Vail Valley Voices: CMC to offer bachelor’s? |

Vail Valley Voices: CMC to offer bachelor’s?

Dan Gibbs
Vail, CO, Colorado

The communities of the mountains are as unique as the mountains themselves. The people of these communities live, work, recreate and educate in a distinctive mountain way.

Colorado Mountain College not only fits with this diverse way of life, but encourages it and benefits from it. CMC provides a unique opportunity for those of us who live in the mountains to grow personally and professionally through the classes they offer.

That is why I believe that CMC should be able to expand what it offers by allowing students to earn a Bachelors Degree.

The Board of Trustees for Colorado Mountain College voted to allow CMC to offer four-year degrees.

However, for this to happen, a bill must be passed by the Colorado General Assembly. This means the bill must pass through both the Senate and the House of Representatives and be signed by the governor.

It is with this in mind that I have introduced a bill to make the actions of the CMC Board of Trustees a reality.

This bill enjoys bipartisan co-sponsorship with state Reps. Christine Scanlan and Tom Massey.

Education is the foundation for leading a long and prosperous life. It is of value not only to the person seeking it but to the community as a whole. When one of us makes the decision to further our education, we all benefit. That is true whether the student is seeking a law degree, a Bachelors degree, an Associates degree or a one credit course on organic gardening. A more educated population leads to lower crime rates, less poverty, and a stronger economy. That is why we should encourage as much education as close to home as we can.

I’m a former CMC student, and my experience there helped shape me into the person I am today. CMC provided a high-quality education in a beautiful area at a price my family and I could afford. I had the benefit of small classes and more personalized attention from my professors.

CMC offers classes in a variety of locations, including Breckenridge, Dillon, Aspen, Edwards and more.

Many CMC students have careers and families. CMC provides an opportunity for a higher education without requiring long commutes or relocation.

We must also consider the possibility that there are many students from all over the country who want the benefits of a full, four-year education and would be happy to move to the mountains to accomplish this goal.

In these challenging economic times, education should not fall by the wayside because of exorbitant cost. Currently, CMC is offering classes as low as $45 a credit hour, and the quality far exceeds the cost.

I know from my experience that the courses I took at CMC more than prepared me for the higher level classes I took when I transferred to Western State College of Colorado. The professors at CMC are devoted to teaching, and the small class sizes allow them to foster close relationships with their students. I want to extend this fantastic value beyond the two-year model into the four-year.

CMC is an invaluable resource to our communities. Students, including myself, have enjoyed what CMC has to offer for years. It is time to extend those benefits to all who wish to seek them on a four-year track.

I join CMC in wanting “to give you more than a diploma or certificate. We want to foster an environment that helps you succeed in all areas of your life.”

Dan Gibbs, a Summit County resident, is a state senator.

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