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Central Wyoming College ranked in top 2% by Niche

Photos Courtesy of Central Wyoming College

Riverton, Wyo. — Central Wyoming College is in the top 2% nationally, ranking No. 20 out of 922 colleges according to Niche. Additionally, Niche ranks Central Wyoming College as #1 of all community colleges in Wyoming.

The Niche ranking uses official education statistics of student success, such as graduation rates, and also looks at six broad quality measures: Professors, Value, Location, Diversity, Safety and Student Life.

“This high ranking is truly the result of everyone working hard implementing many things across all aspects of the college,” says President Brad Tyndall. “I am truly grateful and proud of everyone at Central Wyoming College. Our faculty, staff and students are all to thank for the Niche rankings, which are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews.”

At the past month’s Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Kathy Wells, Vice President of Academic Affairs, presented student success results that corroborated the Niche findings. Wells provided the following data:

  • 92.7% of students who completed general education courses in all Central Wyoming College locations via all delivery modes in the fall 2022 and spring and summer 2023 semesters achieved mastery of the learning outcomes
  • 94.34% of degree-seeking students achieved mastery of the outcomes for all courses assessed in the 2022–23 academic year, up from 93.08% the year prior
  • Central Wyoming College students performed above the total mean scores in all categories on the ETS® Proficiency Profile Exam in the semester they graduated from CWC
  • Central Wyoming College ranked above the 75th percentile in all five Core Academic Areas for Completion on the National Community College Benchmark Project report
  • Central Wyoming College was identified by the NCCBP as a Best Performer (above the 90th percentile) in seven academic achievement categories
  • Central Wyoming College graduates performed well on industry certifications and licensing exams with all but one having a 100% pass rate

“In terms of Central Wyoming College professors, they and their hardworking deans and Academic Vice President Dr. Kathy Wells, have started and expanded many programs,” adds Tyndall. “I’m proud that they have taken the lead in rolling out Bachelors of Applied Science degrees and options in the areas of entrepreneurship, tribal leadership, law enforcement, agriculture, outdoor education and early childhood teaching. Central Wyoming College now has the highest enrollment of BAS degrees of the community college; we have about half of the total enrollments. But beyond the BAS, faculty and staff have launched cosmetology, the Alpine Science Institute, the Institute of Tribal Learning, several new degrees and many curricular changes. Our automotive program is thriving with the state’s only Metallica scholarship program.”

In terms of safety, Central Wyoming College has arguably the best public safety with its well trained and armed retired police officers and their students who have implemented a long array of measures. They truly represent that best of peace officers who know and care about Central Wyoming College students.

“Student success is so important to us,” says Tyndall. “Our Trio and NASNTI programs provide so much support. Our faculty have implemented embedded math tutors that has greatly increased student retention. With the new Rustler Ag & Equine Complex, we now have the largest equine program of the colleges enhanced by their new ranch horse team. We’ve expanded our agriculture program immensely to include the state’s only ranch to table meat processing program with a USDA-certified facility. We’ve started a new meat judging team and have started a new farmer incubator program at our regenerative farm in Sinks Canyon that is working hard to expand the local food production and sales. So many of our unique student experiences are showcased through our great partnership with Wyoming PBS.”

Central Wyoming College’s solid academics are anchored by arguably the best nursing program in the state. CWC regularly has very high NCLEX pass rates from its program graduates.

In terms of student life, Central Wyoming College has a large number of clubs and the largest number of sports teams among the community colleges in Wyoming. CWC has a vibrant student life with regular movie night and other planned activities.

For the last several semesters, CWC has led the way with record enrollment growth. This last fall, for example, Central Wyoming College grew by 9% over the previous fall.

“I’m so proud of everyone at Central Wyoming College,” adds Tyndall. “Everyone has worked so tirelessly to positively transform the lives of so many students. It’s especially amazing given that CWC has about 80% of its students officially classified as ‘at risk’ — no doubt the highest in the State. Yet, we have been rated at the best in the state, despite that challenge. I think our success can be summed up by having a culture of caring, innovation, hard work and quality. I’m humbled and blessed to be a part of this institution.”

Central Wyoming College’s mission is to transform lives and strengthen communities through learning, leadership and connection. The college includes a main campus in Riverton, an outreach center, the Alpine Science Institute in Lander and outreach centers in Jackson and Dubois. CWC is a designated Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institution (NASNTI), and serves the largest American Indian student population in the state of Wyoming.

Niche uses the most up-to-date data available from dozens of public data sources including the Department of Education, U.S. Census and FBI. See a complete list of data sources here. The specific methodology for each Niche ranking can be found at the top of the rankings page. For a much more detailed explanation of our calculation process, see College Rankings.

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