Online, hybrid, live stream and in-person classes begin Aug. 23

Colorado Mountain College’s fall semester begins Aug. 23. The college is offering students a range of options – from online to in-person learning – at its campuses, including at CMC Leadville.

Colorado Mountain College will begin its fall semester on Aug. 23 with a range of innovative and accessible options for students to learn, while keeping all involved as safe and as healthy as possible.

And even though registration for the fall has been open since May, those who may not have yet signed up for classes are encouraged to do so now.

“While we never ceased delivering instruction during the pandemic, I’m pleased that all campuses will soon be fully open for learning,” said CMC President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser. “We are beyond excited to welcome students this fall, whether they choose to learn in-person, virtually or some combination.”

Colorado Mountain College has 11 campus locations including Aspen, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Rifle, Salida, Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Vail Valley at Edwards. The college also has administrative offices in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Public health directives

 CMC leadership has been discussing vaccination and masking requirements at great length, gathering data and broad-based input before announcing a plan for the fall semester.

“While this decision comes less than a week before classes begin, it was not made hastily,” said CMC Chief Operating Officer Dr. Matt Gianneschi. “The decision-making process has been lengthy, inclusive and deliberative. In fact, we have been planning for the start of the fall term for months.”

Heading into the fall semester, CMC is not currently requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for most faculty, staff and students. However, students living in CMC residence halls, athletes or those enrolled in health care, public safety and first responder programs are required to be vaccinated. Exemptions from vaccination may be requested for medical reasons or religious/personal beliefs.

In order to stop transmission in buildings and classrooms as students return to campus, masks will be required in all CMC buildings for the first few weeks of the semester.

“If vaccination rates continue to increase and transmission rates improve, we expect to conform our procedures to county-level public health guidelines,” said Gianneschi. “In the meantime, and while the summer tourism season is still in full-swing, we will ask students and staff to wear face coverings while we monitor local public health data in order to consider adjustments to our procedures.”

College leadership will re-evaluate the mask procedure on or about Labor Day, after which the college may adjust its policies to follow prevailing local public health guidance.

“Not everyone will agree with the proposed directions, but I hope all can appreciate that clear, consistent guidelines will allow every CMC campus to welcome back students that have been yearning to return to in-person instruction,” said Gianneschi. “For many of our students, the college campus is the safest, most stable environment in their lives. If we all do our part to keep CMC campuses open, we hope to return to a mask-optional environment in the very near future.”

For those who are not comfortable attending classes in masks, the college added new sections of online classes. Online classes start one week later than in-person classes, so there’s still plenty of time to register.

CMC is actively monitoring developments involving the delta variant with local public health authorities. Up-to-date information on CMC’s response to COVID-19 is available at the CMC Trail Map.

Vaccine rates, clinics and testing

 A survey conducted on Aug. 16 revealed that 89% of CMC faculty and staff have voluntarily received a COVID-19 vaccination. This very high inoculation rate is equal to or higher than the vaccination rates in many of the mountain communities that CMC serves.

“Big congratulations to CMC’s employees – both full and part-time – for achieving this high vaccine rate and modeling the path forward to our communities,” said Hauser.

This year, the college is also encouraging campus communities to follow these “Crush COVID Commitments:”

To assist those with limited health care options or those who cannot access one of the many free testing sites, the college will cover the cost of testing for faculty, staff and students who need a COVID-19 test. Additionally, free vaccination clinics will be available at most CMC campuses this fall.

“We are in this together – even when we bring different views, experiences and perspectives to our togetherness,” said Hauser. “So, let’s treat each other with open minds, civility, patience, flexibility, respect and kindness as we navigate a new academic year safely.”

Four pathways to learning

Depending on the nature of particular courses – some require on-campus time, while many others can be taught online – the college is delivering course content in four ways:

  • In-person courses are held face-to-face at a CMC campus
  • Live-stream courses are held virtually in real time
  • Hybrid courses are a combination of in-person class time and online interaction
  • Online anytime courses are recorded virtual courses that students can take on their schedules

“Throughout the pandemic our goal has been to meet students where they are in their needs for learning and engagement,” said Kathryn Regjo, vice president of Academic Affairs. “These course types provide clear and diverse pathways to earning a degree or certificate at CMC.”

Please visit our information page for more information on CMC’s fall semester.

New programs

 The college is also introducing four new academic programs this fall:

  • Certified addiction technician certificate
  • Certified addiction specialist certificate
  • Pharmacy technician certificate
  • Associate of Science with an emphasis in ecosystem science and management

Visit our programs page for information on these and over 130 other certificate, degree and non-credit programs. Most classes start on Aug. 23, with additional courses starting throughout the semester. More information is available on CMC’s webpage 800-621-8559.