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* China visit opens at Shoreline Community College

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Shoreline community College staff and delegates from the AACC/VELT/ CEAIE program shake hands on on April 26, 2010, the first day of a two-week visit. (More photos)

 Representatives from four of China’s top technical-vocational colleges arrived at Shoreline Community College for a two-week exchange of ideas. 

AACC/VELT/CEAIE

 

The colleges and representatives visiting from April 26-May 6 are:

The visit is part of an ongoing program sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) known as the Vocational Education Leadership Training Program (VELT). The program is intended as a training program for presidents and vice presidents at Chinese vocational and technical institutions of higher education. The program is financed by the Chinese government. It is carried out by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), AACC and AACC member institutions.

 

The VELT program, developed as a result of AACC delegations to China in October 2007 and 2008, is taking place over a five-year period. This year, four separate groups of Chinese college administrators are in the U.S., hosted in different areas of the country. In turn, groups of U.S. administrators also visit China each year. The four other U.S. hosts this year are: Alamo Colleges and Houston Community Colleges in Texas, Miami Dade College –Medical Campus and Trident Technical College in South Carolina

“We’re honored to have you on our campus,” SCC President Lee Lambert told the Chinese college officials at the opening meeting, April 26, 2010. “Our hope is that this is just the beginning of a long friendship.”

 

Lambert opened by outlining the structure of Washington’s system of community and technical colleges, followed by details of Shoreline’s structure, student make-up and programs.

 

“Shoreline is known for its academic excellence,” Lambert said. “Many of our students transfer to the University of Washington and other colleges and universities across America.”

 

University transfer is one major difference between U.S. community colleges and the four visiting schools. Sihua Qi, President of Anhui Technical College of Mechanical and electrical Engineering, said there is no direct university transfer available for Chinese technical-vocational students. “Students may go on to a university, but they must pass the entrance exam,” Qi said through an interpreter.

 

If the Chinese equivalent of a high school student wishes to attend any college, they must take a national entrance exam known as the “gaokao.” Later, Qi said China now has a “pretty open policy” concerning student choice. “Students get five choices and they may apply throughout the country,” Qi said through the interpreter. “The rate of first-choice acceptance averages about 50 percent.”

 

Lambert also highlighted some of Shoreline’s professional-technical programs, including clean energy technology, manufacturing and automotive. “Our automotive technician training program is one of best in America if not the world,” Lambert said.

 

In following comments and presentations by the Chinese delegates, there were clear similarities between Shoreline and the Chinese schools.

 

Bing Lu, Vice President of Nanjing Institute of Industry Technology, said his school gets about 60 percent of its funding from government sources, about the same percentage as Shoreline. The rest of the money comes from student tuition and partnerships, Lu said.

 

Tuition can range from about 4,000 to not more than 6,000 yuan a year, or about $580-$875. China also has a significant system of scholarships, loans and waivers to help students. “In China we have this policy, we don’t like to leave anyone behind,” Lu said through the interpreter.

 

Working with business and industry is a central theme the Chinese colleges. President Qi said his school has string ties to the automotive industry, including a factory on the campus. “We provide the land and they provide the equipment,” Qi said. “Some of our students become their workers and some of their workers become our part-time teachers.”

 

All four of the schools have a manufacturing presence on campus. Beijing

Polytechnic College Vice President Haiming Feng said his school has three factories on campus. China has 1,215 technical-vocational colleges in the country. All four of the visiting schools are designated as national demonstration colleges of which there are only 100 in all of China.

SCC/Jim Hills

* Chinese college visitors come to SCC

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Shoreline Community College will host representatives from four Chinese colleges for a two-week introduction to American-style community colleges.

 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to share and learn from one another,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “I am hopeful that this visit will be just the start of an ongoing relationship with these colleges and China.”

 

The colleges and representatives visiting from April 26-May 6 are:

The visit is part of an ongoing program sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) known as the Vocational Education Leadership Training Program (VELT). The program is intended as a training program for presidents and vice presidents at Chinese vocational and technical institutions of higher education. The program is financed by the Chinese government. It is carried out by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), AACC and AACC member institutions.

 

The VELT program, developed as a result of AACC delegations to China in October 2007 and 2008, is taking place over a five-year period. This year, four separate groups of Chinese college administrators are in the U.S., hosted in different areas of the country. In turn, groups of U.S. administrators also visit China each year. The four other U.S. hosts this year are: Alamo Colleges and Houston Community Colleges in Texas, Miami Dade College –Medical Campus and Trident Technical College in South Carolina.

