Category Archives: Community Colleges


Open Course Library Sees Little Use in Washington’s Community Colleges

Washington State’s ambitious effort to make free or low-cost course materials available for 42 popular classes at its 34 community colleges isn’t making much progress because only a small fraction of the courses used the materials, according to a report released on Thursday by an arm of the National Association of College Stores.

The report is based on a survey of community-college stores that drew responses from 25 of the campuses. Only nine said that any materials from the state’s Open Course …


QuickWire: Security Lapse at Arizona 2-Year Colleges Could Affect 2.5 Million

The Maricopa County Community College District, a 10-college system based in Tempe, Ariz., said on Wednesday that it was notifying almost 2.5 million people that their names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and bank-account information may have been exposed to unauthorized viewers.

In a news release, district officials said they had begun investigating the security of their computer networks after federal authorities warned them about problems in late April. Among those whose information i…


Academics to Udacity Founder: Told Ya

In a new magazine profile of Sebastian Thrun, the Udacity founder calls his company’s massive open online courses a “lousy product” to use for educating underprepared college students. That assertion has prompted a chorus of I-told-you-sos from his critics in academe.

In interviews for the Fast Company profile, Mr. Thrun reflected on the discouraging results of an experiment at San Jose State University in which instructors used Udacity’s online platform to teach mathematics. Some of the stude…


Vermont Tech Nanosatellite Is Among 11 Rocketed Into Space

Before Tuesday evening, Carl Brandon had never seen a rocket launch. But at about 8:15, when a U.S. Air Force Minotaur I rocket took off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, in Virginia, he not only saw a launch, but the rocket carried a satellite he helped build.

Mr. Brandon, director of the CubeSat Lab at Vermont Technical College, spent the past two years with a few of his students building what’s sometimes referred to as a nanosatellite—or, specifically, a CubeSat, after a set of specifica…


QuickWire: California Moves Toward Online 2-Year-College Portal

The board that oversees California’s 112 community colleges approved a contract on Tuesday to spend $16.9-million on a “one-stop statewide online-education portal” that will let students take online courses from any of the state’s participating two-year institutions. The Foothill-De Anza and Butte-Glenn community-college districts created a partnership to win the portal contract, money for which was included in Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013-14 budget.

More than half of California’s community colleges …


U. at Albany Will Share Technology Services With Community College

The State University of New York’s University at Albany and nearby Hudson Valley Community College have agreed to take the first steps in what officials envision as a long-term, multifaceted sharing of information-technology services and facilities.

They are the first institutions in the 64-campus SUNY system to share information-technology resources, and the arrangement could become a model for other colleges, officials say. Each institution will house secondary backup servers for the other, an…


California’s Community Colleges Shift to Creative Commons Licenses

The board that governs California’s 112 community colleges has started requiring that courses, research, and other work paid for by the system chancellor’s office be made available free to all users under Creative Commons “attribution” licenses. While the system will retain the copyright on the materials, other users will be able to take advantage of them as long as the originators are properly credited.

Board members adopted the new policy this month, saying they believed the move would save ta…


From Kafka to Computers, a Graphic History of Automation in Education


Copyright Reprinted with permission.

As the debate about the role of technology in education builds, two California community-college professors have published their own commentary on the automation of teaching—in the form of an illustrated comic.

Adam Bessie and Arthur King, who teach English and studio and computer arts, respectively, at Diablo Valley College, have weighed in with a piece of graphic journalism titled “Automated Teaching Machine: A Graphic Introduction to the End …