CWI Compass Connect - May 12, 2023
CWI in the News
Campus Development Updates
College of Western Idaho (CWI) announced in April 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.
It was a packed house Wednesday, May 3, as College of Western Idaho (CWI) graduates, their family, friends, and support system took over the Nampa Campus Academic Building for Grad Fest! The annual party helps kick-off graduation events around the College by bringing together the mighty CWI community with activities, food, and lots of celebrations.
The party featured food from BIG Daddy’s Barbeque, photo opportunities courtesy of Alpha-Lit, cap decorating courtesy of CWI Foundation, giant yard games and an inflatable obstacle course, music and a DJ provided by Rocky Mountain Roll, merchandise from the CWI Bookstore, giveaways, grand prize drawings, and more.
Graduates were also able to reflect on their time at CWI through the College’s Marketing and Communication photo booth table. Signs with different prompts allowed students and community members to give shout-outs, share a favorite memory from their time at the College, announce what is next for them in life, and more!
“Because of CWI, my dreams are now achievable dreams,” wrote Elliot Johnson.
“A moment I’ll never forget is being the first in my family to graduate,” signed Sky Tarrant.
“To my first-semester self, you took a step and went a mile,” said Jamie Christensen.
Each of the three apprenticeship programs had its own certificate ceremony where nearly 230 Workforce Development Apprentices received their certificate of completion from their respective four-year program.
- HVAC — 65 apprentices
- Electrical — 115 apprentices
- Plumbing — 46 apprentices
All student apprentices are required to have a minimum of 576 hours of classroom (in-person or online) training to complete a four-year program. Workforce Development also aims to have students earn 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience throughout their four years to be able to take Idaho’s Occupational and Professional License exam to become a licensed Journeymen.
The ceremonies included guest speakers from industry leaders around the Treasure Valley, including UMC, Inc. Project Executive, Less Bassard, Rundle Electric’s Bill Stokes, and Fox Heating and Cooling’s Dennis Fox.
“It was so exciting to see families and friends celebrate the success of their graduates,” said Director of CWI's Work-Based Learning Center, John Russ. “It was also a great opportunity to celebrate the families that had to sacrifice time with their loved ones to achieve this goal. It was truly a family celebration of four years of studies and hard work.”
With hundreds in attendance and a good time had by all, 2023 Grad Fest was a success!
Next up is CWI’s 14th Commencement Ceremony, which will bring together and recognize this year's degree, certificate, GED, and apprenticeship graduates as they walk across the ExtraMile Arena stage on Friday, May 12.
For those with questions or in need of more information, visit the Commencement page.
Congratulations College of Western Idaho (CWI) graduates! We are excited to celebrate your success during commencement on Friday, May 12, at ExtraMile Arena in Boise. The impact of our students is significant — with more than a decade of graduates helping fuel the workforce and empowering the community. CWI is extremely proud to acknowledge and celebrate this year’s event! The ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will recognize degree and certificate graduates, as well as GED completers.
The College will honor 1,763 graduates ranging in age from 17 to 75. In addition, 47 Dual Credit students received an Associate of Arts degree.
Highlights of this year’s commencement include:
- 1,471 Degrees and Certificate Candidates
- 1,911 Degrees and Certificates Earned
- 603 Graduates with Honors
- 302 Graduates with Multiple Degrees
- 111 Veteran Graduates
- Average Graduate GPA 3.277
- 251 Apprenticeship Graduates
- 47 Associate of Arts Degrees Awarded to Dual Credit Students
- 41 GED Candidates
- Youngest Graduate – 17 years old
- Oldest Graduate – 75 years old
For more information about the CWI’s commencement event, visit the 2023 Commencement Ceremony page. CWI will provide free Spanish-English translation and hard-of-hearing devices for guests at ExtraMile Arena. Family and friends of graduates who cannot attend commencement in person are invited to watch a live stream of the event on CWI's Live page.
Share your success as a graduate, or congratulate a student on their accomplishments on social media using #mightyCWI on your posts.
