CMC, CU become partners

Schools arrange engineering degree program

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A new partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder will allow Colorado Mountain College students to begin work toward an engineering degree while studying in Steamboat Springs.

CMC's Alpine Campus in Steamboat partnered with the university to offer a fully transferable two-year engineering degree program. The program mirrors CU's mechanical engineering program.

The partnership, as well as several other articulation agreements that Alpine Campus has with higher education institutions across the state, is a good thing for students and the college, said Lance Eldridge, the assistant dean of instruction at Alpine Campus.

"There is no engineering program on this side of the Rockies in Colorado," Eldridge said. "It provides opportunities not only for local community members and students, but I think it's in the best interest of both institutions."

The engineering program, which will begin this fall, is limited to 20 students per academic year to ensure small classes and personalized instruction. Students who complete the two-year program will earn an associate's degree in general studies that will make them eligible to transfer into CU's College of Engineering and Applied Science as juniors.

The two-year program req-uirements include three semesters of calculus and physics as well as chemistry, computer-aided design, statics and structures, and differential equations and linear algebra, among others. Students entering the program are expected to have college-level skills in math, reading and English.

CMC math professor Stephen Craig was instrumental in establishing the partnership. Craig spent last year on sabbatical at CU, where he worked closely with College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty to design the articulation agreement.

Although CMC's two-year engineering program will "transfer seamlessly to the four-year program at CU," Eldridge stressed that completion of the two-year program doesn't guarantee admission to CU's College of Engineering and Applied Sc--ience.

"If they're admitted, they're guaranteed transfer," Eldridge said. "This is not a simple route to getting into CU's program. This is an alternative route for getting into CU's program. The academic standards will be the same whether you're here or in Boulder."

CMC students also can take any of the engineering courses in hopes of transferring into any CU engineering degree program, not just its mechanical engineering program, Eldridge said.

The partnership is one of many CMC-Alpine Campus has forged with other higher education institutions. The community college also has agreements with Regis University for a nursing degree program, Franklin University for a variety of online degree programs and Mesa State College for an elementary education degree program. CMC is exploring additional articulation agreements with Mesa State College, Eldridge said.

The partnerships allow students to work toward four-year degrees in their chosen fields while taking advantage of two years of CMC's reasonable tuition costs and small classes, Eldridge said.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234 or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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