Approval of Senate File 83 would take Gillette College a step closer to becoming a college district separate from the Northern Wyoming Community College District.
But more steps – and several years – remain before the college can start graduating students with degrees specifically from “Gillette College.”
If Senate File 83 is approved by Wyoming’s Legislature and signed into law this year by Governor Gordon, Campbell County voters will then be asked to approve formation of the separate college district, along with a levy of up to 4 mills to fund the institution. After that, the college must then seek accreditation.
That’s a big step, according to Dr. Walt Tribley, president of the Northern Wyoming Community College District.
Dr. Tribley said he full expects that will happen. But, he said, the process can take anywhere from three to six years. He said three years is a very short period of time for that, and six years long, so most people think in terms of four or five years for accreditation to happen.
He said he thinks Gillette College can do that most easily and efficiently with help from the Northern Wyoming Community College District. Gillette College was created in 1969 as a branch of Northern Wyoming, which also maintains Sheridan College and Sheridan College in Johnson County.
Students graduating from Gillette College currently earn their degrees from the Northern Wyoming Community College District, and Dr. Tribley said he thinks Northern Wyoming is therefore perfectly positioned to help Gillette College through the accreditation process.
He said the most straightforward method would be for Gillette College students to continue taking classes from the Northern Wyoming Community College District until such time as Gillette College earns accreditation.