This article first appeared in the Steamboat Today. By Teresa Ristow.
Second year Colorado Mountain College student Dylan Spatcher completes work during lunch in the school’s recently completed cafeteria. The college has watched enrollment numbers jump since the completion of the new academic building, which includes the cafeteria. Photo: John F. Russell.
Steamboat Springs — Enrollment at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs is on the rise with increased applicants and more than 250 new students, college administrators announced this week.
Classes began Monday at the Alpine Campus, one of three residential campuses and eight community campuses part of CMC across the state.
Fall applicants are up 30 percent from last year in Steamboat, though it’s too soon to predict how many of those students will follow through with class registrations just yet, said Debbie Crawford, public information officer for Colorado Mountain College’s 11 campuses across the state.
“I think our enrollment is looking very strong this year,” Crawford said. “Growth is happening.”
The school’s residence halls have been at capacity since May, despite summer being a slower time of year at the college.
The halls’ capacity is at 266 students, with some students living three people to a room to meet the housing demand.
Crawford said that while it’s safe to say that enrollment has gone up from last year, no exact numbers were available Wednesday. In 2013, 1,626 students attended the campus in the fall.
Just fewer than 2,500 students attended throughout the year in 2012-13, the last complete year with data available.
The 266 new students enrolled this fall represent a 40 percent increase in new students from the same period last year, Crawford said.
Campus welcome-back week kicked off Thursday with the theme “CMC Strong” and it couldn’t be more appropriate, according to Administrative Assistant for Student Afairs Lianne Pyle.
“It’s becoming a strong community of students up here,” Pyle said. “We have huge participation.”
Pyle said with 2011’s $20 million campus building upgrade and the large number of students, the campus is thriving.
“We have just a great group here,” Pyle said. “It’s a fantastic vibe.”
Several new programs are taking off on campus, including a Bachelor of Science in business administration, which is boosting enrollment in the business department, Crawford said.
Enrollment also has doubled in developmental education courses, low-level classes designed to get students up to speed for college-level material.
Also new to CMC is Bachelor of Science in nursing hybrid program, which allows students to take classes through distance learning wherever they are in the state. Only one or two courses each term would need to be taken either through a video setup or in person in Breckenridge or Spring Valley.
Crawford said the program is bringing nursing education to geographic areas it was never available before.