Empowering Through Education

Photo of Jessica Argyle
Author: Jessica Argyle
Published: September 5, 2019

Years at CWI: 10
Department: Integrated Studies
Education: PhD Education, Walden University; Master of Public Administration and BA Sociology, Boise State University

“CWI empowers students to be better,” said Interim Department Chair of Integrated Studies, Kim Scheffer.

Raised in a family of educators, Scheffer served 29 years in the Army in the medical field before retiring in 2012 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Initially hired as an adjunct instructor at College of Western Idaho (CWI) in 2009, she was hired to teach full-time in 2015.

“I was the lone wolf in my family pursuing a different path, but found I was continually drawn back to teaching. I remember interviewing for my adjunct position before the College was even open. I was still in the Army at the time. I was so excited to be a part of it that I didn’t even change out of my uniform before my interview!”

During her decade of service at CWI, Scheffer has taught Sociology, Education, Psychology, and CWID (Connecting with Ideas) courses to students from all walks of life and different backgrounds.

“I believe in the power of education as a method of providing learning and equality amongst different groups and encouraging students to be part of a social change. I love seeing when students ‘get’ a concept and are able to apply it to their own lives and experiences.”

A fantastic example of this is illustrated in the following note Scheffer received from one of her students – a note she keeps up in her office:

“I know we don’t really agree on everything, but you welcome my opinions regardless and don’t treat me differently as a result. It can be hard to express your opinions when you are in the minority, but I do feel braver for having been in this class. All of these topics we have covered this semester correlate to current events in society today, and I feel better educated on both sides of the issues. Either I solidify my position on an issue, or I learn to take a new perspective; its’ a win-win.”

“I kept this note because it affirmed for me one of the reasons I teach. We all want to live in a society that respects and seeks to understand the perspectives of others as well as realize that while we may look at something differently, there are reasons for that. This student’s comments about ‘feeling braver’ made me feel proud because they will use those skills not only in the classroom, but going forward in their life.”

Passing her passion for education on to her own family, Scheffer said her son is currently attending CWI as a Dual Credit student. Utilizing Advanced Opportunities Funding, he has already completed 12 credits as a high school student.

“CWI not only offers outstanding courses at an affordable cost, but we are innovative in our approach including looking for ways to save students money along the way. Regardless of age, background, or past experiences, CWI gives people an opportunity to be successful in college, become educated, and flourish.”

Start empowering your future – visit cwi.edu/BeMighty!

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