Best Community Colleges in Wyoming
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Prospective students can choose from sevencommunity colleges in Wyoming. An eighth was approved in August 2021. The Wyoming Community College Commission oversees these schools.
The commission laid out a strategic plan through 2025 to keep people in Wyoming educated and involved. While the best community colleges in Wyoming offer courses in popular career fields, there's also training in location-specific industries across the state.
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The state also offers online learning options and affordable pricing and discounts for students in Western states.
Why Study in Wyoming?
Community college education in Wyoming focuses on high school students wanting affordable higher education and adults looking to get more training to advance in their careers and further their education.
In 2019, the state's community college system handed out more than 2,500 degrees and 700 certificates. Wyoming offers veterans free tuition, along with their spouses and children.
Wyoming's economy is driven largely by tourism, mining, and agriculture. In 2021, Wyoming ranked first in the State Business Tax Climate Index. Wyoming has no state income tax and a low 4% state sales tax.
Worried about internet connectivity? Don't be. Wyoming aggressively went after this technology in the 1990s. A Unified Network is housed across its community colleges. The goal is to give every person, business, and school access to broadband by 2023.
Cost of Living
When compared to other states, the cost of living is cheaper in Wyoming. Regions within the state can see big fluctuations.
For example, in the second quarter of 2021, Teton's cost of living index was 165, above the statewide average of 100. In comparison, Washakie was at 87. The closer you live to the big tourist attractions like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, the more the cost of living goes up.
Wyoming has many miles of interstate, with I-80 being one of the major cross-country corridors. To plan for sightseeing across this beautiful state, people should have a healthy budget to buy gasoline.
Cultural and Community Offerings
With the nickname "The Cowboy State" and six people per square mile, one might think the state doesn't offer a lot to do.
However, opportunities abound to learn about the outdoors, visit a national or state park, or take a tour through Western culture. In the winter, ski resorts are ready with fresh powder for skiers.
While many are familiar with the big names in Wyoming like Yellowstone Park or Grand Teton, travelers can also go back in time, taking a ride on the Old Lincoln Highway dating back to 1913. This was the first cross-country road, and part of it is still preserved in its original form.
The climate across Wyoming varies. The summers are mild and warm, rarely hot. The winters are cold. Elevation determines how much snow falls in the winter, with a low average of around 6 inches to a high average of 30 inches.
"Hail Alley" goes through southeastern Wyoming. It's the most hail-prone area in the nation.
Top Degree Programs in Wyoming
- Best Online Associate in Accounting Programs
- Best Online Associate in Education Programs
- Best Online Associate in Agriculture Programs
- Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Programs
- Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
- Best Online Associate in Office Administration Programs
Wyoming Employment Outlook
Like most states, Wyoming took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as 38 of its industries saw declines in the first quarter of 2021.
As tourists make their way back to the many parks across Wyoming and more demand comes for the state's natural resources, those numbers are expected to rebound.
5 Wyoming Jobs in Demand
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Animal lovers are projected to see 32% job growth for these professionals across Wyoming from 2018-2028. The national growth projection for these occupations is 15% from 2020-2030, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A technician degree can be obtained at the associate level. Eastern Wyoming College offers a degree in veterinary technology that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This job requires workers to run tests and gather information to help diagnose an illness or injury in an animal.
Wyoming Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $33,090
Occupational Therapy Assistants
Occupational therapy assistants help patients recover, develop, and improve skills they need in daily life. These assistants typically have at least an associate degree. Some decide to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in the field. The job growth projection is 36% from 2020-2030 in the U.S., according to the BLS. It's 31% in Wyoming from 2018-2028. Assistants do need licensing through the state of Wyoming before they can begin work.
Wyoming Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $57,680
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
Wyoming economic data projects job growth to be 17% from 2018-2028. This job combines the love of the outdoors and science. These professionals monitor sources of pollution and contamination. All of Wyoming's community colleges offer this field of study.
Wyoming Mean Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $44,230
The number of jobs for web developers is projected to grow by 11% in Wyoming from 2018-2028. Web developers control aspects of web design, such as layout, ease of use, and interface functions while testing to make sure the system works. These professionals can work on their own as freelancers or for a company. Associate degrees in web development or computer science programming are available at the community colleges in Wyoming.
Wyoming Mean Annual Salary: $50,080
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
These professionals help patients with MRI and other diagnostic testing, mostly in hospitals. They also need to get a license through the state of Wyoming to work in this field. The number of jobs in this field is projected to grow by 15% in Wyoming from 2018-2028. This compares to BLS projections of 9% growth nationwide.
Wyoming Mean Annual Salary: $61,060
Popular Career Paths in Wyoming
- Business Administration
- Healthcare Administration
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Environmental Science
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Wyoming
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Best Community Colleges in Wyoming
Located on a 200-acre campus in Casper, Casper College serves nearly 3,000 students. A comprehensive community college, Casper prepares graduates to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college through more than 140 career and technical education and academic programs.
