Archive for CMC In The News

Colorado Mountain College partners with Climax Molybdenum to offer electrician apprenticeship

This article first appeared in the Summit Daily News. By Alli Langley. 

Colorado Mountain College partnered with Freeport MacMoRan, parent corporation of the Climax Molybdenum Co. and Henderson Mill, so the college can provide diagnostic electrician training for company employees in Leadville and Summit County

Colorado Mountain College partnered with Freeport MacMoRan, parent corporation of the Climax Molybdenum Co. and Henderson Mill, so the college can provide diagnostic electrician training for company employees in Leadville and Summit County.

Climax Molybdenum Co. needed help, and Colorado Mountain College came to the company’s aid.

The company found its industrial electrician positions hard to fill and approached Colorado Mountain College about creating a Summit County program where Climax employees could learn the trade.

The college worked with Climax parent company, Freeport-McMoRan, over the last few months to develop the program, and its four apprentices started class at the CMC campus in Dillon on Saturday, Sept. 6.

“This is the first time that we’ve done anything like this,” said Matt Gianneschi, COO for the college, adding that he hopes the agreement will become a model Read more

Tom Ross: CMC biology professor witnesses aftermath of rare geothermal event

This article was published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today. By Tom Ross.

ourtesy photo  Colorado Mountain College biology professor Shawn Sigstedt, on sabbatical from the Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs, poses in front of the rare sight of the Steamboat Geyser venting a roaring column of steam in Yellowstone National Park this week. Sigstedt joined the Geyser Gazers group three years ago.

Colorado Mountain College biology professor Shawn Sigstedt, on sabbatical from the Steamboat Springs campus, poses in front of the rare sight of the Steamboat Geyser venting a roaring column of steam in Yellowstone National Park this week. Courtesy photo.

— Colorado Mountain College biology professor Shawn Sigstedt was thrilled this week to witness the roar of a towering plume of steam issuing from the Steamboat Geyser. But residents of Steamboat Springs needn’t leap up from their desks to rush out and see it. The Steamboat Geyser is in Yellowstone National Park.

“It was emotionally overwhelming because there’s so much power, and the steam can go on for hours and days,” Sigstedt said. “It goes up 1,000 feet, and it sounds like a jet engine. It’s very, very powerful.”

Sigstedt was visiting Yellowstone in the midst of a year-long sabbatical with encouragement from CMC to work on a book about his concept of “World Park.” It’s an effort to protect ecosystems and biodiversity by looking at Earth as one big park. Read more

Online learning: Past, present and future

This CMC column originally appeared in the Glenwood Post Independent.

Daryl Yarrow is the Colorado Mountain College vice president who oversees distance learning. The number of students taking distance learning classes through the college increased 29 percent compared to the same time last fall.

Daryl Yarrow is the Colorado Mountain College vice president who oversees distance learning. The number of students taking distance learning classes through the college increased 29 percent compared to the same time last fall.

New technologies have changed today’s classroom – at all levels – in ways unimaginable two decades ago. Students can reach for their iPad to access texts or reading material. They can connect with others in another city via video or web conferencing. And what’s more, they can create their own classroom at their home computer, completing courses or entire degrees online.

Maybe you’ve formed an opinion about online classes or degrees. Proponents say they add more options and flexibility. Critics fear students miss out on lively face-to-face debate. Over the years, online learning has changed by leaps and bounds from the days of its predecessor “telecourses” consisting of prerecorded, videotaped lectures and mail-in assignments.

Like most universities and colleges across the country, Colorado Mountain College offers many classes that can be taken online. These include a variety of general education as well as specialty courses. In the past 10 years, the number of online classes offered at CMC has doubled, as has student enrollment in online courses. We now offer six associate degrees and eight certificates completely online.

As you might expect, online learning classes do provide students with more options and flexibility as a course can be completed on the student’s schedule – day or night – allowing adaptation into a busy work or family schedule. Whereas schedules might only permit students to take two or three face-to-face classes in a semester, online learning allows them to possibly take four or five, thus moving them more quickly toward degree completion. Our department’s unofficial motto is: Online learning helps make graduation possible.

What might be the most surprising element of online learning is that it is highly engaging – and may in fact provide more opportunities for engagement than the face-to-face class. Consider the shy student who won’t speak up in class but will open up at the keyboard. Discussion boards provide a venue for teacher-to-student as well as student-to-student interaction. Teachers and students can also easily share timely and relevant information that supplements their discussions by posting links to news articles, streaming video, photos and more.

