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Boise State Community Impact Program receives UPCEA western region award

In its third year, Boise State University’s Extended Studies Community Impact Program (CIP) was recognized for the “Outstanding Credit Program ” award by the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). The criteria for the award is based on the most original and functional approach in a degree-applicable or professional advancement program. The Community Impact Program was selected over programs from universities in western states, including California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. 

This award recognizes the power of transformational engagement in rural and remote communities,” remarked Pete Risse, associate dean of extended studies. “With our incredible partners, we are delivering new and impactful educational access to the places that our students want to live, work and raise their families. That benefits the student, community, and university by providing opportunities to grow beyond the traditional boundaries of campus.”

Two students look into a distant sunset.
Community Impact Program brings Boise State education opportunities to rural Idaho. Photo by Adam Eschbach and Cassidy Myers, Boise State Extended Studies.

In addition to the prestigious UPCEA award, the Boise State Community Impact Program was selected as one of three National finalists for the 2022 Phi Kappa Phi “Excellence in Innovation” award. This award, given once per biennium, recognizes one institution of higher learning for achievement in finding powerful answers to important local, regional, national or global challenges. CIP was lauded by the Phi Kappa Phi Society executive director as a program “working to transform their campus community through intentional, systemic, large-scale change.”        

The Community Impact Program launched in 2019 as part of the Boise State rural education initiative. CIP students go through an immersive program that is based on challenges in their community and work together to provide a solution to those existing challenges. The curriculum includes topics of community leadership, collaboration, professional communication, and entrepreneurial mindset. Students emerge with exceptional leadership skills and an advanced professional mindset. The 12-credit program results in a certificate and the credits earned can be used to fulfill elective credits should the student choose to go on to a baccalaureate degree.  The program continues to grow with the largest student cohort enrolling this year from the Western Treasure Valley, West Central Mountains and Elmore County. 

Alicia Griffith has been selected as the extended studies community partnership manager. As part of her new role, she will manage the Community Impact Program for the Division of Extended Studies.“CIP is changing the lives of our students and their communities for the better,” she said. “I’m elated to be a part of the CIP program and the work that Extended Studies and their community partners do. CIP increases access to higher education, and the students’ work improves communities across Idaho.”