GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Colorado Mountain College President Dr. Stan Jensen on Monday informed the college's trustees that the number of students throughout the college increased 19 percent this January compared to last.
Another measure of enrollment, full-time equivalency, increased 33 percent over the same period, Jensen said.
The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees met Monday at the Spring Valley Center near Glenwood Springs.
The trustees also received an update on the college's initiative to introduce a limited number of bachelor's degrees. A bill is now in the Colorado Senate's Education Committee, and Thursday will be the first hearing in the Senate. A number of supporters of the college will be testifying in support of the bill, and those not able to testify have been encouraged to write letters to their legislators.
If the bill is passed by the education committee, it then goes to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate passes the bill, a similar bill would be introduced in the State House of Representatives for a parallel process.
In recent months, the Colorado Department of Higher Education has started a process to develop a new strategic plan, and it's unknown whether that might cause a delay in getting the baccalaureate program started.
The board also received updates on the college's next phase of its ongoing facilities plan, with plans for an expanded campus in Edwards. The trustees voted unanimously for an amendment of the ground lease the college holds with Partners in Education of Eagle County. Through that agreement, the 16-acre parcel of land where the campus is currently located is leased. After the college builds on acreage within that parcel, the land underneath the building transfer over to ownership of the college.
Because the Vail-Eagle Valley Campus has experienced a 25 percent growth in students enrolled since that building opened in 2004, outpacing the rest of the college, an expansion of the campus there has been under consideration for several years.
Current plans call for an additional 33,000 square feet to be added. Features would include a library and study area, a language lab and a student center that includes a career center where students and members of the community can get support in finding a job or new career.
The architect, TAB Associates, has been requested to build toward a LEED silver or higher standard, but without incurring the $300,000-400,000 expense of getting the full certification.
During a meeting Monday with the foundation board, the college's fundraising arm in support of scholarships and capital projects, the trustees heard that in 2009 the foundation raised $5 million from other foundations and individuals. They also learned of the upcoming retirement of longtime foundation CEO Alexandra Yajko in summer 2010. A search is now under way for her successor.