Online learning classes are equally or even more demanding than their face-to-face counterparts. Students need to have time management and independent study skills. With no set meeting times, students need to take the responsibility of engaging in their course on a regular basis.

Many instructors teaching online learning classes also teach on campus and bring those same qualities of teaching face-to-face to their online learning classrooms. Online learning opens up a greater diversity of course offerings: Within CMC’s dispersed service area, students benefit by having access to a course taught by an instructor at another campus.

Seeing how far online learning has come in the past decade, it will be interesting to see where the next 10 years in learning takes us.

Daryl Yarrow is the associate vice president for online learning at Colorado Mountain College and the interim campus dean of the Roaring Fork Campus, with locations in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley.

More than 250 new students boost enrollment at CMC

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.

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.

— 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 Read more

Early childhood degree earns national accreditation

This article was published in the Vail Daily News.

OUR School Director Joy Love, center, works with Bryn Thomas, 3, left, and Nathan Fry, 4, right, at the Glenwood Springs preschool. As have many of OUR School’s staff, Love received her training in early childhood education at Colorado Mountain College. Photo: Kate Lapides.

OUR School Director Joy Love, center, works with Bryn Thomas, 3, left, and Nathan Fry, 4, right, at the Glenwood Springs preschool. As have many of OUR School’s staff, Love received her training in early childhood education at CMC. Photo: Kate Lapides.

Colorado Mountain College’s associate degree in early childhood education has reached a milestone. The degree recently received full national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

“The NAEYC is nationally recognized as the premier leader and advocate in early childhood education in the United States,” said Barbara Jackman, a faculty member in Colorado Mountain College’s early childhood education program. “Full accreditation ensures that our students have chosen a program of high quality to Read more

Breckenridge woman finds fulfillment in foraging

Colorado Mountain College adjunct Erica Marciniec dines on the wild side

The Summit Daily News recently featured CMC adjunct faculty Erica Marciniec and her passion for foraging and wild foods. A reprint of the original Summit Daily News article, by Alli Langley, is below.

CMC adjunct Erica Marciniec

Colorado Mountain College adjunct Erica Marciniec, 39, of Breckenridge.

Walking with Erica Marciniec through the forest is like walking with a friendly pirate carrying a treasure map.

There’s no “X marks the spot.” Instead, the map she teaches you to read is dotted with surprises of wild edibles.

“I gotta show you. We just passed over the most awesome berry in the Rockies,” she said, darting a few feet off trail during a hike near the Mesa Read more

Oil and gas ‘conversation’ covers health, fracking, water

This article first appeared in the Post Independent. By Heidi Rice

Former Garfield County Commissioner Trési Houpt, left, and keynote speaker Dr. Patty Limerick chat during a break at CMC's Community Conversations seminar at the Western Garfield County Campus on Saturday afternoon.

Former Garfield County Commissioner Trési Houpt, left, and keynote speaker Dr. Patty Limerick chat during a break at CMC’s Community Conversations seminar at the Western Garfield County Campus on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Heidi Rice.

RIFLE — Health, fracking and water were the main topics of discussion at Saturday afternoon’s “Community Conversations” event held by Colorado Mountain College at the West Garfield County Campus in Rifle.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Patty Limerick, a faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University Colorado and also a history professor.

Limerick kicked off the free event, which was attended by about 25 people, talking about her philosophy on education, communication and the application of historical perspectives to current issues and how to discuss them in a constructive way.

The seminar was called “Oil and Gas: The Adventures of a Historian in Tense Terrain.” Limerick used her expertise to analyze how people talk about Read more

Community Agriculture Alliance: Sustainable agriculture is a year-round endeavor

image

CMC Sustainability Studies student Megan Walker wrote about her summer exploration into sustainable agriculture for the Steamboat Pilot’s Community   Agriculture Alliance column, a weekly column written by area farmers, ranchers and policymakers. The column is published on Fridays in the Steamboat Today. Walker’s column is republished below. Read more columns here.

This summer, I embarked on an adventure in sustainable agriculture. Colorado Mountain College’s Sustainability Studies program offered the course for the first time, and while it wasn’t a required course, I am so passionate about the topic that I jumped at the opportunity. Sustainable agriculture is crucial to the success of food sustainability, and I was eager to get my hands dirty.

Grand iCommunity Agriculture Alliance graphicdeas were rolling around in my head, and I quickly learned that these ideas were much larger than the scope of the class.

Simply dabbling in sustainable agriculture is a year-round endeavor.

First and foremost, when planning a garden, soil composition and quality is evaluated so that soil can be prepared in the fall before the snow arrives to ensure a rich, healthy soil capable of nourishing plants the following spring.

