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Huckleberries Online

NIC communications chief provides own story why higher ed vital

Mark Browning (Courtesy photo/North Idaho College)
Mark Browning (Courtesy photo/North Idaho College)

Communication VP Mark Browning provides a person story re: why higher education is so important:

Good discussion happening here. Yes higher education can be termed "expensive" but I'd also say it's "priceless". Here's my explanation: All the data shows that a person earns substantially more over their lifetime with some sort of post-secondary credential, be it a certificate, associates degree or bachelor's degree or an advanced degree. I'd content that the intangibles are just as valuable; critical thinking skills, learning to work with others in group settings, social acclimation and yes- balancing financial means with needs- all combine to help us learn and grow. I didn't formally start my higher education path until I was 39; married with 3 kids, a full time career, mortgage, the whole works. But it was one of the best decisions we ever made as a family- for me to go to school. That decision has led to more opportunities professionally for our family and it has served as an example to our three sons as to the value and necessity of education throughout ones life.

NIC is a great value I believe. We provide opportunities for students to enter into higher education for roughly $1600 for tuition/fees a semester for a full time student. Granted, it's not as affordable as it was 10-20 or 30 years ago but then again, what is? I remember paying $36,500 for a house in the early 90's. I couldn't buy the garden boxes for a house here in CdA/Kootenai County for that now.

Final note: NIC is the only public college/university in Idaho that didn't raise tuition this year (Academic Year 16-17). Tuition remains the same for Kootenai County residents as in 15-16. Additionally- this marks the 4th consecutive year that NIC has not raised the property tax RATE for Kootenai County residents. A real testament to now retired president Joe Dunlap's leadership and the Board.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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