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When schools and community organizations work together to support learning, everyone benefits. Partnerships can serve to strengthen, support, and even transform individual partners, resulting in improved program quality, more efficient use of resources, and better alignment of goals and curricula

(Harvard Family Research Project, 2010). 

First and foremost, learning partnerships can support student outcomes.  For example, in Sweetwater County, the Sweetwater County School Districts #1, District #2, and Western Wyoming Community College have partnerships with several community organizations such as Head Start, Climb Wyoming, Young Women’s Christian Association of the United States of America, Inc. (YWCA), and many others.  These after-school programs featuring stronger relationships with school teachers and principals were more successful at improving students’ homework effort, positive behavior, and initiative. 

In addition to supporting student learning directly, partnerships can have additional benefits to students and their families. They can provide continuity of services across the day and year, easing school transitions and promoting improved attendance in after-school programs; facilitate access to a range of learning opportunities and developmental supports, providing opportunities for students and teachers alike to experiment with new approaches to teaching and learning; facilitate information sharing about specific students to best support individual learning; and provide family members with alternative entry points into the school day to support their student’s learning.

The Southwest Wyoming Manufacturing Partnership (a NextGen Sector Partnership) has embraced the opportunities to partner with both school districts and the college in order to meet industry needs. The partnership has successfully launched two new career paths through Western: the Plant Operations Program and the Powerline Technology Program and is currently working on a third, a Sub-Station Program. These programs are the direct result of educators, industry leaders, and public partners sitting in a room together, discussing what needs to be done, and getting those things done. Our entire school system understands the needs of industry and wants to produce students who are not only well educated, but employable.

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Western Wyoming Community College, is located in Rock Springs with a total enrollment of 3,183. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year and maintains a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. The highest degree offered at Western Wyoming Community College is a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management. The school has an open admissions policy and offers credit for life experiences. Popular programs include: Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Health Professions and Related Programs, and Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians.

Western is an award-winning college in both our on-campus and distance learning programs. We believe our students come first, and their success is our No. 1 priority. Our motto says it best: “Enter with passion, leave with purpose”.  At Western Wyoming Community College, we turn your passions into purpose. 

Amy Murphy

Dean of Outreach and Workforce Development & Interim Dean of Enrollment Management

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"Students in Sweetwater County School District #1 have the opportunity to partner with the community and local businesses throughout their high school careers in many different courses, academic pathways,  activities and athletics. Through our Academy of Public Service (APS), Health Occupations Career Academy (HOCA), and our Career and Technical Education Academy (CTE)  students are provided opportunities for many direct partnerships within Sweetwater County. Students have the opportunity to give back to the community through community service hours and are able to participate in Job Shadowing and Work Based Learning opportunities through these partnerships and are able to earn industry recognized certifications. The National Career Academy Coalition describes academies in this way: “Career Academies are designated to help prepare students for both college and careers. They are school within schools that link students with peers, teachers, and community partners in a structured environment that fosters academic success”.

 

In addition to our career academies, we partner with community members and local business through opportunities such as our career fairs and opportunity Thursdays. During opportunity Thursdays, Rock Springs High School brings in various guest speakers to present local career opportunities available to students post-graduation.

 

Our Skills USA students and Future Business Leaders of America students compete in local, state and national competitions which are directly related to skills and aptitudes that meet industry standards."

-Hope Downs Lewis, Associate Principal Rock Springs High School

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Sweetwater County School District #2 ...........

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