Liberal Arts

Build Higher Education Foundation and Prepare for Broad Career Opportunities

Students in study group at table in classroom

Program Overview

Do you aspire to broaden your knowledge and sharpen your critical thinking, and foster habits of mind for lifelong learning? College of Western Idaho (CWI) offers you a transformative journey with the Liberal Arts Associate of Arts degree. This program is designed to develop your learning, thinking, and writing skills within a flexible framework, preparing you for upper-division work if you plan to transfer to a four-year institution.

In addition to general education, you will engage in an in-depth research and writing class, enhancing your skills in analysis, synthesis, and creativity. You will also complete at least two 200-level courses beyond general education requirements to prepare you for the workplace or additional college courses. Your journey in the Liberal Arts program culminates in a capstone project, where you will demonstrate your research and writing abilities while reflecting on your learning and showcasing your achievements.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Arts

Fully Online

Time to Complete

2 years

Student working at computer in computer classroom

Learning Opportunities

  • Versatile Degree Design: Embrace a degree that adapts to your academic and career aspirations, offering flexibility and depth.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving: Develop skills in critical thinking and problem-solving, essential for success in any career.
  • Research & Writing Proficiency: Hone your research and writing skills through a specialized course and capstone project.
  • Preparation for Advanced Studies: Gain a strong foundation for transferring to a four-year institution for further academic pursuits.
  • Opportunity for Elective Exploration: Explore your passions through electives while earning a valuable associate degree.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Liberal Arts – Associate of Arts Degree

2

YEARS

AA

Available Fully Online

Degree Requirements
Students graduating at the CWI commencement ceremony

Career Opportunities

  • Customer Service Representatives

    Interact with customers to provide basic or scripted information in response to routine inquiries about products and services. May handle and resolve general complaints. Excludes individuals whose duties are primarily installation, sales, repair, and technical support.

    1159

    Annual Openings*

    $14.52

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $30,202

    Annual Median Salary

    0.23%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • General and Operations Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services. Usually manage through subordinate supervisors. Excludes First-Line Supervisors.

    1137

    Annual Openings*

    $29.70

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $61,776

    Annual Median Salary

    19.1%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Retail Salespersons

    Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers. Excludes “Cashiers” (41-2011).

    1137

    Annual Openings*

    $13.59

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $28,267

    Annual Median Salary

    14.96%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

    Perform routine administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers. Excludes legal, medical, and executive secretaries (43-6011 through 43-6013).

    565

    Annual Openings*

    $17.55

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $36,504

    Annual Median Salary

    5.11%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products

    Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

    508

    Annual Openings*

    $25.41

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $52,853

    Annual Median Salary

    21.66%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

    Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.

    492

    Annual Openings*

    $23.22

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $48,298

    Annual Median Salary

    8.74%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Managers, All Other

    All managers not listed separately.

    279

    Annual Openings*

    $24.55

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $51,064

    Annual Median Salary

    39.33%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Real Estate Sales Agents

    Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.

    248

    Annual Openings*

    $18.31

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $38,085

    Annual Median Salary

    31.71%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Human Resources Specialists

    Recruit, screen, interview, or place individuals within an organization. May perform other activities in multiple human resources areas. Excludes “Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists” (13-1141) and “Training and Development Specialists” (13-1151).

    239

    Annual Openings*

    $28.36

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $58,989

    Annual Median Salary

    27.28%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Computer User Support Specialists

    Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone, or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems. Excludes “Network and Computer Systems Administrators” (15-1244).

    232

    Annual Openings*

    $22.63

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $47,070

    Annual Median Salary

    17.58%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Project Management Specialists

    Analyze and coordinate the schedule, timeline, procurement, staffing, and budget of a product or service on a per project basis. Lead and guide the work of technical staff. May serve as a point of contact for the client or customer. Excludes “Management Occupations” (11-0000), “Logisticians” (13-1081), “Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners” (13-1121), and “Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks” (43-5061).

    226

    Annual Openings*

    $36.96

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $76,877

    Annual Median Salary

    34.14%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Business Operations Specialists, All Other

    All business operations specialists not listed separately.

    225

    Annual Openings*

    $34.94

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $72,675

    Annual Median Salary

    31.98%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Postsecondary Teachers

    202

    Annual Openings*

    $35.66

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $74,173

    Annual Median Salary

    35.75%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Financial Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of a branch, office, or department of an establishment. Excludes “Financial Risk Specialists” (13-2054).

    169

    Annual Openings*

    $46.63

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $96,990

    Annual Median Salary

    40.8%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Teachers and Instructors, All Other

    All teachers and instructors not listed separately.

    126

    Annual Openings*

    $16.50

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $34,320

    Annual Median Salary

    19.88%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Sales Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.

    125

    Annual Openings*

    $43.54

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $90,563

    Annual Median Salary

    28.7%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Social and Human Service Assistants

    Assist other social and human service providers in providing client services in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, including support for families. May assist clients in identifying and obtaining available benefits and social and community services. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care. Excludes “Rehabilitation Counselors” (21-1015), “Psychiatric Technicians” (29-2053), “Personal Care Aides” (31-1122), and “Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs” (43-4061).

    117

    Annual Openings*

    $17.65

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $36,712

    Annual Median Salary

    18.83%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Chief Executives

    Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

    115

    Annual Openings*

    $34.31

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $71,365

    Annual Median Salary

    5.34%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Tutors

    Instruct individual students or small groups of students in academic subjects to support formal class instruction or to prepare students for standardized or admissions tests. Excludes “Postsecondary Teachers” (25-1000), “Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and Special Education Teachers” (25-2000), “Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and English as a Second Language Instructors” (25-3011), and “Self-Enrichment Teachers” (25-3021).

    99

    Annual Openings*

    $16.72

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $34,778

    Annual Median Salary

    41.74%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Marketing Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors, and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm’s profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm’s customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

    92

    Annual Openings*

    $40.90

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $85,072

    Annual Median Salary

    33.76%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

    Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff. Excludes “Secretaries” (43-6012 through 43-6014).

    82

    Annual Openings*

    $23.51

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $48,901

    Annual Median Salary

    4.16%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.

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Clubs

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Beta Sigma Pi Honor Society

Beta Sigma Pi is College of Western Idaho's chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. As part of the Rocky Mountain Cascade Region , Beta Sigma Pi joins more than 1,300 chapters and 3.25 million PTK members worldwide with the mission to recognize the academic achievement of college students and provide opportunities for growth as scholars and leaders.

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