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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
October 17, 2013     Valley News and Views
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October 17, 2013

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Page 2 October, 17, 2013 Valley News and Views A giant step moved a major community project forward in Drayton last Friday when seven people met at the school to launch a long- awaited program to train high school students in producing short documentary-type films about the areas history, heritage and culture. The benefits will play out through Christmas and potentially into next summer and beyond. Seated at a conference table were Valley News editor Larry Ritzo who had arranged the meeting, myself representing Dakota Heritage Institute who was presenting the training program, four students, and Superintendent Hy Schleve who sat-in and gave suggestions for possible benefits for the students and the community. The objective was to organize a film crew of high school students to capture and preserve short, one-to- three-minute film stories of Drayton's heritage and its pioneers, veterans and personalities on a dedicated Web site. The youth will utilize off-the-shelf technologies that can make this happen, while the content for the stories come from interviews with seniors, leaders, and citizens. The funding for the training is largely in place, seeded by a grant for training from ND Humanities Council and three individual scholarships contributed by the Drayton Chamber of Commerce, the Ox Cart Trails Historical Society and the Drayton American Legion Post. The origin of this filmmaking project dates back to 2010, when Joe Lambert, founder of the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley with a global presence in this method, spent two days in Drayton with his 14-year-old son to visit with community members engaged in rehearsals of "Bound for Blessing" production. Lambert, an international leader with an earlier academic background in "community organization" and theater, was impressed by a rural town pulling together 42-members in the original production of an immigrant story in "Bound for Blessing" and by learning of plans for Drayton to Web-cast "Old Fashioned Christmas" live t6 the global village community. The reach of the Web for visual stories and for sustainable development of Drayton's most valuable heritage asset - its history and cultures - can combine with yet under-developed physical assets in the community, such as the full potential of the Memorial Hall and Drayton's newest asset, Hastings Landing, which is a wonderful place to eat, have a conference and apply the fully-equipped tools of digital screens throughout the restaurant. At other times on Friday, I had a chance to meet and discuss the emerging training project with Mark Hatloy, president of the Drayton School Board, Ardis Olson, mayor of Drayton, and Rob Boll of the Chamber of Commerce. A composite proposal with a vision for engaging youth in community development was discussed - to mark three near-term events on the upcoming seasonal calendar (Veterans Day at a ceremony, Thanksgiving viewed from home on a computer screen and "Old Fashioned Christmas" in the Memorioal Hall) where one-minute films clips "tell the story" of individual's memories from these events from the past, but engage youth in preserving the stories in digital format. As an example, the "Old Fashioned Christmas" event that is Webcast can be marketed.., not as Santa Claus as a draw but.., as "Food and Film Festival," when a five-course meal is served, interspersed with three one-minute memory stories of citizens shown between 10-minute breaks for an appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert, including sharing "table talk" in the food breaks. Total time is 60 minutes, with 19-20 one- minute memories being reviewed. Prior to the meal and afterwards, the commerce of the storefronts on location for gift-giving at Christmas can also be enhanced, if one-minute marketing- type stories describe the artisan and crafted products Continued On Page 5 While the Internet is full of scams and misinformation, the evolution of the online for-profit college is becoming one of the more serious as gullible students are lured into the system with unfounded claims and promises. Having 20 years of experience in the classroom, I am skeptical about the expansive use of online teaching as a substitute for the discipline, accountability and content found in the structured classroom. So I have a bias. Some ofourinstitutions are offering online classes before they have adequate faculty so they can appear to be progressive in using the latest in electronic technology. It is my suspicion that some are using online classes to fatten their enrollment figures. However, online for-profit colleges are something else. They are taking advantage of desperate students willing to pay high tuition, the availability of easy federal grants and student loans, and the lackofoversight by federal and state governments. Students with an unrealistic dream of an easy degree are going into considerable debt in a gamble that the promises being made will put them into high-paying jobs that will amortize the outrageous tuitiofis. As a consequence, the default rate