Central Wyoming College - Jackson
Dr. Tarissa Spoonhunter (L) and Professor Brittany Yeates. Photo courtesy CWC

JACKSON, Wyo. — Central Wyoming College’s newly-approved bachelor’s degree is a game-changer for Wyoming students.

The degree is in Organizational Management and Leadership, but students can choose between two focuses: business-entrepreneurship leadership or tribal leadership.

“Continued education at any level, certificates, associates, bachelors, and beyond, can be transformative for a person and those around them,” said Professor Brittany Yeates. “Additionally, education can provide financial stability, create more job opportunities, and improve one’s quality of life.”

CWC has always offered Wyoming students the distinct advantage of accessible education — learning at their pace and around their lives. The bachelor’s degree offers yet another step in students’ educational and professional journeys.

It’s especially important in a rural state like Wyoming with diverse industries.

“This is important for students who may have children, family obligations, or work. I have had many Associates of Arts Degree graduates say they cannot leave and wish there were higher degrees at CWC,” said Dr. Tarissa Spoonhunter, Ph.D. ‘This will suit the needs of former graduates, people who have jobs or farm, ranch, or family obligations.”

For Wyoming’s American Indian residents, it means students can learn about tribal leadership without needing to leave the reservation.

The Tribal Leadership focus will “equip students with a foundation to understand the needs of working for tribal governments, tribal casinos, tribal partnerships, or government positions dealing with Indian Affairs,” Spoonhunter said.

Specifically, Tribal Leadership focus teaches students about the political relationships between federal and state governments, and American Indian tribes. With that understanding, CWC students can be informed and confident leaders in their communities.

All Organizational Management and Leadership students, regardless of specialization, will graduate with training and education to excel in whatever career they choose.

“I hope students walk away with leadership, management, and communication skills, among many others, that allow them to pursue new careers or advance in their existing fields,” Yeates said. She also hopes they find the “confidence and belief in their skills and abilities, as well as themselves, and a passion for pursuing and achieving their goals.”

The program will be offered in-person at each of CWC’s three campuses, as well as online through Zoom, and online asynchronously. Students have the flexibility to complete the program on a timeline that works for them, and each student will be placed with a “success coach” during the program to ensure their education is meeting their needs.