ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Western Wyoming Community College’s Evanston campus is struggling with enrollments, and a proposal by Uinta County Board of Cooperative Educational Services to cut funding to the outreach program is causing some concern.
This was the message Evanston Outreach Coordinator Heidi Currutt brought before the WWCC Board of Trustees during the their workshop session Thursday, May 9. Currutt said Evanston Outreach has been hit hard incrementally with a declining enrollment. To emphasize this, she noted the Evanston campus tallied 1,033 students in the 2014-2015 school year; enrollment currently stands at 368.
Additionally, course section offerings had dropped from 145 sections in 2014 to 67 this year.
Currutt offered a number of reasons for these numbers, including a loss of instructors, including high school instructors able and willing to teach concurrent and dual credit classes in such courses as American government, art, Spanish and public speaking. Affecting enrollment in nursing classes has been the Wyoming State Hospital’s move to offer its own CNA (certified nursing assistant) classes and changing to 12-hour shifts.
“This was a huge blow to us,” Currutt said about the hospital’s new CNA classes.
Also affecting enrollments is the appeal of online classes to the nontraditional students and Western’s Pathways programming, which has discouraged taking classes outside of a specified academic pathway, Currutt said.
Another problem is that the outreach program is no longer getting the large number of Department of Vocational Rehabilitation students that it once did.
Uinta BOCES has proposed cutting funding to the Evanston Outreach by about $25,300, according to WWCC Vice President of Student Learning Kim Farley.