A quality garden plan should be developed during the winter months and requires an intimate familiarity of the land and consideration of rotational and companion planting concepts.

Prior planning also allows time to gather seeds and determine the proper timing for when particular seeds will be started indoors or sown in the soil.

Recognizing the limitations of a short summer, there still was much joy to be found in working the gardens at Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch. Food cultivation using sustainable agricultural practices is possibly one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences we can engage with, and in doing so, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact for ourselves, our neighbors and our environment.

One course assignment was to engage the community in the gardening effort.

A weekly community gardening program was offered. I enjoyed making connections, tending the gardens and watching them grow alongside community members, my family and visitors.

When we visit the ranch, my kids can’t wait to see how the vegetables we planted have grown and are incredibly eager to try them, as well.

Program participants took fresh vegetables, new knowledge and valuable experience home to their own gardens. This program will serve as a building block for future programs, and new volunteer participation always is welcome at the ranch.

We have great expectations for these gardens. We currently are harvesting a first round of produce for our local food bank, LIFT-UP of Routt County.

And next year, we will expand the gardens’ capability with improvements that include a permaculture approach to allow for a greater diversity of products grown.

Last year, a partnership between CMC and Yampatika was created where sustainability students participating in the cultural and place-based equity course worked together with CMC culinary students to deliver a beautiful “Garden to Table” event showcasing food from Yampatika’s gardens and from local producers in the Yampa Valley.

The 2014 “Garden-to-Table” event, an annual fundraiser for Yampatika, will be held Oct. 9, and this year’s collaboration is sure to be another memorable event.

Using lessons learned from our “do it yourself” courses and our experiences in the gardens, we plan to make the gardens even better next year and expand our reach into the community.

The gardens at Legacy Ranch have as much potential as our community has heart, and I hope you will join us for future educational and gardening opportunities in the spring.

Megan Walker is a naturalist with Yampatika and a student in Colorado Mountain College’s Sustainability Studies program.

Read more

Dual enrollment saves big dollars for Eagle County students

Four local high school graduates this year piled up enough college credits in dual enrollment classes to earn their associates degree. They are, from left, Maria Villarreal, Reagen Gass, Tiffany Sheehy and Marisol Chacon.

Four local high school graduates this year piled up enough college credits in dual enrollment classes to earn their associates degree. They are, from left, Maria Villarreal, Reagen Gass, Tiffany Sheehy and Marisol Chacon. Photo: Kent Pettit Photography/Special to the Daily.

EAGLE COUNTY — On college tuition checks, the numbers tend to contain more zeroes than your average congressional committee.

As a group, local high school students save almost $1 million a year by taking college classes while still in high school.

They’re called dual enrollment classes and the Eagle County school district ranks eighth among Colorado’s 178 school districts in dual enrollment classes successfully completed, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

Some local students take so many dual enrollment classes through Colorado Mountain College that they graduate high school with an associates degree and transfer into college as juniors. A third of local high school students will take at least one dual enrollment course.

“As we deal with the argument of whether the kids are ready, we can point to about one-third of our kids who already have been taking college classes,” said Mike Gass, the school district’s assistant superintendent. “What’s exciting is Read more

State recognizes Glenwood for downtown improvements

This article was published in the Glenwood Post Independent. By John Stroud.

he various Glenwood Springs downtown projects that have been completed over the past four years, clockwise from top left, the new Glenwood Branch Library, the city's new parking structure, the 711 Grand building renovation and public dining areas, expanded sidewalks along Seventh Street, and the relocation of the Glenwood Chamber Visitors Center to the CMC administration building. At center is an architect's rendering of some of the work that was done.

The various Glenwood Springs downtown projects that have been completed over the past four years, clockwise from top left, the new Glenwood Branch Library, the city’s new parking structure, the 711 Grand building renovation and public dining areas, expanded sidewalks along Seventh Street, and the relocation of the Glenwood Chamber Visitors Center to the CMC administration building. At center is an architect’s rendering of some of the work that was done.

Glenwood Springs has been recognized by the state of Colorado for its four-year, $18 million-plus effort to spruce up its downtown.

Downtown Colorado Inc. on Thursday announced that the Glenwood Downtown Development Authority, the city and four other public entities had won the governor’s “Best Group Effort” Award for Downtown Excellence.

In addition to the Glenwood Springs award, the city of Rifle won “Best Adaptive Reuse or Rehabilitation” for the renovation of the New Ute Events Center (see related story).

Glenwood’s award recognizes the coordinated effort to complete a series of projects that resulted in a new downtown library, improved public parking and Read more