This column by Jenny Boone, CMC Rifle CEPA coordinator, was published in the March 29 Rifle Citizen Telegram.
By Jenny Boone
At this time of year, many high school students are looking forward to a summer break and are focused on finishing up high school classes. For seniors, many are planning to start college or careers.
But for 188 of our local high school students, the year is ending on an even higher note. They are completing high school and college courses at the same time this year. Students from Coal Ridge, Rifle, Grand Valley and DeBeque will carry completed college coursework from Colorado Mountain College to their new college and/or careers, potentially saving thousands of dollars. Fifty-four of these 188 students will graduate from CMC with a certificate before they graduate from high school.
Concurrent enrollment classes provide an opportunity for students to take college courses while enrolled in high school. According to the state law called the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act, students in ninth through 12th grades are eligible to take college coursework if they meet the requirements to register for a college class and the course is in line with their high school graduation requirements. Tuition is free to the student, as school districts pay the tuition.
If a number of students are interested in a program or course, CMC and the high schools do their best to make it happen.
During the 2017-18 school year, courses included core academic and career/technical trade courses. Examples of these courses included College Algebra, College Chemistry, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Spanish I-IV, American History, Basic Culinary, Health Careers (Personal Care Attendant, Nurse Assistant, Phlebotomy), Public Safety (Emergency Medical Responder, Fire Fighter I, EMT) and Welding. In addition, CMC provides Early Childhood Teaching and Applied Engineering courses on Fridays for Re-2 students. Monday courses available for School District 16 students include Health Careers and Applied Engineering. Additional courses are anticipated for the 2018-19 school year.
Students interested in taking concurrent enrollment courses should contact their high school counselor before May 15. Colorado Mountain College will host a CEPA orientation May 8 at 6 p.m. at the Rifle campus, 3695 Airport Road.