CMC courses draw all ages

Two-thirds of students at Steamboat campus are 25 or older

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— Registration for fall courses at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus opened Monday, and it's not just the typical students who are registering.

Statistics from the college show that during the past academic year, two-thirds of the students at the Steamboat Springs campus were older than 25.

This comes as no surprise to Marion Kahn, executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. She enrolled in a noncredit Photoshop course last year and found the experience to be rewarding.

The course included four Monday sessions, from 6 to 8 p.m. each night. Kahn said she was exhausted from a day's work when she got there.

"But every time, I felt invigorated after 10 minutes and for the rest of the night," she said.

Kahn said she wanted to learn Photoshop for her work but felt overwhelmed by the image-editing computer program.

"I always felt intimidated by Photoshop. I didn't know where to start or how to do it," she said.

Stan Jensen, president of the 12-campus Colorado Mountain College system, said the courses are designed with the local community in mind.

"We really want to be the first choice in higher education," he said. "So our courses are meeting local needs."

To do that, the college also creates specialized courses for businesses to teach employees about software or other business concepts.

Kahn, who served on the board of the Pulaski Technical College in Arkansas, said the community college is a great resource for the town and she looks forward to taking more courses in the future.

Dozens of courses are offered in the evenings and weekend during the upcoming school year, geared toward people who may work during the days but want to advance their careers and education at night.

The night and weekend classes range from non-credit English as a Second Language courses to six-credit Emergency Medical Technician training. Members of the public may choose to audit a course, which means they are not required to take tests and will not receive a grade, but they still must pay the full tuition.

Kahn also cited the affordability of the course as a motivating factor. The Photoshop course, offered in the upcoming school year from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, from Sept. 16 to Oct. 7, costs $49.

Some courses are even cheaper, such as a series of one-session courses about book writing and publishing that cost $10.

According to Alpine Campus interim Dean John Vickery, the arts courses are particularly popular for community members. Upcoming courses in the arts include several painting, drawing and design courses offered in the evenings and on weekends.

Vickery also emphasized that many of the courses are available online as Web courses, meaning students can complete the coursework during their free time and need not travel to campus. Some Web courses offered for the next semester include General College Chemistry and Hotel Sales and Marketing.

To register for the courses, new students must first sign up at the campus at 1330 Bob Adams Drive. Students who have taken courses in the past 10 months can register online at www.coloradomtn.edu/classes.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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