Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association? (Yes/No)
Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education:
WCC has received full institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), its regional accrediting agency.
Please cite evidence of student or alumni accomplishment, such as graduation rate, graduate school placement, job placement, awards, etc.
Of our five graduated classes, currently 16% are enrolled in graduate school, while 21% are serving in education, 4% in nursing or medicine, 14% in business, 2% in law enforcement, 5% in pursuing religious vocations or ministry, 3% in agriculture, and 23% in other areas such as government, outdoor education, engineering, and the non-profit sector.
Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.
The majority of college ranking systems and awards are dependent on a college or university’s accreditation status and peer review. While Wyoming Catholic College is rapidly building a national reputation for its serious, enthusiastic pursuit of the Good, True, and Beautiful, it remains a young institution. As such, it has yet to regularly appear on such systems and rankings.
Without neglecting difficult topics and ideas, how does your institution avoid leading students into serious error and spiritual harm through blasphemous, dissident, or heretical material in the bookstore, library, lectures, and course content?
WCC doesn’t have a bookstore so that part does not apply; each semester our students are provided with the set of books read in the curriculum. We have a modest library, and given our limited shelf space we try to limit our holdings to books that complement the Great Books approach that we take to education. Books considered part of the “canon” of the Great Books of Western Civilization are prioritized, or those books that are written about or in response to them. Many of the books that are part of the canon, however, may rightly be considered dissident or heretical: Marx, Gibbon, Calvin, Hume, Voltaire, Nietzsche and more could rightly be given the title. In fact, some of the most powerful ways of presenting such are ideas are found in these classic works, and we don’t shy away from reading them. We don’t see our role as protecting students from encountering such material, but we do see ourselves as teaching the students how to effectively engage with it. In our view, a liberally educated Catholic is one who can read the most eloquent and powerful attacks on the faith and confront them with the force and strength of the Catholic intellectual tradition. To that end, all of our faculty promise to teach the texts in the program in dialogue with the life of faith and the Catholic tradition and mentor the students through their encounter with the texts. If students struggle with the ideas presented, they reach out to both faculty and chaplains who help the students grow in their faith through the encounter with these challenges.
How are the insights of the Catholic faith integrated throughout the curriculum and course content in all subject areas?
Fundamentally, WCC is committed to teaching its students the harmony of faith and reason, and every aspect of the curriculum is devoted to this goal. As our Philosophical Vision Statements notes: “Catholic tradition holds that there are two means, by reason and by divine faith, the respective objects of which are natural and revealed truth.” There are eight semesters of theology in which the student focuses on the mystery of faith, being immersed in Scripture, formed in the witness of the Church of Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and instructed by the Universal Magisterium of the Church. Throughout those semesters, reason is brought into the discussion in service to illuminating the fundamental mysteries of the Catholic Faith. Beyond Theology, our founding vision states: “The rock of philosophy underlying Wyoming Catholic College is called the Philosophia Perennis, the Perennial Philosophy. It is called “perennial” (or “traditional”) insofar as it follows the common understanding of God, man, and reality handed down from the ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) and the Bible through the Christian Middle Ages and the Renaissance into our own times. In our six semesters of philosophy, WCC gives St. Thomas Aquinas pride of place among philosophers and follows him as the teacher of the perennial philosophy. But these philosophical principles are sharpened and honed especially in the Math and Science sequence, where students strive to understand the natural world through math and science and consider how the modern scientific method relates to the perennial philosophy. The capstone courses of the sequence consider science in relation to philosophy as we consider modern physics, and then science in relation to theology as we study the science of evolution. In the Humanities and Art sequences, students are formed by the works of imaginative literature, history, music, and visual arts and they explicitly consider those works both in their own right and in relation to both the truths and the lived experience of the faith. Further, students confront the challenges to the perennial philosophy in those sequences, whether the epicureanism of Lucretius, the pragmatism of Machiavelli, or the cynicism of Voltaire, and confront those authors with all of the tools with which the curriculum has equipped them. In Latin the students explicitly reflect on the relation between the Latin Language and Christian Culture.
How does the institution’s academic program form students in love and knowledge of God, for sainthood?
The academic program forms students in faith and reason, the two wings whereby the human spirit rises to contemplate God. With reason we consider the world created by God and directed by His providence. Through our immersion in the natural world, literature and the fine arts, and our immersion in the world of faith principally through Scripture, Liturgy, and our Christian community, students encounter God and his works at an existential visceral level that is intended to move them to wonder and delight in Him who is the author of both nature and revelation. The students are then trained to reflect on these experiences carefully so that their speculative considerations never leave behind the fundamental encounter with God and His work that underlies all of our study. In this combination of immersive encounter and principled reflection, we hope students will feel a wonder at God, discipline their minds to correctly contemplate Him, and burn with a desire to know Him ever better.
How does the institution’s academic program prepare students for the renewal of culture in the light of Christ?
While the immersion and reflection described above are the core of what we do in the program, WCC believes that truth, once experienced and then known more clearly through disciplined reflection, is a common good; it is a good meant to be shared. So we are required to give students the skills to share it. With our emphasis on discussion-based classroom instruction, students are trained in the art of conversing about the most important things, and through our courses on written and spoken classical rhetoric students are trained to share the good news they have learned in their time at WCC. In addition, our Outdoor Leadership Program gives students frequent opportunities to practice servant leadership, to stretch into the wider community through service projects, and to reflect on their experience of working in a group to learn better and better how to cooperate and achieve great things. This practical training in communication and leadership, building as it does on the experiential encounter and disciplined thinking, raises up students well suited to renewing the wider culture in the light of Christ.
What is the median SAT and ACT of your most recently admitted class? (Note that some colleges may not require one or both scores from all students)
What is the median H.S. GPA of your most recently admitted class?
Additional Academic Quality information, clarification or description (optional)
WCC offers all its students a demanding, fully integrated four-year program that aims at the education of the whole person in all three dimensions—bodily, spiritual, and intellectual. Using primarily Great Books, students undertake a comprehensive curriculum of classical subjects, including Humanities, Theology, Philosophy, Art History, Music, Mathematics, Science, Trivium, and Latin, in an order that best introduces the principles, methods, and major conclusions of each, as well as their many interrelationships. Students also participate in an Outdoor Leadership Program that teaches real-life skills and virtues. A horsemanship program is also required. Finally, ample opportunities for spiritual growth are part and parcel of the campus way of life.