BOULDER, Colo. – Casper College, located in Casper, Wyoming, has joined the Interstate Passport Network, a national program of two- and four-year colleges and universities that streamlines the transfer process for students. Casper College is also the third institution in the state of Wyoming to join the Network. Established in 1945 as the first junior college in the state, Casper College enrolls nearly 3,000 students in more than 140 academic transfer and technical and career programs. In addition, 11 universities offer advanced degrees on the campus through college-university partnership programs. The college offers a robust scholarship and financial aid program, awarding nearly $17 million in 2018-19.
“We are very excited to be part of the Interstate Passport Network and the many opportunities it will offer our students that wish to continue their education beyond their associate degree,” said Dr. Darren Divine, the college’s president.
Recently named one of the top 25 community colleges in the nation, Casper College is a public comprehensive two-year institution with a primary focus on student success. The college offers associate degrees in arts, applied science, business, science, fine arts and nursing, as well as certificates and post-certificates. Approximately 44% of Casper College students end up transferring to a 4-year institution after graduating from Casper College each year.
The Interstate Passport program was founded in 2011, and became fully operational in 2016. Students who earn a Passport, which encompasses lower-division general education and is based on learning outcomes instead of course-by-course articulation, can transfer to a Network institution in another state and have their learning recognized and general education credits accepted. Since Interstate Passport launched in 2016, member institutions have awarded over 38,800 Passports. All students from Casper College who earn a Passport can now more easily transfer to any Network member institution without having to repeat or take additional coursework to satisfy general education requirements.
Nearly four in 10 college students will transfer institutions at least once during their college careers, and almost a quarter of those will enroll in an institution in another state, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Until now, transferring between schools – especially across state lines – has been made more difficult and expensive by lengthy credit evaluation processes and loss of credit already earned.
“We are delighted to welcome Casper College to the Interstate Passport Network, joining founding member Laramie County Community College and the University of Wyoming as members in Wyoming,” said Anna Galas, director of academic leadership initiatives at WICHE. “Interstate Passport will now allow students from Casper College to easily transfer to other Passport institutions, particularly in other Western states, without losing credits or having to repeat lower-division general education coursework.”
Even for students who don’t transfer, earning a Passport can be beneficial. Because of its specifically defined learning outcomes, the Passport can become a widely recognizable documented completion benchmark from which employers can gauge a prospect’s skill level and readiness for a job.
Interstate Passport is a program based at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that enables block transfer of complete lower-division general education attainment based on a set of multistate faculty-developed learning outcomes instead of on specific courses and number of credits. After years of research and development, the Interstate Passport Network, whose members are two-year and four-year non-profit colleges and universities, was launched in July 2016. In its first three years of operation, members awarded 38,800 Passports to students. Current membership has grown to 60 institutions in 17 states. For more information please visit interstatepassport.wiche.edu.