(Lander, Wyo.) – Central Wyoming College President Dr. Brad Tyndall told the members of the Lander Rotary Club Wednesday that the county’s local college is a “first class institution” that is transforming lives. “We have great programs,” he said.
“Eighty-four percent of our students are classified as ‘at risk’ but when they transfer to the University of Wyoming, our students have the best first semester Grade Point Average of any other Wyoming community college, any out-of-state transfer student, and we are neck and neck with students who start at UW, they beat us by 0.2 points this last semester,” he said. Tyndall said students leaving CWC are well prepared for college or the workplace. “And we do that with the most part-time students of any community college in Wyoming, 67 percent.”
The CWC President said the Riverton-based campus has a Native American student population of 13 percent of the total student body, and he said the college has beefed up its American Indian Studies Program and has launched an Institute of Tribal Learning to help fill the gap on the reservation since the closure of the Wind River Tribal College.
He said the college’s Alpine Science Institute (ASI), and outdoor education programs based in Lander at the former Sinks Canyon Center, has an international reputation for the work being done in the Wind River Range in both glaciology and archaeology. “Our program was the basis for the Wyoming PBS production of “Glaciers of the Winds”, and our archeology program has made two significant finds in the Winds that have drawn international attention.” He said the ASI programs have discovered the highest buffalo jump ever recorded and just last year discovered an “ancient route” to Gannett Peak through the Winds.
Rotary Club President Joe Quiroz noted that the work being done by the CWC Freshman and Sophomores, “is on par with graduate-level research done at universities.” Quiroz said he accompanied one group of students into the Winds last year to see the work first hand.
Tyndall said the college’s highly successful Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program at the Jackson Center includes training at a Five-Star hotel and at top restaurants which he said “is creating synergies transferable to Fremont County with our local food producers.”
Of course, the CWC President noted the current effort underway to build the Rocky Mountain Complex for Ag and Equine Science on the Riverton campus, which he said would include a meats sciences program and separate facilities including a cattle pavilion and an equine arena, plus some combined areas.
Tyndall noted that Fremont County is the state’s number 4 producer of cattle, has the most horses of any county, and is the top producer of hay, which he said ties directly into the need to ad value to local agriculture production, a key focus of the proposed center. (see chart below)