Earth, Energy, Environment (E^3), Central Wyoming College

Information for this profile was provided by Suzanne M (Suki) Smaglik, Central Wyoming College. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a associates degree.

Program Design & Assessment


The E^3 program at CWC is designed to provide a solid background for successful transfer and graduation with a BS in a geoscience program, and employment in a geoscience field.

Strengths of this program
The main strength of this program is the flexibility to study sub-fields, yet be prepared for transfer to a four-year program. The flexibility of this program also allows the students to successfully navigate the new financial aid restrictions while obtaining a meaningful degree. Because or staff is small, our program offereings are limited. However, our students are required to take allied courses in chemistry, mathematics and physics, and are often more prepared for their bachelors degrees than students initiating their education at the four-year institution.

Types of students served
As a community college, CWC serves students from varying backgrounds. Our students vary from traditional freshman, straight from high school, to older students who have worked in the oil and gas fields for decades. Many are first-generation and minority students. All AS degrees include a General Education component that is aligned throughout the institution and articulated with the University of Wyoming.

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

  1. To provide the student with a rigorous scientific platform upon which to add field-specific course and experience.
  2. To ensure transferability to a bachelors program and successful completion of their BS in a geoscience field.

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:
Need in the workforce for geoscience-educated employees; students "retired" from the oil fields; strong community support for assessing environmental issues in our communities and county.

How program goals are assessed
We are currently in the process of creating a program assessment. For now, we rely on the results of the American Chemical Society standardized General Chemistry Exams, since all of our science degree programs require this two-course sequence.

Design features that allow goals to be met:
There are four areas of emphasis placed on top of a core curriculum.

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate
Although there was administrative enthusiasm for a geoscience program at CWC, there has been no effort to recruit into the programs. We average about 5-10 students per year, half of whom graduate each spring. There has been very little fluctuation over the last decade. There has been an increase from 1-2 students as the community becomes more aware of the program's existence.

Careers pursued by our alumni
Although they may not be immediately employed in a geoscience profession upon graduation, it usually takes less than a year for them to find such employment. Many are employed by government agencies in positions of environmental quality. Others are employed by large or small resource extraction companies. Several go on to get further degrees. Thus, our program seems to align well with student ambition and employment opportunities.

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

Entry into the degree
Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, Environmental Science, Earth Science, Meteorology, Astronomy, Climatology, Introduction to Geospatial Technology.

Core Courses
Physical Geology OR Environmental Geology
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Macroeconomics OR Microeconomics
Earth System Science
Calculus I
Fundamentals of Statistics

Program Electives (12 cr)

General Industry Safety
Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response
Program Electives (6 cr)

Environmental Science
Introduction to Organic Chemistry OR
Organic Chemistry I
Program Electives (6 cr)

Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Introduction to Geoinformation Science & Technology
Wilderness Travel
Program Electives (5 cr)

Elective courses and Requirements
Students must complete their required program electives which must be approved by the academic program advisor: ANTH, ASTR, ATSC, BIOL, CHEM, CMAP, EHS, ENR, ES, GEOG, G&R, GEOL, HLED, MATH, MOLB, PHYS, REWM, SOIL.

Under consideration.

Supporting Science and Math Courses
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Macroeconomics OR Microeconomics
Earth System Science
Calculus I
Fundamentals of Statistics

Other key features of this program:

This degree is very flexible, especially within the traditional geology (Earth Option). Internships and/or research/field experience is encouraged.

Supporting Materials

Earth Science Program (Acrobat (PDF) 249kB Feb10 14)