Founded in 1901 as the Academy of Idaho, Idaho State University has a long history of academic and research excellence in Southeast Idaho.
Today, the university boasts locations throughout southern Idaho — in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Meridian and Twin Falls — and has grown to become a leader in health sciences, energy, the performing arts and more. There are currently 250 degree and certificate programs to choose from — more than any other institution in the state. Faculty and students learn and do research in the areas of energy, health professions, nuclear research, teaching, humanities, engineering, performing and visual arts, technology, biological sciences, pharmacy and business.
To continue to serve an ever-changing economic and educational landscape, ISU continues to add and evolve programs to meet industry needs. The College of Technology recently received more than $900,000 in line-item funding to grow programs in high-demand fields. Two new programs — the pharmacy technician program and the occupational therapy assistant program — have been created to help fill growing needs in the workforce.
ISU is a Carnegie-classified research university, and both undergraduate and graduate students benefit from experience working in laboratories and in the field alongside faculty members. Faculty at ISU work with businesses, other universities and government agencies to bring new technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.
This year, ISU submitted grant-funding applications for more than $97 million, an increase of approximately 7 percent from the previous year. Of those requests, ISU received more than $36 million in awards from externally funded grants and contracts, an increase of approximately 27 percent over the previous year.
The university is also taking a key role in medical education in Idaho. The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, a private medical school, is set to accept its first students in fall 2018 on the ISU-Meridian campus. The Kasiska Division of Health Sciences will also be expanding its physical therapy program in Meridian, and has expanded its pharmacy program to Alaska.
Educating students continues to be the number one priority at ISU, and many facilities have been recently renovated to meet student needs.
Last year, the Gale Life Sciences building in Pocatello received a $1.08 million upgrade, including a new state-of-the-art anatomage table, which allows students to learn using virtual dissection. In Meridian, the recently-opened Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories is an 18,000 square foot, $6 million, state-of-the art facility that is used not only by ISU students, but by high schools and community groups.
In Idaho Falls, workers recently completed a 10,153 square foot renovation to create new offices for resident faculty and new classrooms with distance-learning capabilities. The renovation will expand opportunities for students. Currently, there are 30 undergraduate and graduate programs offered in Idaho Falls.
ISU’s Pocatello campus grounds have also seen an extensive facelift, thanks to generous gifts from the Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley family, who have donated more than $1 million to both student scholarships and campus beautification. ISU’s campus is home to more than 2,500 trees and more than 60 varieties of flowers. Since 2012, more than 20,000 bulbs have been planted, and 8,000 annual flowers are planted every year.