Marc Thomas is assistant dean of instruction at Colorado Mountain College Leadville. In July 2017, he contributed to “CMC Corner,” a column published in the Leadville Herald Democrat.

By Marc Thomas

At Colorado Mountain College Leadville, we take seriously our college’s original commitment: to provide two-year transfer programs in the arts and sciences, as well as career and technical programs that train the community with job-ready skills.

Our plan to make this happen is all about connections. Connecting students to the problem-solving and communication skills employers tell us they want. Connecting students to meaningful experiences on campus and in the community. And connecting students to a life purpose that ensures they will make a difference as they transform from college to the global community.

We’re proud of what’s already happening with our teaching and learning. For example, CMC Leadville math students compute equations about slope that connect them to the work that happens in ski resort operations. And this summer, student field technicians and staff at the CMC Natural Resources Management Field Institute will connect coursework in erosion control with practical application of sediment transport to sites in the Sugarloaf mining district.

The research is clear: Learning that is experiential – where students use hands-on activities to construct knowledge and skill – is most likely to help students gain the experience they’ll need to succeed in our 21st century economy.

This hands-on learning model is already a big part of what we do at CMC Leadville and will continue to grow as we maximize community and global connections.

We hear a lot about the information economy and the global economy. At CMC Leadville, we’re committed to ensuring that our students can compete effectively in these new realities as well as in our local, unique Lake and Chaffee county economies.

As we move rapidly through the 21st century, we are particularly dedicated to connecting students who are equipped to meet the problem-solving and communication needs of their future employers. We might say we are preparing our students and employers for the “Innovation Economy.”

So whether you have an interest in welding or literature, biology or avalanche science, this fall could be the start of your journey to adding 21st century credentials to your resume, learning a new skill or gaining a trade that you could use to better our community and world. Head to our list of courses and programs at and get yourself registered for the fall semester.