CMC readies for fall semester

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It's been a busy summer at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus, and the way fall enrollment is shaping up, it could be a busy school year, too.

Alpine Campus Dean Robert Ritschel and other campus administrators have spent much of their summer filling several faculty and staff positions.

"I've been here three years and we've never had this turnover," Ritschel said last week from his office. "Most of our employees have been here for 10 or more years. Once they're here, most of them tend to enjoy it and stay on."

Thus far, six vacancies, including two faculty positions, a librarian, a residence hall director, an assistant dean of instruction and a groundskeeper position have been filled.

Three retirements, one resignation and a couple existing vacancies created the need to hire.

"It's just been a long process," Ritschel said. The community college, which employs 60 people full-time, continues to search for a division director of liberal arts.

"We're excited for our new faculty and we're looking forward to the fall," Ritschel said. "There will be a lot of fresh faces."

Many of those fresh faces will be part of the school's incoming class of freshmen.

Exact enrollment figures weren't available Thursday, partly because the school still has one remaining freshmen orientation session to hold.

But campus dormitories already are full, and the school has begun assigning three students to a room, Ritschel said. Alpine Campus also is referring some students to other Colorado Mountain College campuses and advising them to try transferring to Steamboat Springs after a semester elsewhere.

"That's an unusual place for us to be," said Ritschel. He attributed the enrollment increase to rising tuition rates and entrance requirements at four-year schools and to a struggling economy that encourages people to pursue higher education.

The majority of Alpine Campus students typically are from the Steamboat Springs area, Ritschel said. Students from other parts of the state make up the school's second largest enrollment base, followed by a small number of out-of-state and foreign students.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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