To say College of Western Idaho (CWI) Registered Nursing (RN) student, Sara Alton, had an eventful two years in the program may be an understatement.
When Alton entered the program in Fall 2021, she was six months pregnant with her youngest.
She was inspired to attend college because she has always wanted to further her education and use that knowledge to serve the community she lives in.
Having a fascination with working in medicine, Alton chose to pursue nursing after discovering this path would allow her to further her knowledge, exercise precise skills, and have the most interactions with patients. The decision to attend CWI to receive that education was an easy one for the wife and, now, mother of two.
“There was a more well-round application process for nursing, it was affordable, and allowed me to still prioritize my family,” Alton said.
Alton’s experience in the program solidified her decision to come to CWI for her training and schooling was the correct one. She says the RN program has provided her and her classmates with real-world experiences —whether it is learning the fundamentals in a lab with mannequins, experiencing simulations to have a safe place to learn and practice clinical judgment, or getting the opportunity to go through real-life clinicals to implement their knowledge.
She also credits the program’s instructors to being instrumental in her success.
“They afford the opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback, and improve on your knowledge and take it to the next level. When I started in the program and was pregnant, the professors met with me regularly and supported me to be successful in the program.”
This support remained true when Alton’s son was born six weeks prematurely and prompted her to a NICU stay in the middle of the semester.
But even through those unexpected events, Alton’s education never faltered. She earned a 4.0 GPA that semester and was even elected as CWI’s Student Nurses Association President and an Emerging Scholar for the following academic year.
Alton is now set to graduate and earn her Associate of Science degree from CWI’s RN program at the end of Spring 2023, where she then will finish up her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lewis-Clark State College, which she is currently in the bridge program for. After that, Alton will begin work as an RN at St. Luke’s Health System in their telemetry and cardiac step-down units.
As she gets ready for the next path in her life, Alton reflects on what she’s been able to accomplish over the last two years. This experience through the program has shown Alton she can do difficult things and succeed in whatever she puts her mind to.
“Because of CWI, I have the opportunity to succeed in my dreams and be an example to those who want to do the same.”
She encourages others going through or about to start the program to stay motivated.
“It's hard work, but completely doable. You have every resource available to succeed!”
Applications for CWI’s Registered Nursing program are open through Friday, May 19. For more information on the application process and requirements, please visit the Registered Nursing page, or contact Allison Baker at email@example.com or 208.562.2307.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) will celebrate its 2023 graduating class in a commencement ceremony Friday, May 12, at 7 p.m. The ceremony, held at ExtraMile Arena in Boise, will recognize degree, certificate, GED, and Workforce Development apprenticeship graduates. In addition to in-person attendance, the ceremony will also be streamed on the College’s website - cwi.edu/live.
Graduates are encouraged to check their student email account, the CWI newsroom, the College’s social media channels, and the Graduation page regularly for announcements and up-to-date information. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Congratulations to all our 2023 graduates! You made it!
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.
Thank you to all who participated in CWI Giving Day! Whether it was a donation, spreading the word or attending our Launch Party — the community’s support helped the College raise $43,852 to assist students and future opportunities at the College’s first-ever Giving Day!
"On behalf of CWI, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for your support of CWI Giving Day,” said CWI President Gordon Jones. “Your generosity is truly appreciated, and it will make a significant impact on our students and this community. As an institution, we are committed to providing our students with the best education and opportunities imaginable. The success of CWI Giving Day makes it possible for us to continue providing affordable accessible education that leads to personal empowerment.”
More than 190 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members made gifts to 21 campus clubs, programs, and resources during the Giving Day campaign.
Highlights from the 24-hour fundraising campaign include the more than $16,000 raised for the Student Emergency Fund, which helps CWI students when they need it most. Support through this fund can be provided for students in need of immediate assistance with childcare, healthcare, housing, or other emergencies that may result in them dropping out of school. More than 98% of students who received emergency funding assistance in 2021 came back to school over the next two semesters.
