Eagle County high school grads earn college credit at Colorado Mountain College

Thirty-seven high school students earned a certificate of degree from Colorado Mountain College this May

A group of graduates toss their mortarboards in celebration during the Spring 2021 commencement ceremony at Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley on May 7.
David Watson, Special to the Daily

In Eagle County this May, 37 high school students earned a certificate or degree from Colorado Mountain College. This is out of the 100-plus high school students that received a variety of certificates and associate degrees college wide.

Through the Colorado Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act, or CEPA, high school students can gain college experience, education and credits. This year, courses offered through this program have earned students associate of arts and associate of science degrees as well as certificates in emergency medical technician, early childhood education, nurse aide, basic welding and more.

According to Carol Carlson, the CEPA coordinator at Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley, high school students can take tuition-free concurrent enrollment classes, which allows them to explore their passions sooner, graduate from college early and save money.

“It gives them such a sense of confidence, accomplishment and pride,” Carlson said. “They get to take college-level classes when they might not have thought that they could even do that.”

Of the 37 high school students that graduated from Colorado Mountain College, 25 completed various certifications from the Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley’s automotive service technology program.

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One such student is Eagle Valley High School senior Kalie Roybal who graduated in May with a Certificate of Completion in automotive service technology as well as in automotive transmissions from Colorado Mountain College.

She was introduced to the CEPA program through her cousins who previously participated in the program and enjoyed their experiences. After participating in the first courses the program offered, Roybal found a passion for automotive services.

“I’m happy I stuck with it and found out it was something I really like,” Roybal said. “It was a lot of real-world experience. It made me excited to start college and see how a college course is run compared to high school.”

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