Idaho is a leader for K-12 students who want to explore online education. With eight fully-online schools, seven virtual charter schools, a state distance education academy, several district-level options and the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, students in grades K-12 face little difficulty in obtaining online opportunities. Most students in grades 9-12 can take advantage of supplemental courses, with some of these courses also to available those in grades 6-8. Between the virtual charter schools and the Digital Learning Academy, more than 25,000 students were enrolled during 2013-14; that number will likely rise as statistics become available for the 2014-15 year, during which the eight online schools opened their virtual doors.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Inspire Connections Academy||K - 12||Boise||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(208) 322-4002|
|Vallivue Virtual Academy||K - 8||Caldwell||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(208) 454-0445|
|iSucceed Virtual High School||9 - 12||Boise||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(800) 211-1687|
|Richard McKenna Charter High School||9 - 12||Mountain Home||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(888) 580-2449|
|Bonneville School District Virtual Academy||K - 9||Idaho Falls||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(208) 525-4400|
|Idaho Distance Education Academy||K - 12||Deary||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(208) 877-1513|
|Idaho Virtual Academy||K - 12||Meridian||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(866) 339-9066|
|Idaho Digital Learning Academy||9 - 12||Meridian||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(208) 342-0207|
Online education can be found throughout the private and public schools in Idaho. The state boasts three major public institutions: the University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University, all of which offer online options for everything from stand-alone courses to full degrees. Online classes are also common in the state’s community colleges and private schools, including those that participate in the IEC. Colleges such as Boise Bible College, Brigham Young University-Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University are just a sampling of those that offer online opportunities for undergraduate degrees through doctoral and post-doctoral programs.
Idaho’s community college system comprises three main regional schools: North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, and College of Western Idaho in Nampa and Boise. The College of Western Idaho serves a particularly broad area: Its main Nampa campus was formerly Boise State University’s West campus, but it has many more locations throughout Idaho’s Treasure Valley.
Idaho community colleges provide a full range of courses leading to associate degrees and certificates for those interested in moving into the workplace or transferring to four-year colleges. Because these schools tend to cater to working students, evening, weekend and online course options are common. Students can take online subjects to fulfill general requirements or hone career-focused skills.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|College of Southern Idaho||315 Falls Ave.||Twin Falls||+|
|College of Western Idaho||5500 East Opportunity Drive||Nampa||+|
The Idaho State Board of Education oversees three comprehensive universities: Boise State University, the University of Idaho and Idaho State University, located in Pocatello. The University of Idaho is the state’s oldest public institution; Boise State is the biggest. The three systems together award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in hundreds of disciplines. Other options include the Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls and Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, which is the only public, non-university four-year college in the state. All public institutions in Idaho have adopted some degree of online learning options, from one-off coursework to complete degree programs.
Idaho is home to a number of for-profit and nonprofit private colleges, many of which offer online courses and degrees. Among the participants in the IEC initiative are Boise Bible College, Brigham Young University – Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University and others. Programs vary tremendously in scope and focus, from two-year career and technical schools to advanced research universities. Private institutions tend to cost more than public ones, but they fill a need for students seeking unique educational environments, special programs and other nontraditional learning experiences.
Boise State University
Boise State University’s eCampus offers a plethora of online courses and degree programs. The fully-online baccalaureate in multidisciplinary studies is a degree completion program, designed for individuals with life experience outside of academics. Other options include the Bachelor of Science in Nursing–for registered nurses–and an RRT to BS bridge program in respiratory care. Students can pursue a wider selection of online graduate degrees in areas like business administration, educational technology, nursing and victim services. For those interested in just a class or two, BSU has more than 250 individual online subjects, from anthropology to biology to elementary Spanish.
All distance learning classes have assignments with specified due dates, but for the most part, students can work at their own pace. Most online classes last the full 16-week semester. Students earning their degree online are allowed to visit campus anytime and are invited to attend a graduation ceremony after completing their program.
For details on Boise State University’s eCampus, visit: http://ecampus.boisestate.edu/.
Lewis-Clark State College
According to its official website, more than 70 percent of Lewis-Clark State College students enroll in at least one online, hybrid or web-enhanced class. The school offers fully-online bachelor’s degrees in distinct fields: business administration, management, early childhood development, web development, liberal arts and nursing–with the RN to BSN bridge program. For distance learners seeking more flexibility, the degree in interdisciplinary studies can be customized according to one’s goals. Individual online course options are even more varied, spanning such disciplines as pathophysiology, accounting, entrepreneurship, ethics and juvenile delinquency.
Lewis-Clark State College uses video conferencing and other tools to encourage interaction. Students can complete most of the requirements for distance learning courses 100 percent online, but instructors set their own exam policies. Some students can take tests online while others are expected to report to proctored testing centers. Students unable to reach such centers may be able to coordinate a private exam with a principal, judge, clergy member, college dean or other approved proctor.
For further information about online education from Lewis-Clark State College, see: http://www.lcsc.edu/e-learning/online-degrees/.
The University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, located in Moscow, integrates high-tech education with an academic history dating back 125 years. The university offers students a rich assortment of online learning options at a leading research institution. Fully-online bachelor’s degree programs are not yet available, but students can complete online undergraduate courses in areas like accounting, business, education and psychology. Courses are delivered via Skype, web conferencing sessions and online discussion boards.
Online master’s degrees span fields like business, civil engineering, education and natural resources, and a doctorate is available in athletic training. Graduate students can also pursue online certificates in environmental education, fire management and technology, or restoration ecology. Online and traditional graduate students are held to the same admissions standards, including relevant degrees from accredited institutions and satisfactory GRE scores. Each department sets its own additional, specialized requirements.
