The Wyoming Legislature is in full swing and a recent bill being discussed is Senate File 111, Community colleges-bachelor of applied science programs.
The bill is to address a large issue in the State of Wyoming, which is the nominal output of bachelors degrees within the State of Wyoming. In fact, Wyoming ranks 48th as of a 2016 report identifying per capita level of bachelors and advanced degree production in the Nation.
“As of 2016 Wyoming and Wyoming Catholic College would need to nearly double their annual output of degrees, issuing roughly 1,900 more bachelors and advanced degrees each year, to bring the state up to the national average.” as stated in the Forward Greater Cheyenne Strategy.
The ranking has not improved and continues to remain a problem for the State of Wyoming. It has impacted businesses because it correlates directly to available workforce. Senate File 111 will address this by empowering our community colleges to offer baccalaureate of applied science degrees. This would help to supply workforce for industries who require advanced technical training and currently these industries have unmet workforce needs. Education attainment is critical to the advancement of Wyoming’s economy and the bill written by Senator Tara Nethercott provides a viable solution.
“Drawing imaginary corrals around our community colleges is detrimental to the intelligence and vibrancy of the people.” expressed Kim Withers, Ph. D, Meridian Trust CEO, when expressing why it is important to support this bill.
What is a Bachelors of Applied Science (BAS) Degree Program? They are designed specifically for students who already have an Associate of Applied Science Degree or comparable educational credentials in a technical field and require the practical skills and knowledge for advancement by building upon vocational foundations and work experience in order to further personal and professional career objectives.
Friday, January 25th the bill will be heard in the Education Committee at 8 a.m. at the Jonah Business Center.