After three months, University of Idaho's I-GO program proving successful

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 12:47:33-05

The University of Idaho is partnering with local high schools in an effort to increase the state's college go-on rate, which is one of the lowest in the country. 

The pilot program, called Idaho Go-On (I-GO), is being implemented at Nampa, Caldwell and Skyview High Schools, and so far, is proving to be a success. 

"At first, I didn't really know where to start," said Nayely Flores, a senior at Nampa High School.

Flores' experience preparing for life after high school is shared with thousands of other students in Idaho. 

"Not just anyone is going to sit there with you and actually, you know, help you apply for college or FAFSA," Flores said. 

To help give Idaho high schoolers the resources, information and personal support needed to go on to college, the University of Idaho created I-GO. 

The pilot program began this fall with three advisors placed at three high schools in the Nampa School District. 

"They've been in the schools for two months now, and we've totaled a tally of 4,199 student contact points from our three different advisors," said Matt Vaartstra, assistant director for internships and employer relations for the university. "That's a combined number, but it's a really big impact."

Andres Alcantara is one of those advisors. 

Working at Nampa High School, he helps students fill out college applications, apply for FAFSA, or even prepare for the PSATs, ACTs, and SATs. 

"I think that it's had quite a big impact, because of how many students I'm seeing," Alcantara said. "It's in the hundreds."

For the university, it's an initiative already proving fruitful, especially for Flores, who is planning on studying dental assisting at the College of Western Idaho after graduation next spring. 

"Just keep on going," Flores said. "Go for your dreams."

The Idaho State Board of Education says the early impact of I-GO will help the state achieve its goal of having 60 percent of Idaho's 25- to 34-year-olds hold some form of a post-secondary degree by 2025.