Northwest College

Annual Report



Institutional Priority: Experience
Strategic Priority

Innovation and distinction in EXPERIENCE

A total of 275 degrees and certificates were awarded last spring. The number included 30 Associate Degree Nursing students, the largest nursing graduate class since 2008.
In a survey late last summer, 97% of NWC students said they would recommend the college to friends and family members.


  • Retention rate – NWC’s retention rate from fall 2017 to fall 2018 is the highest among Wyoming’s seven community colleges. The college has bested the state’s average for eight of the last 10 years.
  • Completion rate – The college’s most recent two graduating cohorts—first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students starting in fall 2014 and fall 2015 and graduating within three years—have recorded the college’s highest completion rates on record.
  • Prestigious scholarships – Three NWC students were named 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Tiffany Bergman of Los Angeles, California; Kristy Cullinan of Glendive, Montana; and Trysa Flood of Lovell, Wyoming, were among only 207 PTK members nationwide to earn the award.


  • New Conservation Law Enforcement degree – A new Associate of Arts degree will give students technical skills and a knowledge base for entry-level natural resource officers and/or law enforcement positions that are in high demand. NWC’s is the first such program in Wyoming and only the fifth in the U.S.
  • Allied health programs boosted – In response to student demand, NWC’s allied health programs were expanded. The Licensed Practical Nurse cohort expanded to 12, and the college is exploring the possibility of a hybrid RN program in Cody. The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Level II course, which prepares CNAs for promotion, is now offered; clinical experiences are arranged in two Big Horn County hospitals. A Surgical Tech certificate will be piloted this fall.
  • New Adult Learner Scholarships – Part-time students ages 24 and older have new “Trapper Adult Learner” scholarships available to them. The new merit-based scholarship strategically applies financial resources to meet adult students’ needs. Funded by the NWC Foundation, the awards are available to both full- and part-time students enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per semester.


  • College National Rodeo Finals – It was an impressive year for Rodeo Coach Del Nose’s program, with the Men’s Team finishing 15th at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). Freshman standout Caleb McMillan of Soap Lake, Washington, narrowly missed the Men’s All-around title by only 16 points. Caleb competed in bull riding, tie down roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and team roping. Del took six Men’s Team competitors to the CNFR following a first-place finish in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Big Sky Region.
  • Rodeo hall of fame honors – NWC’s Rodeo program was selected as a 2019 Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame Great Montana College Rodeo. The state’s Wall of Fame sits in the shadow of an 18-foot bronze statue of Montana’s six-time World Champion Dan Mortensen, a 1989 NWC alumnus and recipient of the college’s 1994 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
  • #1 in nation academically – The academic year started with word that the Women’s Basketball Team’s academic performance the prior year was first in the nation. With a combined 3.449 GPA, the team led all other two-year college programs, according to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
  • Best-ever showing for Model UN Team – NWC student delegates to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City this spring earned a Distinguished Delegation Award recognizing professionalism and excellence—the best showing for an NWC team in eight years of participation. For the first time, a Northwest student, Dillon Romero, a freshman from Cody, spoke in the Great Hall of the General Assembly at the same podium from which presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens have spoken.
  • Forensics Team does it again – Garnering international attention, the Forensics Team swept the competition in a series of tournaments throughout the academic year. At the International Forensics Association Tournament in Berlin, Germany, sophomore Isaabella Munoz of Worland finished third in poetry. The team finished its season with silver in debate and a bronze overall in sweepstakes at the Phi Rho Pi nationals in Reno, Nevada.

After a thorough search for the right candidate, Men’s Basketball Coach Brian Erickson was selected as the college’s first full-time athletic director. During his six years of coaching, he led the Trappers to 120 wins, including a Region IX Championship in 2014-15—the team’s first in 46 years.

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