Central Wyoming College Offers Free Tuition…

and Scholarships to GIS Students

By Jim Baumann and Carla Wheeler
Esri Writers

Wyoming wants you.

Or more accurately, Central Wyoming College (CWC) in the city of Riverton (pop. 10,953), wants you to get a degree in geospatial information science and technology (GIST) from CWC so you can put your geospatial skills to work in Wyoming.

The school wants you so much, it is offering free tuition through a state program to qualified Wyoming residents, and scholarships to nonresidents, if they earn a credential, a certificate, or an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in GIST from CWC. In exchange, the students must work in-state, usually in temporary, full-time paid positions during the summer or in part-time jobs during the school year, to help meet Wyoming’s need for GIST-trained technicians.

Why is CWC willing to make such a generous offer to students who want to study GIS, GPS, remote sensing, and other geospatial technologies?

“Statistics from the US Department of Labor identified geospatial information technology as a rapidly growing field, and virtually all natural-resource jobs in Wyoming require it,” said Jacki Klancher, facilitator for CWC’s GIST program. “There are at least six jobs posted in the state right now that demand GIS as part of the employees’ skill set, and the need for these skills in virtually every job sector is only growing. So the challenge was, how do we entice more students to study GIST at our college?”CWC students work on a project that will involve the use of ground penetrating radar, GPS, and Esri ArcGIS. They are on the Dinwoody Glacier in the Wind River Range.

The answer: scholarships through CWC and the Pre-hire Economic Development Grant from Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, which provides in-state students with free tuition in exchange for working on GIS projects within Wyoming. Klancher successfully applied for the grant last year.

To read more:

CWC Scholarship


Visualize Your Water Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Observing Systems and Esri, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Education, are launching the Visualize Your Water Challenge in just a few weeks. On December 9th, 2015, high school students are invited to tell the story of nutrient pollution in their local waterway using mapping tools and visualizations.

Help spread the word by sharing the details below with your GIS networks. Folks are also encouraged to join the conversation on Twitter at #VizUrWater.

If you have any questions, please contact vizurwater@epa.gov.