 

“The Chinese Ministry of Education is conducting research into American community and technical colleges, with an emphasis on workforce education and training,” said David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce Education at SCC and coordinator of the visit. “The delegates will be meeting with several groups of faculty and staff across the institution during their visit.”

 

At this point, the group is scheduled to see virtually all of SCC’s programs, including transfer, music, art and design, performing arts, co-op education, visual communications technology, health care, dental hygiene, international programs, ESL, I-BEST, clean energy, manufacturing, automotive and more.

 

The group will also visit Lake Washington Technical College to see the Harley Davidson program and Bellevue College for information technology. Away from the academic agenda, the visitors are scheduled to take in a Mariners game and go shopping at Bellevue Square. “We will be flexible and meet their needs and desires,” Lambert said.

* Solar array coming to SCC; honored at Clinton event

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Shoreline Community College, through the Clean Energy Technology Center (above) and partner Silicon Energy of Arlington, Wash., will sign an agreement on Earth Day to install a 75 kilowatt solar-electric array on the roof of the school's student union building. A student in the program created a computer-generated "fly-by" of the project (click here).

 

Shoreline Community College will soon be home to the largest community solar-electric array in the nation.

 

“This groundbreaking project is a result of a partnership between our Clean Energy Technology Center and industry partner Silicon Energy,” said SCC President Lee Lambert.

Project to show at Clinton Global Initiative event

 

The coming community solar project at Shoreline Community College is going to shine a pretty bright stage this Saturday, April 17, 2010: The Clinton Global Initiative University, 2010.

 

“This is recognition for the great work being done here,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “Again, Shoreline is leading the way as a world-class institution.”

 

Hosted by former President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative University is part of the Clinton Global Initiative. The University engages university students, organizations and administrators to make commitments that address global issues with practical, innovative solutions, according to the Web site. The program, April 16-18, at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., is the third annual meeting.

 

Shoreline’s project is scheduled to be shown on stage on Saturday morning. Lambert was invited to participate in the three-day event and will be on-hand for the Saturday presentation.

 

“The people at Shoreline are working hard to meet the needs of our students, our partners and our communities,” Lambert said. “This recognition is well-earned and I’m proud to represent our college.

 

“Obviously, we’re very excited, not only for the significant savings on electricity for the college, but also the literally hands-on experience our students will get with this technology.”

 

Fittingly, the project will officially kickoff on Earth Day, April 22, when Lambert and

Silicon Energy owner Jong C. Limb are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding for the installation.

 

The project will take advantage of a legislation passed this session, ESSB 6658. Officially known as Washington State Department of Revenue’s Renewable Energy Production Incentive Program, it is commonly referred to as the community solar law. The law includes incentives for investors to install solar-electric systems of up to 75 kilowatts on public buildings and private homes. The incentives increase if the components of the system are made in Washington, as with Arlington-based Silicon Energy.

 

For SCC’s project, the college will lease the rooftop of the student union building to Silicon Energy. The company will then install the system and seek the investors. Under the law, individuals may invest in up to 5 kW of a community solar array, at a cost of about $40,000. That means 15 investors will be needed for the $600,000 SCC project.

 

“We project the return on investment could be in the 10-12 percent range over 10 years,” said Mike Nelson, director of projects and external affairs for Silicon Energy. That includes payment from Seattle City Light for the power generated, plus federal tax credits. The project helps City Light meet its renewable energy mandates and the utility also gets a tax credit, Nelson said.

 

“The college gets to use the power,” Nelson said. “It is unlikely that 75kW will ever meet the entire load of the college, but the power will be used on campus. Electrons are basically lazy, they go to nearest resistance.”

 

After 10 years, Nelson said the deal calls for the college to buy the system from the investors for a nominal fee. “But the modules will continue to generate electricity for decades to come,” he said. “Basically, free electricity.”

 

The system will use about 428 modules and power inverters provided by Silicon Energy. For installation, Nelson said Silicon intends to contract with Galaxy Electric, a firm owned by a former student of the Center for Clean Energy Technology, who will in turn use current students in the program to do some of the work.

 

Shoreline already had the largest solar array in City Light’s system, an 18 kW system on the roof of the 2900 building. Another smaller system is on what is known as the “Zero Energy House,” a demonstration project built by Washington State University students which now sits on the SCC campus and serves as offices for the Clean Energy Technology Center.