For a list of the University of Idaho’s online programs, visit: http://dee.uidaho.edu/programs-courses/.
Idaho State University
Idaho State’s numerous flexible learning options include 100 percent online offerings as well as hybrid programs with face-to-face components for subjects such as psychology and education. Online two-year or four-year degrees can be earned in areas like emergency and fire management. The school also features graduate studies via distance learning–for example, master’s degrees in dental hygiene and speech-language pathology, a doctorate in nursing and a pre-professional program in communication sciences.
In addition, ISU students can enroll in individual web-based courses. Online courses are delivered through eISU, a digital instructional initiative, but many instructors leverage other collaboration tools like video conferencing and discussion boards. Students can also seek remote assistance from virtual tutors in an online writing lab powered by Moodle chat software.
For more information about Idaho State’s online programs, visit: http://www.isu.edu/eisu/.
Park University is a private post-secondary educational institution that is based in Missouri, but registered by the Idaho government to support service members stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base. Though military personnel can complete this training in person through the base’s career center, Park University offers a robust selection of online learning options. These web-based programs are open to other Idaho students–not just military families.
Park University has online post-secondary certificates and associate degrees in fields such as criminal justice administration and management. Online bachelor’s degrees are available in domains like business, health care management, human resources, nursing and logistics. Graduate-level programs include a number of online master’s degrees and certificates.
For more information regarding Park University’s online degree programs, visit: http://www.park.edu/ppc/online.asp.
4 Year Online Colleges in Idaho
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Idaho State University||Public||921 S 8th Ave||Pocatello||+|
|University of Idaho||Public||875 Perimeter Drive||Moscow||+|
|Northwest Nazarene University||Private not-for-profit||623 S. University Blvd.||Nampa||+|
|Brigham Young University - Idaho||Private not-for-profit||525 S Center||Rexburg||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Online schools in Idaho are an excellent option for military service members and families who want to invest in higher education without worrying about how deployments and transfer might impact their studies. Many colleges and universities offer additional resources for active military or veterans, like special scholarships, advisers who can clarify military education benefits, and credit-by-exam options for those who want to convert prior training to college credit. Some online schools also provide support services for military spouses and children. Congratulations to these online schools in Idaho for going above and beyond to better serve those who serve us.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of Idaho||$4,230||Moscow||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Lewis-Clark State College||$4,338||Lewiston||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Online courses and degrees are designed to serve students outside of the classroom for convenience’s sake, but that does not mean they have to be impersonal. To personalize student learning, programs might leverage online collaboration tools like video conferencing and discussion boards to help students stay connected. Other courses take advantage of interactive, live-streamed lectures to restore the immediacy and spontaneity that define traditional classroom courses. Some online programs restrict class sizes, freeing professors up to provide more one-on-one support and feedback. Optional campus-based seminars, intensives and networking conferences can be a big help for those who can swing some travel. The following rankings spotlight some of the most promising online schools in Idaho for students seeking a more connected learning experience.
|Boise State University||19 to 1||22,775||$3,991||Public||Boise|
|University of Idaho||18 to 1||11,469||$4,230||Public||Moscow|
|Boise Bible College||16 to 1||249||$10,160||Private not-for-profit||Boise|
|Lewis-Clark State College||16 to 1||5,911||$4,338||Public||Lewiston|
|Idaho State University||16 to 1||15,094||$4,418||Public||Pocatello|
|New Saint Andrews College||12 to 1||149||$10,750||Private not-for-profit||Moscow|
|The College of Idaho||12 to 1||1,030||$22,600||Private not-for-profit||Caldwell|
|Northwest Nazarene University||12 to 1||1,533||$24,790||Private not-for-profit||Nampa|
Best for Women in Technology
Technology may be the field of the future, but college and industry gender disparities linger. Some online schools in Idaho are working to break these boundaries and encourage more women to enter the field. They might offer more female instructors and role models, or mentorship programs to give women the type of attention and support they need to navigate the field, in school and out. Support groups, special conferences and other events specifically for women in tech can help, too. The following online schools in Idaho have created resources designed to help women succeed as they earn their tech degrees.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Boise State University||$5,884||Boise||145||13,492||Public|
|University of Idaho||$6,212||Moscow||67||10,149||Public|
|Idaho State University||$6,070||Pocatello||50||8,927||Public|
|Brigham Young University-Idaho||$3,770||Rexburg||5||13,815||Private Not for Profit|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Helping children and families is an enviable career path, and degrees in fields like social work can help students get there. Many online schools in Idaho offer students the training they need to find work in counseling, public administration and community development–but some schools are more effective than others. For example, programs that allow students to complete supervised internships in their home communities provide valuable, hands-on experience to carry into the field. Other schools might offer relevant industry and networking conferences and other specialized support programs. Here is a ranking of notable online schools in Idaho for future social services professionals, based on targeted degree options, reputation and other characteristics that lead to a well-rounded education in the field.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|Boise State University||Boise||208||164||44||$5,884||13,492|
|Brigham Young University-Idaho||Rexburg||123||84||39||$3,770||13,815|
|Northwest Nazarene University||Nampa||55||47||8||$25,190||1,705|
|Idaho State University||Pocatello||53||41||12||$6,070||8,927|
|University of Idaho||Moscow||50||27||23||$6,212||10,149|
|Lewis-Clark State College||Lewiston||40||35||5||$5,562||2,794|
|The College of Idaho||Caldwell||7||5||2||$23,355||980|