CWC and WR tribal college complete credit-transfer pactSep 14, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
The student transfer agreement that Central Wyoming College and the Wind River Tribal College signed Wednesday in Ethete marks the beginning of a new opportunity to change the lives of local residents interested in continuing their higher education.
College presidents Brad Tyndall (CWC) and Marlin Spoonhunter (WRTC) shared their optimistic views and opinions about struggling students who will benefit from the cooperation during the formal signing event, which was attended by faculty, board members and students from both schools.
"There have been many ups and downs here - people say that we don't do anything here," Spoonhunter said.
"But we've assisted 36 students to get their bachelor's degrees through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh - we played a big role for those students."
The WRTC had a long-standing articulation agreement with the Wisconsin university, but that partnership recently dissolved.
"We had unfortunate communication with Oshkosh, then I reached out to Brad," Spoonhunter said.
Tyndall praised Spoonhunter for getting the college going - a job that he said was difficult. He also agreed with Spoonhunter that it was a good time to work together.
The new partnership could bring up student enrollment totals at both colleges, which can now share faculty at both locations.
"On our college's part, we're here to serve our community," Tyndall said. "Our job is to support the vision for education."
Tyndall noted that 85 percent of CWC's student body is defined as "at-risk" due to economic and social challenges.
"Stakes are too high to be passive," he said. "The dire need is now."
CWC is going to do what it can to be supportive of WRTC student efforts and the shared vision of both schools, Tyndall said.
WRTC board member Sandi Iron Cloud expressed appreciation for the agreement that she said will benefit both native and non-native students.
"We have changes so many lives of students here," she said. "We're embarking on a new journey."
Tarissa Spoonhunter, a former WRTC adjunct professor who is now an instructor of American Indian studies at CWC, said she was also optimistic about the new relationship.
She described WRTC a home for many local residents who were glad to stay close to their community.
Cory Daly, CWC's vice president of student affairs, said CWC is happy to support a legacy of pride in the community.
"It's an important bridge for their future," Daly said, referring to students.
Under the transfer agreement, students can take courses at WRTC, and the credits can transfer over to CWC as long as they meet the standards of the Higher Learning Commission - the organization through which CWC is accredited.
Only the Arapaho studies and general studies degrees have been approved so far.