Although private schools took an early lead in distance education, public schools in Wyoming have built up their online options over the past decade. Expanded choices for Wyoming students allow them to decide whether to pursue campus-based or online education or a combination of both.
In 2013, 12 career schools, colleges, and universities in Wyoming provided education to more than 54,000 students, giving them academic options at the certificate, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Wyoming ranked 50th in the nation for number of college institutions and 50th for number of students attending college in Wyoming.
One of the best ways to understand the effectiveness of Wyoming’s higher education system is to examine a major city with a strong academic presence. Cheyenne offers an ideal opportunity to understand the range of schools and programs, including online degrees and professional certificates.
UW has numerous distance learning opportunities for students within the state and beyond. Distance learning classes are delivered by audio teleconference, independent learning, the Internet, or a combination of methods. Students can earn online degrees in programs such as nursing, family and consumer science, criminal justice, agro-ecology, and business administration.
Students at Laramie County Community College can also complete a variety of associate degree programs online, all of which maintain the same standards and curricula as traditional on-campus classes.
Cheyenne is the largest city in Wyoming, with about 60,000 people residing within the city limits. However, Cheyenne is considered part of the Front Range Urban Corridor that extends to Pueblo, Colorado and, therefore, boasts a population of more than five million. Cheyenne is home to multiple colleges and universities with various online options for distance students. Colleges focus on quality, innovation, and flexibility for distance students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Laramie County Community College offers flexible, high quality online and hybrid courses to help students meet their academic goals. LCCC also offers a number of online degrees in high-demand fields such as accounting, business management, computer information systems, and general studies. Laramie County Community College offers more than 800 associate degrees and certificates of completion to students.
University of Wyoming, a nationally recognized research institution, is located in nearby Laramie and serves nearly 14,000 students each year. Its School of Energy Resources works to find solutions to energy challenges and is helping to lift UW into international rankings as a leader in energy research. Its low student-faculty ratio allows professors and students to work closely together. Partnerships with nearby community colleges allow students to transfer credits to UW, reducing the cost of an undergraduate degree.
Students looking at Wyoming as their destination for college find that higher learning comes with many expenses. The most significant expense is tuition, which can vary depending on the location of the school, degree program, and whether a student qualifies for in-state residency. Students in Wyoming with in-state residency paid an average tuition of $3,995 in 2012, ranking the state number one for affordability.
Students will also encounter other costs associated with higher education, including room and board, transportation, and medical expenses. In Wyoming, the cost of living (COL) is two percent lower than the national average. The table below provides details about the COL in the state’s communities as compared with the national average index of 100:
|Urban Area||Composite Index||Housing||Groceries||Utilities||Transportation||Health Care||Misc.|
Students planning to attend college in Wyoming should check the school’s accreditation status. Colleges in Wyoming are typically accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. If a college does not hold proper accreditation, students will be unable to apply for federal aid and may not receive a quality education.
Schools in Wyoming can also maintain programmatic or specialized accreditation for individual programs, colleges, or departments. UW’s Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, for example, holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Considering its wide-open, unpopulated spaces, it may come as a surprise to learn that Wyoming attracts one of every 545 students in the country seeking a degree. Wyoming is a state that provides diversity in learning through vocational and technical schools, two-and four-year colleges, universities, and online degree programs. Wyoming colleges are located throughout the state, with high concentrations in Cheyenne, Casper, and Laramie.
For those living in the open spaces between communities or those with hectic work and family schedules, online colleges are a viable option for pursuing higher education. Students should consider all choices in Wyoming to find a program that aligns with their career and learning goals. Several distance learning programs in Wyoming have earned distinction for academic excellence. Here’s our list of the Best Online Colleges in Wyoming for 2016-2017:
|Rank||School Name||Score||Tuition & Fees||Financial Aid %||#ONLINE PROGRAMS||Student-teacher Ratio||Grad Rate|
|1||Western Wyoming Community College||97.93||39%||66||16:1||53%||
Students attending Western Wyoming Community College can find flexible options for completing their programs, like quality, affordable distance learning options. Criminal justice, accounting, marketing, and social work are just some of the areas that students seeking AA and AAS degrees can pursue. WWCC is able to offer these programs to a number of other state residents, as well, through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement where a familiar system like Blackboard authorizes distance learners in eligible states to participate in online learning programs.
