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Vocational Education

Vocational Education

Boise State University offered vocational education for 70 years, from 1939 to 2009. These 2-year associate degrees and certificates trained students for occupations specific to businesses in the Boise Valley. The university stopped accepting new two-year degree seeking students in fall 2009 to focus its identity as a research university. The majority of the resources for vocational education were used to start the College of Western Idaho.

Early Years

From 1932 to 1938, BJC’s curriculum was exclusively courses intended to prepare students for transfer to a four-year school. When the school became a public institution in spring 1939, the school board sought the addition of vocational and technical degrees. One of the first courses was on how to make radios, which directly contributed to World War II efforts. There were also degrees in forestry, secretarial science, and home economics. After World War II, vocational programs followed job growth in the valley, leading to departments dedicated to automotives, construction, business equipment, and practical nursing. Throughout this time, vocational programs were designated as Lower Division University Curricula and Semi-Professional Curricula.

BJC students make radios

Students Building Radios

During these years, vocational students formed the student organization Tau Alpha Pi. Their major event was called the Hobo March, a costumed fundraiser involving impersonating vagrants and pan-handling for a scholarship fund.

University Years

Boise State University Truck Driving School

BSU Truck Driving School

When Boise Junior College became Boise College, a four-year institution, in 1965, the vocational programs transformed its curricula from two types to many disciplines. The professional degrees were still popular and throughout the 1970s and 1980s remained a staple of education at the University.

The rise of computer technology in the Boise Valley led to new businesses and the need for even more technical education in the computer science field. Boise State was already offering certificates in business machine technology and this evolved into computer science, electrical engineering, and some other related fields. As these education fields increased in popularity and in sophistication, some technology-based vocational programs split off to form the College of Engineering. Meanwhile, all other vocational programs were placed under the Applied Technology college.

The College of Applied Technology was led by Larry G. Selland, and after his death the program was renamed the Larry G. Selland College of Applied Technology. This name lasted until 2009, when all applied technology programs were either discontinued or moved to the College of Western Idaho.

From Vocational School to College of Applied Technology, name change history

Semi-Professional Curricula, 1939-1964
Area Vocational School, 1965-1968
Division of Vocational Technical Education, 1965-1969
School of Vocational Technical Education, 1969-1991
School of Applied Technology (within the College of Technology), 1991- 1996
Larry G. Selland College of Applied Technology 1996 – May 2009

Departments and Degrees offered by category

The following is a list of departments and degrees with the corresponding start and end dates of each program. Some programs like Home Economics and Forestry were originally considered vocational, however they quickly moved to the general curricula. Other disciplines like nursing and engineering broke off and formed their own colleges. These distinctions are not within the scope of this list.

Business, Marketing, Office
Broadcast Technology, 1991-2009
General Business (2-year) 1939-
Business Systems and Computer Repair, 1991-2009
Business & Office Education  1987- 1994/Business Technology, 1995-2009

  • Office Occupations, 1975-1976
  • see Service Occupations, 1977-1986
  • Accounting Technology, -2009
  • Administrative Office Technology, 2009
  • Legal Office Technology, -2009

Computer Service Technology, 1991 – 2009

  • Business Machine Technology, 1986-1990
  • Data Processing, 1967-
  • Office Machine Repair, 1966-1976
  • see Light Technologies, 1976-1985
  • Computer Peripheral Service, -2009
  • Computer Programmer (1-yr), 1968-
  • PC/LAN Specialist, -2009
  • Computer Network Technology, -2009
  • Network Technician, -2009
  • Computer Network Technology, -2009

Instruction and Performance Technology, 1992-
Instructional Technology, 1989-1992
Marketing/Mid-Management 1992-2009

  • Marketing Mid-Management, 1986-2009
  • Mid-Management, 1965-1981
  • Fashion Merchandising, 1972-1980

Office Occupations, -2009
Secretarial Science 1940-
Health and Human Services

  • Child Care and Development  1991- 2009
  • Child Care Studies  1975-1990
  • see Service Occupations 1977-1985
  • (Day Care Training)+
  • Child Care and Development  1991- 2009

