Jim Rose

Courtesy Wyoming Community College Commission

The Wyoming Community College Commission is considering changes to tuition policy for the state’s seven community colleges.

The discussion comes as lawmakers propose cuts to state funding for community colleges. The Commission decided last week to undergo a two-stage examination of tuition. Executive director Jim Rose says the first stage will be reacting to lawmakers’ likely budget cuts. 

A change in accreditation requirements could be bad news for many of Wyoming’s college professors.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of Wyoming and the state’s 7 community colleges. The agency released new guidelines in October.

They say that professors teaching courses where credits will be transferred to four-year colleges must have a master’s degree and 18 graduate-level credit hours in their subject areas.

Flickr Creative Commons, Photo by 401kcalculator.org

Some community colleges in Wyoming are anticipating drops in state and local revenue, amid an oil and gas downturn.

Wyoming’s 7 community colleges receive about 60 percent of their funding from the state, 20 percent from local property taxes, and the other 20 from tuition.

While some colleges will see their local revenue impacted, Wyoming Community College Executive Director Jim Rose says the state has not announced it will cut any funding for community colleges.

School officials from the Wind River Reservation admit they have problems graduating students and with educating students, but they also say they are slowly making progress.  School officials told a meeting of two legislative committees that more early education and more involvement with parents.  But they all say that socio-economic factors also play a role.  Wyoming Interim Education Director Jim Rose says resolving that issue will be tricky.