After decades of dreaming, years of planning, and months of construction, officials celebrated the completion of the infrastructure on the site of the Education Corridor (on the north side of the NIC campus) with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Phase 1A in November 2011. Phase 1A included roadways, roundabouts, sidewalks, curbs, and a traffic signal that laid the groundwork for future expansion on the site by NIC and its partner organizations, Lewis-Clark State College, the University of Idaho, the city of Coeur d’Alene, and the Lake City Development Corporation. Phase 1B, which included the creation of an additional intersection, was completed in June 2012.
The North Idaho College wrestling team distributed the 10,000th book to Sorenson Elementary first grade students in June 2012 through the Shirley Parker Reading Program, which was established in 2002 in partnership with Parker Toyota in honor of Doug Parker’s late wife Shirley, who was a supporter of both wrestling and reading. The program puts a book in the hands of every first-grader in the Coeur d’Alene School District each year.
A record 1,000 students were eligible to graduate from NIC during the 2012 commencement ceremony in May 2012, and of those approximately 400 chose to walk across the stage to receive their degree or certificate. In addition, NIC celebrated several special graduation ceremonies, with its spring class of 10 Basic Patrol Academy graduates; pinning ceremonies for registered nursing, practical nursing, and radiography technology graduates; a special ceremony for 11 miners who were laid off from the Lucky Friday Mine and retrained to receive welding certifications; 18 graduates of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 1012 Coeur d’Alene Basin Superfund Job Training Initiative; and multiple Adult Basic Education and GED completers.
Several outstanding North Idaho College staff and faculty members were honored with achievement awards during the annual NIC Employee Awards Breakfast in May 2012. In addition, Length of Service Awards were distributed to employees spanning 5 to 40 years of service to NIC. NIC Security Officer Kelly Hopkins became certified as a Rape Aggression Defense System Instructor, adding to her toolbelt in self-defense education. Yvette Wyatt, an employee of NIC’s Head Start program, was voted a Soroptimist Woman of Distinction. The Communications and Marketing Department won several district awards through the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. NIC Geology Instructor Bill Richards presented at the national Geological Society of America annual exposition in October 2011.
The NIC Bonners Ferry Center celebrated its fifth anniversary in October 2011 with refreshments and an open house for students and the public at its Main Street location. In addition, North Idaho College signed a lease in May 2012 for NIC’s Ponderay Center to relocate from the Bonner Mall in Ponderay to the Sandpoint Event Center in downtown Sandpoint. The Center expects to celebrate its grand opening in October 2012 and plans to be named NIC at Sandpoint.
North Idaho College was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Governor’s Brightest Star Awards in the schools category for the state award that honors volunteerism.
Eight North Idaho College members of Business Professionals of America earned multiple national honors at the “Reach for New Heights” 2012 National Leadership Conference in April 2012. The teams and individuals placed among the top in the entire nation while competing against students from both two- and four-year schools. Those students and others won multiple awards at the state BPA competition as well.
In the past year, several Graphic Design students were winners of the prestigious Robideaux Scholarship, given by the American Advertising Federation of Spokane. Several students also won Addy Awards in video promotion, graphic design, and web design.
Students in North Idaho College’s Collision Repair Technology program took home silver and bronze medals from the annual Idaho Skills USA competition in April 2012. The students participated in hands-on collision repair techniques with other students from across the state.
In the fall of 2010, NIC received part of the $19.2 billion allocated by the federal government to help the health care field utilize new technologies with the implementation of a new health information technology system. NIC was awarded a $625,000 grant to train health information technology professionals and students that completed programs in Electronic Medical Records Adoption for Healthcare Practices (EMRA) and Electronic Medical Records—Information Technology Support (EMRITS) received post-secondary certificates. Grant funding ended in March 2012 as did the EMRA and EMRITS programs at NIC. Over the course of two years, NIC enrolled 327 students in the courses and of those, 80 percent completed certificates and more than 70 percent are now employed in the field.
Several journalism students and staff members of the student newspaper The Sentinel earned various national honors in 2011-2012. NIC won six first-place Mark of Excellence Awards at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 10 conference in March 2011. The Sentinel won first place for “Best of Show” among two-year college newspapers at the 28th annual Associated Collegiate Press national convention also in March. The student newspaper earned its fourth consecutive Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers in November 2011.
NIC launched a new Esthetician course through the NIC Workforce Training Center in March 2011. Graduates of the 15-week course are eligible to apply for licensure to become skin care specialists, salon owners, and more.
The Associated Students of North Idaho College hosted the interactive exhibit “Footsteps: A Journey of Many” in March 2012, presenting an opportunity for a five-sense exposure to issues of social injustice, such as human trafficking and sweatshops.