 

“This new system is easily larger than any other roof-mounted system,” Nelson said. “The only thing bigger is Puget Sound Energy’s 500 kW system at Wildhorse in Kittitas County and there is no other state that has this kind of community solar law.”

 

The final rules for administering the law are still being written, Nelson said. He and others will testify May 11 at a state Department of Revenue hearing. Nelson said he expects that process will be finished soon after, clearing the way for installation this summer. “Just in time for the sun,” he said.

* State budget cut looks close to SCC proposal

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The Legislature has done its job, now officials at Shoreline, along with the rest of the state’s community and technical colleges, are waiting to see what it all means for them.

 

“It looks like the final numbers will be pretty close to our plan,” said Daryl Campbell, Shoreline’s Vice President for Administrative Services. “We’re still waiting to hear from the (State Board for Community and Technical Colleges) on exactly what our share will be.”

 

Campbell he expects to hear details of Shoreline's cut from State Board officials in the near future.

 

In a nearly month-long special session, the Legislature late Monday passed a budget that covers a $2.8 billion shortfall. While nothing could be final until lawmakers finished their work, Shoreline officials anticipated the reductions and proposed a college budget cut of $1.65 million for the coming fiscal year, starting July 1.

 

While details are still to come, Campbell said that it appears the budget does cover projected cost increases for employee benefits, a cost that colleges may have been required to pay for above any budget cuts. “The House version had none for benefit cost increases, the Senate had some and it looks like the final budget covers all of it,” he said.

 

The State Board’s Chris Reykdal, deputy executive director of finance, said late Monday that a snapshot of the budget shows $45 million in cuts for the system, about 6.5 percent, with $7 million of that covered by the one-time “furlough bill.” That bill, passed this past weekend, doesn’t require furloughs, as long as the agency can present an alternative that achieves the same savings. Shoreline’s proposed budget doesn’t include furloughs. Reykdal also said the final state budget adds back $17 million in Worker Retraining funds.

SCC/Jim Hills

 

* Dental Hygiene Program meets community and professional needs

The SCC Dental Hygiene Clinic provides a service to community members that cannot be overlooked.  Going to the dentist for routine procedures such as exams, x-rays, cleaning and minor fillings is unattainable for many of our neighbors, and our clinic has provided these services for modest fees for over 40 years. 

 

The program is a work of genius.  Students get hands-on training while helping people who cannot afford dental insurance.  The clinic provides these services to patients from age four and up to seniors. 

 

Recently, the DH Program moved into another community, partnering with the King County Dental Society, Seattle Care Dentistry and The Northwest Kidney Centers to provide treatment for patients who are on kidney dialysis. 

 

“They have to have a healthy mouth in order to be placed on a transplant list,” says Dental Hygiene Director Marianne Baker, “and we’re here to help them achieve that.”

 

Getting a healthy mouth is a real challenge for people on dialysis, Baker says, explaining that the procedure requires four hours a day several times a week, making it very difficult to find a fulltime job that provides health insurance.  “These people rely on medical coupons,” Baker says, ‘and most dental offices don’t accept the coupons because DSHS reimburse so little.  It’s tragic.”

 

Now, thanks to the partnerships, these patients have found hope.  One patient they have helped has now been approved for a transplant.  Baker says they are currently seeing several kidney dialysis patients. 

 

The program has also just begun a partnership with 7028 Life Enhancement Charitable Trust to provide dental hygiene treatment to for patients who qualify for their trust.

 

Baker says that in the 34 years she has been at Shoreline, this is the first time the clinic is doing this kind of partnership. 

 

“What a way to go out,” Baker said, who is retiring in August.

 

SCC DH Program hosts regional educators conference

To go hand-in-hand with the theme of helping others, the DH Program will feature Dr. Britt Yamamoto at the Northwest Dental Hygiene Educators Conference on campus, Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2010.  Faculty from all nine dental hygiene schools and programs across Washington State will attend, including some from Portland, Ore.  Yamamoto will talk about service learning and the Dental Hygiene education arena, discussing the opportunities and challenges for integrated learning.  SCC Service Learning Coordinator Kaelyn Caldwell will present about the Americorps VISTA Program as will a number of other dental professionals who will share latest research findings and opportunities. 

 

 

* SCC vice presidents discuss proposed budget

 

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SCC staff members listen to a budget presentation at the April 2,

2010 all-campus meeting. More photos

 

Shoreline Community College officials have outlined the process, thinking, data and cuts that formed the proposed $1.65 million budget reduction plan.

