The Wyoming Catholic College Liberal Arts Advantage

Students coming out of Wyoming Catholic College are the type of people that you can build your organization on: Hard working, extraordinarily capable, high integrity, committed, and caring.

While there are many liberal arts school out there, liberal arts at Wyoming Catholic College is different. From the integrative nature of the curriculum to the Outdoor Leadership Program to the emphasis on growing in personal virtue, our students have an advantage that will make them successful in anything they do.

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  • Every student at WCC studies a broad range of subjects including literature, history, philosophy, theology, math, and science in an integrated and fixed curriculum. Each student takes every course we offer in a set order with whatever professor they are assigned. As a result, they learn to persevere since failing a course means dismissal.
  • We are a Great Books school. Rather than predigested textbooks, students study the original works. In physics they read Sir Isaac Newton. In philosophy they read Aristotle and Plato. In math it’s Euclid and Pascal. In each subject they face the greatest minds who ever lived. Most classes use the Socratic Discussion method. Professors don’t dole out the “right answers” by lecture. Instead they guide the students to work through the material as a group.
  • In addition to the academic component, students engage in our four-year Outdoor Leadership Program, in which they lead group of peers through Wyoming’s mountains, rivers, and canyons.
  • As a Catholic college we have an obligation to help our students grow in virtue and consistently demonstrate ethical and moral behavior. There is a strict code of student conduct, and no tolerance for dishonesty or laziness.

No one coming out of college has all the knowledge they need to succeed in business. Even if someone knew everything in the textbook, there are still many things to learn. A new employee needs to learn how your business works, who your customers are, and how your products function. And every business works differently. Additionally each new day brings new challenges and changes. The faster a new employee learns how your business operates, how he or she fits into your operations, and how to do things most effectively, the sooner he or she will be an asset to you.

Because our students spend four years wrestling with the world’s greatest authors and most difficult questions, they are more than just smart; they have to be able to learn quickly and stick with the task. At WCC, they can’t choose to take easy classes or learn from an easy professor. They can’t decide on the fifth day of class that the subject is too hard and drop it. They can’t bomb a course and just take it again later. They’ve learned to stick with it and succeed.

That’s how business works. You need employees who will learn the new things that are thrown their way and who know how to complete their tasks. That is exactly what we train our students to do. A degree from Wyoming Catholic College means that a young man or woman has been challenged and stretched in disciplines that were out of their comfort zone, overcame the challenges, and succeeded.

There is a saying: “To a man with only a hammer, every problem is a nail.” By contrast, our students collect a bag full of many tools, not just hammers. By studying a breadth of subjects, they can look at problems from a variety of perspectives. Our integrated curriculum helps them see the interconnectedness of everything they study. They strive to find new ways of looking at issues and are constantly checking how new insights fit with a broad paradigm of ideas. Your business is also integrated. A change in production affects sales, marketing, finance, and distribution. The ideal employee can see the interconnectedness and make decisions accordingly.

In addition to the demands of the curriculum, students are involved in extracurricular activities, lead trips for the Outdoor Leadership Program, and make time to grow spiritually. And 80% are on work study where, along with learning even more multitasking, they realize that there is no such thing as a free ride. As it is at WCC, so it is in your business.

Communication is a word that gets batted around all the time. Ignoring all the baggage tied up with that term, businesses need employees who are good listeners, can work collaboratively, can be persuasive and convincing to a roomful of people, and can write clearly on complex topics. Again, our students practice these skills every day. In class they listen to their classmates and their teachers as part of polite and professional conversations about how to interpret difficult topics. When they see a conclusion clearly, they speak persuasively to bring the rest of the class along with them and written assignments are designed to synthesize their new knowledge with other things they are learning.

While many schools claim to be forming leaders, Wyoming Catholic College has a unique approach: We put our students into difficult situations with real consequences and watch them become real leaders. Over their four years, our students spend at least ten weeks in the wilderness. After learning the basic backcountry skills, they all have opportunities to plan trips, lead groups, and navigate the difficulties of the terrain. And since they can’t hit “control Z” to undo a problem, their leadership decisions have real consequences. If someone reads a map wrong, the group might be camping in the snow, not be eating dinner till 10 PM, or have to hike an extra 5 miles on tired feet. Artificial situations create artificial leaders; real situations create real leaders.

In business, all situations are real situations. Losing a client or missing a new product launch date has consequences. You want to entrust your company’s future to leaders who have already had to face the consequences of their decisions, rather than people who have studied “leadership” in a classroom.

While WCC students learn to be leaders, they also learn another skill that we believe is just as essential: “Active Followership.” Our graduates understand that when you are not in a leadership role, you have a duty as a follower to work actively to support the leader and help the group reach the leader’s goals. If you are the leader of your company, you need people who will follow you, support you, and make your job easier. Our students are taught that, when they have the knowledge and experience to step forward and lead they should do so, but, when they don’t, to step back and support the one who should be leading.

The person with integrity is steadfast and the same in every situation. On a large college campus, it’s easy to hide. You can act one way in class, another way at dinner, and still another way in your dorm. With our small campus, tight-knit community, and clear code of conduct, our students have nowhere to hide. They must live with integrity. Student who are dishonest or lazy don’t last. At WCC if you miss too many classes, you don’t pass. If you show up late too many times, you don’t pass. You don’t have time to make sure your employees are treating the company with honesty and are working hard for the hours that you pay them. You need people for whom integrity is habitual, a part of their lives and characters.

You don’t want theory, you want results. So put us to the test. Hire one of our graduates or offer one of our students a summer internship. Test and see the WCC liberal arts advantage for yourself. We are striving for excellence in what we do and we hope that you find that excellence in every one of our students and alumni.