NWCCD expanding online degree programs

Northern Wyoming Community College District has added two degrees to its growing list of programs available completely online. Starting this fall, an Associate of Science in Health Science and an Associate of Arts in Human Services will be available to students online. The District is expanding its online degree programs in an effort to serve more students.

According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Estella Castillo-Garrison, these degrees, which will also remain available in-person, are in high demand and applicable to a wide variety of career paths.

“Both of these programs provide solid educational foundations for students,” said Castillo-Garrison. “Through our strong partnerships with several four-year universities, both degrees transfer easily and prepare students to be successful within a wide range of in-demand career options.”

For students interested in a variety of careers in health care, the new online Health Science degree provides a broad general education and an introduction to a variety of health care-related courses, such as Medical Terminology for Health Care, Nutrition for Health Care, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Microbiology and more. Because it meets the lower level general education core requirements for many bachelor’s degree programs, it is easily transferrable.

The new online Human Services degree offers four areas of concentration including Social Work preparation, Addictions Practitioner, Public Health and General Human Services. The degree is appropriate for those interested in employment at day-care centers, mental health centers, school systems, adult care facilities and substance abuse centers, or facilities for the developmentally disabled or any mental health service or organization. It is also transferable to bachelor’s degree programs.

To facilitate interactive learning online, Castillo-Garrison says that NWCCD faculty members utilize innovative methods, such as online test proctoring, virtual faculty office hours, audio-visual strategies and online forums and discussion groups. In addition, online students have access to all Academic Support Services, including HelpZone, virtual math and writing centers, library services and more.

“Using the latest technologies, faculty are able to offer active learning experiences, including frequent opportunities for students to answer questions and defend answers, debate their peers and tackle real problems,” said Castillo-Garrison. “In addition, students completing their degree online have access to the same robust support as our on-campus students have.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations and social and human services assistants are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2018 and 2028. Health care occupations are projected to grow 14 percent, adding about 1.9 million jobs while social and human services assistants are projected to grow 13 percent.

According to NWCCD President Dr. Walt Tribley, by expanding its online degree programs, the District will be better equipped to serve students with full-time jobs and families and those living in rural areas.

“Our District covers a huge geographic area, over 11,000 square miles. Expanding our online degree options is part of an effort to serve those who live too far away from any of our campuses to commute and for those who need programs that fit their busy schedules,” said Tribley. “We’re proud to be able to help more students have the opportunity to pursue these in-demand careers by making them available online.”

With the addition of Health Science and Human Services, NWCCD now offers seven associate degrees and two certificate programs completely online. To view a full list of degree and certificates available, visit www.sheridan.edu/online.