Casper offers on-campus, hybrid, and fully online degree and certificate programs. Students may earn associate degrees eligible for transfer in academic areas such as business, agriculture, social sciences, sciences, and fine arts. Through 11 university partnerships, learners may also earn advanced degrees.
Casper’s workforce training degrees and certificates prepare students for careers in business, auto body repair, construction, engineering, and manufacturing.
Casper encourages applicants to select a major and apply online six months before starting classes. The school requires official transcripts and scores from the ACT, SAT, or another authorized placement test. Casper offers on-campus housing and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Located at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming, Sheridan College offers dual-enrollment, degree, and certificate programs. As one of two campuses in the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD), Sheridan serves about 1,700 students in Sheridan, Campbell, and Johnson Counties.
The school’s modern campus features a renovated technical education center, a 16,000-square-foot agriculture center, and a 422-seat concert hall.
In addition to academic majors in the liberal arts and sciences, Sheridan offers programs in business, engineering, agriculture, health sciences, and computer sciences. The college also features dental hygiene and nursing programs. Students may also train for careers in agricultural business, animal science, criminal justice, hospitality, and education.
Half of Sheridan’s students attend classes full time. Residents of Wyoming and other Western states benefit from the lowest tuition rates. NWCCD holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Eastern Wyoming CollegeLocation
Set in eastern Wyoming’s Platte Valley, Eastern Wyoming College operates a main campus in Torrington and a second campus in Douglas. A public community college founded in 1948, EWC offers credit courses to more than 1,900 students and noncredit programs to nearly 6,000 students.
EWC offers associate degrees in subjects such as English, math, and biology as well as career and technical degrees and career training certificates. The college also boasts the state’s only community college programs in veterinary technology, gunsmithing, and cosmetology, as well as popular welding, agriculture, education, and criminal justice programs.
In cooperation with the University of Wyoming, EWC offers 2+2 academic transfer programs. The school also delivers online associate degrees in business, criminal justice, education, and interdisciplinary studies.
Students may apply online or on paper and may choose to live on campus. EWC holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Western Wyoming Community CollegeLocation
Rock Springs, WYTuition
Founded in 1959, Western Wyoming Community College serves an area of 29,000 square miles in southwestern Wyoming. WWCC offers more than 60 associate degrees and over 20 career and technical certificate programs, awarding more than 500 degrees and certificates annually. More than 2,800 students enroll in credit programs each term.
WWCC offers two-year associate transfer degrees in subjects such as art, biology, education, music, and theater. Transfer degree options include online programs in accounting, computer science, and criminal justice.
Students may prepare for health services careers with associate degrees in nursing, pre-pharmacy, and pre-radiology. Other degrees that prepare graduates for immediate entry into the workforce include options in business information systems, law enforcement, electrical and instrumentation technology, and natural gas technology.
Degree-seeking students may apply online at no cost. Western offers on-campus housing and meal plans. The college holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Central Wyoming CollegeLocation
Central Wyoming College enrolls more than 2,000 students at its Riverton main campus located on the banks of the Wind River and three outreach centers. CWC offers degree and certificate programs as well as continuing education and professional development courses. The college also serves the broader community through visual and performing arts events as the home of Wyoming PBS.
CWC offers degree and certificate programs in eight areas of study: agriculture and equine; business; behavioral and social science; career and technical; health science; media, arts, and humanities; outdoor and environment; and STEM.
The college’s Alpine Science Institute offers experiential learning opportunities for students enrolled in programs in outdoor education, anthropology, recreation, environmental science, and expedition science. Agriculture students can choose majors such as agribusiness and range management.
CWC utilizes open enrollment. The college holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Wyoming
Are community colleges worth it?
Community colleges are worth it for those wanting to get a two-year degree. You can then go straight to the workforce or decide to continue your studies and pursue a higher degree. Going to a community college can save students money. Also, many take their classes online, which can give them more flexibility if they are trying to balance work and family commitments with their studies.
Does Wyoming have good community colleges?
The community colleges in Wyoming are of good value. Thirty-six of the programs at Wyoming community colleges have full accreditation status from various organizations.
How much does it cost to go to community college in Wyoming?
Tuition at Wyoming community colleges comes in three tier levels: in-state, Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) for students in 16 Western states, and out-of-state. The lowest in-state per credit rate is $105, WUE lowest is $158, and the lowest out-of-state rate is $315. The highest tuition comes in per credit rate for in-state at $153, WUE at $206, and out-of-state at $363.
What is the cheapest community college in Wyoming?
For 2021-2022,Central Wyoming College, Eastern Wyoming College, and Northwest College all have tuition rates of $105 in-state, $158 WUE, and $315 out-of-state.
Is Wyoming a good place to live and study?
Students who are looking for an affordable degree program with plenty of options and enjoy the outdoors and not many crowded spaces will love the openness of Wyoming.