Northwest College

Annual Report

2016-17

Experience

Institutional Priority: Experience
Strategic Priority

Innovation and distinction in EXPERIENCE


  • PERSEVERING TO COMPLETION
    A 17.7% increase in the number of degree and certificate completers from the prior year demonstrates that Northwest College takes student success seriously.
  • CELEBRATING GRADUATES
    A total of 319 degrees and certificates were earned during the 2016-17 year, including 25 Associate Degree Nursing students.
  • PASSING LPN EXAM
    All six members of NWC's Licensed Practical Nurse class passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses on the first attempt.
  • MANAGING ENROLLMENT THROUGH PLANNING
    The college's Strategic Enrollment Management Plan launched three initiatives—communication, recruitment and student success—to move the college forward. After several years of declining enrollment, fall enrollment edged up over the prior year: +2% in headcount and +0.3% in full-time equivalent students, returning to historical levels.
  • PREPPING FOR ACCREDITATION VISIT
    NWC is wrapping up nearly three years of self-analysis for a Sept. 11-12 visit by its accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the country's 19-state north central region.
  • EARNING DEGREES ONLINE
    Students looking to earn an associate of arts degree in sociology or in general social sciences will have an option to do so entirely online starting next fall. The degrees require a minimum of 60 credits to complete, just like is required for on-campus instruction. Both degrees are foundations for careers in sociology, social welfare, criminal justice, economic development, law or public health.
  • SCHEDULING FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
    Work of a Course Scheduling Committee will result in classes being offered at times that better meet student needs. This predictive scheduling initiative connects students to a degree plan, fosters completion and promotes efficiency. In addition, more summer courses and online classes are planned in order to augment offerings to students.
  • FOCUSING ON STUDENT SUCCESS
    A trio of student success initiatives are dovetailing with course schedule revamping.
    • Guided Pathways – Clearly defined maps showing what classes to take in various programs
    • Gateway Courses – Identifying foundational classes that have high risk/high enrollment and help students complete them in the first 30 credits
    • 15 to Finish – Encourages students to take an average of 15 credit hours per semester, thereby completing in two years and reducing student costs
    New student planning software helps keep students on track by listing classes needed to graduate in four semesters. Improvement is evident already: Course capacity has increased 13%, and student comments indicate the registration process has improved. A Center for Teaching and Learning, funded by a Northwest College Foundation grant, was also launched.
  • IMPROVING STUDENT SUCCESS THROUGH FRESHMAN SEMINAR COURSES
    First-time students who enrolled in a First Year Seminar course in the fall performed over eight percent better in their second semester, with a two-tenths higher grade point average than students who did not enroll in the course in their first semester. The seminar is part of the college's First Year Experience Program, whose mission is to prepare students for successful transition to college.
  • ADVISING STUDENTS
    With visits by 2,600 students, 700 of whom sought primary academic advising, the Advising Center continues to assist more and more students each year. The center hosted transfer events with the University of Wyoming, Montana State University Billings and Valley City State University.
  • MAINTAINING A LOW LOAN DEFAULT RATE
    Continuing its history of a comparatively-low federal loan default rate, NWC has the second lowest rate (13.6%) among Wyoming community colleges, well below the 17.4% state average. Nationwide, public two-year colleges average 18.5-20.5%, higher than any other higher education segment.
  • EARNING NATIONAL ATTENTION
    • Academically tops: With a combined 3.575 GPA, the Women's Basketball Team's academic performance led all other two-year college programs in the country.
    • Award-winning performance: NWC's student team at the Model United Nations Conference in New York City earned an Outstanding Delegates in Committee Award. This was the college's third consecutive Model UN conference at which students earned awards.
    • VB team sixth: Regional champion and nationally ranked during its impressive season, the Volleyball Team finished sixth in the nation at the NJCAA Championships. Coach Shaun Pohlman was named NJCAA Region IX Coach of the Year. The team also excelled in the classroom, posting a team GPA of just over 3.5.
    • Rodeo Team 12th: NWC's Men's Rodeo Team finished 12th in the College National Finals Rodeo competition earlier this month. Sophomore standout Bubba Boots of St. Anthony, Idaho, earned an impressive second in All Around. He and freshman teammate Matthew Williams, also of St. Anthony, were fourth in Team Roping. The team was Big Sky Region champion, besting both two- and four-year institutions, and Coach Del Nose earned Regional Coach of the Year honors.
    • Forensics Team's bronze award: A bronze award in debate sweepstakes went to the perennial powerhouse Forensics Team at the Phi Rho Pi Community College National Tournament. More than 400 students competed from 59 colleges. Several NWC students won individual awards, and Assistant Professor of Speech Communication Jeannie Hunt received the Collie Taylor Fellowship Award for Coaches.
    • Enactus Team at nationals: Presenting on projects ranging from reducing bullying in public schools, helping job seekers with resumes/cover letters and assisting local thrift store enterprises, the Enactus Team won regionals and was one of only a few two-year college teams to advance to nationals. Enactus teams are dedicated to improving the world through entrepreneurial action.
    • Sixth best state system: Wyoming's seven community colleges together were ranked the sixth best state system in the country by WalletHub.com. Northwest College ranked 44th in individual college rankings
  • PERFORMING AT GOVERNOR'S ARTS AWARDS BANQUET
    The college was well represented at the Governor's Arts Awards Banquet. Attendees heard from NWC's Studio Singers, and the Faculty Jazz Combo performed during the cocktail hour beforehand. The Studio Singers warmed up by singing on the floor of the Wyoming House of Representatives earlier in the day.
  • WINNING STATEWIDE AWARDS
    Two of six statewide Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees (WACCT) Leadership Awards went to NWC this year. Trustee Carolyn Danko of Powell received the Trustee Leadership Award, and Director of Nursing/Life and Health Science Division Chair Marnee' Crawford earned the Faculty Member Award.
  • COORDINATING WITH UW
    NWC students and faculty hosted University of Wyoming faculty and admissions staff members for a discussion of credit transfer and other topics. UW representatives included those from criminal justice, chemistry, music, and education programs as well as the Coe Library. NWC and UW have more than 20 program transfer agreements currently in place that allow students to transfer at the junior level.
  • HIRING NEW VICE PRESIDENT
    Dr. Lourra Barthuly took the student services reins as vice president following a national search. Dr. Barthuly had most recently served as principal of Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Colorado, and before that as assistant vice president of student affairs at Colorado Mountain College. She holds a master's degree in counseling psychology and counselor education from the University of Colorado in Denver and a doctorate in psychology from Capella University.
  • LAUNCHING REDESIGNED WEBSITE
    Following best practices for higher education Web development, a redesigned website (www.nwc.edu) was launched after months of planning, coding and testing.
Institutional Priority: Experience photo 1
Institutional Priority: Experience photo 2