higher education

Nicholas Blah/Flickr

Voters gave increased bus operations in Jackson County the green light in Tuesday's primary. Measure 15-141, for the Rogue Valley Transportation District, led with 62 percent of votes as of 8pm. 

A bond measure to pay for $20 million in facilities improvements at Rogue Community College also won approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters. Initial counts had Measure 17-69 passing with 36,587 yes votes and 30,944 no votes between the two counties. The contribution of property owners in both counties will be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

University of California

    One of these days, Janet Napolitano might take on an easy job (don't count on it). 

Napolitano has been governor of Arizona and Homeland Security Secretary, among other jobs.  And for three years she has been president of the University of California system, which faces funding and other issues, along with many state schools. 

Napolitano visits Redding for a speech at Shasta College

Southern Oregon University

College has become so expensive, students look for a variety of ways to bring down the bill... including spending time at community college before transferring to a four-year school. 

Southern Oregon University wants those students on its own campus, so SOU just introduced a three-year program for students from Jackson and Josephine Counties. 

The "Pledge Program" offers support, assistance, and a faster (and presumably cheaper) track to a degree. 

Oregon Action

College got more expensive, and real wages stayed flat over the last few decades.  Even people who flunked economics know that means students pay more for higher education, and borrow more to pay tuition. 

Oregon Action and The Alliance for a Just Society surveyed students at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College for the report "Sentenced to Debt: The Hidden Costs of Unaffordable Education." 

The issue of how to make college affordable tops our shout-out list on this VENTSday.  If college-level education is seen as necessary to so many jobs, how do we make it affordable to more people? 

Answer our survey to get the ball rolling, and join us on VENTSday to hear the responses or put your two cents in there. 

Our OTHER topic this week: Why Iowa and New Hampshire?  Are there better states to start the process of winnowing presidential candidates?

University of Oregon

Stick with the sports pages, and the University of Oregon is a school with a national reputation--AND a cute, one-of-a-kind duck mascot. 

But behind the duck and the flashy Nike uniforms is a university, one with challenges typical of public higher education in our time. 

Chronicle of Higher Education Senior Reporter Jack Stipling lays out the challenges in a recent article, "An Academic Reputation at Risk." 

His work gives a history lesson, a state-of-the-university assessment, and views to the future from key UO players. 

University of Oregon

Let's talk about the biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime.

And no, it's not your home, though that is a big one. Your choice of college--for yourself or your kids--is a huge investment in the future, but just a bit more difficult to measure.

Peter Cappelli at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania provides some perspective on making the decision, and what it'll cost you.

We're told often that college is necessary for today's workers, but it costs A LOT.  That's one topic on this week's VENTSday segment.

The other: Social Security just celebrated its 80th birthday... what needs to happen to make sure it lasts another 80 years?  Your thoughts are welcome.

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too. 

And our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them. 

RCC

Oregon’s state legislature outpaced most of the country this past session when lawmakers passed a tuition waiver program for two years of community college. But that’s no guarantee of “free” school.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Daniel Breaux (yep, pronounced "bro") deserves a big smile on his face when he walks in the graduation ceremony at Southern Oregon University on Saturday (June 13th). 

He actually graduated two terms early, despite using a lot of his time helping SOU win a national championship on the football field. 

And he's entering a field of work that is very much the focus of attention these days: he'll be a police officer in Berkeley, California. 

Deviant Art/Wikimedia

You've heard plenty about the rising levels of debt college students face as they enter the workforce. 

Getting ready for the situation BEFORE graduation can make a big difference. 

Janay Haas taught financial literacy at Coalition For Kids in the Rogue Valley. 

Southern Oregon University

The Oregon Legislature is getting closer to completing the state budget for the next two years (it takes effect July 1st). 

But before budget adoption, the budget writers will travel the state, getting an earful from people who want more money for their programs. 

The Ways & Means Committee's road show comes to Springfield Thursday, Klamath Falls Friday, and Grants Pass Saturday, and students from Southern Oregon University plan to be on hand in Grants Pass. 

Funding State Universities By Outcomes

Apr 23, 2015
Wikimedia

While supporters of higher education in Oregon ask for more money for the system, the system itself is changing. 

By this summer, all seven of the state universities will have their own governing boards. 

And, by decision of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (pronounced "heck"), their future funding will be based in part on the numbers of degrees they confer--not on simple enrollment. 

Outcome of students will affect input of dollars.

SOU's Pleasant Enrollment Surprise

Nov 17, 2014
Southern Oregon University

The initial projections for the current academic year showed a decline in enrollment at Southern Oregon University

The projections turned out to be wrong, happily. 

SOU is actually bigger this year, with a freshman class several dozen students bigger than expected. 

Rogue Community College

It's no surprise that a few people will arrive at community college needing a little brush-up on academic subjects.  But half of them? 

That figure might actually be a little low; more than half of the students who enroll in Rogue Community College need at least some remedial education to prepare for college-level courses. 

To educators, that indicates a gap between what high schools teach and colleges need. 

Nurturing The Entrepreneurs

Nov 10, 2014
Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

It can actually be hard to keep up with all of the economic development efforts going on around us. 

There are simultaneous efforts to bring in larger employers, assist existing employers, and give new small businesses a boost in their infancy. 

Put the Entrepreneurship Center at Rogue Community College in that last category. 

SOU Puts Time Pressure On Scholarship Campaign

Oct 16, 2014
Southern Oregon University

People seem to respond well to deadline pressure, so why not provide some for a fundraising campaign? 

That's the thinking at the Southern Oregon University Foundation.

SOUF is mounting a 100-hour campaign for the SOU scholarship... in this case, SOU stands for "Supporting Opportunities for Undergraduates." 

Oregon Universities On The Road To HECC

Jun 12, 2014
University of Oregon

Big changes are coming to public higher education in Oregon. 

Some of those changes have already taken place, with the formation of separate governing boards for several of the state university campuses, and the creation of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. 

But the big questions remain: will the changes do anything to improve program offerings or hold the line on tuition increases? 

Higher Education: "Degrees Of Inequality"

Apr 8, 2014
Basic Books

You can start an argument, or at least a spirited discussion, by raising the topic of higher education in America. 

The tuition is high, the level of student debt high, and the utility of certain degrees low or at least in doubt.

Southern Oregon University professors overwhelmingly lack confidence in the school's administration, according to the results of a confidential vote released yesterday..

The results of the week-long tally, released by the Faculty Senate, show that most of the 217 faculty members who voted have no confidence in the ability of Vice President of Finance and Administration Craig Morris, Provost Jim Klein and President Mary Cullinan.

The Mail Tribune reports that all but one member of the Faculty Senate voted in favor of holding the confidential vote.

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