Western Wyoming Community College

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Western Wyoming Community College
Logo w transparent bg.gif
Motto"A commitment to quality and success."[1]
PresidentDr. Kimberly Dale
Academic staff
183 [1]
Administrative staff
111 [1]
CampusSmall city
Red, white, black

Western Wyoming Community College (Western) is a two year college located in Rock Springs, Wyoming.[2] Western offers various one year certificates, numerous two year associate degrees, and some four year degrees in cooperation with the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.[3] The college students are known as the Mustangs.[4]

The campus itself is unique, owing to the harsh winters all of the main college is indoors, connected via hallways. Since the local area is home to many dinosaur fossil finds, there are reproductions of various dinosaur skeletons in public areas of the college.


Western Wyoming Community College, the fifth of seven community colleges in Wyoming,[5] was established in the Fall of 1959.[2] Through the efforts of a citizens’ committee, a campaign was begun, an election was held, and the College and the original district were created. In September, 1959, forty students enrolled for college credit courses with five full-time faculty teaching during the evening. The College just celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

In 1960–61, the College moved to Reliance, 5 miles (8 km) from Rock Springs, to occupy the former Reliance High School and daytime classes began. In September, 1964, the original district was expanded to include all communities within Sweetwater County, a new Board of Trustees was elected, and the official name of the College became Western Wyoming Community College.

Consistent growth of the College led to the inauguration of a $1,822,000 building program on October 4, 1966. On November 11, 1967, ground-breaking ceremonies marked the beginning of construction on a new campus, and completion in June, 1969. Growth continued. In March, 1973, voters approved a $1,780,000 bond issue to provide additional instructional facilities. The new vocational-technical education building was ready for occupancy in Fall, 1974, and the college center building was completed. In 1976, three residence halls were constructed to provide on-campus housing, made possible by a loan from the State Farm Loan Board. The College was granted accreditation by the North Central Association in April 1976.

Again, in 1981, the citizens of Sweetwater County demonstrated their support for Western Wyoming Community College by authorizing a building project that cost in excess of $63,000,000. This major expansion created one of the most modern and beautiful community college campuses in the West. The Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner advocated the expanded campus through the work of its late publisher, Charles E. Richardson. Students who enrolled in 1985 were the first to use new student housing, the Green River Center and the Technology and Industry shops. Between the Fall of 1987 and Fall of 1988, a new student commons area, classrooms and labs, offices, Children’s Center, studios, and theatre were occupied. A new chemistry laboratory was completed for the Fall of 1993. Construction of a fifth residence hall was approved in December, 1994, and completed in August, 1997. The most recent expansion was the construction of a sixth residence hall completed in 2008.

Student numbers have increased from 40 in 1959 to serving over 7,000 people per year as of 2019. These figures include all students – varying ages and interests, enrolled in the credit, non-credit and extension programs. Western has progressed from one graduate in 1962 to over 400 in 2018-2019. The commencement ceremony is held each year in May and includes Summer, Fall and Spring graduates. Over the years Western has awarded more than 9,200 associate degrees and certificates since tracking.


Western Wyoming Community College is located in Rock Springs and has an extended campus center in Green River in Sweetwater County.[2] The boundaries of the College district, with those of the County, enclose 10,473 square miles (27,120 km2) in the southwestern part of the State. The College serves Carbon, Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, and Uinta and counties. The average elevation of the main campus is over 6,500 feet above sea level. Green River, which is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of the main campus site, together with Rock Springs, comprises the fourth largest population center in the State of Wyoming.[6] The recreation areas of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area,[7] The Grand Teton National Park/Jackson Hole country, and Yellowstone National Park are all easily accessible to the College community. The campus, consisting of 435 acres (1.8 km2), with modern facilities and equipment, can be easily reached by Greyhound Bus Lines and various airlines as well as by car on Interstate 80 and U.S. 191.

There is a Western Wyoming Community College Foundation. Former State Senator Robert H. Johnson was one of its members.[8]


Western offers two-year transfer degrees for students who plan to pursue a baccalaureate, two-year occupational degrees and a number of 1- and 2-semester occupational certificates for students who plan to directly enter the workforce or who want to learn new skills or brush up on others.  Many of the certificates are embedded within the corresponding occupational degrees.[9]

Programs include:

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: Art, Communication, Dance, English, Music, Musical Theatre, Spanish, Technical Theatre, Theatre
  • Social Science: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Early Childhood Education, History, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Social Work, Sociology
  • Science and Mathematics: Biology (including General, Organic, and Natural Resources degrees), Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics
  • Business: Accounting/Business, Business Management, Business Information Systems (including Application Software Specialist, Digital Media, and Medical Office Assistant degrees)
  • Technology and Industry: Automotive, Diesel & Medium/Heavy Equipment, Electrical and Instrumentation, Emergency Medical Services, Industrial Maintenance, Mining Maintenance, Natural Gas Compression, Oil and Gas Production, Plant Operations, Powersports, Welding (including Fabrication Shop, Industrial Plant, and Mine Maintenance degrees)
  • Health Science: Certified Nurse Assistant, Emergency Medical Services, Exercise Science, Nursing, Paramedicine, Pre-Dental Hygiene, Pre-Medical Sciences, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Radiology

Museum and displays[edit]

The college features a free museum, an art gallery and many displays that are open to visitors.[10] The Weidner Wildlife Museum features mounted wildlife of 125 species collected worldwide.[11] There are other natural history displays around the campus, including fossils, rock slabs and five life sized dinosaur displays. The Western Art Gallery, located inside the front entrance, hosts changing displays of regional, national and student art, and there are sculptures around the campus. There are also concrete replica Easter Island statues.


  1. ^ a b c d "Our About Us Homepage Has Moved!". wy.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  2. ^ a b c "This Page Has Moved!". wy.edu.
  3. ^ "Academic Programs". wy.edu.
  4. ^ "Mustang Athletics". wy.edu.
  5. ^ "Wyoming Community Colleges". wcc.edu.
  6. ^ http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/state.cfm&statecode=wy
  7. ^ "Flaming Gorge". utah.com.
  8. ^ "Robert H. Johnson Obituary". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Wyoming Community Colleges". wcc.edu.
  10. ^ "Visit". Western Wyoming Community College. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Sweetwater County". Tracks Acros Wyoming. Retrieved 29 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°35′28″N 109°14′12″W / 41.59111°N 109.23667°W / 41.59111; -109.23667