dcsimg

Online Colleges in Wyoming

Most Affordable Online Colleges
School Interviews
Monica L. Wesley
- Marketing Manager at the University of Wyoming Outreach School
"The University of Wyoming was the first university west of Missouri to offer correspondence courses. For nearly a century, UW has sent its faculty across the state to meet with citizens, students, teachers, business owners, ranchers, and farmers to help them learn."
See entire interview

Introduction

A college education is becoming a prerequisite for many jobs across the nation and Wyoming. In fact, the Lumina Foundation projects that 62 percent of Wyoming jobs will require at least some postsecondary training by 2018. However, as of 2010, only 37 percent of working-age residents had earned a college degree. In order to better prepare its labor pool, the state has recently been working to bring more employment and training opportunities to its citizens with programs such as the Workforce Development Training Fund, which was created to help Wyoming-based businesses train new or current employees.

Recently, many prominent colleges in Wyoming have begun to embrace online education. For example, the University of Wyoming now offers an array of degrees completely online. Bachelor's programs include Business Administration and RN/BSN completion, while several Master's degrees, such as an executive MBA, are also available. Casper College offers 67 degrees and six certificates (as of September 2013) that, depending on the program, are either fully online or blended (part online, part face-to-face). Currently, Northwest College offers a selection of classes online, including Criminal Law, Principles of Biology, Principles of Nutrition, Medical Terminology, General Psychology, and many others.

There are 563,626 residents of the state of Wyoming, and of those 18 to 24 years old, nearly half have earned an Associate's degree or attended some college, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012. Just over 6 percent have a Bachelor's degree. Among those older than 25, 27 percent have attended college without earning a degree, 10 percent have an Associate's degree; 16 percent have a Bachelor's degree; and 8 percent have a graduate or professional degree.

There are just under 280,000 workers in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and those workers earn an average of $21.05 per hour for an annual wage of $43,770. There are only two universities in Wyoming that offer four-year Bachelor's degrees - CollegeAmerica in Cheyenne and the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Most Affordable Colleges in Wyoming

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Wyoming that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Western Wyoming Community College

Tuition/Year
$2,282
Graduation Rate
53%
# of Online Degrees
17
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Western Wyoming is based in Rock Springs, but its influence is being felt well beyond that city's borders. It offers 17 online degree programs in Wyoming, including Associate's of Arts degrees with emphases in Criminal Justice, General Studies, Social Science, Social Work, or Sociology; Associate of Science degrees with emphases in Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Marketing and General Studies; an Associate's of Applied Science degrees in Office Information Systems; and six professional certificates requiring commitments of anywhere from 15 hours to one year.
School Website: 
GO
2

Casper College

Tuition/Year
$2,448
Graduation Rate
30%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Although it doesn't offer any online Bachelor's degrees, Casper College has been aggressively adding many of its Associate's degree programs completely online or partially online. In fact, Casper offers 67 degrees and 6 certificates, and every one of them is at least partially online. Its fully online Associate's degrees include Agri-Business; Computer Science; Early Childhood Education; Fire Science; and General Studies. The classes are set up as compressed, 9-week semesters, and are also available in a traditional setting and as a hybrid course with both online and in-person sessions.
School Website: 
GO
3

Eastern Wyoming College

Tuition/Year
$2,472
Graduation Rate
35%
# of Online Degrees
5
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Eastern Wyoming College provides a flexible, fully online Associate degree program in several areas, making the school attractive to busy professionals who don't have time to travel to campus. Their online degree programs in Wyoming include Associate's degrees in Business Administration; Criminal Justice; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies.
School Website: 
GO
4

Laramie County Community College

Tuition/Year
$2,736
Graduation Rate
14%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Laramie County Community College offers both certificate and Associate degree programs, and many of them are available completely online. The online Associate degrees are in Accounting; Business Management; Computer Information Systems; General Studies; Health Science; Public Policy Administration; Homeland Security; American and Comparative Government; Social Sciences; and Psychology.
School Website: 
GO
5

Sheridan College

Tuition/Year
$2,472
Graduation Rate
28%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Recognizing that working miners are often on the job for 12-hour shifts, Gillette College of the Northern Wyoming Community College District has developed an online Associate degree program in mining technology.
School Website: 
GO
6

University of Wyoming

Tuition/Year
$2,792
Graduation Rate
54%
# of Online Degrees
6
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Wyoming is leading the way in the state with online degree programs in Wyoming. It offers online Bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Nursing, and its online Master's degree programs include Instructional Technology; Educational Administration, Business Administration; and Nurse Educator.
School Website: 
GO
7

CollegeAmerica

Tuition/Year
$17,211
Graduation Rate
48%
# of Online Degrees
33
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

CollegeAmerica maintains physical campuses in several western states, including Wyoming. But these campuses offer many of their degree programs completely online, making it easy for Wyoming residents and students in other states to avail themselves of the wide variety of online degree programs offered by the college. CollegeAmerica offers Associate degrees in Computer Technology; Graphic Arts; and Business Management and Accounting. Its 21 Bachelor's degrees are in such fields as Healthcare; Business; and Information Technology. Its Master's programs are in Healthcare Informatics; Information Systems; Business Administration; Healthcare Administration; Nurse Education; and Nursing Administration.
School Website: 
GO
School Interviews

Monica Wesley

Monica L. Wesley, Marketing Manager at the University of Wyoming Outreach School

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Wyoming?

