Older students among community college grads | VailDaily.com

Older students among community college grads

Daily Staff Report

NWS CMC Graduation2 PU 5-6

EAGLE COUNTY – Ken Rogers has a backpack and a cell phone, and had his schedule memorized by the second day of classes. But at 53, Rogers isn’t a typical of the Colorado Monutain College students who graduated Saturday. The community college’s Vail-Eagle Valley campus in Edwards is drawing more and more older students, thanks in large part to a catalog of classes that can earn working students certificates and degrees related to their jobs, or new careers For Rogers and others like him, the college’s EMT/paramedic program was created because of interest for more and better training from firefighters and paramedics on the Western Slope.

Edwards is the ideal spot for the EMT/Paramedic program, said Mike Trujillo, the college’s director of emergency medical services. The Edwards campus allows the most students from across the college’s 12,000-square-mile district to participate in classes. The first year-long EMT/paramedic class began in January of last year, and ran through December. Rogers was one of the students who completed that program by passing his National Registry Paramedic exam. By passing the exam, Rogers is qualified to apply for a job as a paramedic anywhere in the country. Rogers’ original goal was to help fill a need for paramedics in southern Routt County, where he and his wife, Melissa, live. Now, though, he’d like to work along the Interstate 70 corridor, he said.

Besides his paramedic certificate, Rogers also took classes to earn an associate of science degree with an emphasis in paramedic training. He graduated May 6. Luckily for Rogers, his current job as the director of timing and scoring for the American Motorcycle Association did not take him out of town for the graduation ceremony. Rogers was “a treat” to have in class, EMT instructor Liz Owen said. “He was so generous and helpful, as a technologically advanced computer guru,” she said. “He was very laid back – a quiet, strong leader. Easygoing, really. And did I mention smart?”

Owen said Rogers not only passed every class, but also earned straight A’s.Vail, Colorado