NWCCD receives Department of Education grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2014

Contact: Wendy Smith (307) 674-6446 ext. 2801/Email wsmith @ sheridan.edu

NWCCD receives Department of Education grant

The Northern Wyoming Community College District has been awarded a grant from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to fund improvements to its distance education programs. The NWCCD is one of two community college districts in Wyoming to receive the grant, according to the WDE.

The one-year grant, worth $14,525, will help develop and sustain distance education programs through collaboration between the NWCCD and area high schools.

The grant for the NWCCD, which includes Sheridan College, Gillette College and outreach centers in Johnson County, will increase the online availability for dual enrollment high school student of introductory courses for its Human Services degree that includes Counseling Ethics, Counseling Skills, Case Management, and Drugs and Behavior, according to the WDE.

“This grant will allow us to provide a sequence of courses that are geared toward a specific program of study,” said Stoney Gaddy, NWCCD Director of Distance and Distributive Learning. “High school students having college credits under their belt before they graduate is great. I would like to see us start students earlier down a pathway to completion via a program of study.”

The grant will increase access to distance and post-secondary education opportunities, provide curriculum development opportunities for college and high school faculty, and establish a collaborative opportunity for college high school faculty to align curriculum, according to the WDE.

“Students will be driving toward a college degree by taking career-specific courses. That way, by the time they enroll as college students, they have 12-24 credits and are on the fast track to completion,” Gaddy said. “Such a pathway to completion in a program of study increases the odds of students completing their degrees and either entering the workforce or continuing their education. This Department of Education grant will assist greatly with developing the set of courses and enhancing partnerships with our area high schools.”

The grant will also help provide professional development and operational needs surrounding the NWCCD’s distance education program. The goals are to strengthen communities through ongoing student and instructor engagement, and provide ongoing curricular and technical support, according to the WDE.

“There is a great need to increase the availability and quality of distance education programs in our state,” said Edward Olson, Distance Education Consultant at the WDE, in a news release. “With these sorts of programs students from around the state can take classes that would otherwise be unavailable to them, such as advanced mathematics, foreign languages, and even art.”

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