The College of Southern Idaho represents a shared
vision and a collaborative effort of the citizens of the Magic Valley.
This vision began to take form as early as 1952 when a Stanford
doctoral student wrote his dissertation, "A Junior College
Survey of Twin Falls County, Idaho." Several years later (1960)
the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce established a junior college
committee to actively pursue financial support to make this vision
At the same time, classes were begun in Buhl under a private institution
called Southern Idaho College. An inadequate tax base caused the
Board of Education to discontinue the effort, although many of the
individuals involved later helped develop CSI.
Two years later the Federal Government facilitated the College
of Southern Idaho's development by providing federal aid for building
academic facilities. In 1963 the Idaho legislature passed the Junior
College Act, which provided for the establishment of junior college
districts. Twin Falls County voted to form a junior college district
in November 1964. The following year Jerome County citizens voted
to join the junior college district.
The first academic classes were held in the evening at Twin Falls
High School, while vocational classes were held at the Kimberly
Road facility. The administrative offices were housed in the old
hospital annex building. The College was governed by a Board of
Trustees that hired Dr. James L. Taylor as the first President of
the College of Southern Idaho. He served as President until his
death in November of 1982. Gerald R. Meyerhoeffer, former Vice President,
became President in 1983.
The College of Southern Idaho is one of the fastest growing institutions
of higher education in the state, having doubled its enrollment
in the past eight years. Off-campus centers at Micron in Boise and
in Burley, Gooding, Jerome, and Hailey serve approximately 2500
students each semester. The advent of the telecommunications system
in 1989 greatly enhanced the delivery of college-level courses to
these areas. The College of Southern Idaho offers a variety of educational
opportunities to the people of South Central Idaho. Eighty-five
percent of the student body comes from the eight Magic Valley counties
the College is charged with serving.
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