News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

January 10, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 2

College of Technology Receives $1.2 Million Contract

The General Education Department at Idaho State University's (ISU) College of Technology will receive a $1.2 million dollar 'Go On' Grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. ISU is one of six Idaho colleges receiving grant funding to improve Idaho's low student retention rates.

ISU College of Technology was selected because they have accredited two-year programs leading to technical certificates, associate degrees and four-year transfer options. The College also has an onsite Adult Basic Education (ABE) program that leads to General Educational Development (GED) certification, a key college entrance portal for non-traditional students.

"You have to START to FINISH" is a motto of the General Education Department. With funding from the 'Go On' grant, the Department will develop a Successful Transitions and Retention Track (START) project. The purpose of START is to develop and enhance access to post-secondary education by GED students and GED graduates, and increase retention in a college-level program and completion of a certificate or associate degree.

The START project targets individuals in southeastern Idaho who are preparing to test for the GED, or who have completed the GED, but are not enrolled in post-secondary education. The GED is an alternative for individuals who might not otherwise complete secondary education.

START will begin May 1, 2011. The program is designed to help students transition from the GED into a program of study offered at ISU. Students who have completed the GED and those currently working on the GED are eligible to participate. Applicants must take the TABE test offered by the General Education Department and complete an application and interview process. Scholarships are available for the first two semesters of the program.

Upon acceptance, students will work with a Center for New Directions counselor to develop an educational and career plan. Counselors and faculty will serve as mentors, closely monitoring students' progress and assisting students in overcoming barriers that may have previously caused them to not complete an education. Students will improve necessary skills through ABE, have access to applied math workshops and enroll in a one credit college success course. Scholarships will be available for further credit courses in basic math and algebra. Various business and industry representatives will frequently talk with students about their career options and choices.

The College of Technology General Education Department's mission is to prepare under-served and at-risk populations for further education. The department includes the following programs: Adult Basic Education (ABE), which prepares people for the GEDŽ and college; Center for New Directions (CND); which provides personal and career counseling; Resource Center, which provides tutoring for College of Technology students; and Technical General Education, which teaches college preparation courses.

For further information or to apply for the START program contact the Adult Success Center at (208) 282-2468.