At the February 19th meeting of the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, the board unanimously approved the college’s 2014-18 strategic plan, which will become effective July 1. The plan is the result of more than a year’s thorough research and analysis, with input from employees, students and community members.

“As we put the plan into action, we look forward to sharing it with all of our campuses and communities over the coming months,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president of the college.

In the meeting the trustees also approved tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year. Per-credit-hour tuition for associate-level courses will increase less than 2 percent, to $57 (which is equivalent to a $1 increase) for in-district students, 6 percent to $100.50 (a $5.50 increase) for in-state students and 6 percent to $317 (an $18 increase) for out-of-state students, in addition to an industry tuition rate of $112 per credit hour (a 6 percent/$6 increase).

A new tuition rate was created for residents living outside of the CMC district but within the college’s service area (Chaffee, Grand and Jackson counties) of $97, which is between the in-district and in-state tuition rates.

Per-credit-hour tuition for upper-division bachelor’s degree courses will increase 4 percent, to $99 (a $4 increase) for in-district students, 6 percent to $212 (a $12 increase) for in-state students and 6 percent to $429 (a $24 increase) for out-of-state students. The new service area tuition rate is $205.

The college’s tuition rates have not increased since 2012-13.

Most affordable college education in Colorado

The trustees heard that the college’s in-district and in-state tuition for associate degrees is still expected to remain the most affordable in the state, and the sixth most affordable in the country. In addition, CMC offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree for in-district and in-state students. Room and board rates at the college’s three residential campuses will remain constant for 2014-15.

The new tuition rates are projected to help make up for falling property tax revenues, which have fallen approximately $5 million in the past year. A portion of new tuition revenue also will be used to create a Student Success Fund, as well as $50,000 in additional scholarship funds.

In the spirit of good governance and to reaffirm the trustees’ commitment to the college’s code of conduct/conflict of interest policy, the trustees also approved a new conflict of interest disclosure form and annual process, as well as seven chapters of the revised CMC policy manual.