INTERVIEW: EITC President reacts to community college vote

Photo Courtesy: Rick Aman

Rick Aman serves the president of Eastern Idaho Technical College. Before coming to EITC in 2015, Aman worked at the College of Western Idaho from 2008 to 2012. He joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to discuss the next steps in the community college transition and how the change will impact current EITC students and staff. 

Listen to the full interview below:

 

 

Eastern Idaho Technical College is on it’s way to becoming a community college, after Bonneville County residents voted overwhelmingly for a new taxing district proposal aimed at changing EITC into the College of Eastern Idaho.

The vote passed with over 70 percent of voters supporting the proposal. Proponents of the proposal say the new taxing district will raise taxes by a little over $13 a person.

“I think this shows the deep commitment to education in the Idaho Falls, Ammon side of Idaho,” Rick Aman, President of EITC told KID Newsradio. “I think it’s very encouraging.”

Aman has been involved in similar transitions with the College of Western Idaho before coming to EITC and says the first step in the transition is creating trustee zones in the county and appointing a five-member trustee board.

“Change of governance, adding two new degrees, an associate of science and associate of arts and then there’s a little bit of discussion about funding and those kind of things,” Aman said. The new community college must also work with federal organizations to make sure their credits qualify for federal financial aid.

The logistics need to be figured out relatively quickly though. Aman says the community college is hoping for a soft start of 30 to 40 classes available by August 21 of this year.

As for students and staff at EITC Aman says the transition will not displace or disrupt those currently involved in EITC.

“Everybody here will simply transition over to the new college,” Aman said. “The existing EITC students, they literally are not going to know any difference in fall. All of those courses and programs remain intact as they are.”

Aman will have to evaluate his professional future as a new president of the community college will need to be appointed. He can still reapply for the position at the new community college and says he will evaluate that decision when the time comes.

The vote is being celebrated a victory over 20 years in the making. Bonneville County residents voted on a similar proposal in 1991.