Western Colorado students receive benefits of program partnership

Kelsi Middleton is among the second group of graduates to earn mechanical engineering degrees in a Colorado Mesa University partnership with the University of Colorado.

Students statewide are taking notice of the partnership between Colorado Mesa University and the University of Colorado’s engineering program.

The program graduated nine students its first year and is set to graduate 13 this year, including Kelsi Middleton, who will be recognized as an Outstanding Graduate for Academic Achievement in ceremonies in Boulder.

“At the outset, we knew that western Colorado kids would do well if they had a chance to study engineering without leaving the West Slope. Kelsi’s performance proves our hypothesis,” Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster said. “The fact that the top mechanical engineering student at the University of Colorado is studying right here in Grand Junction at CMU underscores the value of our partnership and the success of our program.”

Though many students in the program hail from the Western Slope, “There is increasing interest from Front Range parents and students” in the program at Colorado Mesa, said Tim Brower, who heads the mechanical engineering partnership program housed in the Archuleta Engineering Center on the Tilman Bishop Campus, 2510 Foresight Circle. “They see they can earn a degree in an environment where the class size is small and more intimate.”

Several students have more than engineering in mind, Brower said.

“We are getting lots of applicants recently where the students are looking to play sports at a Division II level and get an engineering degree,” he said. “That combination is not readily available around the nation.”

As many as 300 students at CMU have expressed interest in the engineering program but aren’t counted among the participants in the partnership program until they’re accepted by CU in the latter part of their sophomore year.


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