The University of Wyoming has established a policy allowing students at Wyoming community colleges who earn associate of arts or associate of science degrees to be automatically admitted to the university.

State higher educational leaders announced Wednesday that beginning this fall, qualified students need only to complete an admissions form and provide other necessary information to transfer from Wyoming community colleges to UW. The application fee to complete the process for community college graduate is waived through the Wyoming Transfer Advance Program. UW is also offering counseling on academic requirements and financial aid, as well as other transition support.

“This enhanced transfer process demonstrates the value of completing a degree before transferring to UW, and it will encourage more of our students to transfer to UW.” said Central Wyoming College President Jo Anne McFarland. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

UW President Tom Buchanan said the policy “is a significant step forward in our mutual goal to expand higher education opportunities for students in Wyoming. Automatic admission to UW, combined with the Hathaway Scholarship program, other scholarships and low tuition, provide Wyoming high school graduates with some of the nation’s best access to quality higher education in the nation.

“The community colleges and UW are united in our desire for students to stay in school and earn a degree,” said Casper College President Walt Nolte. “This is critical for future success. This transfer policy moves us toward that worthy goal.”

Buchanan noted that Wyoming community college transfer students who have earned associate’s degrees tend to do very well academically at UW, while those who transition before earning their degrees do not perform as well.

Larry Atwell, Wyoming Community College Commission chairman, noted that the policy is significant to both students and their schools.

“UW has had transfer agreements with individual Wyoming community colleges for many years, and many community college graduates go on to attend UW,” Atwell said. “It is heartening to see the cooperation to reach a milestone that will benefit our students, the community colleges, and UW.”
The community colleges and UW have an articulation agreement in place in which any student who has obtained an associate’s degree from a Wyoming community college will have satisfied most of the university’s general education requirements.

Buchanan noted that automatic admission is the latest step in an increasingly cooperative relationship between UW and the state’s community colleges.

Additionally, UW has contributed to building projects on community college campuses, including the UW/Casper College Center student union now being constructed; the Intertribal Center at CWC; an agricultural facility at Sheridan College; and planning now under way for a Laramie County Community College facility on the UW campus.