CWI Compass Connect - April 12, 2023
CWI in the News
Campus Development Updates
College of Western Idaho (CWI) is pleased to announce the selection of Ball Ventures Ahlquist to develop a mixed-use campus, enhancing the opportunity to deliver high-quality, affordable education to the more than 30,000 students CWI serves.
The new project in Boise, located on property CWI owns at Whitewater Park Boulevard and Main Street, will have state-of-the-art technology and modern classroom space to create an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, the new campus will allow CWI to consolidate leased facilities in Ada County and centralize resources for students and the community.
Visit Campus Development to learn more.
Investing in education is one of the most impactful ways to create positive change. At College of Western Idaho (CWI), we are committed to empowering lives and building foundations for the future. CWI invites alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and community members to join our first-ever CWI Giving Day on Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13.
CWI Giving Day is a 24-hour campaign dedicated to supporting students, programs, and opportunities that strengthen our campus and community. Every investment, no matter the size, creates pathways to affordable education, helping dreams become reality.
“CWI is thrilled to launch our first Giving Day,” said CWI President Gordon Jones. “As the largest higher education institution in the state, CWI is proud to deliver affordable, high-quality, and empowering educational opportunities designed to change the lives of our more than 30,000 students. CWI Giving Day is an opportunity for you to see and support the amazing work of our students and faculty. Community members can show their generosity by supporting a student club, program, or scholarship with a gift today.”
CWI Giving Day will provide easy online access for donors to support several programs and initiatives within the College. A gift to CWI Giving Day provides current and future students opportunities to aim high and reach their goals.
“I feel like I have been invested in and somebody believes in me,” said CWI Secondary Education student and SCORE Big Scholarship recipient, Logan White. “When somebody believes in you, it pushes you to do great things and pushes you to want more for yourself.”
“The Foundation Board is deeply committed to the belief that education has the power to transform lives,” said CWI Foundation Board President, Mike Peña. “Through this support, students are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve success in their chosen careers and build a solid foundation for their future.”
CWI Giving Day will launch on Wednesday, April 12 at 12 p.m., MST, and close on Thursday, April 13 at 12 p.m., MST.
To get involved, people can do so by donating and sharing the CWI Giving Day page with friends, family, colleagues, and others in their community.
CWI Giving Day supports students and areas of the College that make a difference in our community’s lives. Learn more about those programs and resources at www.cwi.edu/givingday.
For those with questions or in need of more information about CWI Giving Day, please contact CWI Foundation at email@example.com.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) is pleased to announce the selection of Ball Ventures Ahlquist to develop a mixed-use campus enhancing the opportunity to deliver high-quality, affordable education to the more than 30,000 students CWI serves.
The new project, located on property CWI owns at Whitewater Park Boulevard and Main Street, will have state-of-the-art technology and modern classroom space to create an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, the new campus will allow CWI to consolidate leased facilities in Ada County and centralize resources for students and the community.
“This partnership is an incredible opportunity for CWI to develop and strengthen resources that will empower students in Ada County with affordable, high-quality education leading to employment,” said CWI President Gordon Jones.
Following an extensive RFP process, CWI’s Evaluation Committee selected the team of Ball Ventures Ahlquist, ESI Construction, and Hummel Architecture, all Idaho companies, to work with on the project.
CWI’s Board Chair Molly Lenty said, “The development of our Boise property is one of several projects we are working on to better serve students throughout the Treasure Valley. We are thrilled to be moving forward in the college’s in-depth strategic campus visioning plan that included more than two years of public engagement and extensive internal planning with expansions in both Ada and Canyon County.”
CWI acquired this property in 2015 to provide a long-term presence in Ada County owned by the college. In 2022, following Board approval of a campus visioning plan, the RFP process began, which led to the selection of Ball Ventures Ahlquist in April 2023. CWI and Ball Ventures Ahlquist will now begin negotiating a development partnership, which CWI’s Board of Trustees will be asked to approve, prior to beginning the design, permitting, and public engagement processes.
The projected opening date for this building is Fall 2026.
For the most up-to-date information on development projects, visit CWI's Campus Development page.
For Mollie Weitz, working in the medical field has always been in the cards.
For eight years, Weitz was a Certified Veterinary Technician working at an animal emergency room (ER) as the Overnight Veterinary Technician. Overall, she enjoyed what she was doing — especially being in an operating room — but she felt working in an animal ER wasn’t something she could do for the rest of her life.