Another high point was the nearly $12,000 CWI Food Pantries raised. The money will help stock the College’s five food and hygiene pantries, where students and employees experiencing food insecurity are welcome to help themselves to what they need. Keeping the CWI Food Pantries stocked is essential to students’ success, so they are able to focus on their studies rather than worrying about when their next meal may come.
Other highlights and monies raised include:
- 49% of gifts were from Faculty and Staff
- Help with GED Testing Costs — $1,475
- Campus Garden — $2,440
- CWI Queers and Allies Club — $2,247
Generosity from our community partners, Albertsons Companies Foundation and Optum Idaho, was essential to the success of CWI Giving Day. Both businesses donated thousands of dollars to support students, programs, and opportunities that strengthen our campus and community.
Thank you again to all those who supported CWI and helped make the first Giving Day a triumph.
As you pass through the halls at College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Ada County Center Pintail Building, you’ll often find Business student, Kilawusi Gato, studying and utilizing the College’s Tutoring Services. Gato has big goals for himself for the future and knows if he wants to someday achieve them — he must put in the work.
“I want to get into real estate and real estate investing,” said Gato. “I enjoy working with people. I’ve already been in contact with people who are in those careers.”
Gato is finishing up his third semester at CWI, where he plans to graduate in Spring 2024 and transfer to Boise State University to study International Business and Marketing.
He chose to attend CWI because he felt its affordability and class sizes would allow him to thrive in school.
“It just felt right. I didn’t want to join a class that had hundreds of students because it would be really hard to concentrate and focus. At CWI, the classes are smaller and I feel like I get more support.”
That feeling of support at school is something very important to Gato.
Originally from Uganda, Gato moved to Idaho in 2016 and always dreamed of attending college in the United States. But being a refugee student, he struggled with a language barrier.
“When I first got to CWI, one of the first classes I stepped into I was like, ‘Wow, it’s kind of hard.’ Because the English comprehension level was really high, I dropped out in my first semester. I also didn’t have books or a working computer which made things even harder.”
However, that setback was not enough for Gato to give up on his dreams of going to school. The following semester he reenrolled at the College and spoke with CWI Advisors to help get a better start this time around.
Through his support system, Gato was able to register for CWI’s Bridge to English 101 course. It is a class through the Adult Education program that prepares students for English 101 (ENGL-101) with help in academic writing, critical reading, digital skills, and finding college resources for additional help to achieve success in school, like CWI Tutoring Services.
Gato said these tools at the College helped him feel a lot more confident in his abilities.
“I came back more prepared because I had dreams I wanted to achieve and plans for the future. I was able to knock it out of the park.”
A few semesters later, Gato is still “knocking it out of the park” in his classes and still regularly visits Tutoring Services for additional support. With his newfound confidence at school, he is also not afraid to approach his instructors and professors when he needs some extra guidance and help on course material.
Gato says his goal of being successful in a career post-college to help support those he loves is his motivation to keep going and work hard.
“For others who may be struggling in school or with a language barrier, you have to find your biggest ‘Why’ you want to go to school. Mine is because I want to show my family and others in my generation what I can accomplish. I want to be there for my family, whose first language is also not English. They are my ‘Why.’”
He also encourages others to not be afraid to talk to people and find help if they are struggling — just like he did.
For those interested in learning more about the Bridge Program, contact Adult Education Supervisor, Trevi Hardy, at email@example.com. Those in need of more information about CWI’s Tutoring Services are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
College of Western Idaho's (CWI) annual Wildland Fire Academy is returning to give students and the next generation of firefighters a great training experience! More than 200 students will take over the Nampa Campus Academic Building (NCAB) May 22 – 26 to train and learn skills needed for a career in wildland firefighting.
The academy provides specialized training for both grass and timber wildfires with an emphasis on safety procedures including both classroom and live fire training.
Firefighters will learn how to run firefighting equipment such as chainsaws, wildland fire engines, water pumps, and other mechanized tools. They also learn how to read the weather and record it, efficiently dig fire lines, safely cut down trees, conduct safety briefings and drills, and a wealth of other useful skills.
Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) student, Khanh Dang, who won the 2023 Connections Project’s Juried Art Exhibition! Dang’s submission, a painting titled, Flesh and Raw, was selected by juror, Cassandra Schiffler, the Arts and Culture Coordinator for the City of Meridian and a regular exhibiting artist at Capitol Contemporary Gallery in Boise.
Dang’s entry was chosen out of 22 students who submitted a total of 50 pieces of work.
Dang has been a student at CWI for the last two and a half years, where he graduated with his associate degree in Studio Art in May 2022. He is currently a non-degree-seeking student and hopes to earn his certification in the College’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program because he believes it will help him with his goal of owning a successful art business.
When Dang entered the Juried Art Exhibition, he did not have any expectations — he just wanted to showcase his work. When he found out he won he said he was surprised, because he saw of all the other talented pieces of art presented in the competition. It was an exciting moment for him.
“This means a lot to me not only as a student but also as an artist,” Dang said. “I have been learning and working as an artist for a long time. My hard work getting recognition means a lot to me.”
Dang, who is deaf, hopes to continue to receive accolades, hone his skills, and one day build that art business he has dreamed about with his partner so he can spread deaf awareness around the art world.
Flesh and Raw
“I have always been interested in the beauty of the human body, embracing all the shapes, all the texture, all the expressions is one of my artistic goals, especially in this project. Raw and Fresh presents all the types of raw or fresh ingredients such as raw beef, pork and fish meat, or fresh lettuce and lemon. The naked woman is also a part of the ingredients, she was raw, she was fresh, she was naive and inexperienced, she has not yet to be “cooked” yet. She has yet to be ready for this world of consumption.”
Dang received a $150 cash prize for his winning entry.
All throughout College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Nampa Campus Academic Building (NCAB) Thursday, April 20, students around the College community came together for the eighth-annual Connections Project. The event celebrates and showcases the hard work and accomplishments of CWI’s students.
Winners of this year’s Connections Excellence Awards were presented at the Connections Project reception and at CWI’s Student Leadership Banquet. Finalists were determined by a panel of judges, and each received $100 and $150 prizes.
Congratulations to this year’s Connections Excellence Award Winners:
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Category
- Winner — Amelia Baer, Maturity of Baby Sounds
- Runner Up — Madeline Titelbaum, Penguin Watch: Measuring the Impacts of Climate Change
- Runner Up — Megan Jablonski, NASA Globe Cloud Gaze
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Category
- Winner — Kylie Fontenot, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Education System - Ethics Project
- Runner Up — Gabbi Bergeron, How To Empower Youth in English as a Second Language Classrooms and Respect Diversity in Your Community
- Runner Up — Leah Johnson, So You Think You Want a Job
- Runner Up — Angelica Kopets, Attachment Styles and Relation to Potential of Partner Monitoring Based on the Frequency of Social Media Use
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Category
- Winner — John Aue, The Significance of Accessible Education
- Runner Up — Jesse Hoffer, Making a Change
- Runner Up — Augustin Winn-Arandeda, A Strong History Event That Happened in Chile
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Category
- Winner — Jennie Bartus, If I Can’t See You, You Can’t See Me
- Runner Up — Savannah Werner, Andrew Sargent & Val Harris, Psychological Myths & Misconceptions
- Winner — Philosophy Club
- Runner Up — Anthropology Club, Northwest Anthropological Conference Attendance
Other Cool Stuff
- Winner — Carly Rapp, Canyon County Youth Court
- Runner Up — Julia Alvarado, Node Code Breakers
- Runner Up — Audrey Dorosh, Worms – A Project
- Runner Up — Tiffany Black, The Project Approach: Flowers
- Winner — Khanh Dang, Flesh and Raw
- Winner — Eiko Pruett
Chalk Art Competition
- Winner — Mila Maes and David Bru, Cinderella Sardine
Thank you to the judges, instructors, and participants of this year’s Connection Project, and congratulations, again, to the winners!