Education

WPM is committed to covering education issues in Wyoming in a thoughtful and thorough way. This page captures all education-related stories we've aired and updates you on broad issues.

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

The University of Wyoming Native American Program is starting a chapter of a STEM program that focuses on providing support to native students. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), was founded in 1977 to support Native students and their involvement in STEM programs.

Powell Makerspace

Makerspaces have popped up all over the country. They are community centers that bring technology, innovation, creativity, resources and equipment to the community that otherwise they may not have access to.

Bob Beck


For the last several years the Wyoming Senate, in particular, has been promising to make major cuts to education funding. While there have been reductions, K-12 education has not faced the types of cuts the Department of Health, the University of Wyoming, or other areas of state government has endured. This year there seems to be momentum to make education cuts, but the current proposal may not be constitutional.

MR. Pockets, via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

In 2020, Governor Mark Gordon asked school districts across Wyoming to start considering what a 10 percent funding cut would look like. And even more recently lawmakers are suggesting cuts around 6.5 percent.

PHOTO CREDIT NORTHWEST COLLEGE VIA FACEBOOK

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.

CCO Public Domain

Members of the Republican legislative leadership say reducing education spending is a priority this session.

During a news conference, House Majority Leader Albert Sommers said he favors a committee bill that would reduce K-12 spending by $100 million while also imposing a tax to pay for future education spending.

Wyoming Department of Education

Wyoming schools are looking at a big cut and calibration to the state's school funding model this year. Educators are worried about what this means for their students and instruction as lawmakers are considering the next steps.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow about how this time the cuts will impact education in a big way.

John Wood


Central Wyoming College (CWC) faculty member Tarissa Spoonhunter is working to make Wyoming's only American Indian Studies associate degree into a practical program that her students can relate to.

Girls Who Code

The Array Foundation is a nonprofit that promotes computer science and engineering in Wyoming, and it's announced a new chapter of Girls Who Code in Cheyenne.

Laura Vietti

The University of Wyoming (UW) Geological Museum is one of 10 museums from across the nation selected to help develop a new digital learning platform known as Museums for Digital Learning.

Scott Stults

The Sheridan County School District #2 Board of Trustees announced on Monday, Feb. 1, that current Assistant Superintendent Scott Stults will take over for retiring, longtime superintendent Craig Dougherty on July 1.

Ryan Shippy / Sheridan College

Starting in late February, Sheridan College will offer a six-week Spanish class for advanced beginners or beginning intermediate students in the community. The class will not be for credit and is aimed at adults looking to develop their language skills. It will be followed by another six-week course starting in April.

Catherine Wheeler

Despite the pandemic, Wyoming graduation rates rose again last year. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said the statewide graduation rate was at 82.3 percent. It's the seventh straight year there was an increase.

CWC Marketing Team

Central Wyoming College (CWC) has been designated as a Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institution. That means the college will be better equipped to support their Native American students.

University of Wyoming

The state's higher education institutions are partnering to develop a new way to address Wyoming's economic needs.

Wyoming Innovation Network, or WIN, looks to make a more cohesive system between the University of Wyoming and the state's seven community college districts. Higher education leaders and Gov. Mark Gordon came together on Monday to announce the news in a press conference.

CCO Public Domain

The state Senate Revenue Committee passed two bills that take different approaches to transitioning to a monthly ad valorem tax for the mining industry.

Erika Yarber

Wind River Cares, a community-based health organization that serves the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, is piloting a program in schools to provide proactive care for eligible students.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Sheridan College Agri-Park will once again be open after budget cuts caused the indoor rodeo arena to temporarily close.

The college will now work with the Sheridan WYO Rodeo Board to make it available for rent to community members and manage the facility.

Fred Drews

As the director of education and programs at the Meeteetse Museums, Amy Phillips said part of her job is to document history, adding 2020 was a historic year.

Wyoming2030

This month, a series of virtual events aims to talk about Wyoming's future through the lens of children and family in the state.

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance and Wyoming Community Foundation are partnering up for the initiative called Wyoming 2030. It aims to broaden the public education discussion by hosting a series of virtual events every Tuesday of January.

languageexchangejh.org

The Language Exchange JH program connects two people who want to learn each other's language. So, for example, a native English speaker with a native Spanish speaker. In the past they would meet once a week at the library for an hour speaking each language for 30 minutes.

Bob Beck / Natrona County High School

Bright Futures, a Cody local non profit, focuses on mentoring for youth. This year, the organization decided to focus on helping young women with healthy dating relationships. 

Director Diane Ballard said the organization focuses on milestones in young people's lives. The new program, Empower, focuses on teenagers beginning to date, which is a huge step into the unknown. 

Olivia Weitz


Every year, fifth grade elementary school students from Teton County and students from across the nation spend an entire weekend at Teton Science Schools' Kelly Campus in Grand Teton National Park where they bond with their classmates and learn about wildlife. But, due to the pandemic, overnight programs for local and out of state students were canceled.

In fact, an estimated 30 percent of outdoor education organizations nationwide will be forced to shut their doors by the end of the year. That's according to a survey funded by the National Science Foundation. Teton Science Schools is staying open, but it's required some big changes, especially for its field education branch.

Sam Beebe via CC BY 2.0

Washakie County School District #1 in Worland is having a substitute shortage. But that's nothing new.

"It's always an issue. Most of the time we do pretty well, this year, the problems have been exacerbated primarily because we're having more staff out for longer periods of time due to quarantines," said Jack Stott, the district's business manager.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming plans to start the spring semester classes on January 21. In-person instruction will begin on January 25, with plans to move completely to online classes after a short spring break in April.

Sue Reynolds

Since August of 2019, there has been a 200 percent increase in teachers, administrators, and the public utilizing a free web service called Everyday Native. It's an online resource that aims to provide educational material.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has recently opened its Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation. Only a handful of universities in the country have this kind of center, and UW hopes this will help to diversify the state's economy. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with the new center's director Steven Lupien to discuss what unique resources the center will offer. First, Lupien explained what a blockchain is.

Patricia Radar

November is Native American Heritage month and the University of Wyoming's Native American Education, Resource, and Cultural Center recently held a virtual speaker series that attracted about 100 students, faculty, and community members.

pxfuel.com, Public Domain

The state legislature's Joint Education Committee has moved forward with a bill that would require school districts to provide suicide prevention training to students.

Gillete College

The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) has approved Campbell County's application to form a new community college district in a unanimous vote on Friday, November 20.

Gillette College is currently a part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD), which is governed in Sheridan County due to the taxing structure. The formation of a new district in Campbell County would give residents more power over decisions at the college by allowing residents to vote for its own board of trustees.

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