the district board of trustees.

The Florida college annually reviews all fees and their effect on students. Any adjustment to student fees, such as the cost for laboratory materials, supplies or online access to textbooks, requires public notice and board approval.

Focus on corporate training

The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) has hired Olympia Consulting to develop and launch a DCCCD corporate training department that will focus on the employee training needs of business clients.

The new DCCCD unit, which will be part of the district’s division of workforce and economic development, will provide comprehensive, coordinated services for businesses in North Texas. Using independent market research, Olympia Consulting will ask members of the Dallas-area business community and other organizations to provide feedback about their needs and training preferences.

Expanding solar power use

McHenry County College (MCC) plans to install a solar field next summer, broadening the Illinois college’s ongoing commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and to act in a fiscally responsible manner.

The MCC board of trustees recently approved a contract with ENGIE of Chicago to build an 875-kilowatt solar field to provide 27 percent of MCC’s energy use. As part of the 25-year agreement, MCC would save $34,354 per year for the first year of operation and similar savings over the next five years.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.