on loans among these students is staggering. According to a Forum News Service report, the nationwide default rate for all schools is around 10 per cent. The default rate in North Dakota is 4.3 per cent; at North Dakota State University it is 2.5 per cent. Now compare this to the default rate of the online for- profit schools. In a Congressional hearing, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin found that 25 per cent of the for-profit students were in default within three years. Nearly half of the federal student loan defaults are in for-profit schools even though they enrolled only 10 per cent of the students. In an analysis of the online for-profits, investigative reporter Daniel Golden of Bloomberg News claimed that the for-profits targeted underprivileged students who qualified for federal grants and loans. He alleged that many of the students dropped out before graduating. In another Bloomberg report, John Hechinger said that "once enrolled in those schools, students submitted substandard work." "In an online program leading to an associate's degree in business," Hechinger wrote, "an undercover student handed in plagiarized materials copied from online sources or verbatim from a textbook and was given full credit for his work." These issues are not going unnoticed. The Department of Justice and four states are suing one for-profit company for fraud in a case involving $11 billion in state and federal aid taken during the period of 2003-2011. The attorney general in Kentucky, joined by 22 other states, is leading an investigation into the abuses of online for-profit colleges and universities. Even though all are not guilty, various investigations have produced a legitimate conclusion about online, for-profit colleges: they are exploiting innocent students and the American taxpayer. In a policy statement, the AmericanAssociationofState Collegesand Universities asserted that states have a major responsibility for dealing with the issues involved. In North Dakota, this responsibility should be laid at the door of the Board of Higher Education and the consumer fraud division in the attorney general's office. While they may not be able to take punitive action against interstate activities, they can certainly do some course evaluations, engage in fact-finding, and warn students about the pitfalls involved in online courses. Also, it seems that the Board has responsibility for seeing to it that all of the online courses being offered by in-state institutions measure up to the rigorous standards of classroom instruction. Communities is Possible .... ..... . .. :'Helen Volk Schill NDSU Pembina County Extension SS Many people dream of owning their own business. Yet because they live in a small community, they perceive that developing a successful business just can't be achieved. "Such a viewpoint is one of the small-business myths that exist among the public," says Helen Volk-Schill, Extension agent of Pembina County. "Certainly, we don't want to imply that success is easy in small communities, but it is possible." Beingasuccessfulbusiness owner in a small community takes perseverance and insight. "Research has found a variety of reasons why a business owner becomes successful in a small town," says Glenn Muske, the North Dakota State University Extension Service's rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist, "This entrepreneur often shows great creativity and ingenuity in starting and operating the business. It also is not unusual to see that he or she set the definition of Success." The traditional measure of success typically is based on one of three measures: dollars and cents, number of employees or growth. The small-town business If smoking is allowed in an apartment building, more than a wall is : being shared--because secondhand smoke can travel through venti- lation systems--putting children at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.To understand the dangers of secondhand smoke and how to reduce the risk of SIDS, visit Learn rere at B [@ath@ N D'cm Public Health Pernbina County Health PubllcHealth Brought to you by the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy and your local public health unit. owner may take a slightly different view of these three measures. He or she may include subjective measures as ell. ' Some of the measures of success found among small- business owners are: .Being good atwhat you do and respected for your skill. That respect can be local or may come from others living some distance away. .Living where you want to live .Becoming a portfolio entrepreneur, or someone who puts two, three or even more businesses together to reach his or her level of success .Needing to work only part time, whether he or she works a certain number of hours per week or weeks per year. The person may be retired or have other means of income or is needed to help support another business in the family. This happens extensively in an area experiencing an Continued On Page 5 %i TM seeds Early Cash Discounts and Financing all ,bean, Corn and Sugar Beet Seed Purchases Scott Johnson 218-244-5146 (Cell) Dan Riley 218-478-4105 (Cell) Brian Kraska 218-843-5236 (Cell) NflCHURS Karson Dahl 701-331-4433 (Cell) SEEI)EX 703 North Main Street. Drayton, North Dakota Community First' "Living togefhe~ i~ an : : : ::