Bert's Alerts—June 26, 2020
The State of Idaho announced extension of Stage Four of the Rebound plan, noting Ada County has returned to a modified Stage 3. In alignment with this, CWI has developed a phased approach to transition from working remotely to returning to work on-site. CWI is currently in Phase 2; following is a summary of phase two, you will also need to review the supporting materials for more detailed guidance, these may also be found at CWI’s coronavirus page:
Please note the following guidelines are dependent on State and Federal requirements and in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and corresponding health districts.
CWI Phase 2
Phase two focuses on additional services opening and employees entering into a phased plan to return on-site, as appropriate. Just to reiterate, face coverings are required for all individuals who are on-site. Students may return to campus to access limited services and summer session courses, based on capacity of space, if social distancing can be achieved and maintained. Non-essential travel continues to be restricted. Public access to CWI buildings will be allowed with PC approval. More specific tracking of individuals and activities taking place on campus will continue.
Training for managers on these new procedures has been provided to those that supervise employees. As we move forward resuming more on-site campus operations, employees will be trained through a variety of means, including by their manager and information will be made available to all employees. More information on CWI Phases 3 and 4 may be found in the Operational Plan.
Next steps that are currently being developed include:
- Return to Campus SOP (inclusive of employees and students returning)
- Schedule of on campus services returning in person
- Training videos for staff and faculty
- Student communication related to capacity adjustments for Fall term
I thank you all for your assistance in staying informed, protecting each other, following all guidelines, and ultimately achieving our number one goal of ensuring everyone stays healthy.
CWI in the News
A mother of four, Sharp went back to school in 2012 when her youngest began kindergarten wanting to have something to fall back on if anything were to happen. Three years in, she realized her chosen path was not going to work out as it would require them to move to a large city. While she was ultimately successful and completed her degree, it was not in the way she intended.
Struggling financially their entire married life, Sharp and her husband are still paying on her student loans and find themselves without a drop of retirement. While her husband has been trying to make a go of it as a business owner, she had been working odd jobs until she was unexpectedly laid off in March due to COVID-19 which ultimately prompted her decision to, once again, go back to school.
Sharp will receive a full-tuition, full-year scholarship to CWI which she plans to use toward a degree in Nursing with the ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife.
“At 43, I probably won’t reach my goal of becoming a nurse until I’m nearing 50,” Sharp said, “but I intend to go for it as much as I can. This scholarship will be a large part of making that happen!”
In addition to Sharp, five additional moms each received a $500 scholarship. Stay tuned for CWI’s next on-air scholarship promotion, “Career Makeover”, in partnership with Mix 106, coming this July.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Center for Teaching and Learning team has been named winners of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimizing Student Experience, which honors those institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in fields such as student recruitment, financial aid, enrollment, retention and assessment, graduation, and beyond.
Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts.
As a geographically-separated community college serving a non-residential population, CWI is continuously seeking ways to utilize Blackboard to create community and learning beyond the classroom. During the Fall 2018 semester, Center for Teaching and Learning released myCommons, a collaborative, extended instruction opportunity for students, housed in Blackboard. Providing a centralized location for students to engage in extended learning opportunities independently or as a requirement by their faculty, the goal of myCommons was to grow overall student engagement and increase retention and graduation rates.
myCommons contains twenty badges, representing the expertise of eight departments at the College from the Library to Business and Biology to Counseling. During the first year, myCommons awarded 10,669 badges with 3,342 unique users actively participating in the site. As a central location for students to engage in educational contests and events, utilization and participation has since grown nearly 40%.
“With the complex schedules of both faculty and students, scheduling in-person or synchronous instruction is not always feasible. myCommons has been an invaluable solution in helping us reach our audience for foundational instruction by providing on-demand modules for specific content. This approach has led to deeper conversations during meetings and classtime about content because we can assume base knowledge. Furthermore, at the instruction level, it has created consistency across courses in terms of the expectations instructors can hold students to,” said Heather Schoenherr, Associate Professor of Psychology.
"We’re pleased to honor this year's Blackboard Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community," said Lee Blakemore, Chief Client Officer and President, Global Markets at Blackboard. "We’re proud to partner with institutions who are innovating to advance student success.”
The Center for Teaching and Learning team will be announced alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld 2020, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held virtually July 21 and 22.
Blackboard is the leading provider of learner success-focused technology solutions and services. Its product portfolio is unmatched in the marketplace, spanning teaching and learning, analytics, community engagement, and student services.
For more information on the Blackboard Catalyst Awards, please visit: https://community.blackboard.com/catalystawards.
Beta Sigma Pi, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, swore in the 2020-2021 officer team Saturday, June 13, at the Nampa Campus Academic Building. Former President, Laura Baldwin, and Vice Presidents, Nicole Johnston and Rheanna Palmer, handed their responsibilities over to Jody Ayers, continuing as Vice President of Scholarship; Jackie Romero, Vice President of Leadership; and Becca Shelman, Vice President of Fellowship.
Meeting together for the first time since March, the previous officer team was able to offer advice and encouragement to the new officer team who will be continuing the chapter's quest to maintain its Five Star Status.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) is excited to announce three, new degree programs. Fire Service Management, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Social Work programs will begin in the coming months, adding to the more than 100 programs already offered at the College.
