In Boise, a solid education starts long before college.
The Boise School District, which includes 34 elementary schools, eight junior high schools, five high schools and two specialty schools, received Expansion Management magazine's Gold Medal Award in 2004. The award places the Boise School District in the top 16 percent of school districts nationwide, and Boise is the only district in Idaho to earn the Gold Medal distinction.
The award reflects factors including graduation rates, standardized test scores, student-teacher ratios, per-pupil expenditures, teachers' salaries and adult education in the district. Roughly 50 percent of Boise's public school teachers hold master's degrees, which is more than double the state average.
In addition to its award-winning public schools, Boise is also home to more than 20 private and parochial schools.
So where do Boise's big kids go to learn? The city offers a wide variety of post-secondary education options, many of them centered around the state's largest institution of higher learning, Boise State University, which U.S. News and World Report called one of the top universities for master's degrees in the country's Western region. The school boasts an enrollment of about 18,500 students who can who choose from more than 190 academic programs, including an accredited master's degree in business administration, construction management and engineering.
Boise State also operates the Simplot/Micron Technology Center on campus. The state-of-the-art facility offers students the chance to learn using computer systems and video and audio production studios, and the center has forged valuable public and private partnerships to train students effectively for the local workforce.
Students in Boise can also earn bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho at the College of Technology on Boise State's campus.
Three private colleges also serve the Boise area, and plans are underway to open a community college.