Trustees for the new College of Eastern Idaho held their first official board meeting July 10 and approved the logo for the new community college in Idaho Falls. Now administrators are scrambling to reconfigure the former technical college so that community college students can enroll for fall classes.
The college officially came into existence July 10 when the trustees were sworn in. The board appointed Rick Aman, the president of the former Eastern Idaho Technical College, as the interim president of the new institution.
The trustees are Stephanie Mickelsen, the chief financial officer at Mickelsen Farms; Calvin Ozaki, manager of public affairs and strategic initiatives at the Idaho National Laboratories; Park Price, chairman of the board at the Bank of Idaho and now chairman of the College of Eastern Idaho board; Craig Miller, assistant principal at Hillcrest High School in Idaho Falls; and Carrie Scheid, the former executive director of the Idaho Falls Arts Council.
Like other educational institutions in Idaho, the college is delaying the start of classes from August 21 to August 22 because of the full solar eclipse occurring on the 21st.
The new community college, the first in Idaho Falls, got its start when Bonneville County voters in May approved a proposal for an annual tax increase of about $13.37 per $100,000 of taxable revenue by 71.4 percent. The 2017 Legislature also granted $5 million toward the creation of the college.
The new community college is already fully accredited with the Northwest Commission for Colleges and Universities, Aman said. It will offer three associate degrees: one in applied science that was already offered by EITC, and an associate of arts and associate of science, both degrees that would be accepted as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree for students who transferred to another institution.
Aman said he expected the school to open in time to accommodate the community college students, although the longer students have to wait, the more likely they are to enroll elsewhere.
“There is a little bit of complexity with our software, and a little bit of work we are trying to do with federal financial aid,” Aman said. “There is some complexity in transitioning into a new school from EITC. The sooner we can open and be available for students to register, the better.”
Existing EITC students will continue attending either way.
“Those programs in diesel and welding and nursing and the web design and business, all of those students really are not going to see anything different at all,” he said.
The trustees also on July 10 accepted a new logo for the college that shows three mountains and a rising sun.