As industries seek candidates with higher education, Boise State University is working to help students achieve said education in their own backyards. BSU is preparing to launch its Community Impact Program partnership with the City of Payette.

Associate Dean of Extended Studies Peter Risse says the program is meant to save potential students money and headaches.

“The purpose of this initiative is to connect students to educational opportunities without the constraints of traditional infrastructure,” said Risse via email. “This is a far more flexible and cost effective approach to education and enables students to access their courses anywhere, anytime while remaining in the community of their choice.”

Programs offered through the program will be designed around the needs of communities involved, according to Risse.

“We would like each program to build a deep connection between community, faculty, and students through a combination of community-based learning experiences and accessible online education,” said Risse. “While the specific programs have yet to be determined, we anticipate that participating faculty will spend time in-person in the community with students at the beginning and end of each term. This will help build connections and develop localized learning experiences that focus on the specific needs of Payette.”

Risse also mentions that non-credit offerings will be considered as planning continues for the program.

“Boise State supports an active Center for Professional Development that delivers a variety of high quality Professional Development opportunities.”

Risse said he doesn’t anticipate any competition with Treasure Valley Community College.

“In fact, we expect this initiative to provide additional pathways to high quality, accessible online bachelor’s degree programs for students who have completed a program at TVCC. This will help them build on the valuable skills they have already gained at TVCC or any other local community college so that they can further their career or grow their own business in the community.”

A request for comment from TVCC was unreturned by press time.

While the partnership specifically targets Payette, outlying communities are welcome to participate, said Risse.

Enrollment is expected to begin in the spring, with the program targeting a fall 2020 launch.

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