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CWC Excited For New Bachelors Among COVID Concerns

Taylar Stagner

Central Wyoming College in Riverton has had an increase in new student applications, but a dip in returning students enrolling in classes. Since March 30, the community college has been teaching classes online to help curb the spread of COVID-19. CWC is worried the stressful semester has taken a toll on returning students.

Lori Ridgeway is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Central Wyoming College. Ridgeway noted that while new applications to attend CWC increased by 30 percent, the re-enrollment of students was down by six percent.

"There's just been so much stress on our current students in transitioning to online and virtual, " Ridgeway said. "They've just had a lot on their plate. And so, we are down a little bit as far as enrollments go."

The new bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership and Management at Central Wyoming College is pressing on with interest still high despite Covid 19 concerns and maybe just what the doctor ordered. Since mid-May 22 students have enrolled in courses for Summer and Fall and declared the Bachelor's Degree as their program of study.

Ridgeway was excited about the potential student interest in the bachelors. In the first two and a half weeks the webpage had over 1,000 hits, which said is a good sign considering the complications COVID-19 presented.

"From a marketing aspect it is the absolutely the highest level of interest that we've had for some time." Ridgeway commented, "We were so excited. And my team worked very hard to keep up with the emergency response communication for Covid, but also launch that marketing campaign."

While hopes are high for the new bachelors CWC also expanded their WiFi into their parking lots to help retention of students, because many who live in rural parts of Fremont County do not have access to reliable internet for classwork.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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