The University of Wyoming was the first university west of Missouri to offer correspondence courses. For nearly a century, UW has sent its faculty across the state to meet with citizens, students, teachers, business owners, ranchers, and farmers to help them learn. Today the Division of Outreach Credit Programs, in partnership with the university's colleges and departments, delivers university distance learning opportunities to students across the nation with online, audio conferencing, video conferencing, correspondence study, hybrid instruction, and Web-based instruction.

This division extends the University of Wyoming to the state and the world, and brings the world to Wyoming by offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs, and certificates to students who wish to study online or through blended learning technologies. A list of UW's distance degree and certificate programs can be found at http://www.uwyo.edu/outreach/ocp/degrees%2Dprograms/

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

There are some important questions that prospective students can ask themselves to determine if an online degree program is a good fit. First, take an honest look at whether you're self-motivated and can manage your time well. Online degree completion requires both of these qualities.

Second, it's important to determine if your expectations match the degree program in which you're interested and whether it can deliver on those expectations. What are your educational and/or professional goals? What are you trying to achieve, and what's most important to you both while you're pursuing your degree and after the program ends? If it's important for you to have a lot of peer or faculty interaction, a smaller program rather than a MOOC might be the best option for you. If you want to complete your program as quickly as possible, look for options that have delivery methods that allow for self-directed or on-demand learning. Finding a good match between what you're looking for and a program that can deliver those priorities is a key to success.

Third, be sure to do some research about the time and cost commitments, as well as the credentials and reputation of the programs that seem to be a potential fit. Finally, prepare yourself for the actual work. Make sure you're ready for the technological requirements. Organize yourself and create a work schedule to which you can commit. Spend time familiarizing yourself with the course interface or delivery method. Having a thorough understanding of the degree program and what it can offer, as well as recognizing what you need to do to succeed is an excellent way to prepare for an online degree program.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

I think that the popularity of and demand for online education will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Online and distance education options provide a high level of flexibility, personalization, and the ability to tailor a degree to one's particular and specific interests. Even for students who choose the more traditional route of a four-year, on-campus degree, online coursework can provide additional flexibility and assist students with graduating on time.

Because more on-campus students are seeking online options, I think the distinction between an onsite and an online student will begin to collapse. Instead, we will simply have students looking for the best way (for them and in whatever manner they define "best") to achieve an education. Because online courses and programs are now offered through a variety of outlets, such as accredited universities, MOOC's, for-profit providers, and corporate universities, online offerings are attractive for a variety of reasons. These include expanding one's skill or knowledge base, filling in the gaps of experience or education, assisting with career changes or advancement, remaining informed about emerging trends or practices, and enhancing one's marketability, among other reasons.

Online courses and programs also provide the opportunity to explore a topic of interest without always requiring a significant, long-term commitment of time or money. I believe that students (broadly defined) will continue to create customized learning experiences by capitalizing on the many available resources to define their own personalized curricula, in a manner that fits into their busy life with all of its many demands.


Dave Siemens

David R. Siemens, Director of Digital Learning at Casper College

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Casper College?

The Casper College online programs ensure that students can work on their course work at any time and place that fits their schedule. With the Digital Learning Center at Casper College there are eight fully online programs with more to come in the near future.

Degrees offered 100 percent online:

  • Accounting (AB)
  • Agri-Business (AAS, AS)
  • Agriculture (AS)
  • Computer Science (AS)
  • Early Childhood Education (AA, AAS)
  • Fire Science (AAS, C) - field experience required
  • General Studies (AA, AS)
  • Hospitality Management (AAS, C)

Seventy to 100 percent of the required coursework for an additional 67 degrees and six certificates available at Casper College can also be completed online. The Casper College Digital Learning Center is a student-centered department that focuses on the quality of the online class. Whether it is through support or class design and instruction, we keep the students first.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Online education provides students with the opportunity to take some of the same classes offered on campus but in a different format using the online learning environment. Online, hybrid, and Web-enhanced courses have textbooks, assignments, exams, student-centered interaction, and other features that encourage online success. Communication with the instructor and classmates is usually within the learning management system, online discussion forums, or via email. Some courses use real-time two-way audio/video and application sharing software such as a Google Hangout or WizIQ. No matter what their major program is, it is likely that students can take at least a portion of the required courses by distance delivery. Online programs at Casper College offer opportunities for students to reach their lifelong academic goals while balancing other personal and professional commitments.

