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CWC may send local teachers back to school to meet new HLC credentialing requirements

May 18, 2017 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

CWC has until 2022 to meet the new requirements.

Administrators at Central Wyoming College would like to help local high school teachers obtain the credentials necessary to participate in dual enrollment programs through the Board of Cooperative Higher Education Services.

The Higher Learning Commission changed the credentialing requirements last year for high school instructors who teach courses for college credits.

CWC has until 2022 to meet the new requirements.

Calculating costs

During a budget meeting this month, CWC president Brad Tyndall said BOCHES has compiled a list of all of the teachers currently involved in the concurrent enrollment program.

The list indicated which courses each instructor teaches, which teachers need more credentials, and what impact each person's departure from the program would have on tuition revenues at the college.

Next, administrators calculated how much it would cost to help each instructor achieve the credentials the HLC now requires. The total amounted to about $170,000, but Tyndall said the teachers would "pay for themselves" within a year of achieving their credentials - two years at most - because more students would be able to participate in the dual enrollment program.

"It's better if we just pay the people to get degrees," Tyndall said. "That's something we should do. It's a win-win."

He pointed out that teachers earn more money if they have a higher educational degree.

When the HLC changes were announced last year, BOCHES director Mat Johnson said several teachers backed out of the program, and some local schools that were in the process of planning their course catalogs for the coming year eliminated concurrent enrollment classes, resulting in a decrease in enrollment totals at CWC.

In fact, the BOCHES program has been blamed for the majority of the enrollment decline taking place at CWC this year.

A memo to the CWC Board of Trustees earlier this spring noted that concurrent enrollment is responsible for "the largest single share," or 79 percent, of the decrease at the school.

Last month, there was a 14 percent downturn in the student headcount for the spring semester compared to last year, along with an 11 percent decrease in full-time equivalents.

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