September 28, 1995 in Idaho

State’s Colleges Getting Away From Their Missions, Education Board Told

Associated Press
 

Lewis-Clark State College’s enrollment has been climbing steadily over the past decade, but it is moving away from its community service mission, a new report says.

The Lewiston school is shifting away from vocational-technical education toward academics and fouryear degrees, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems last week reported to the state Board of Education.

Over the past four years, Lewis-Clark’s rate of full-time equivalency academic enrollment growth has out-paced Idaho’s three universities.

It increased 17 percent in the state as a whole. Lewis-Clark grew 34 percent while Boise State University rose only 9 percent. Idaho State University climbed 32 percent and the University of Idaho 12 percent.

The study said Lewis-Clark, Boise State and Idaho State appear to be shifting from their community college services outlined in the 1983 mission statement. The board may use the review to update that document.

The move is toward baccalaureate degrees, a stable or declining technical enrollment and attention to the skilled trades and uncertain policies regarding services to under-prepared adults, the study reads.

Although his recruiters push the non-academic fields, Lewis-Clark President James Hottois said, students are opting for academics.

Students often have more difficulty transferring between academic and vocational programs on one campus than moving to new universities, the study found.

Hottois said he is interested in finding ways students can switch programs without losing credit hours and money. One way is to encourage communication between the academic and technical professors.

“I think that there’s a lot of ways to be successful. It depends on what you want to do,” he said. “Frankly our society needs people in every conceivable job.”

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