NIC prepares for classes at new Silver Valley Center

North Idaho College plans to open the doors of the new Silver Valley Center for spring semester classes beginning Jan. 18. “We've provided courses at various sites within Shoshone County for the past several years,” said NIC Distance Education Director Candace Wheeler. “But the new Silver Valley Center will allow us to provide a variety of expanded services to county residents from a centralized location. We're very excited to open the center.” NIC entered into an agreement with the City of Kellogg last August allowing the college to operate the Silver Valley Center from the old Kellogg City Hall. The city agreed to pay for a majority of the remodeling work that needed to be completed on the facility, in addition to providing two years without charge on the lease. “It was then our commitment to establish an educational environment surrounded by technology,” Wheeler said. The building, which was built in 1917 and remodeled last in 1930, also houses the Kellogg Public Library and the Shoshone County Fire Department. Remodeling work is near completion on the portion of the building housed by the Silver Valley Center. Finish work may not be completed by the Jan. 18 soft-opening, according to Wheeler, but she aims to have the remodeling work complete and all technology operational in the facility by Feb. 1 tentatively. The facility contains two classrooms, an interactive video conferencing room for distance education courses and a computer lab accessible to all students. The lab will boast high-speed Internet capabilities and a network system that can be monitored and troubleshot almost entirely from tech support on NIC's main campus in Coeur d'Alene. During spring semester, the Silver Valley Center will offer two academic classes, Fundamentals of Writing and Basic Math, as well as five community education classes offered to the general public. So far a total of 11 students are enrolled for the two academic courses being taught by an instructor on site this semester. The community education classes have varying start dates and registration deadlines, so enrollment is unknown. Most dual enrollment courses will continue to be taught through Kellogg and Wallace high schools. The Silver Valley Adult Basic Education/GED program will relocate to the Silver Valley Center, offering ABE, GED, English as a Second Language and Job Education Training services to students from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Silver Valley Center will also provide applications for college admission, registration, advising, financial aid, photo identification, placement testing, test proctoring and tutoring on site. “It was our goal to provide a one-stop shop for educational services in the Silver Valley,” Wheeler said. NIC also intends to fulfill its obligation through the partnership with the City of Kellogg to survey the community annually and assess the community's changing educational needs. “We intend to establish a nine-member advisory committee to help guide us in the direction that's right for the people of the Silver Valley,” Wheeler said. “Community input is very important to us and very important to the center's success.” Local woman Becky Powers was hired as the Silver Valley Center coordinator. She is an NIC alumna with experience in a similar position in Alaska as well as personal experience as a nontraditional student. “We're very excited to have Becky on board and we know that she's very committed to helping establish the center in the Silver Valley,” Wheeler said. The NIC Silver Valley Center is located at 323 Main Street in Kellogg. Hours for the center are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (closed from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Details will be announced on a grand opening celebration planned for this spring. For more information, call the center at (208) 783-1254.

For More Information
NIC Distance Education Director Candace Wheeler, (208) 769-5906

Posted: Friday, Jan. 7, 2005

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