By Kris Boyle
Ricks College, a two-year junior college in Rexburg, Idaho, owned by The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, will now become a four-year institution.
The announcement came Wednesday, June 21, from the First Presidency of the LDS church and the Board of Trustees of Ricks College in an official church news release.
The new school will be known as Brigham Young Univesity-Idaho, in order to give the school immediate national and international recognition, the release said.
According to the news release, with some additions and modifications, physical facilities already in Rexburg are adequate to handle the new program.
However, any changes to the campus will be modest.
BYU-Idaho’s move to four-year status will be phased in over a period of time, the release said. It will be done in such a way to keep the school’s identity.
BYU-Idaho will emphasize undergraduate education and will award baccalaureate degrees. Graduate degrees will not be offered, according to the news release.
BYU-Idaho will operate on an expanded-year-round basis, incorporating innovative calendaring and scheduling while also taking advantage of advancements in technology which will enable the four-year school to serve more students, the release said.
According to the news release, BYU-Idaho will phase out its involvement in intercollegiate athletics and shift its emphasis to a year round-activity program designed to involve and meet the needs of a diverse student body.
BYU-Idaho will be assessing and restructuring its academic offerings, and will most likely have to change and even eliminate some of the long-standing programs, the news release said.
Specific details about and time lines for the change are still being worked out.
The details, which will be discussed with and approved by the Board of Trustees, will be announced at appropriate times in the future, the news release said.