College of Western Idaho (CWI) is excited to be part of a new partnership with other Idaho higher education institutions, which will open new opportunities for recruitment, retention and career pathways for engineering and computer science students.
National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded nearly $5 million to create a higher education consortium with CWI, College of Southern Idaho (CSI) and will be managed by Boise State University. The focus of the consortium is to support the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students with demonstrated financial need.
This project hopes to fill a national need for scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians through funding scholarships for more than 150 full-time students pursuing associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science. Transfer students will receive a two-year scholarship at a partner community college, like CWI, and will continue to be funded for their bachelor’s degree at Boise State.
"It is my hope this partnership will allow Idaho’s prospective engineering students to see that Boise State and the College of Western Idaho are working together as one entity, with one goal in mind," CWI's Department of Engineering Chair, Robert Novak. "That goal will be to provide Idaho’s future engineers the educational pathway they will need beginning at the College of Western Idaho then Boise State University and ultimately their Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
The grant will also allow first-year students at CWI and CSI to connect in a seminar course with Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), which will prepare them for careers in in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields with targeted mentorship, self-discovery and development of their career aptitude and professional identity.
"We have a lot of students at CWI who struggle making ends meet and are doing their best to find a better future for themselves and their families," said CWI Math Instructor, Willard Pack. "Often, they have to divide their time between work and education and their education suffers because of it. By allowing our students to get a scholarship that covers their education costs, they can reduce the amount of time they have to dedicate to work and can focus much more attention on their studies."
The six-year award is the largest Scholarships in STEM grant awarded to the state of Idaho.