CHEYENNE, WYO. – Laramie County Community College will close its outreach center at Warren Air Force Base effective August 15, 2020.
“It was certainly a difficult and unfortunate decision, although a necessary one given the current economic climate,” said Dr. Joe Schaffer, president of LCCC. “We value the presence of our military, particularly the partnership with the 90th Missile Wing at Warren Air Force Base, and we will still have opportunities for these personnel and their families to continue their education with us.”
Since 1979, LCCC’s collaboration with WAFB provided classes and educational support, and the outreach center was specifically opened to offer general education courses and other services directly to those stationed here. Over time, the growing demand for online learning, a desire to be on the LCCC campus physically, and other educational pathways such as the Community College of the Air Force, greatly impacted the actual utilization of the facility.
In 2010, LCCC had more than 180 full-time equivalent students using the outreach center; this year, those numbers fell to fewer than 20. In fact, as of July 1, only three enrollments were recorded within the seven fall courses for the upcoming fall semester at WAFB.
On Wednesday night, the LCCC Board of Trustees declared a financial emergency as a result of the withdrawal of state funding. The board directed Schaffer to cut a minimum of $2.8 million from LCCC’s budget and, given its decreased utilization and the need for timely and fiscally responsible decisions, the determination was made to close the center. All classes scheduled at WAFB for the fall semester will take place at the Cheyenne campus or through virtual options. Other resources that were available at the outreach center, such as advising and testing, are now found at the main LCCC campus in Cheyenne.
The college’s administration is exploring options with WAFB leadership to have a scheduled presence on the base to provide LCCC information and support services.
“We are still dedicated to providing educational opportunities to members of this population,” Schaffer continued. “This closure in no way changes that commitment.”
LCCC already offers a variety of services and support for military personnel, especially when it comes to financial aid, such as in-state tuition, GI Bill benefits, military tuition assistance, and scholarship opportunities. Hundreds of active and veteran military members and their families use these services and enroll in numerous LCCC courses.
The LCCC staff currently employed at the outreach center will be reassigned to positions at the main campus in Cheyenne.