“CWI is committed to contributing to economic growth, strengthening our community, and developing future leaders to serve in the state of Idaho,” says Provost, Denise Aberle-Cannata. “As part of our commitment, we are very excited to announce these new programs at the College.”
Fire Service Management, developed for individuals in the field who want to advance, will cultivate future leaders in the fire and emergency services. CWI’s curriculum is based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, and International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certified program requirements. Students will have a choice between the Associate of Arts (AA) degree and Basic Technical Certificate (BTC).
The Occupational Therapy Assistant degree provides a holistic and client-centered approach to help improve the quality and functionality of the clients they serve. Upon completion of the two-year program, students will have received the education and skills training necessary for the national certification exam to become a certified and licensed occupational therapy assistant.
The Social Work program helps students develop diversity-competent social work skills while preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. Graduates can work in various fields including healthcare, government organizations, and nonprofit support services.
CWI is proud to add these high-quality programs to the list of options we provide, as we serve more than 30,000 students in our community. To learn more about these programs and apply, visit the Future Students page on cwi.edu.
Congratulations to Stacy Hardy, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for May 2020. Hardy, a Web Developer for the Division of College Relations, has been an employee for nearly four and a half years, but began her journey at CWI as a Software Development student. As a student, she worked as an intern for the College’s web team where she was officially hired upon graduation in 2016.
“After graduating from North Idaho College with an associate degree in Commercial Art in 1999, I worked as a graphic designer for the Coeur d’Alene Press, Spokane Nickel Nik, and the Idaho Press,” Hardy said. “Once all my kids were in school, I was having a hard time finding a job. I decided to attend CWI to pursue software development as it would fit nicely with my graphic design experience.”
As a web developer, Hardy’s duties include providing support and training for content contributors on cwi.edu, moderation of new and updated content, as well as web design and accessibility for new components and features in development.
“CWI is a great place to work because we all work together to make a difference in students’ lives and help them to achieve their goals. I am very fortunate to work with an amazing team and a part of many projects. One project that really stands out is the accomplishment of improving web accessibility on cwi.edu from 78% to 99.5% accessible.”
“Stacy approaches all of her work with a strong sense of integrity,” said Audrey Eldridge, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing. “She does an excellent job of balancing goals of the project, best practices, timelines, and best interests of the team and institution. She is the first to sign up to help, show up to volunteer, or lead any special effort. She not only cares on a professional level but also a personal one. She takes interest in everyone and finds the positive in every person, every situation, and does this with a smile. She is even tempered, yet passionate about her work and doing what is best for our students. As a CWI graduate, she has become a fantastic role model for all.”
“Stacy is a valuable asset to our team and the CWI community,” commented Bryson Caldwell, Web Services Manager. “She fearlessly meets challenges head-on, regularly taking on new objectives navigating them with organization and grace. It has been a pleasure to work with her over the years.”
Hardy grew up in Cove, Oregon, and moved to Council, Idaho, her junior year of high school. Her and her husband, a Senior Press Operator at Idaho Press, have lived in Caldwell for the past 19 years. Together the couple has four children and two granddaughters. Outside of the office, she enjoys painting, dancing, gardening, camping, riding her motorcycle, and skiing.
“Because of CWI, my life as transformed from a stay-at-home mom to a full-time employee while showing my children that it can be rewarding to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.”
Get the job you want! Join us to explore your future career with industry leaders at College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Online Program Exploration Events. Learn about the programs available at CWI, get a virtual feel of the program lab space and technology, and get tips on preparing for a successful start.
The upcoming Program Exploration Events will highlight Automotive Technology, Powersports and Small Engine Repair, Heavy Duty Truck Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician, and Auto Body Technology programs at the College. Events are scheduled in July and will be available online.
Visit the Program Exploration page online for dates and times and to reserve your spot.
In an effort to move toward functionality in Colleague Self Service, Human Resources will be transitioning the following forms out of the myCWI Employee Toolkit effective June 25, 2020:
- Total Compensation Statement
- Stipend History
- Position History
The following items will remain in the myCWI Employee Toolkit:
- Leave Plan Summary
- Total Compensation
- My Stipends
- Position Summary
Self Service items can still be accessed through the Employee Toolkit. Once selected, users will be directed automatically to Self Service. This new configuration will allow easier access to information previously provided under the list of forms in your Employee Toolkit.
Contact Human Resources at email@example.com with questions, and stay tuned for new and enhanced features in Self Service rolling out in the upcoming months!!
There are no new job postings this week. Employees can access Internal Job Postings or visit Careers at CWI to view all external listings. Upon application submittal, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an email, check your "Junk/Spam" folder, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to verify receipt of your application.
Welcome to the following individuals who are new to the College. We are happy to have you here and look forward to working with you!
- Erika Stookey – Adjunct Faculty, Sociology
- Hilary Cobb – Adjunct Faculty, Sociology
- Grace Jackson – Instructional Designer, Extended Instruction
- Kandis Pogoda – Adjunct Faculty, Sociology
- Margaret Saye – Specialist, Assessment and Testing
- Danya Krueger – Adjunct Faculty, Sociology