One of the primary directives of Colorado Mountain College is to meet the needs of the community. As a comprehensive community college, the mission of CMC will always be centered on providing academic transfer programs, career and technical education, community education for personal enrichment/life-long learning, and workforce training for business and industry.
But as the needs of Steamboat Springs change, meeting those needs may take on new meaning - and local needs may have global implications.
Without abandoning curriculum that is specific to local business, industry, the arts, philanthropy, and personal interest needs, there is increasing demand to meet ecological and environmental needs on an international scale that does not leave Steamboat Springs isolated.
The demand for green construction, sustainability, and attention to the environment is a need that is being demanded from the international community. Trends and issues of this magnitude do not leave any local community untouched. As CMC develops new programs and implements curriculum to meet the needs of the community, there will undoubtedly be new connections between local and global.
For example, we will continue to see a focus in business classes that emphasize competition and cooperation in global markets, classes with a focus to help students demonstrate ethical and social responsibility that encompasses both the local and the international community, and components to traditional courses that include environmental consequences to decision-making.
In our local community, where more and more businesses are location-neutral and entrepreneurs are doing business on a national and international scale out of Steamboat Springs, the trend to include global concerns and issues will also meet local needs.
Colorado Mountain College had its beginnings as a private four-year college called Yampa Valley College. The founder of YVC, Lucile Bogue, had a dream of establishing an international college in Steamboat Springs. When Yampa Valley College started offering classes in 1962, the major emphasis was international relations and Eastern civilization/culture combined with business.
Although dreams have a way of losing some of the grandeur when they come true, perhaps as we see more and more connections to the international community, we will have come full circle and Lucile Bogue's dream will be realized in a way she never thought possible.
Kerry Hart is dean of the Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs. His education commentaries appear in the Steamboat Today.