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Education briefs

Dec. 17, 2013 - 10:49AM   |  

In-state tuition at Michigan universities

U.S. military veterans, regardless of where they live, can qualify for in-state tuition from any of Michigan’s public universities after three schools agreed to change their policies.

The recent moves by the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Michigan Technological University came after state lawmakers proposed constitutional amendments to force public universities to give veterans in-state tuition or, in the case of community colleges, in-district rates.

“We wanted to do this because it’s the right thing to do. ... We also wanted to be proactive rather than react to a bill or a constitutional amendment,” said Mike Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council. His group represents the 15 state universities.

It costs $13,100 for in-state tuition and fees at the University of Michigan, compared to nearly $40,400 for out-of-state tuition and fees.

Though all universities are now on board, most of the state’s 28 community colleges are opposed because of concerns it could cost them millions of dollars a year combined. Community colleges also remain cautious because students getting in-district rates live in communities paying designated property taxes to support the local community colleges.

S.D. school wants a cyber bunker

A South Dakota college is set to announce funding to create a basement bunker intended for top-security cyber work.

Officials at Dakota State University in Madison say a major gift to the school would help the university to create what it calls a secret compartmentalized information facility, or SCIF. It could allow students, faculty and eventually full-time employees to conduct cyber operations for agencies within the Defense Department.

That means at least some Dakota State graduates once destined for careers in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland areas might be able to stay closer to home.

“These are our best students,” said Josh Pauli, associate professor of cyber operations at Dakota State. “It’s a shame that, while some should certainly move to Baltimore and become federal government lifers, others who would like to come back and do that work here can’t right now. That’s what we’re trying to change.”

Pauli said the Defense Department has promised to use the facility if it is built.

A site for the facility has not been finalized, but Pauli likes the basement of the former Madison Community Hospital that the university is buying for $1.6 million.

WVU offering new energy degree

West Virginia University is offering a new undergraduate degree in environmental and energy resource management.

WVU says the Bachelor of Science degree is a nod to the region’s growing energy industry and builds on efforts with other industry partners and institutions of higher learning to pave the way for research in the industry.

The degree program will include areas of study in energy, environment, entrepreneurship and economics.

WVU says a key part of the curriculum will include internships with energy-related industries and regulatory agencies.

WVU says the degree’s objective is to provide a strong foundation for students interested in focusing on the industry’s business and entrepreneurial aspects.

Plan would help Ind. veterans become K-12 teachers

Military veterans working toward degrees in K-12 education at Indiana universities could receive scholarships and college credit for their military training and experience under a bipartisan plan.

Participants in the program, called Second Service, would be required to teach in an Indiana school for one year under a proposed bill for the 2014 legislative session. The measure is backed by Democratic state School Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican state Sen. Susan Glick of LaGrange.

Ritz said she wants to ensure veterans “have an opportunity to serve our state, and ultimately, our nation, as educators.”

“Veterans have the skills, experiences and work ethic needed to manage a classroom. They understand what it means to serve their community, and I can’t think of a group of individuals who are as dedicated to the mission of service as veterans,” Ritz said.

The superintendent also announced a new literacy program called Boots for Books in which National Guard members will work with 30 schools and 30 after-school programs across Indiana to help ensure students are reading by the third grade.

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