Northwest College's First Four Year Degree: Professional Studies
The Higher Learning Commission oversees and authorizes accreditation for Wyoming Community Colleges and approved the colleges to start offering bachelor's of applied science (B.A.S.) programs.
Northwest College, the community college located in the Bighorn Basin, decided to go with a B.A.S. in professional studies.
Greg Thomas, Dean of Learning at Northwest College, said professional studies seemed like the perfect degree for the region since they have a lot of small businesses.
"We have a lot of people in the community as well, maybe who didn't go to Northwest College, who want to gain those same skills so that they can move up through their career, wherever they are," said Thomas.
The college hopes graduates of the program will become successful managers and leaders in their area of specialization. But the program can also be useful to students who are currently in an associate degree program.
"If they learn about photography or welding, then they get the skills in those areas through their education, but how to run their own shop, how to have their own business isn't necessarily part of that program," said Thomas. "So this is the extension of that."
Students currently working toward their associate degree can finish that degree and then receive their B.A.S. in just two additional years. The program will be offered in person, online, or hybrid depending on the student's preferences. The deadline to apply is April 1.