Northwest College

Annual Report



Institutional Priority: Experience
Strategic Priority

Innovation and distinction in EXPERIENCE

    Fall 2015 enrollment strengthened to about 1,750 after a several-year enrollment decline following an economy-driven growth spike of nearly 20% in fall 2009. Enrollment grew during the spring semester, with headcount up 100 students (6.6%) and full-time equivalency increased by 18 (1.3%) from 2015.
    • Ranking fourth: A leading personal finance website, WalletHub, ranked Northwest College fourth in the nation on the list of 2015’s Best Community Colleges. WalletHub compared 670 community colleges across 17 key metrics; the data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio.
    • Completing and transferring: NWC was in the 98th percentile for the percentage of its first-time, full-time students who completed and transferred in three years, according to a National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute survey of community colleges. The college registered in the 92nd percentile for students completing and transferring in two years.
    • Excelling in agriculture: NWC’s Agriculture program ranked 43rd in the nation among Agriculture, Agricultural Operations, and Related Sciences, according to Community College Week, an independent newspaper focusing on the nation's two-year post-secondary institutions.
    • Notching NWC’S Foundation among nation’s top 25: The Northwest College Foundation earned a spot among the nation’s top 25 community colleges, according to a study that measured funds raised over the last five years at colleges with an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students.
    • Spiking the competition: After winning the Wyoming Region IX North Championship, NWC’s Volleyball Team claimed a fourth place national tournament finish for the second year in a row.
    • Award-winning performance at Model UN Conference: A frequent high-level competitor as a Model United Nations Team, this year’s NWC team, for the first time, won a delegation-level award at the National Conference.
    • Speaking with authority: The perennial powerhouse Forensics Team struck gold with a first-place finish among all two-year colleges competing in the prestigious Western States Communication Association Forensics Tournament. In addition, the team took silver in the overall competition against all 14 colleges and universities that participated. The team finished ninth at the national Phi Rho Pi Tournament.
    • Launching to nationals: The NWC Enactus Team was the only two-year-college team to advance to nationals from Anaheim, California, regionals competition. Enactus teams are dedicated to improving the world through entrepreneurial action).
    Select NWC science students conducted original research usually reserved for upper-level and graduate students, thanks to a collaborative INBRE (Idea Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant between the University of Wyoming and Northwest College. Examples of these self-designed projects include research by one student who extracted and amplified DNA from Wyoming ants to check for potential antibacterial qualities; another student did the same with pig feces; yet another checked for parasites in songbirds by testing junco intestines. Assistant Professor of Biology Eric Atkinson submitted the grant and is one of our INBRE advisors.
    Students in several programs will have assurance that courses they’re taking at Northwest will meet requirements for bachelor’s degrees at the University of Wyoming, thanks to 17 approved articulation agreements between NWC and UW. Agreements include majors in Civil Engineering, Criminal Justice, Petroleum Engineering, Political Science and Psychology. Additional agreements are nearing completion for Accounting, Business Administration, Communication, Elementary Education, English and Nursing.
    Registered Nurse graduates achieved a 95.8% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), a nationwide examination for licensing nurses. The lion’s share of graduates achieved licensing in Wyoming, two were licensed in Montana and one in Colorado. 
    The college’s student newspaper, the Trail, won five 2015 regional Society of Professional Journalist Awards.
    • The Wyoming Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Award, the WFLTA’s highest honor, went to Associate Professor of Spanish Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson. In her 32nd year at Northwest, Mary Ellen was nominated and selected from among all foreign language teachers and faculty statewide, including those at UW, community colleges and public schools.
    • A small-town football photography guru, Assistant Professor of Graphic Arts/Printing Morgan Tyree’s 20-year pursuit was the subject of a Wyoming PBS signature series Wyoming Chronicle earlier this month. Titled “Morgan Tyree: A Photographer’s Passion,” the program features Tyree’s photo-essay project focusing on six-man and eight-man high school football games in small Wyoming and Montana communities.
    • In his first year, Instructor of Music and Director of Choirs Brennan Bagglio directed the Wyoming All-State Jazz Choir at the Kinser Jazz Festival and also launched the first Choral Summit on campus, which drew attendance by more than 120 high school students and teachers.
    • Winning the regional volleyball tournament earned Volleyball Coach Shaun Pohlman Region IX Coach of the Year honors.
    NWC’s Jazz Band I received outstanding marks from adjudicators at the Greeley Jazz Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious in the country. Six student instrumentalists earned outstanding soloist awards. A vocalist from the NWC Studio Singers received a similar award at the DeMiero Jazz Festival.
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