Wyoming’s seven community colleges have been approved by the state legislature to offer Bachelor of Applied Science degrees to its students. This is a significant win for proponents who sought to strengthen degree attainment throughout the state.
Wyoming conferred 1,802 bachelor’s degrees in 2008 and conferred 2,164 degrees in 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Although bachelor’s degrees are not the sole credential considered when determining degree attainment, the hope is that as the community colleges begin offering the programs, attainment will increase.
Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees are more specifically tailored than a bachelor’s degree offered by the University of Wyoming — although the school does offer various BAS programs. In order to be eligible to enroll in the BAS programs, students are required to have earned an Associate in Applied Science. The goal of these programs will be to prepare and qualify students for industry management positions, according to The Torrington Telegram.
Before the community colleges can begin implementing the degree programs, however, they must complete a list of tasks, such as requesting approval to offer higher-level degrees from the state’s community college accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.
“It is up to the individual colleges to go through the next steps in a timely manner,” said Sandy Caldwell, executive director of the Wyoming Community College commission.