I write in response to the commentary by Steven Schibline in the April 4 edition of the Steamboat Today. Mr. Schibline took issue with the tuition charged for some of the community courses offered at Colorado Mountain College.
Tuition at CMC is among the lowest in Colorado. While tuition for in-district (Steamboat Springs) students is $43.00 and in-state tuition (outside of Steamboat) is $72.00 per credit hour, Red Rocks Community College charges $179.45 per credit hour; Arapahoe Community College, $185.55; CNCC, $74.55; CU-Boulder, $759.00; CSU, $258.76; and Mesa State, $141.15. Thanks to the tax dollars from our residents, our in-district tuition remains exceptionally affordable and hasn't been raised for three years. Our low tuition will remain the same for 2007-08.
There are three sources of revenue for CMC: property taxes, state reimbursement, and tuition. Funding for non-credit courses is based primarily on tuition revenue and there is no state reimbursement for these types of courses. The funding formula for both credit and non-credit classes has been in place throughout the history of Colorado Mountain College and this practice did not change with the publication of the summer bulletin of course offerings as Mr. Schibline alluded.
The course that prompted Mr. Schibline to write to the paper is one of our advanced martial arts classes. The advanced martial arts courses were moved from credit to non-credit status for this coming summer to bring these courses into alignment with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education standards. Since the class at issue is non-credit, the tuition must cover the cost of the instructor. We believe faculty who teach for CMC should be given pay increases each year and we were able to implement a modest pay increase for our adjunct faculty this past January. The cost for the advanced martial arts class in which Mr. Schibline expressed concern will increase from $1.87 to $2.87 per class hour.
The Alpine campus serves approximately 3,400 students per year. Of these, approximately 78 percent are local students taking advantage of CMC's core and community course offerings. Fewer than 22 percent are degree-seeking students with intentions to transfer to a four-year institution. Whether credit classes or community education classes, CMC is one of the best buys in higher education. In addition to the affordability, Colorado Mountain College is a top-notch comprehensive community college that provides high quality personal interest and life-long learning classes, customized work-force training for business and industry, cutting-edge career-technical degree programs, and quality academic transfer classes.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for taking advantage of the classes and programs offered by CMC - your community college.
Dr. Kerry Hart
Alpine Campus Dean
Colorado Mountain College