College District Moves Closer to Four-Year Degree Program

Local College District President Dr. Walt Tribley announced that the district is a step closer to offering a four-year degree. (Photo by Pat Blair)

The Northern Wyoming Community College District is another step closer to offering applied baccalaureate degree programs at Sheridan and Gillette colleges.

At a meeting of college district trustees Thursday night, College President Dr. Walt Tribley said the Wyoming Community College Commission unanimously voted to authorize the district to proceed to the next steps.

Dr. Tribley said the Higher Learning Center won’t be accrediting the four-year degree program but instead will be looking at the college district to see if Sheridan and Gillette colleges and the Johnson County campus have the capacity to offer a four-year degree. He said that will include whether the colleges have the right structures in place to support faculty and will there be qualified faculty.

College district trustees met Thursday night. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Dr. Tribley said the district presented survey results to the Community College Commission based on 90 responses from community and industry partners and 385 Sheridan and Gillette college students that demonstrated overwhelming support for the new program. In addition, he cited over 20 endorsement letters submitted by regional employers.

He read some of the employers’ responses to trustees Thursday night, including one from Brenda Weatherby in Sheridan, who said Weatherby would welcome their current employees to pursue a four-year degree.

The district is proposing to offer an applied baccalaureate degree in management and leadership with two areas of emphasis – business and industrial technology.

Tribley said steps in the process will include approval of the actual curriculum by the Wyoming Community College Commission and a site visit by the Higher Learning Commission.

But if all goes well, he said students could enroll in the four-year degree program as early as fall 2021.



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I am a student at Sheridan College and think that expanding education opportunities is great. However, not everyone wants a degree in management and leadership, myself included. How was a determination made for who was eligible to take the survey? Sheridan offers some good programs, but it would be nice if there could be baccalaureate degree in social work like casper college has. Sheridan is isolated with the options available for an education.