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Archive for August, 2009

Debate over health-care reform continues to intesify

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

By Vicky EckenrodeVicky.Eckenrode@StarNewsOnline.com

Thursday was a busy day for Wilmington residents interested in health care reform.

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Topsail postpones beach nourishment vote

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

By Amanda HutchesonStarNews Correspondent

Topsail Beach | In a special meeting Thursday, the Topsail Beach commissioners voted to postpone a vote on the contract for the town’s interim beach nourishment project.

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Many taking college courses online

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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As we begin a new school year, more and more students are stepping out of the classroom and signing up for classes online. The Department of Education released a study that shows the average students who take online classes score higher on tests than students who learn in a classroom setting.

Kate Heaton is a communications student at UNCW, but she doesn’t spend too much time on campus. She takes the majority of her classes online.

“It’s more convenient for me with a busy schedule, it makes it more convenient for me to just do my class work when I have a chance, rather than knowing i need to be in a class by a certain time,” Heaton said.

Online education continues to grow in popularity.

At UNCW, the number of students taking online classes has doubled in the last two years.

Students miss out on the face-to-face interaction, but the president of one online college, Bernelli University, says using technology to teach the material is a way around that. “Although they’re not physically next to each other, they can see each other and interact on video.”

Cindy Iannarelli says online education is the wave of the future. Students who take advantage of it, may have a leg up. “We’re really going into the information age and so students with a degree from an online university, they are further ahead, than students in a traditional classroom.”

Still, Heaton says she’s glad her whole schedule isn’t online so she doesn’t miss out on the college experience. “You wouldn’t be as involved on campus, I probably wouldn’t be as involved in the student organizations I’m in now, and I lived on campus for two-three years and I probably wouldn’t have lived on campus if I had taken online classes.”

A Department of Education study compared online versus classroom performance for the same courses over a twelve-year span. It showed on average, students taking one or all of their classes online ranked in the 59th percentile in test performance compared to traditional classroom students, who scored in 50th percentile.

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videoAs we begin a new school year, more and more students are stepping out of the classroom and signing up for classes online.

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Associated poll

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Community colleges could lift ban on illegal immigrants

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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As the school year begins, North Carolina community colleges have record enrollment numbers. A proposed policy change could mean the classrooms will get even more crowded in the near future.

North Carolina community college leaders are considering lifting a ban on illegal immigrants at community colleges.

It’s not the first time this has been discussed and students seem as divided over the issue as the state board.

The Policy Committee for the State Board of Community Colleges voted to ban illegal immigrants from the classroom last year. Since 2000 the board has changed the policy four times

“This issue has been going back and forth at the state level for several years. We’ll be following the rules, whatever they may be, whenever the decision is made,” said CFCC spokesperson David Hardin.

One reason there may be so much back and forth, it’s a polarizing issue, and it’s always a close vote.

Now, the board is considering changes that would allow immigrants to attend the local colleges with some restrictions. All undocumented residents would need a diploma from a U.S. high school. The students would have to pay out-of-state tuition regardless of how long they’ve lived in North Carolina, and they would register for classes after legal residents.

But at local community colleges, finding the space for the additional students is cause for concern. “It’s not only true at Cape Fear Community College, but all around the state, is that community colleges are overburdened with students,” Hardin said.

About 90 percent of classes at CFCC are at capacity thanks to record enrollment

While community colleges are already struggling to accommodate students, current students say they’re not necessarily opposed to admitting undocumented students.

“It really doesn’t matter, they’re here to work, they’re trying to make a life for themselves,” Shannon Green said.

As long as it doesn’t cost legal residents a spot in the classroom. “Especially at this school right now there are so many students that are legal citizens of the us that can’t get in here. It would seem kind of pointless,” said Nick Chambers.

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videoAs the school year begins, North Carolina community colleges have record enrollment numbers. A proposed policy change could mean the classrooms will get even more crowded in the near future.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Wilmington files complaint against nonprofit, convenience store

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

By Patrick Gannon, Patrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

The complaint, filed last week in New Hanover County Superior Court, seeks to shut down the Village Stop and Shop that rents space in First Fruit’s building.

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