POWELL, Wyo. - In the face of Wyoming's decreased revenue projections and the potential of a 5-10 percent budget reduction next year, Northwest College is changing its course delivery system in Worland.
Prospects of reduced state funds necessitated careful review of NWC's operating expenditures in all areas of the college, including Worland and Cody centers, according to Ronda Peer, dean of extended campus and workforce training.
In response to the state's financial downturn, NWC plans cuts of approximately $835,000 for 2009-10.
"Worland area residents shouldn't see much reduction in service," Peer said, "but the delivery will be different."
The same level of popular programs like concurrent enrollment in Worland High School will continue, as will credit courses and degrees. Some evening classes will shift to the high school, with fewer courses delivered at the Worland Center as the college scales back its lease in the facility from five classrooms to one.
"There will still be a wide variety of online courses as well as offerings over Wyoming Equality Network (WEN) video," Peer said. "In addition, online and WEN video students will have access to a technical support person in the Worland Center computer lab 10 hours a week."
Adult Basic Education services will continue at the Worland Center, as will workforce training activities that will be planned and coordinated by Powell and Cody workforce coordinators. The interim workforce coordinator position currently held by Lance Picore will not be continued. Nancy Trickey will remain in her office assistant position which serves both Northwest College students and the Worland Community Center.
The course delivery changes in Worland are expected to save the college $70,000 next year.
Area nursing students will also see changes in the two programs offered by NWC in Worland, according to Sher Hruska, NWC vice president for academic affairs. The practical nursing program will continue without interruption, with graduation planned in December. Program delivery will be completed through continued partnerships with regional medical facilities.
Hruska said she was disappointed to report that the NWC Worland registered nurse program again failed to attract enough qualified students for the program to operate next year.
"Unfortunately, it appears we must continue with this program's hiatus," Hruska said. The program was temporarily suspended for the first time last year after an insufficient number of qualified students applied.
"Unlike almost every other program offered through a community college, students are not automatically admitted to a nursing program," Hruska explained. "Applicants are required to pass a Nurse Entrance Test, successfully complete three prerequisite classes and complete a separate application process to be eligible for admission to the nursing program. Depending on their personal and academic circumstances, most students start preparing one or two years before being admitted to the program."