This column by Carole Boughton is running in the Rifle Citizen Telegram in June. 

By Carole Boughton, CMC vice president and Rifle campus dean

June 12 marked one year since I joined the Colorado Mountain College team. As I have gotten to know the wonderful people of western Garfield County, I am continually struck by the number of people who give me a perplexed look when they hear me say that Rifle was truly a sought-after career destination for me.

Ten years ago, I was in Rifle participating in the American Petroleum Institute Rocky Mountain Energy Collaborative Education and Job Fair at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. CMC Rifle’s current campus on Airport Road had just opened. During a campus tour, I got a strong sense that this would be an ideal place for me to serve students while connecting my passion for industry and workforce training, community collaboration, and my preference for rural life. Rifle is a kind, welcoming, and diverse community.

Everyone my husband Johnny and I have met and interacted with has been warm and genuinely open to helping us settle into our new community.

The school districts are focused on student learning and providing robust educational options for students. Grand River Health is committed to not only providing quality healthcare locally, but also partnering with the community to provide Meals on Wheels, Empty Bowls, and locations for Colorado Mountain College’s culinary, phlebotomy, and nurse aide students to take courses and complete clinical experiences.

The Rifle Chamber is engaged with businesses and creating connections to training and business development. The towns and cities of west Garfield County continually seek to capitalize on business and economic development to ensure our communities continue to flourish.

Because of all of this, CMC Rifle is thriving! There is no better team than the amazing CMC Rifle team which is completely dedicated to students. This year, we held three commencement ceremonies in order to celebrate the nearly 300 students here who reached their educational goals and completed certificates and degrees.

During 2017-18, we held a free public concert on campus again after taking a hiatus for a few years. Phlebotomy, emergency medical responder, personal care attendant, and introduction to health were added to Rifle’s offerings. Students participated in a summer orientation prior to the start of the fall semester, and students had access to peer mentors to better connect to resources for success.

As I reflect on the last academic year, I look forward to the 2018-19 school year, including:

  • working with community partners to help create transportation solutions to and from campus
  • additional industry-focused training
  • a wider variety of class offerings for students to complete general education studies
  • creating more opportunities for conversation and action in the community and on campus to embrace diversity
  • expanding concurrent enrollment opportunities to high school students
  • and more scholarship opportunities to reduce student indebtedness.

The 2018-2019 year will also bring the introduction of the CMC Rifle Art Show and Creative Explo! The Art Show will feature curated art and the Creative Explo will redefine the celebration of our student art.

These are just several things on the horizon for Colorado Mountain College Rifle. I look forward to continuing to get to know the west Garfield County communities, industry partners, and prospective students. And in addition to life on campus, my husband Johnny and I plan to continue to explore the beauty of our area we have yet to discover.