CWI takes to the road to hear what you have to say about the community college

A new direction for College of Western Idaho in 2017

Mark Dunham , College of Western Idaho board chairman, lays out a plan for where the school should go in this February, 2017 interview
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Mark Dunham , College of Western Idaho board chairman, lays out a plan for where the school should go in this February, 2017 interview

What should College of Western Idaho’s future look like?

More buildings? More classes?

A permanent Boise campus?

College trustees will spend the next three weeks traveling through Ada and Canyon counties on a listening tour to hear what you think the school’s direction should be.

A listening tour follows voter’s rejection of a $180 million bond last November that would have created a permanent Boise campus at Whitewater Park Boulevard and expanded CWI’s home campus in Nampa. Only 57 percent of voters supported the bond, nearly 10 percentage points below the required 66 2/3.

Following the defeat, the board decided to take at least a year to come up with strategies on how to meet the needs of its large student body and increased demands for educated workers in health and other occupations. Part of the plan was holding the listening tours.

Community members are invited to attend the meeting and offer their thoughts and concerns.

Meetings will broadcast on CWI’s Facebook page.

Meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Here is the meeting schedule:

Boise: Tuesday, May 16, Riverside Hotel, Northstar Room, second Ffoor

Nampa: Wednesday, May 17 College of Western Idaho, Nampa Campus Academic Building, Rm 102E

Parma: Thursday, 18 Parma High School, Commons

Middleton: May 23, Middleton High School, auditorium

Caldwell: May 24, Caldwell High School, auditorium

Eagle: May 25, Eagle High School, auditorium

Meridian: May 31, Meridian City Hall, Council Chamber

Kuna: June 1, Kuna High School, performing arts center


▪ College of Western Idaho was created in 2007, when two-thirds of the voters in Ada and Canyon County voted to form the community college district.

▪ CWI opened its doors in January 2009 with about 1,200 students.

▪ Student numbers mushroomed to reached 24,424 in 2013-2014, and 24,265 in 2015-2016. That includes high school students enrolled in dual-credit classes; classes offered to employees and potential employees of local businesses; students getting their GED or learning English; and those preparing to go onto a four-year college. One of the largest growth sectors has been among students taking college credit courses in high school. That number climbed to 4,180 in 2015-2016.

▪ In 2015, the school began planning for expansion with a health sciences building and a student success center with a library and student counseling in Nampa. In Ada County, CWI officials envisioned a three-building campus in Boise’s West End.

▪ Voters rejected the bond in November, which would have launched the first of several growth phases.

▪ CWI received its initial accreditation earlier this year meaning it can do its own curriculum planning and add new degrees tailored to the community.