Continuing education and enrichment helps people improve their lives
The Oyster Ridge BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) is a legal entity made possible through an agreement between Western Wyoming Community College and Lincoln County School District #1 to offer educational services not specifically being provided by either of them. The mission of the Oyster Ridge BOCES is to serve the higher education needs of the community through education and skill set training.
A Variety of Classes
Located in Diamondville, it offers continuing education and enrichment in the following areas:
- Vocational, technical and professional education
- Broadly based education in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities for degree seeking and non-degree seeking students
- Personal growth, recreation and leisure, along with mental and physical fitness
Bridget Stewart, Executive Director of Oyster Ridge BOCES, said, “Our BOCES is designed to provide high school and adult learners with adult basic education and online college-level classes as well as fill any other educational niche that we can handle more effectively than either WWCC or LCSD #1 could do alone. We work closely with both LCSD #1 and WWCC to ensure that our educational programs provide a seamless transition from high school to college and enable people who have been out of school awhile to smoothly transition back into educational or training programs.”
Connecting with All West
Oyster Ridge BOCES currently gets 100 Mbps fiber internet and Hosted VoIP phone service from All West. (As their broadband needs grow, All West will be able to provide internet speeds up to 1 Gig.) The relationship between the two organizations began in 2016.
Phil Marchant, Corporate Sales Executive, explained, “All West expanded their fiber optic footprint throughout portions of Kemmerer and Diamondville during summer 2016. Later that fall, Oyster Ridge BOCES signed up for high-speed broadband and had their phone numbers ported over to All West.”
He added, “Oyster Ridge originally received their data and voice services over copper lines from the incumbent telco. When I initially contacted Bridget Stewart about All West’s fiber, she was excited to switch in order to get higher internet speeds. In June 2019, Bridget reached out to All West and asked about a new phone system to replace their analog voice service and provide enhanced features such as voicemail to email, music on hold and after-hours auto attendant. After some discussions with her and finding out the needs of Oyster Ridge BOCES, I proposed All West’s Hosted VoIP business phone system. In August 2019, All West installed this system.”
What does Stewart think of the internet and phone services from All West compared to the services previously used by Oyster Ridge BOCES? She replied, “With our previous communications provider, we were always having internet issues which made it difficult to test students and get work done. Now that we have All West’s fiber internet, we no longer have those problems. We also love our new Hosted VoIP phone system. It’s allowed us to work more efficiently.”
Given the vital importance of All West’s services to students and staff, Stewart appreciates the responsive customer service and tech support Oyster Ridge BOCES receives.
“I think All West’s customer service and support is excellent! I know someone will be here quickly if we have an issue. The best thing is, All West will always try and help you over the phone first, which is great,” said Stewart.
Marchant noted, “Oyster Ridge BOCES has been amazing for our All West team to work with. Since it’s an education center, having the fast speed of our fiber internet offers the students and staff the most effective classroom and work environments they can possibly have in rural Wyoming.”
Past Successes, Future Plans
This time of year is a natural opportunity to reflect on 2019’s accomplishments and look ahead to 2020’s goals, and Stewart was happy to share her thoughts on these topics.
“The thing I am most proud of when it comes to the Oyster Ridge BOCES is that we truly are helping people. We want everyone to be successful in what they do, and we are here to assist them however we can. In 2020, our goal is to increase awareness in the community about everything Oyster Ridge BOCES has to offer,” Stewart said.