NWC is in the 98th percentile for the percentage of first-time, full-time students who completed and transferred in three years, according to the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute survey of community colleges. We are in the 92nd percentile for students completing and transferring in two years.
Wyoming’s community colleges have impressive national rankings in the percentage of their students who transfer to earn bachelor’s degrees. A study by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University shows Wyoming to be first in the nation for the percentage of new students who transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree within six years (NWC’s average over the past five years is 69%). Wyoming Community Colleges are second in the nation for the percentage of students transferring to four-year schools (77% of NWC’s degree-seeking students who did not return fall 2015 transferred).
Governor Mead’s Standard Budget included $12M for the Enrollment Growth portion of Community College's State Aid (based upon 2014-15 enrollment), as opposed to submission of annual exception budget requests. While that represents a $2.3M reduction to the seven colleges’ current biennium funding level, I believe it’s reasonable given the state’s revenue situation. I’m pleased that the JAC’s markup of the Wyoming Community College Commission’s budget retained the $12M and will be part of mirror budget bills that go to both chambers this legislative session.
As a result of discussions with incoming UW President Laurie Nichols about the potential for closer partnerships between the University and the community colleges, I have been selected to serve on the UW Provost search committee.
I continue my involvement on the Forward Cody and Powell Economic Partnership (PEP) Boards. One of PEP’s priorities this year is to find ways we can bring the community and college closer. I will be meeting with members of the Powell community to identify “town and gown” initiatives.
We have embarked on a Mission Statement revision process with input from the campus. Data from employees were compiled into a questionnaire, which was given to faculty and staff early last semester. Following employee input as part of our Mission Statement revision process, we broadened our request for input to include area residents at a successful on-campus public meeting October 1. This month we asked for student input. Data from students and community members support input received from employees. We have analyzed results and are in the process of finalizing our work on the new Mission Statement. I will bring it forward to the Board for your approval after going through the campus shared governance consultation process.
In addition to the mission work, I have implemented Future’s Task Forces to review and discuss our organizational structure, faculty and staff salaries, major facilities projects as well as college finances.
We continue the work to refine our college policies. We have identified areas of policy that are missing and are drafting policy language and moving recommended policies through college processes. As well, in working with the College Council, the Board of Trustees’ Rules and Regulations, Employment Handbook, Student Handbook, portions of the College Catalog, and various other documents have been combined into a comprehensive document. I am reviewing this document with College Council to create a Board Policy Manual.