NWCCD Board To Consider Applied Science Degree Development

Nov 26, 2019

NWCCD Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Estella Castillo-Garrison gives Ebenezer Eferobor a hug after he receives his diploma during the graduation ceremony at Sheridan College on May 11, 2019.
Credit Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District has taken a step forward towards offering bachelor's of applied science (B.A.S) degrees.

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, district President Walter Tribley offered the board a resolution, saying the district wants to create a B.A.S degree in management and leadership.

That degree would have two areas of emphasis: business and industrial technology. Tribley said the degree would provide opportunities for students in the local economy.

"It's general enough to catch a number of industry sectors because the degree is focused on general management and leadership with a couple of emphases. But it's something almost every industry sector needs," he said.

In March, Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill allows community colleges to offer four-year degrees.

Tribley said the degree would fill a need in the community.

"It is not a degree program for any other purpose. It's not designed to boost enrollment or any of those other metrics. This needs to be and is a service to our service district," he said.

The idea for the degrees came from a survey the district sent out to boards that advise district programs like nursing and welding.

Tribley said the Board of Trustees will vote on the resolution at its meeting in December. If approved, the district will seek approval from the Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) in February to develop a curriculum. The district would also need to seek approval from the national Higher Learning Commission before offering the degrees.

Two community colleges in the state, Central Wyoming College and Laramie County Community College, were recently approved to offer B.A.S degrees at the WCCC's meeting in October. Two additional schools, Northwest College and Western Wyoming Community College, have received approval to move forward in degree planning.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.