Aerial photo of the College of Southern Idaho campus. | Courtesy Idaho State University
POCATELLO — In an attempt to create a “seamless process” of transferring between the two institutions, Idaho State University and Twin Falls-based College of Southern Idaho have reached a partnership agreement.
This agreement, announced by the two institutions Thursday, is about letting students know from the first time they step on campus that the opportunity to smoothly transfer from the community college to the university is available, ISU President Kevin Satterlee said.
The two institutions, he added, have a longstanding relationship that has always been focused on creating pathways from CSI to ISU.
“Now we’re taking it up a notch. We’re taking it to a new level, designed to meet those students’ needs,” Satterlee said. “That’s really what we’re trying to do.”
CSI President Dean Fisher said this cooperation has been in existence for years.
“There’s been a strong relationship between the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University for many, many years,” Fisher said. “I think this is more of a public affirmation of what we’re already doing than necessarily refinement.”
ISU has maintained a presence at CSI for 28 years, according to a news release from the university. And the institutions have worked to create transfer pathways for students throughout. Eighty-eight CSI students transferred to ISU during the Fall 2020 semester alone.
The agreement is intended to reduce the barriers students face when transferring from CSI to ISU.
The presidents said the idea of courses not transferring from community colleges to universities is a myth. There has long been ongoing dialogue between the faculties of the two southeast Idaho institutions to maintain standard within course structure, Fisher said.
Within the workings of the new agreement, students can create a more aggressive pathway to graduation.
Satterlee gave an example of students beginning the pursuit of higher learning with five classes at CSI in the first semester. If it works best for them, they can then take four classes at CSI and one at ISU the following semester. And they can continue this integrated pathway until reaching their ultimate goal.
“And the classes at the College of Southern Idaho are cheaper,” Satterlee said. “The more that the students can take those classes at their community college, at the College of Southern Idaho, and later work their way into Idaho State University, it saves those students money.”
This agreement is one of the first steps in a statewide “student-centric” higher education plan, one that Fisher said is anchored in doing what is right for Idaho students. Satterlee said similar programs would be coming throughout the state. The relationship between these two institutions, he said, allows them to be ahead of the curve.
“We want every student, statewide, to realize, wherever they are, wherever they start, we’re going to meet those students where they are in our system and provide them a path,” Satterlee said. “That’s important.”