 

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“The vice presidents spent considerable time framing the rationale for the proposal,” said Stephen Smith, Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs. Smith served as emcee at an all-campus meeting, Friday, April 2, 2010, where the plan was discussed. About 30 people also participated in the meeting via Webcast using Elluminate technology.

 

Smith noted that, in consultation with the campus committees, the Senior Executive Team (SET) established communication plans, discussed appropriate data to be used, reviewed the college’s core themes as set by the Board of Trustees and monitored legislative action. Smith

 

Smith also went over the state budget situation.

 

“Funding for community colleges has been reduced 11 percent, that’s $82 million, over the past two years,” Smith said. “For the next biennium, we expect to see an additional state-budget shortfall of $2-5 billion.”

 

For his department, Smith said Shoreline’s reduction plan means cutting one position. “That’s one-fifth of the staff,” he said. “It will require a change in our traditional business procedures.”

 

Jim Hills talked about the changes in the Office of Advancement, which includes the Public Information Office and the Shoreline Community College Foundation. The cuts include a vacant position and $50,000 in goods and services.

 

“The position came to Advancement this past July 1, then, the employee transferred to another position in student affairs, but left the position in Advancement,” Hills said. “When it became the budget issues became apparent, we left that position open.” The duties, high school recruiting, remained. “Amy Stapleton has been doing a terrific job,” he said.

 

Hills said Advancement is focusing on revenue generation, including contracts, partnerships and rentals. As an example, he said, “The college’s HTC contract, the hotel training program, recently was transferred to the foundation, giving the college more flexibility.”

 

For the “House of Instruction,” as Vice President for Academic Affairs John Backes likes to call it, the reduction plan is deeper and far more intricate. Backes reviewed the six vacant-position cuts, two retirements, three administrative positions, two classified layoffs and one faculty RIF (reduction in force).

 

Programmatically, one of the most visible changes will be to the Center for Business and Continuing Education, currently housed at the Lake Forest Park Towne Center. Backes said the proposal would eliminate the CBCE director position along with several support jobs. He said the college would focus more on contract training and move that responsibility under the Dean of Workforce. Backes said discussions are taking place with Lake Washington Technical College and Bellevue College for possible collaboration on continuing education services. As for the space in Lake Forest Park, Backes said the college will open lease talks with the mall owner.

 

Tonya Drake, Vice President for Student Success, pointed out differences in the kind of data used in her area. “We really talk about headcount versus FTE (full-time equivalent),” Drake said. Enrollment services processes more than 10,000 applications annually. “We have to process the applications even though they may not come here,” she said.

 

Reductions in Student Success include two vacant classified positions, one advisor and one administrative position.

 

Other changes are coming, all focused on learning, Drake said. A restructuring effort will bring a Center for Equity & Engagement that will serve as an umbrella for the Multicultural Center, Women’s Center, CEO/LCN, Running Start and a pilot project, a Behavioral Intervention Team. Advising and Counseling will also see some changes, she said, with direct reporting lines going to the deans. “We’ll keep a centralized location,” Drake said. “Students expect a place to go for advising, but supervision will be in the divisions.”

 

In Administrative Services, Vice President Daryl Campbell said the proposed reductions include one vacant position, one retirement, one classified layoff and one hourly position discontinued. Also, there would be a $75,000 cut in goods and services. The plan proposes some organizational shifts, including moving two fiscal positions under the Director or Financial Services, dispersing the purchasing responsibilities and adding a grants-and-contracts emphasis to the budget director’s role.

 

SCC President Lee Lambert reminded that while the plan is still a proposal, some very real things will have to be started before it is finalized. “We still don’t know our final number from Olympia,” Lambert said, referring to the ongoing special session of the Legislature to finalize a state budget. Lambert said that layoff and RIF procedures would need to start in the next several weeks to assure a balanced budget by the July 1 deadline. “We can always stop a process, if necessary,” he said.

 

After the presentation, one questioner asked about a billed passed by the Legislature having to do with system reform and efficiencies. “Shoreline has been in the forefront and was talking with Lake Washington,” Lambert said. “Now, Everett, Edmonds and Cascadia want to join in. I’ve drafted a (memorandum of understanding) establishing the Five-Star Consortium. One of the first things we’ll look at is a seamless admissions system.”

 

Lambert said that comments on the proposed plan will be taken through April 30. Then, administrators will have some time to consider those comments along with any other changes, finalize a budget and present it at 12:30 p.m., May 21, at the next all-campus meeting.

SCC/Jim Hills