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The UW Northwest Center, the first satellite branch of the University of Wyoming, opened Sept. 10, 1946, in the Powell High School building. In 1953, the Northwest Community College District was created, as provided by Chapter 146, Wyoming Session Laws of 1951. It became an autonomous institution that year, independent of both the university and the local school. The new college district's boundaries copied that of the Powell school district. Its first Board members were elected on May 12, 1953. On Jan. 30, 1968, Park County voters outside the Powell school district approved expansion of the college district to include all of Park County.
The legal name of the college is “Northwest Community College District, State of Wyoming” [W.S. 21-18-301]. In 1989, the College’s Board of Trustees officially designated ”Northwest College” as the name of the operating unit of the District.
III. Northwest College District and Service Area
The College District, which operates Northwest College located at Powell, Wyoming, is a legally defined area including all of Park County. The College’s service area includes the Wyoming counties of Park, Big Horn and Washakie as stated in Wyoming Community College Commission Rules, Policies and Procedures.