Today’s university students have lived through the worst recession since the Great Depression.
These digital natives are at once more connected and isolated than any before them. They have experienced significant changes in testing and teaching in their 12 years of primary and secondary school and they’re told that the jobs they’ll be competing for when they graduate may not even exist when they choose their major.
Here at Boise State, we think it is incumbent on the university to adapt to these changing needs and offer far more than a traditional college may have in the past. We need to be innovative in the classroom, incorporating technology, service learning and other ways to boost outcomes. We need to create a welcoming, safe and encouraging campus home. And we need to continue to offer experiences that students can find nowhere else.
This is why we’ve reached out to Boise’s vibrant and growing software industry to join us in a public/private partnership to double the graduates from our coveted computer science program while giving students unprecedented on-the-job experience and creating a reliable and talented pool of future workers and leaders. That is also why we are piloting a Venture College, which will give our most entrepreneurial students a chance to learn from more than 200 of the state’s top business and community leaders. And it’s a major reason I’m proud to tell you about our newest addition to the Boise State family: The co-CEO of the worldwide organic food company Whole Foods.
Walter Robb is our first “Professor of the Practice” — a new program launched to identify talented and accomplished business, scientific and artistic leaders, and invite them to Boise State bring world-class experience and excitement to our students. Each recipient will provide unique opportunities for Boise State students to expand their learning and their horizons. Each will find their own unique ways to interact with students. Robb is already making an impact — he impressed students and faculty at the College of Business and Economics with his enthusiasm and willingness to engage in a recent visit.
We’ll have more to announce soon, and I am excited about the opportunities that await our students.
As always, thanks for everything you do for Boise State University and our more than 22,000 students. Happy Thanksgiving and Go Broncos!
Here are a few recent or upcoming items of interest from Boise State University:
Boise State’s freshman class is more diverse, better prepared, more focused on earning a degree, and more likely to stay in school and graduate in a timely manner than ever before, new student demographics and statistics show. Almost 90 percent of these freshmen are coming straight from high school. Nearly 95 percent of them are full-time, degree-seeking students. Meanwhile, retention rates for freshmen the past two years are at an all-time high, and graduation rates of recent cohorts have jumped by as much as 28 percent. The make-up of this new class indicates that Boise State will continue to lead the state towards its goal of awarding diplomas to 60 percent of all Idahoans ages 25 to 34 by 2020. The overall number of enrolled students dipped by less than 3 percent, to 22,003 from last year’s 22,678, but the composition of the student body shows the success of Boise State’s transformation into a metropolitan research university of distinction.
Boise State began offering classes for three new doctorate-level programs this fall. The new Ph.D. in nursing prepares current nurses to assume leadership responsibilities in education and the clinical work force. It is taught fully online and it is self-supporting, which means it is financed by tuition and doesn’t receive state funds. The new Ed.S. (educational specialist) degree in educational leadership is designed to help meet the increasing need for educational leaders at the district level, especially superintendents. It, too, is self-supporting. The university’s new Ph.D. in public policy fosters the next generation of public affairs leaders and furthers Boise State’s mission as the state-mandated leader in public affairs research and education. Focuses on ensuring that Boise State continues to serve as a top resource for those at all levels of government and nonprofits, as well as for citizens who seek improved public policy development and implementation.
Six outstanding Boise State alumni were honored during Homecoming week (Oct. 13-19) for their exemplary professional and personal contributions that result in national or international visibility both for themselves and for Boise State. Each were recognized Oct. 18 during the sixth annual Presidential Alumni Recognition Gala during half time of the Homecoming football game victory against Nevada on Oct. 19. Distinguished Alumni Award winners were: Jennifer Ralston Blair, ’77, a retired advertising agency owner; Tom Carlile, ’73, CEO of Boise Cascade Company; Boo Heffner, ’86, President and CEO of Falck USA; Marti Wiser, ’99, ’00, social worker and executive director of Special Needs Adoption and Permanency Services, Inc. (SNAPS). Distinguished Alumni Service Award winners – recognized for their extraordinary dedication and commitment to volunteer service to the university and the Alumni Association, were: Matthew Broomhead, ’95, HSQE Manager, Kirby Offshore Marine (Puget Sound Alumni Association Chapter President) and Travis Burgess, ’98, Partner, Eide Bailly (Past Alumni Association Board President, Current Treasurer For The Past Alumni Leaders Chapter).