“.. Enrollment of first-generation students is important for economic development reasons as well. The Idaho State Board of Education, after reviewing studies conducted by Georgetown University and the Lumina Foundation, has determined that approximately two-thirds of jobs expected to become available in Idaho by the year 2020 will require at least some post-secondary education (and about half of those will require a baccalaureate or advanced degree). Yet just over one-third of Idahoans have attained this educational level.

Consequently, Idaho has a work force imbalance: an oversupply of workers with education levels of high school or less, and an undersupply of workers with post-secondary education. An oversupply at the low end depresses wages and attracts businesses paying minimum wages. An undersupply at the high end discourages businesses that pay higher compensation and contemplate locating or expanding in our state.

For all these reasons –- upward mobilitydiversity, and economic development — the University of Idaho actively recruits first-generation students. At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many first-generation students –- women as well as men -– found the doors of higher education opened to them by military training programs (precursors to our present ROTC programs). Today, one of our most visible recruiting efforts is the STEM Access Upward Bound program, designed to attract low-income and first-generation college-bound teenagers who have exhibited an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our Bridge Idaho program provides further support for these and other first-generation students when they come to our Moscow campus. ..”

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Don Burnett, Interim President in the University of Idaho Friday Letter on December, 20th, 2013