Students interested in an online program at Casper College should ensure they have the proper resources such as a reliable computer, which meets the hardware and software requirements, a stable Internet connection, the time to commit to online classes, and most importantly, the self-motivation needed to succeed. Also students who are new to online learning need to determine if online learning is a good fit. These students should talk with their academic adviser or the Casper College Digital Learning Center.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning is an invaluable service to students in Wyoming and around the globe. Online learning allows all students to get the education they deserve by making learning accessible and convenient. Online learning at Casper College is more than just a tool for teaching; it is a way to reach out to a variety of learning styles and allow students to get an education while managing their busy lives. Casper College's online program will continue to offer students a rich experience that is focused on high quality online instruction.

Top Cities For Students In Wyoming

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Mean Wage

$43,000

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

44,370

Total Population

90,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$47,871

Economics

There are 44,370 workers living in the metropolitan area that includes and surrounds Cheyenne. They earn, on average, $20.67 an hour for an average annual salary of $43,000. Many residents work for the government, including the military, which runs the F.E. Warren Air Force Base outside of town, and the federal government, which owns most of the land in the state. Railroads also employ many residents.

Demographics

The metropolitan area that surrounds Cheyenne is home to more than 90,000 people, and the workers in this area represent about 16 percent of the state's total workforce

Fun Facts

Cheyenne is rich in western culture - the kind that features cowboys and bucking broncs. Rodeo is a popular sport in this region, but the area's railroad industry has built a number of fun attractions, including the old Cheyenne Depot and the annual Depot Days.

Casper, Wyoming

Mean Wage

$44,580

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

42,080

Total Population

55,988

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$50,149

Economics

Casper and its surrounding metropolitan area are home to just over 42,080 workers, who earn, on average, about $21.43 an hour and $44,580 a year. Casper is a regional hub for the petroleum industry, and it's also developed into a regional center of banking and commerce. Coal and uranium mining have also helped establish Casper's place as a key center for the energy industry.

Demographics

Casper, nestled beside the North Platte River in the shadow of Casper Mountain, provides about 15 percent of the state's workforce.

Fun Facts

Most visitors to Casper make sure they take time to enjoy the Platte River Parkway, a recreational trail that takes in the local scenery and leads to several attractions, including the Fort Casper Museum, the Tate Pumphouse, the White Water Park and other area trails.

Laramie, Wyoming

Mean Wage

$41,620

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

37,100

Total Population

31,312

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$

Economics

The metropolitan area surrounding Laramie employs 37,100 workers, who earn about $20 an hour for an average annual wage of $41,620. This is where the University of Wyoming is located, as well as Laramie County Community College and Wyoming Technical Institute. Its scenic beauty and low taxes have made it a popular retirement spot.

Demographics

The workers in Laramie and southeastern Wyoming represent about 13 percent of the state's entire workforce.

Fun Facts

Outdoor activities are big in Laramie, despite the hard winters. Skiing, snowmobiling and sledding are all popular winter sports, and those who prefer indoor activities are drawn to the University of Wyoming Art Museum, the American Heritage Center and the Laramie Plains Museum.

 
Other Wyoming Resources

National online schools provide another option for Wyoming residents interested in pursuing distance education. Typically, these institutions have featured online learning for longer than state universities and boast a wider range of available programs. National colleges that offer online degree programs to students in Wyoming include Kaplan University and Baker College Online.

The Wyoming Course Locator and Support Services (WyCLASS) is a good starting point for prospective students interested in online education in the state. The website lists courses (over 1,400 as of February 2013) and degree/certificate programs from eight postsecondary institutions, including the University of Wyoming, that offer fully-online, hybrid, and/or other distance learning options.


  1. Casper College, http://www.caspercollege.edu/dlc/online_programs.html
  2. College America, http://www.collegeamerica.edu/healthcare
  3. David Siemens, interview with the author June 2015
  4. Eastern Wyoming College, http://ewc.wy.edu/distance/
  5. Fun Things to Do in Casper, http://gonw.about.com/od/wyomingattractions/tp/Fun-Things-To-Do-In-Casper-Wyoming.htm
  6. Gillette College, http://www.sheridan.edu/site/gc/
  7. Laramie Attractions and Entertainment, http://www.laramie.com/channel/Attractions-Entertainment/1820
  8. Laramie County Community College, http://www.lccc.wy.edu/academics/
  9. Monica Wesley, interview with the author June 2015
  10. Regis University, http://www.wwcc.wy.edu/dist_ed/transfer/regis.htm
  11. Things to do in Cheyenne, http://www.cheyenne.org/things-to-do/
  12. Things to do in Laramie, https://www.google.com/search?q=fun+things+to+do+in+Laramie&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
  13. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16940.htm
  14. U.S. Census Bureau American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  15. University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/outreach/ocp/degrees-programs/
  16. University of Wyoming Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Wyoming#Notable_alumni
  17. Wyoming Course Locator and Support Services, http://wyclass.wy.edu/Distance+Programs/
  18. Western Wyoming Community College, http://www.wwcc.wy.edu