4-year degrees clear hurdle at mountain college

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education unanimously approved two, four-year-degree programs for Colorado Mountain College during its meeting Friday in Denver. The four-year degrees will be the first offered by the college.

The Glenwood Springs-based college offers two-year degrees at campuses in Glenwood and surrounding mountain towns. Senate Bill 101, passed last year, allows the school to expand its offerings with up to five bachelor’s degrees.

The two programs approved Friday are for a bachelor of science in business administration and a bachelor of arts in sustainability studies.

The commission’s approval is the penultimate step in allowing the college to enroll students in four-year programs. The school still has to be approved to offer four-year degrees by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission, a privilege the school applied for in December and expects to receive in April.

An accreditation team visited the school last week and will make a recommendation to the higher learning commission, Colorado Mountain College spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said.

“We have one more hurdle left,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of work, and it will continue to be a lot of work, but we’re excited about the opportunity to offer more learning opportunities to our district.”

The school system’s district stretches west to Rifle, east to Summit County, south to Buena Vista and north to Steamboat Springs.

Based on a survey of prospective students, the college expects up to 100 extra students to enroll in each degree program.

The college plans to charge $95 per credit hour for four-year students living in the college’s district, $200 per credit hour for students from other parts of Colorado, and $405 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Those are increases of 79, 125 and 45 percent, respectively, from the rates for two-year programs at the college.

The four-year programs likely will be available at all of Colorado Mountain College’s locations, according to Crawford. It has campuses in Glenwood Springs, Aspen, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Carbondale, Dillon, Edwards, Leadville, Rifle and Steamboat Springs.


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