Although there are glimmers the recession could be ending, the unemployment rate is expected to stay high for some time to come. College enrollments will probably keep pace, especially at community colleges, where older adults looking to brush up their job skills are joined by traditional students looking to avoid high tuition for a few years.
The 53-campus system includes seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges offering more than 3,500 programs to 374,000 students and 140,000 continuing career education enrollees. With campuses five to six hours apart, Karen Bergmeier, ITS project lead- er and Cisco WebExTM solution liaison, found herself traveling four to five hours two to three times each week to conduct training on the system’s proprietary software.
Colleges and universities stand to reap the benefits of tens of billions of dollars in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation will impact everything from student aid and research funding to technology investments and projects planning. Two experts, Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer at University of Texas, Austin, and Lander Medlin, executive vice president of APPA, provide valuable insight about the stimulus package in this edited digest of our web seminar.
For more than 35 years, Barton County Community College in central Kansas has been preparing students for success through a blend of classroom and practical hands-on education. A majority of the school’s degree programs incorporate the use of technology to prepare students for today’s workforce, while its wired buildings and computer labs ensure that technology access is at the fingertips of its more than 5,000 students.
An educational portal at Des Moines Area Community College, built with Microsoft SharePointTM software and running on HP servers and storage systems, may ultimately transform the entire educational experience there.
“It’s all about making education accessible to everyone, anytime, anywhere,” explained Ann Watts, instructional design coordinator and portal project manager at DMACC. Des Moines Area Community College is a public institution with six campuses.
The portal ? known as “my.dmacc” to users ? is an outgrowth of the college’s educational mobility initiative that runs on HP ProLiant servers. DMACC has implemented a systemwide wireless system to support academic programs and administrative needs.
ROBERT ZEMSKY WANTS TO MAKE UP for a missed opportunity. Zemsky, chairman of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education, based at the University of Pennsylvania, was called to serve as a member of the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education during the Bush administration and to participate in the national dialogue on finding solutions to higher education’s most vexing problems.
When it came time to mail financial aid refund checks at Des Moines Area Community College each semester, officials always worried about how many of those checks the post office would return as undeliverable. With nearly 27,000 students attending more than 3,000 classes on six campuses, it was inevitable that many of those students would have forgotten to inform the school of a new address.
THE DANGERS PEOPLE MIGHT encounter on a college campus are the same as those on a city street. Since there is no way to know when a security incident might occur (unless, say, someone calls in a bomb threat), campus leaders are relying on proper training to enable their security personnel to predict such incidents and respond appropriately.
While security personnel at community colleges deal with the same challenges faced by their counterparts at four-year institutions, there are some twists presented by the more fluid nature of the population at two-year institutions.