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Casper College offers fully online programs that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The two-year degree options for distance learning students include accounting, agriculture, computer science, early childhood education, and general studies; the school also offers a wide variety of programs that are online. The school uses Moodle Open Source course management software for its online and hybrid course offerings and recommends the most current version of Java as well as Mozilla Firefox for completing coursework online.
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|3||Laramie County Community College||95.79||31%||31||15:1||14%||
Prospective college students may consider enrolling in one of Laramie County Community College’s online course or degree programs. E-learning gives students the opportunity to fulfill other time commitments by providing a learning space that can be accessed at all times of the day. Although professors may still set deadlines and required assignment submissions, students do not need to be present in a traditional classroom. The school offers fully-online degree programs in areas such as accounting, education, computer information systems and government studies. LCCC also provides academic advising services to help students determine if online learning is right for them.
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|4||Central Wyoming College||95.39||67%||9||11:1||29%||
At Central Wyoming College, online course and degree programs are designed to teach students the same high-quality material that is taught in the traditional classroom. Online courses are taught by experienced professionals who communicate through online learning platforms, email and telephone. While online programs provide students with the flexibility to learn according to their own schedule, they are encouraged to dedicate the same amount, if not more, time and energy in the online environment as they would with on-campus programs. CYC also offers Library Services for Online Students which allows them to check-out e-learning material.
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|5||Eastern Wyoming College||95.38||63%||9||17:1||35%||
The distance learning program at Eastern Wyoming College gives students the opportunity to complete several degree and certificate programs off-campus. In addition to complete programs, individual online courses are available for students interested in having the flexibility to work or engage in other time-commitments outside of schools. Fully-online degree programs include business administration, criminal justice and education. Students are encouraged to ensure they have access to reliable technology and will be able to apply themselves in an online classroom. EWC also provides valuable resources for distance learners such as access to the school’ library, bookstore, academic advising and tutoring.
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At Sheridan College, distance learners are able to pursue their degrees through fully online programs, video conferencing and hybrid programs. Students enrolled in these programs will be able to access course information and assignments when and where best fits their lifestyles. In order to ensure e-learning success, Sheridan College requires all online students to complete an online orientation to distance learning. Additional online resources available to distance learners include access to an online library, bookstore, testing and proctoring service, and the Student Help-Zone, a technical support service.
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College students in Wyoming must think about a variety of criteria when choosing a higher education institution. Program and degree choices may be first on their minds, but students must also consider things like living arrangements and whether to pursue campus-based or online learning. Students can narrow down their choices by using the custom search tool below. Use the filters to sort through hundreds of colleges and programs by tuition costs, accreditation, acceptance rate, and degree and certificates choices:
|RANK||COLLEGE||Tuition And Fees||Enrollment||Accredited||MORE INFO|
|1||University of Wyoming||$4,278||11,480||YES|
Home of the Cowboy's, the University of Wyoming offers two online Bachelor degree programs, five Master degree programs and two Doctoral degrees. These online college programs are as follows: Bachelor's- Business Administration and RN. Masters programs- Education Administration, Education Instructional Technology, Education K-12, Executive MBA and Nurse Educator. Doctoral degrees- Ed.D Education Administration and Ph.D Educational Administration.
What makes the best online colleges in Wyoming unique? To find out, we asked a few of the state’s top institutions to outline the advantages of their online programs. See what they had to say:
The following organizations and resources offer free information to prospective college students in Wyoming. Students and family members can find helpful information on grants, scholarships, financial aid applications, accreditation bureaus, and college benefits for Wyoming veterans.