With a super-majority of nearly 72 percent, Bonneville County voters approved the transition Tuesday night. The goal is to have a "soft launch" of the community college on Aug. 21, according to current EITC President Dr. Rick Aman.
Aman said several things need to take place in order for that soft launch to be successful. The Idaho State Board of Education must first give up control of EITC to an appointed board of trustees. Aman believes that will happen by June 1. Once that is done, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities must approve the accreditation of the associate of science and associate of arts degree. Finally, the federal financial aid organizations must be made aware of the change and sign off on it in order for the college to offer financial aid to students.
EITC has 90 days to meet the "soft launch" deadline. Aman says additional staff will be brought in, including adjunct professors.
"We will have all of the programs in place, all the facility in place and literally have, I'll make this up and say 15 programs that would result in an associate of arts or an associate of science that will be transferable to a university," Aman said.
Most of the classes being offered this semester will be general education courses like math, science and history. EITC expects to see about 150 additional students enroll, a result of the change to a community college.