Culinary Arts  1985-2009

  • Food Service 1973-1976
  • Food Service Technology  1977-1984
  • Culinary Arts  1985-2009

Dental Assistant  1986-2009

  • Dental Assisting  1961 – 2009
  • see Health Occupations  1977-1985

Health and Human Services -2009
Horticulture Service Technician  1986-

  • Horticulture  1967-1976

Nursing

  • Pre-Medic 1939-40,1950-1952
  • Pre-Nursing 1940-1959
  • Nursing 1959-1964
  • Renamed practical nursing
  • Practical Nursing (2-year) 1965-2009

Respiratory Therapy Technician  1989-2009
Surgical Technology   1986-2009
Medical Technology 1944-1946, 1954-
Operating Room Technology   1975-1976
Manufacturing, Heavy Mechanical
Industrial and Manufacturing Technology (2 year program)  1989-2009

  • Changed to Industrial Technology
  • Manufacturing System Technology – 2009
  • Industrial Technology (4 year program)  1994 –
  • Industrial Electronics Technology – 2009
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology – 2009
  • Industrial Mechanics / Automation  1986-1988

Automotive, 1958-2009

  • Auto Body (and fender) 1958-2009
  • Auto Mechanics  1965-1976
  • see Mechanical Technologies 1977-1985
  • Auto Mechanics  1986-1992
  • Automotive Industrial Technician  1988-2009
  • Automotive Technology 1993-2009

Electrical Lineworker 1987-2009

  • Electrical Lineman  1985-1986
  • see Heavy Technologies  1977-1985

Fire Service Technology 1988-2009

  • Wildland Fire Management -2009

Heavy Duty Mechanics  1975-1976

  • Heavy Duty Truck Technician – 2009
  • Heavy Equipment Technician – 2009

Mechanical Welding Technician  1994-

  • combines Welding/Metal Fabrication and
  • Heavy Duty Mechanics

Parts Counter-person  1973-1980
Machine Tool Technology  1993- 2009

  • Machine Shop  1958-1976
  • Machine Shop  1986-1992

Professional Truck Driving Program  1987- 2009
Residential, Environmental Services
Farm Business Management 1994 – 2009

  • Agricultural Equipment Technology  1986-
  • (Landscape Construction and Maintenance)
  • Industrial Environmental Technician  1989-
  • Industrial Plant Maintenance  1976-1978
  • Farm Business Management 1994 – 2009

Radio 1940-1946
Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning  1987- 2009

  • Air Conditioning   1985-1987
  • Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration  1976 – 2009
  • see Heavy Technologies   1977-1984

Environmental Control Technician – 2009
Recreational and Small Engine Repair Technology  1993- 2009

  • Small Engine Repair 1985-1992
  • Small Engine Repair 1975-1976

Carpentry

  • Carpentry   1959-1967
  • Residential Carpenter  1992-
  • Note: wood shop and other similar trade courses were offered as early as 1940.

Water/Wastewater Environmental Technology  1993-

  • Water / Wastewater 1988-1992
  • Wastewater Technology 1987-1988

Welding and Metals Fabrication  1987- 2009

  • Welding   1960-1976, 1985-1987

Science, Engineering, Construction
Drafting Technology 1986-2009

  • Drafting and Design   1959-1968
  • Drafting Technology   1969-2009
  • see Light Occupations 1977-1985

Applied Technology  1992-2009
Electronics Service Technology  1985-1991
Electronics Technology  1963-2009
Consumer Electronics  1973-1983
Semiconductor Technology  1985- 2009
Construction Management and Engineering            1995 – 2009

  • formerly Management and Engineering Technology 1992 – 1994
  • formerly Construction Management and Pre-Engineering

Engineering in Boise BSU/UI Cooperative Program 1995-1996

  • formerly University of Idaho Engineering in Boise Program    1991 – 1994
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