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May 15, 2013 — The University of Wyoming has established a policy that will allow students at Wyoming community colleges who earn associate of arts or associate of science degrees to be automatically admitted to the university.
State higher educational leaders announced today (Wednesday) that beginning this fall, qualified students will need only to complete an admissions form and provide other necessary information to transfer from Wyoming community colleges to UW. There will be no application fee to complete the process and, through its recently created Wyoming Transfer Advance Program, UW will offer counseling on academic requirements and financial aid, as well as other transition support.
“This policy is a significant step forward in our mutual goal to expand higher education opportunities for students in Wyoming,” says UW President Tom Buchanan. “Automatic admission to UW, combined with the Hathaway Scholarship program, other scholarships and low tuition, provide Wyoming high school graduates with some of the nation’s best access to quality higher education.”
"The community colleges and UW are united in our desire to increase the rate of college completion in the state," says Casper College President Walter Nolte. "This new policy provides a powerful incentive to our students to complete their A.S. or A.A. degree, and helps clarify the path to a bachelor's degree and beyond."
Buchanan says that Wyoming community college transfer students who have earned associate’s degrees tend to do very well academically at UW, while those who transition before earning their degrees do not perform as well.
“A policy of automatic admission encourages students to remain at their local community college until they complete an associate’s degree,” says Eastern Wyoming College President Tom Armstrong. “EWC graduates perform more successfully at the University of Wyoming than those who transfer with fewer credits.”
Larry Atwell, Wyoming Community College Commission chairman, says that the policy is significant to both students and their schools.
"UW has had transfer agreements with individual Wyoming community colleges for many years, and many community college graduates go on to attend UW,” he says. “The community colleges are working on additional programs to encourage completion at all levels. This agreement will be a meaningful incentive to make that happen. It is heartening to see the cooperation to reach a milestone that will benefit our students, the community colleges and UW."
The community colleges and UW have an articulation agreement in place in which any student who has obtained an associate’s degree from a Wyoming community college will have satisfied most of the university’s general education requirements.
Buchanan says that automatic admission is the latest step in an increasingly cooperative relationship between UW and the state’s community colleges. He cites joint planning with community colleges for additional UW course offerings in Casper (with the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance), the Northern Wyoming Community College District and Western Wyoming Community College.
Additionally, UW has contributed to building projects on community college campuses, including the UW/Casper College Center student union now being constructed; the Intertribal Center at Central Wyoming College; an agricultural facility at Sheridan College; and planning now under way for a Laramie County Community College facility on the UW campus.