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College still serving thousands each year

Apr 7, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College continued to support its mission of public outreach last year, as evidenced by an annual report from Lynne McAuliffe, the school's dean for workforce and community education.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, McAuliffe said CWC served 5,172 students -- including duplicate enrollments -- through its outreach centers in Riverton, Lander, Dubois, Jackson and Thermopolis.

Overall, the Riverton Outreach Center counted 1,835 non-credit enrollments in community education courses this year, covering topics from dance to cooking and Quickbooks. The numbers previously were higher, with 2,068 non-credit enrollments in 2011-2012 and 1,997 non-credit enrollments in 2010-2011.

"We're seeing some declining enrollments," McAuliffe said. "You will see some declines in some non-credit areas."

Enrollments for credit also fell at the Riverton Outreach Center this year, from 331 last year to 232 this year. The number in 2010-2011 was 258.

Also in Riverton, the school's R Recreation program served almost 3,490 community members, hosting 106 different classes as well as registration services for eight community recreational programs like Little League and Amateur Athletic Union volleyball.

Total enrollments in R Rec classes reached 5,681 this year, down slightly from last year when 5,713 people enrolled.

R Rec employees coordinated their fourth annual Summer Academy this year; the three-week enrichment program consisted of 157 classes and drew 1,282 participants in grades two through eight.

The group also sponsored its second countywide three-on-three basketball tournament, with 31 teams signed up.

The NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition brought 79 participants to Riverton this year representing 19 Wyoming communities. And CWC's community garden has expanded twice to now cover more than 90 plots -- and there still is a waiting list.

Other locations

In Lander, the CWC Sinks Canyon Center hosted more than 3,040 visitors in 2012-2013, and McAuliffe hopes to host additional camps there in the future. She noted that fewer members of the public utilized the facility this year due to an intentional move toward academic courses at the center. Last year the Sinks Canyon Center saw more than 4,360 visitors.

"This year we report 364 academic students utilizing the center for courses," McAuliffe said.

Facility maintenance classes have been held in Sinks Canyon, where St. Stephens students built a 25-by-70-foot shop for exclusive use by CWC. Students also have installed solar panels on the property's orchard house.

"That's a specific class," McAuliffe said. "We've started to engage them in some alternative energies."

CWC's workforce training and development departments reported a record year of service to more than 1,540 non-credit participants and 300 for-credit students. The department has trained employees from more than 315 area companies. Last year's workforce totals included more than 1,900 non-credit enrollments and 340 credit enrollments. McAuliffe said a one-time safety training that was popular last year led to the decrease in workforce credit enrollments this year. New workforce developments include the first offerings of the Innovation Institute, funded by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. The first two institute cohorts included 24 participants from 17 different organizations. At the conclusion of the eight-month program, the companies reported the creation of 53 new jobs, with more than 150 new jobs projected in the next three years. More than 20 innovations were reported, boosting revenues and growth for 93 percent of the companies participating in courses in Riverton and Jackson.

The CWC Lander Center saw a 23 percent increase in credit enrollments over the previous year, with almost 760 recorded in 2012-2013 compared to about 615 last year. McAuliffe said the center also received about 410 non-credit enrollments -- only slightly higher than the 403 recorded last year.

"Non-credit enrollments in Lander seem to have leveled off the past two years due to a robust Lander recreation department, Children's Museum and Lander Arts Center meeting much of that prior need," McAuliffe said in her report to the board.

In 2011-2012 Dubois participants enrolled in over 730 non-credit courses. That number was exceeded in 2012-2013, with almost 860 participants enrolled in Dubois. The Dubois center also is developing a new partnership with the Boys and Girls Club to provide information about the Affordable Care Act.