“As a Veterinary Technician you have a very broad scope of practice, and I was tired of taking radiographs of fractious cats and angry chihuahuas,” said Weitz. “I knew working in an operating room was an area I would want to focus a career on.”
Weitz heard of a fellow Veterinary Technician and a friend of hers who had recently left the field and began College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Surgical Technology Program in 2021. It was at that moment she began tossing around the idea of becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) herself.
The Surgical Technology program at CWI prepares students for an exciting career as a CST in the growing healthcare industry. Working under the direction of surgeons, CSTs can facilitate the safe operation of invasive procedures maximizing patient safety and care.
In the Surgical Technology program, students learn to set up surgical instruments, prepare and pass medications, provide direct patient care, maintain sterility, and set up surgical equipment in an operating room environment. In addition to those skills, students will also gain great understanding of the application of sterile and aseptic techniques, human anatomy, surgical procedures, and more.
To ensure this was the career path she wanted to pursue, Weitz began work in West Valley Medical Center's Sterile Processing Department in June of 2021 where was able to get insight into how an operating room worked and the overall role of a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST).
“This was a huge learning experience that really helped me prepare for the program.”
Once she built enough knowledge and confidence, Weitz felt it was time to enroll in CWI’s year-long Surgical Technology program. She was able to keep a part-time position at West Valley where she felt support from her colleagues along the way.
“Many of the CSTs at the hospital attended the CWI program and were always the cheering section a busy student needed.”
Upon completion of the Surgical Technology program in May 2023 and passing the CST exam from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), Weitz will begin a career as a full-time CST position with West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell.
“This program has really shown me how much you can accomplish with hard work and dedication. In the beginning, it takes five minutes to get your gloves on the correct hands. Nine months later, we are rotating through different hospitals getting to be a part of various surgeries across all specialties. I am forever thankful to have chosen this career path and look forward to continuing my education as a Certified Surgical First Assist in the years to come.”
Applications for CWI’s Surgical Technology Program are open through Friday, April 7. For those with questions or in need of more information about the program, contact Mona Bourbonnais at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.562.2310.
Save money while completing your education by enrolling in Z‑degree classes at College of Western Idaho (CWI)! Designated Z‑degree classes offer zero or low-cost textbooks, making a student’s education journey more affordable.
Beginning in the Fall 2023 semester, Z-Degree classes will be available to all students, regardless of their chosen major, providing an affordable alternative to traditional textbook costs.
A zero-cost textbook refers to any textbooks or course materials available to students at no cost, often through Open Education Resources (OER). According to the Idaho State Board of Education, OER are "teaching, learning, and research materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits free use and repurposing by others."
“CWI is proud to offer accessible and affordable degrees,” said CWI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Denise Aberle-Cannata. “The Z-Degrees allow students to choose from some courses that offer low to no-cost textbook options. Often students are forced to choose between tuition and books. The Z-degree allows the student to have both!
In addition to select Z-degree classes, Communication, Liberal Arts, and Philosophy programs offer a Z‑degree Pathway with zero or low-cost textbook options for every class required to complete an Associate of Arts degree within those areas of study.
Z-degree classes are part of CWI’s commitment to providing high-quality education that is accessible to all students. The initiative also aligns with the College's mission to empower students to achieve their academic, career, and personal goals.
The Idaho Legislature and Gov. Brad Little jump-started CWI’s Z-degree classes by investing $1 million into similar programs across the state as part of Little’s “Building Idaho’s Future” initiative.
When registering, classes offering a Z‑degree option will be marked with the Z-degree icon.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Beta Sigma Pi Honor Society continues to grow new leaders around campus. CWI’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter inducted 20 new members into the honor society on Saturday, April 1 — their first in-person ceremony since 2019.
Inductees and their families gathered at Nampa Campus Academic Building to hear from former PTK Honor Society officers, Jody Ayers, Beka Shelman, and Natalie D’Agostino, who shared about their experiences in the chapter and encouraged members to get involved in chapter events.
CWI Provost, Denise Aberle- Cannnata, opened the event with a welcome message and a reminder to students to take this opportunity to grow in their leadership skills and to make their mark at CWI and beyond. CWI’s PTK Honor Society 2022-2023 officer team, Maria Generalova, Bree Upchurch, Braden Rachael, Natasha Peterson, and Raquel Valdebieso, then walked the new members through the induction process and welcomed them into the PTK family.
