Institutional Imperative #3:
Northwest College shall be meaningfully connected to the high schools and workplaces of the communities it serves.
-An increased percentage of service area high school students (current students and graduates) will enroll at Northwest College.
-An increased number of service area constituents will choose Northwest College to meet their career goals/workforce training needs.
- DELIVERING NURSES
NWC’s Nursing Career Fair connected 10 local and regional healthcare employers with nursing students. This pilot event was so successful, it will now be held annually. NWC’s registered nursing graduates consistently average an 83 percent or better pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination, ensuring a robust nursing force for the Big Horn Basin.
- CONNECTING HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES
Working with high schools in its three-county service area, Northwest presented a Career Fair attended by more than 230 high school sophomores. Fifty-four presenters provided occupational information to students who had the opportunity to visit with 10 local and regional employers. The prior year’s Career Fair on campus was so popular that high schools urged NWC to repeat it every year.
- SUPPORTING LOCAL INDUSTRY
In its commitment to meeting the educational needs of local industry, NWC collaborated with businesses like Cody Laboratories to develop curriculum options that prepare graduates for immediate employment. Calli Kelly, a Northwest graduate from Cody now employed at Cody Labs, is an example of how NWC students are taking their associate degrees directly into the local workforce.
- ENROLLING CONCURRENTLY
NWC started a new dialogue with Big Horn Basin school superintendents to address concurrent enrollment, accreditation requirements and the possibility of additional or modified BOCES partnerships (Board of Cooperative Educational Services). This small step represents a large leap toward improving relationships that have been strained by concurrent enrollment issues. This year, nearly 540 Big Horn Basin high school students received rigorous, college-level instruction through Northwest’s current enrollment program.
- TRAINING THE WORKFORCE
Nearly 2,700 people enrolled in more than 227 customized trainings, open enrollment seminars, workshops, online offerings and conferences scheduled by Northwest College's Center for Training and Development. New programs included Machinist and Electrical Apprenticeships, simulator training for heavy equipment, electronics and process and logic control. Also new to the lineup were Physical Fitness Trainer Certification, EMT Basic, Phlebotomy and Obstetrics Training Modules for practicing nurses, as well as Pediatric Life Support and Adult Trauma Life Support. Preparatory work completed this year will introduce HVAC and construction apprenticeships next year, as well as EMT II training and mechatronics.
- BUILDING COMMUNITY
Students in a business capstone class designed and executed a plan to build a raised-bed garden for residents of the Big Horn County Detention Center in Basin. Students did everything from drawing the schematics to moving and cutting railroad ties. Prisoners will raise produce in the garden to give back to the local community.
- GETTING OUT ’N’ ABOUT
Northwest worked to establish a higher profile in surrounding communities this year, offering soccer clinics and a guitar ensemble in Cody, a basketball clinic in Meeteetse and an exhibit by art faculty at a Cody gallery in conjunction with the Wyoming Arts Council's Click Conference. In addition, President Stefani Hicswa participated as a college ambassador at several Cody events and made a special trip to Meeteetse to get to know the residents there and learn ways NWC can improve its service to that community.
- SOLVING CRIMES
A three-night class on forensic science and law enforcement was a popular draw for community members interested or involved in law enforcement, as well as for students pursuing criminal justice careers. The class culminated in a presentation by the legendary John Douglas, a former FBI investigator who pioneered modern-day criminal profiling. The successful offering was made possible through a partnership including the NWC’s Social Sciences Division, Center for Training and Development, area law enforcement offices, and NWC Foundation funding.
- TAKING MUSIC TO THE BASIN
Northwest’s Music Program made visits throughout the Big Horn Basin when Visiting Instructor of Music/Director of Bands Craig Olson was invited to work with the Cody High School Band and Thermopolis High School Band and Choir. Olson also coordinated a combined concert with the college’s Northwest Wind Ensemble and Powell High School Concert Band. Jeff Troxel, another music instructor, added strings to NWC’s musical outreach when he started a Cody Guitar Ensemble class. In addition, Meeteetse residents were treated to a public concert after NWC music faculty conducted workshops in Meeteetse High School.