P O W E L L, W y o. - Big Horn Basin adults wanting to become elementary teachers now have another local option for earning a bachelor's degree. This fall Northwest College is teaming up with Valley City State University in North Dakota to offer a bachelor's degree program in elementary education on the Powell campus.
Students will take their first two years of coursework through NWC to earn an associate's degree in elementary education and then continue in Powell their final two years taking VCSU classes. As VCSU graduates, they will be licensed as teachers in North Dakota, as well as meeting licensure requirements in Wyoming.
The first pilot group of students is taking core courses for the VCSU program at Northwest this fall.
According to Virginia Fish, NWC's dean of instruction, VCSU will offer its professional education courses to students on the NWC campus in a variety of delivery methods. Some will be fully online while others will be hybrid, which is a combination of online and face-to-face coursework.
"We'll also go there and teach some on the NWC campus," VCSU Dean of Education Gary Thompson said. "Every faculty member will do it differently." Thompson said most of the on-campus courses will be delivered during the summer and expects many will be of the workshop type.
VCSU is located in the southeastern corner of North Dakota, 48 miles west of Fargo. Founded in 1890 as a 'normal school' (or teacher's college), it has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a "Best College" 11 years in a row.
Similar in philosophy to Northwest College, VCSU places a high value on utilizing state-of-the-art teaching and learning technology and maintains a low student-faculty ratio to ensure students get plenty of individual attention (NWC's student-faculty ratio is 17:1; VCSU's is 13:1).