The mission of PTK is to recognize the academic achievements of college students and provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. The National Honor Society has over 1,300 chapters and 3.25 million members worldwide.
For questions about how to get involved or learn about CWI’s PTK chapter, Beta Sigma Pi, contact email@example.com.
For those starting out or starting something big — register for classes this fall at College of Western Idaho (CWI)! With a variety of resources, flexible course options, and caring instructors, CWI is here to help you on your pathway to success every step of the way.
Let’s get started!
Important Fall 2023 Dates
- Priority Registration Opens – Monday, April 10
- Open Registration Opens – Monday, April 17
- Admission Deadline for 16-Week Class Session – Saturday, Aug. 12
- Registration Deadline for 16-Week Class Session – Friday, Aug. 18
- First Day of Classes for 16-Week Class Session – Monday, Aug. 21
Priority registration at CWI for the Fall 2023 semester for 16-week class session begins Monday, April 10. Priority registration allows continuing students a chance to enroll in classes ahead of open registration, helping students stay on track for graduation.
Following are a few tips for current students:
- Be sure to meet with your Advisor prior to registering. Students can register any time on or after their assigned registration time.
- Registration times are assigned based on cumulative credits earned. Check myCWI and your student email for your assigned time.
- Continuing students are considered those who enrolled and attended classes any semester since Fall 2020.
- Dual credit students will register during open registration.
Open registration for all students, including new and returning, begins Monday, April 17.
New to CWI? The Fall 2023 admission deadline for 16-week class session is Saturday, Aug. 12. All, new, degree, and non-degree seeking students must apply to CWI prior to registering for classes. Visit Applying to CWI for a complete list of steps to get started.
- Upon completion of the application process and once accepted to CWI, new, non-degree seeking students may immediately register for classes.
- Upon completion of the application process and once accepted to CWI, new, degree-seeking students must participate in New Student Orientation prior to registering for classes.
Course offerings can be viewed in Student Planning for all continuing and returning students.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
The scholarship application period for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Apply for a variety of scholarships through a single application. Students interested in applying for scholarships must have the CWI admission application completed, be accepted, and have student account login information.
Students are encouraged to watch for emails and texts with important next steps for the completion of the registration process. Contact One Stop Student Services or your Advisor with any questions or concerns.
Fall registration for the 16-week class session will be open through Friday, Aug. 18, and classes will begin Monday, Aug. 21.
For those interested in learning about other dates and deadlines for Fall 2023 semester, including 8-week class session, please visit CWI's academic calendar.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) 2022 Social Work graduate, Craig Petersen, has a passion to help those around him — particularly children in the foster care system. To raise awareness of the foster care crisis in Idaho, Petersen is hosting the second annual Speak Up Ink Up, where tattoo artists and organizations around the Treasure Valley donate their time and efforts to support children in need.
“Speak Up Ink Up is more than just an event, we are a commitment and a promise to those in our community who are experiencing social injustices, that we see you and we are fighting for you,” said Petersen.
On Saturday, April 8, artists from Tattooed & Successful and Level Up Tattoos will work together to offer $50 tattoos for the community. All the proceeds will go to CASA to assist in providing support and a voice for every foster child in Idaho.
Petersen originally created the event while he was a student at CWI last year. He was able to recruit members of CWI’s Psychology Club, Social Work Club, and Art Club to volunteer and donate their art for the event, which was able to raise $11,500.
As Petersen gets ready for this year’s event, he is proud to say his CWI community will return and offer support to help make Speak Up Ink Up successful once again.
“I always refer to CWI as a family because that's how they make you feel while attending there,” Petersen said. “It is absolutely beautiful to know that after graduating, I am still being supported and backed by CWI. CWI is truly a pinnacle in our community and has proven time and time again that its students and their community will always be a priority. I'm extremely grateful to have CWI in my corner.”
In addition to CWI, Tattooed and Successful, and Level Up Tattoos, Boise State University’s School of Social Work, Boise Angels, CASA of Southwest Idaho, and Wild 101.1 have also partnered for the event. The event will also host several different vendors and food trucks for community members to enjoy.
Are you ready for your next job interview? If you’re feeling anxious or unsure of how to prepare, College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Work-Based Learning Center has got you covered with their upcoming professional development series, Acing the Interview, presented by Horizon Credit Union. This workshop will give students the skills and knowledge to succeed in their next interview.
