Wyoming Catholic College in Lander is now a candidate for accreditation as a higher education institution, a status the small liberal arts college has been working towards for years.
Full accreditation is expected by 2018. College President Kevin Roberts says candidacy will bring a host of privileges to the 8-year-old school. The biggest is that college credits will now transfer to graduate programs—which has been a problem for some of the school’s past graduates.
“A few of them have some difficulty even getting to the first step of being accepted at public universities’ graduates programs because of state laws in certain states that require the degree come from an accredited college,” Roberts says.
The college’s new status also makes it eligible for federal loan and grant programs for students. But Roberts says the school is weighing religious liberty issues before it decides whether or not to participate.
Wyoming Catholic College is home to about 150 students—and emphasizes Roman Catholic faith and outdoor leadership. Roberts says the news of WCC’s candidacy for accreditation has been good for admissions.
“We have 50 percent more applications right now than we did this time last year—and last year was a banner year for us,” says Roberts. “So, from the perspective of students, from the perspective of the college, generally, the candidacy news is very welcomed.”
The group that accredits colleges in Wyoming will evaluate the school in the coming years as it works to improve things like reporting of student assessments and professional development for faculty.