P O W E L L, W y o. - Northwest College used a spring 2008 survey of southern Big Horn Basin communities to create a win-win scenario for itself and three individuals who completed the survey.
To better understand how area residents view the college, Northwest surveyed residents of Basin, Burlington, Emblem, Greybull, Hyattville, Manderson, Otto, Shell and Ten Sleep. Of the 3,326 surveys mailed out in January, 343 were completed and returned, including both hard copy and online responses.
Three of those survey respondents were randomly chosen to win $100 gift certificates to an area grocery store or gas station of their choice. The lucky three are Angela Tharp of Basin and Annette Chaudet and Melanie Johnson of Greybull.
Mark Kitchen, NWC's vice president for college relations, said Northwest will use findings from the survey to inform curricular and promotional plans for the future. Because a few hundred of the surveys were completed, the college considers itself a winner in better understanding the needs and perceptions of southern Big Horn County residents.
The most significant thing learned was the biggest factor preventing area residents from taking classes: course delivery schedules.
To help overcome that obstacle, NWC will launch a new round of College for My Life programs this fall designed for working people. The programs offer a structured series of evening and weekend classes to help those individuals who want an education that will help them get a better job but can't quit their current jobs while pursuing their education.
The College for My Life programs will be offered on campus in Powell and at the college's Cody and Worland centers. Northwest established its Worland Center to provide services to southern Big Horn County as well as the Worland area. This is a point of information the college needs to focus on, however, since most survey respondents indicated they were either unaware of or chose not to utilize the center.
Northwest learned that area residents get information about the college primarily through local newspapers and the Web site . NWC-TV, which originated in Big Horn County three years ago, is viewed by 24 percent of the respondents. NWC-TV is found on channel 39 of the TCT West cable system in Big Horn and Washakie counties.
Of those who responded to the survey, 75 percent have some college education and 88 percent use computers in their homes. Most have high-speed Internet access.
The southern Big Horn County survey is part of a five-year plan to survey all residents in Northwest College's service area, which includes Big Horn, Park and Washakie counties. Northern Big Horn County will be surveyed in January 2009.
For more information about the survey results, e-mail Mark Kitchen or call (800) 560-4692, ext. 6405.