Colorado Mountain College has been awarded a $2.125 million, five-Entry CMC Central Services at nightyear grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s highly competitive Strengthening Institutions Program. SIP is intended to expand colleges’ capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.

CMC’s project will be used to strengthen the college’s police officer training programs, nursing labs and skilled trades programs.

“I want to extend my congratulations to Colorado Mountain College on receiving a Strengthening Institutions Program grant,” said Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse. “CMC is a vital higher education institution for our state and we are grateful for all they do to ensure all students have access to a quality higher education.”

“News of this grant is so exciting and timely for our mountain region,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of the college. “This SIP grant will allow the college to better serve its students, and to further meet the needs of our communities for skilled workers in essential services like health care and law enforcement. As we all work toward recovery from the recession and pandemic, it’s clear that there’s never been a greater need for qualified, compassionate and skilled professionals in these areas.”

CMC will use the grant funds primarily on equipment and supplies needed to increase capacity for instruction. The grant also includes funds for staff training in providing mental health and academic advising support to students, as well as enhancing information technology.

The five-year Strengthening Institutions Program award from the U.S. Department of Education will support an initial “Phase 1” of a larger initiative CMC will undertake. One hundred percent of the total cost of the five-year, Phase 1 project will be financed with federal money, with 0% financed through non-governmental sources.

Nursing simulation labs

These funds will also enable the college to launch a fundraising initiative to build three nursing simulation labs in Glenwood Springs, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.

“In addition to the SIP grant funding, the CMC Foundation is seeking external partners for matching funds to help cover the cost of construction and other needs to transform these new laboratory spaces into learning hubs that will fully empower our students’ success in this ever-evolving digital age,” said Hauser.

Recently space for CMC’s proposed simulation lab in Steamboat Springs was made available by way of a partnership with Honey Stinger, a sports nutrition company based in that town. Honey Stinger is now hosting the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, which had been located at the CMC Steamboat Springs campus. The on-campus space previously occupied by the YVEC will be renovated into a nursing simulation lab.

CMC’s elected board of trustees has also pledged an additional $1.5 million to strengthen the college’s academic programs, improve administrative functionality, improve fiscal management and strengthen the student support skills of faculty and staff.

For more information about the Title III SIP grant, go to