Albertson College of Idaho

Albertson College
of Idaho
Mission Statement
The Academic
Student Responsibility
and Students with Disabilities
Academic Procedures
Department and Course Listings
Admission and Financial Information



view last year's (2002-2003) catalog

Albertson College of Idaho is a private, liberal arts institution located in Caldwell, Idaho. Founded as the College of Idaho in 1891, Albertson is home to nearly 800 undergraduate students and is the state's oldest four-year institution of higher learning.

The college has been accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges since 1922. Our teacher education program has been approved by the Idaho State Department of Education since 1913, and our graduates are eligible for certification in all states participating in the Interstate Certification Compact.

The 50-acre park-like campus is composed of tree-lined paths that join five dormitories, playing fields, academic buildings, an amphitheater, and a student union. In the past 10 years, six major building projects have transformed Albertson into one of the most beautiful campuses in the Pacific Northwest. The college's newest facilities include a renovated student union and computer center, performing and fine arts center, athletic activities center, an international center, and "The Village," an apartment-like residence hall which will be completed in Fall 2002.

Located between the high desert and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Caldwell is a city of more than 20,000 located 30 minutes from Boise-Idaho's booming capital and home to first-class museums, shopping, concerts, and restaurants. The campus is also a short drive to ski resorts, desert, and whitewater rivers.

Helping students succeed

The Albertson College community embodies the values of the American West-independent, resourceful, hard working, diverse, progressive and adventurous.

Albertson strives to enhance the formal educational program by helping students develop into informed and sensitive individuals. Students balance academic challenges with different kinds of extracurricular activities, including student government, community service, religious worship, intramurals, special events, social events, and club functions. 

Other campus programs help students focus on their personal growth, including individual counseling, study skills development, career planning services, new student orientation and off-campus study programs.

Learning in & out of the classroom

As a residential college, learning at Albertson continues outside the classroom. Conversations over meals in the dining halls, during walks between classes, in residence halls, and in the library are commonly spurred by thoughtful and often controversial topics introduced in classes. 

The college has long been proud of its commitment to teaching rather than research or the writing of scholarly articles. All classes are taught by faculty-not graduate students-and 94 percent of the faculty hold PhDs or equivalent terminal degrees. Because the college is careful to maintain a 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio, it is nearly impossible for a student or an instructor to be anonymous.

A proud tradition

For more than a century, Albertson has produced graduates who have become leaders in business, science, medicine, law, education, the arts, and government. Alumni include two former governors, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, an Academy Award-winning musician, the co-discoverer of vitamin B-1 2, the cofounder of Patagonia Outerwear, and the founder of Albertson's Inc., one of the nation's largest supermarket chains.


Albertson College marks its beginning six years before Idaho's statehood when the Presbyterian Church's Wood River Presbytery, meeting in Shoshone, formed a commission to examine the possibility of establishing a Presbyterian college somewhere in the Idaho Territory.

The commission found support for such a venture and in 1890 the Presbytery accepted an offer from a group of Caldwell citizens, led by William Judson Boone, to locate the institution in that community.

Nineteen students showed up at the College of Idaho for the first classes in 1891. The first classes were held downtown in the Caldwell Presbyterian Church and a year later the college moved into its own downtown building. The campus moved to its present site on the east side of town in 1910 when Henry and Carrie Blatchley donated 20 acres of land. Sterry Hall, a classroom and administration building, and Finney Hall, the first residence hall, were built that year. Voorhees Hall, the second of what would become a total of five residence halls, opened two years later.

In 1991, to celebrate the college's centenary anniversary, the college changed its name to Albertson College of Idaho, in honor of Kathryn and Joe Albertson. As alumni, the Albertsons were prolific benefactors of the college and were founders of one of the country's largest supermarket chains, Albertson's Inc.

The first 100 years were marked with numerous achievements. Now into its second century, Albertson College of Idaho is experiencing a renaissance of unmatched proportions.


The college's curriculum is firmly grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and is crafted through rigorous academics, state-of-the-art facilities, rousing discourse, accessible faculty, and technology. Students learn through critical thinking, problem solving, and interpersonal communication, which prepares graduates to succeed in careers, and to continue learning.

Although the liberal arts are variously defined, the college views them as the basic components of higher education-the arts, humanities and sciences-whose understanding leads to the freedom of a responsible life and to the joy of wonder. The college believes a liberal arts education prepares students to succeed in the workplace and in the pursuit of lifelong learning.

The curriculum consists of course offerings, independent study and travel programs, field trips and internships in 27 disciplines from which students may choose majors and minors. To assure breadth and scope, in addition to the concentration of a major, the faculty has established General Graduation Requirements.

An innovative academic calendar was created to help support the college's goals by creating a framework within which experimental and conventional approaches to education can take place. During the fall and spring terms, most of the traditional courses are offered. A six-week winter session stresses experimentation, innovation, creative teaching and imaginative learning.


The college has embarked on an ambitious path grounded on the rich heritage of the institution. For over 110 years, Albertson has prepared students to thrive in an ever-changing, dynamic world-now we must continue the same in the fast-paced, high-tech world of the next 100 years.

In April 2000, the college adopted a five-year strategic plan that focuses on providing an outstanding liberal arts education for undergraduate students in a residential environment. The plan calls for more global opportunities for students, an increased focus on technology, strengthening the freshman year experience, and increased programming to improve campus life for all students.

Albertson College is, and will remain, dedicated to offering top-notch students the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing, dynamic, multicultural world.