College

College of Idaho

There's been a buzz around the College of Idaho campus this week that hasn't existed there since the 1970s. 

Last weekend the school played - and won - its first football game since 1977. The Yotes beat Pacific University 35-34. College of Idaho plays its first home game Saturday afternoon against Montana Western at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell. 

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Leaders at many of Idaho’s colleges and universities would argue their schools don’t get the credit they deserve. But the most underrated is Mormon Church-owned Brigham Young University-Idaho, at least according to the news website Business Insider.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A bill to allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses passed the House State Affairs Committee in a party-line split.

Lawmakers voted 11-3 Friday afternoon to send it forward to debate on the House floor, over objections from the majority of people who testified before the committee.

Curt McKenzie
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

On one corner of Curt McKenzie’s desk at the Idaho Capitol sit three candy jars. On the opposite corner - an Army green ammunition box.

McKenzie is the Republican state senator from Nampa who introduced a controversial bill that would allow some people to carry guns on Idaho’s college campuses. The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House.

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The College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls is getting a $2.5 million federal grant to create a new degree program in food processing management.  

It’s part of $474.5 million awarded to community colleges nationally to expand demand-driven skills. The CSI program was the only Idaho grant in this round of a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, which will eventually give out $2 billion.

The U.S. Department of Education says the new CSI degree will meet the needs of the area’s major employers.

Pencils
Melissa Hincha-Ownby / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho high school juniors who took the SAT last spring scored nearly the same compared to those who took the college entrance exam the year before. The College Board, the company that administers the SAT, says 500 is the benchmark which indicates students are ready for college. The 2013 juniors scored 452 in reading, 452 in math and 446 in writing. The 2012 group got 448 in reading, 454 in math and 447 in writing.

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ACT scores are out for the class of 2013. The company that owns the nationally administered college entrance exam has released its annual report on how the scores reflect the nation’s college and career readiness.

Idaho high school grads outpaced their national peers on all of the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks by wide margins.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

About 120 high school students are staying in the Boise State dorms, taking classes, and eating in the student union. And that’s going on at more than 900 other campuses across the country including at Idaho State and University of Idaho.

It’s part of a program to help kids from low-income families prepare for college. It’s called Upward Bound, and is part of the federal TRiO programs. Even though the program has been around for nearly 50 years, high school students are learning new technology during their summer at Boise State.

The Class

In his State of the Union Tuesday night President Barack Obama said his administration would have a score card for every college in the nation. The online score card shows each school’s cost, graduation rate, amounts students borrow and how many default.

According to the score card, Idaho’s most expensive post-secondary option is Brown Mackie College in Boise. The for-profit school costs the average student $23,126 a year.

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This week the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation announced it would give up to $5 million to create a new school that would be unique in Idaho.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the past three days, the presidents of Idaho’s state colleges and universities have stood before lawmakers. They’ve all made the case for why their school should get state money. But that’s been an increasingly tough sell over the years.

This year Idaho’s colleges and universities got a $19 million boost from lawmakers. But after several years of cuts that only brought higher education spending back to 2006 levels. And even in times when schools were getting more money each year, the increases did not keep pace with growth.

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Idaho’s most recent high school grads exceeded national averages on the SAT. The company that administers the college entrance exam released numbers Monday. 

Students who graduated in 2012 beat the national SAT scores by wide margins in all three subject areas.

Idaho 2012 grads:

  • Critical Reading – 547
  • Math – 541
  • Writing – 525

National 2012 grads:

The latest community college enrollment numbers may hold a clue to what’s happening in the Northwest’s economy. Some two-year institutions in the region are seeing the first decline in class registration since the recession.

At the bookstore at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, the piles of textbooks students buy are kind of like a bar graph for the local unemployment rate.

hmdb.org

Forbes has released its latest ranking of the nation’s top colleges. The Idaho school highest on the list of 650 is College of Idaho at 222. The private liberal arts school in Caldwell has about 1,000 students.

The magazine bases the ranking on teaching quality, graduation rates, career prospects, and debt level. Idaho’s next school on Forbes’ list is Brigham Young University Idaho at 358. University of Idaho comes in at 396. Boise State makes the list at 616 with Idaho State University at 620.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Education show fewer Idahoans had college degrees in 2010 than in 2009. Nearly 67,000 residents aged 25-34 had some kind of post-secondary degree in 2010. That’s just under 33 percent of that demographic. And it’s about 1,000 fewer than the year before, or a .7 percent drop. The national average is above 39 percent.

boardofed.idaho.gov

Idaho’s State Board of Education Thursday approved a plan to get more students to go on to college. It’s called Complete College Idaho and its goal is for 60 percent of Idahoans between 25 and 34 years of age to have a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020. It includes reforms to college remediation programs and measures to decrease the amount of time it takes to earn a degree or certificate. The Board of Ed held focus groups and sent out surveys to students, teachers, businesses, and community groups to get feedback on the plan before it was approved.

Tammie Ogden

As summer gets underway, this year's high school graduates are beginning the next chapters of their lives. Take Ian Woodruff, Laura Coleman, and Mallory Nelson. These three friends from Idaho City have lived in the mountain town of a few hundred people all their lives. All three head off to different colleges in the next few months. That brings excitement and trepidation. They worry about paying for school, making friends and finding jobs after they graduate from college. 

byui.edu

The U.S. Department of Education has published new lists of the most and least expensive colleges. Idaho’s public colleges and universities don't make these lists. But in the category of private, not for profit, four year schools, Brigham Young University Idaho shows up with the 8th lowest tuition at $3,660 a year.

The University of Phoenix’s Idaho campus makes the lowest tuition list in for-profit schools. Its yearly tuition is $9,840s.

fafsaexpress.com

The Jerome School District has been chosen to participate in a national program to get students to apply for college financial aid. 92 districts were chosen randomly from among the applicants; Jerome is the only one in Idaho. The pilot project gives schools the ability to see which of their students have not completed the FAFSA, which determines who is eligible for federal college aid.  School councilors can then encourage students to fill out the paper work.  The U.S.

Honorary Degree: What Is It Good For?

May 11, 2012
Helen Graham / Flickr

At graduation ceremonies across the Northwest this spring, a handful of people will receive what are known as “honorary degrees.” Typically, they’re awarded to distinguished humanitarians, writers and entrepreneurs. But what, if anything, can you actually do with an honorary degree?

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