Higher Education Task Force

The Governor’s 36-member Higher Education Task Force was created February 1, 2017 to extend the charter of the K-12 task force efforts to higher education in Idaho. Combined with the additional new Workforce Development Task Force, these efforts address Idaho’s “K-through-Career” education and job training needs.

Summary of Recommendations

  1. Efficiencies, Cost Savings and Service
  2. We recommend the State Board of Education drive efficiencies, cost savings, and a higher level of service in back office functions by migrating from our current federated system of institutions to a more integrated, centralized and student-centric System.

  3. Restate the 60% Goal
  4. We recommend the State Board of Education restate the 60% Goal and establish a clear, credible, and measurable roadmap on how Idaho gets to the 60% Goal. Focus on the key outcomes that are critical to the state’s economic future and to the continued standard of living and quality of life for Idaho citizens.

    “By the year 2025, Idaho’s colleges and universities will award enough degrees and certificates to meet the education and forecasted workforce needs of all Idaho citizens necessary to survive and thrive in the changing economy and that by June 30, 2025, 60% of the state’s citizens between the ages of 25-34 shall have a postsecondary education (1,2,4, or more)”.

  5. Structural Change and System Improvements
  6. We recommend the State Board of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions and the Public School (K-12) System implement structural change and system improvements through enhancements to critical areas of the public education system that will remove barriers as students progress through the educational pipeline and lead students to be prepared for postsecondary technical and academic training and education at the end of their high school experience. System improvements will include an enhanced statewide digital delivery system that creates a single digital campus that integrates and incorporates the Idaho educational system across the state and uses community outreach centers for support of students educational and career goals in local areas, thereby, removing barriers created by time or location restraints to opportunities for preparing students for postsecondary education as well as postsecondary resources. Identified barriers include the relevancy and rigor of the secondary senior year, more targeted advanced opportunities that lead to transferability of dual credits toward degree progress, full implementation of the Complete College America “Game Changers” through the strategies adopted by the Board’s Complete College Idaho Plan, and alignment with workforce skills.

  7. Guided Pathways (P-20)
  8. We recommend the State Board of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions and the Public School (K-12) System develop and implement a comprehensive guided pathways program starting with early learning opportunities for students that are culturally relevant and provide support and guidance for the student through the education pipeline (early learning to prepare students for kindergarten through graduate degree attainment). An integrated guided pathways program would include parent engagement, student academic and career planning, proactive advising with early and urgent intervention (targeted/relevant), work-based learning, and community engagement (e.g. Indiana’s Twenty-first Scholars and Scholar Success programs, Tennessee’s Promise and Achieves programs, Iowa’s BEST Program and Maryland’s Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success program). Advising activities would start no later than the 8th grade. The electronic campus platform will be used to expand access to resources and provide college and career advising and mentoring services to students in areas where other options are not available or practical or where time/life constraints may limit access to in-person resources. Educator and student access to the statewide data analytics/degree audit system will be integrated into the electronic campus platform.

  9. Improved Certificate and Degree Completion
  10. We recommend the State Board of Education and public postsecondary educational institutions leverage guided pathways to improve postsecondary completion through research based effective programs that lead to on-time completion in certificate and degree programs for all students. Barriers to access for place bound or time bound students will be removed through a state digital campus allowing individuals in remote and rural areas and working adults to access postsecondary education regardless of location and scheduling needs. Early interventions and targeted services will lead to greater retention and completion of postsecondary student’s undergraduate goals as well as prepare students to pursue and complete graduate and professional degrees that are equally vital to the economic growth of Idaho.

  11. Statewide Digital Delivery System
  12. We recommend the State Board of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions, and State Department of Education establish a statewide digital delivery system – a digital campus that integrates and incorporates the current public system and partnering private institutions. This systems is scalable, high quality, accessible and affordable.

  13. Increased Funding for Scholarships
  14. We recommend a systematic increase in available scholarship dollars to a level that will fund all eligible Idaho high school students while not losing sight of the goal of lowering cost and improving access.

  15. Outcomes-Based Funding Model
  16. We recommend further careful analysis, working with a technical committee and outside experts, such as National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), to ensure the outcomes-based funding model is fully vetted and pressure tested, and that proper weighting is provided for each of the formula’s metrics.

  17. Adoption of the Governor’s Workforce Development Task Force Recommendations
  18. We recommend full adoption of the Governor’s Workforce Development Task Force Recommendations in order to establish a coordinated implementation effort between higher education, industry and state government to meet Idaho’s future workforce needs.

  19. Competency-Based System
  20. We recommend the State Board of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions, State Department of Education, State Workforce Development Council and Industry shift the state’s public Career and Technical Education programs to a competency-based model.

  21. Partner with Industry
  22. We recommend the State Board of Education and public postsecondary educational institutions partner with industry to include more workplace experiences as part of certificate and degree programs.

  23. Workforce Training towards Degree or Certificate Completion
  24. We recommend workforce training completed by an individual count towards degree or certificate completion.