The workshop will be led by career professionals who will engage with students to provide useful advice and feedback before they begin their job search. Students will engage with employers, connect to opportunities, and discuss topics such as social media etiquette, practicing common interview questions, and developing interviewing techniques.
Thursday, April 13
Noon – 1 p.m.
Nampa Campus Administration Building (NCAB), second-floor atrium
This event is open to all CWI students. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP, as seating is limited. Lunch and giveaways will be provided.
For those with questions or in need of more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever wondered how the ancient Maya constructed their immense citadels and temple complexes? College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Anthropology Club and program are hosting a presentation with retired Professor of Archaeology, Dr. Jim Woods, to explain more about archeological experiments in Ancient Maya stone quarries on Monday, April 24.
Woods will explain the current remote sensing method using ground-penetrating light, LiDAR technology, which reveals a more massive scale of Maya architecture and landforming than ever previously known.
This presentation focuses on the ancient technology used to provide limestone blocks and stucco to construct huge buildings, extensive plazas, and miles of interconnected causeways revealed in these new maps. Experimental replication studies conducted over several archeological field seasons will be summarized and participants will be given a chance to ask questions.
Archaeological Experiments in Ancient Maya Stone Quarries
Monday, April 24
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building (NCAB), Room 102E
The event is open and free to the public. For those with more questions or in need of more information, please contact Nikki Gorrell at email@example.com.
Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) English Adjunct Faculty, Jaren Watson, who was named Faculty of Distinction for February 2023!
Watson has been part of the CWI community for the last six years where he has taught Writing and Rhetoric I (ENGL 101 and ENGL 101P) and Writing and Rhetoric II (ENGL 102) courses. His motivation to be at CWI and teach every day is simply because he enjoys what he does.
“I love having fun, and exploring and playing with ideas is an inexhaustible source of pleasure. And obviously, it's more fun to play with others,” Watson said. “If this takes place in a classroom, we call it teaching, which I admit sounds nice. But we're not kidding anyone, are we?”
If you were to ask Watson a favorite memory he has had at CWI, he can list off dozens of students and moments instantly — like the astonishingly creative final essay CWI student wrote for English 102, something Watson still reads and uses in class, or the emotions captured in the early draft an essay written by another CWI student that detailed the heartbreak after an injury halted his dreams of becoming a professional dancer before discovering new academic goals at CWI.
He also shares the moment that remains close to his heart; during the early days of the pandemic when he lost his sister and the many gifts of kindness and grace given to him by each and every one of his students that semester.
For Watson, it is hard to choose just one standout memory or student interaction.
“On a moonless night, search the skies. What stars stand out? Oh, did I fail to stipulate that in this sky they're all North Stars? Do they not all point the way with their lovely, lovely light?” he said.
Watson’s students see the care and commitment he brings to the classroom.
“He is a very kind and open-minded human being,” said Watson’s English 101 student, Riley Derby. “I've always thought very highly of his work ethic and dedication to his students. Really appreciate how much effort he puts into his students. It's very rare and amazing.”
“He makes himself available for assignments and is helpful when you need assistance figuring out what it is that you are trying to write, address, or debate on whatever assignments you are working on,” said English 102 student, Colleen Burley. “Being a successful student requires having a professor who responds in a timely manner, has helpful input, guidance, compassion, and understanding for their students, and that is given all by Professor Watson. Every day, his unwavering confidence in our accomplishments shines through.”
Watson calls his time throughout CWI and teaching a privilege because it has introduced him to thousands of whom he describes as the “most interesting people on the planet.”
“Where CWI excels at is teaching one student at a time. The most valuable lessons of all — you matter, you can do this, keep going,” Watson said.
While Watson has a passion for teaching, he also shares the same passion for writing. He has been working either full-time, part-time, or freelance in editing and technical writing since graduating high school. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing with an emphasis in fiction and creative nonfiction from University of Arizona.
Watson grew up in Idaho and has lived in many other states throughout his life — but he could not resist coming back home. He has five children; the youngest two he still co-parents with his ex-partner.
Away from campus, Watson enjoys playing and listening to music, climbing rocks and mountains, trail running, paddle boarding, reading, writing, investigating the mysterious nature of consciousness, and cuddling his kids.
“Oh, and waking nightly around 1:30 a.m. to my overfed cat kneading my chest, while I stare at the blank ceiling thinking, ‘This is my life? This is my life,’” Watson said.