CMC bachelor's degree programs move forward

If approved, Colorado Mountain College to offer bachelor’s in business, sustainability

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— Colorado Mountain College has taken the final steps to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in business and sustainability next fall.

The college has requested accreditation to offer the four-year degrees from the federal Higher Learning Commission and approval from the Colorado Department of Higher Edu­cation. CMC’s Alpine Campus is in Steamboat Springs.

If the agencies approve, CMC President Stan Jensen said the college would begin offering the degree programs in fall 2011 at its 11 campus locations in northcentral Colorado.

“The major motivation is to serve our communities more and to provide even more value to our students and communities,” he said.

Jensen said CMC would be the only college offering two- and four-year degrees in the college’s 12,000-square-mile district, allowing place-bound students additional opportunities closer to home. He added that the availability of four-year degree programs could also be an economic engine for CMC’s communities.

The pursuit of the four-year degrees started more than a year ago when the college’s Board of Trustees gave Jensen the go-ahead to approach state lawmakers, who approved new legislation allowing them in spring. Gov. Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 101 into law in May.

Surveys of CMC communities indicated high interest in the business and sustainability degrees. The college has indicated its desire to make more four-year degrees available in the future.

Jensen said CMC’s faculty, staff and administrators have worked to create curriculums and financing plans for the degree programs, two requirements of the Higher Learning Commission, during summer and fall.

Because the new legislation doesn’t allow the college to request additional funding for the four-year degrees, Jensen said tuition for higher-level courses would increase.

Jensen said he hopes to have accreditation in place by spring, at which point the college would begin to advertise the four-year degree programs.

“It’s very rigorous,” he said about the programs. “We’ve done benchmarking against other colleges and universities in Colorado. We often meet and/or exceed the requirements other colleges have already set up.”

Steamboat Springs High Sch­­ool Principal Kevin Taulman said not only would CMC’s four-year degree offerings benefit students, they also would be advantageous for adults who might need training in a new field as a result of the economy.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for everybody in the community to get an affordable education right here in Steamboat,” he said. “It’s good for students. It’s good for adults. It’s good for everybody.”

Comments

chickadee 3 years, 7 months ago

"sustainability" degrees? is that b.s. for being "green"?

why not get a degree in an area that is actually ~~sustainable~~, such as... engineering?

would that be too "rigorous"?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 7 months ago

Does not appear to be an engineering degree. Looks like it is out the environmental studies dept and teaches certification for various technician jobs. Such as how to build for LEEDS.

Sort of like computer education that results in a MSCE (Microsoft certified computer tech). There were companies and governments that considered a MSCE to be an important certification for getting a job, but computer companies largely thought it meant nothing.

The sustainability degree will probably be important for some government jobs and contractors for government projects and for installs to qualify for tax breaks.

I remember seeing an article years ago about how some town in Massachusetts took Hans Bethe to court saying he was not licensed to use explosives to remove tree stumps from his farm. So the guy that designed the explosives for the first A-bombs suddenly didn't know enough about explosives to blow up tree stumps because he didn't have the proper certification. He ended up accepting a plea to not blow up anything without a properly certified person on site.

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