The Colorado Mountain College Roaring Fork Campus conducted community surveys this summer, including both English-language and Spanish-language versions. About 65 volunteers, staff and faculty took them door-to-door in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. We also mailed a survey, tailored specifically to businesses, to a sample of the membership of the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale Chambers of Commerce.
We conduct these surveys every few years in each of the communities the college serves so we can gather information about what programs and services our communities feel we should offer, what residents know about CMC, and what types of information we might do a better job of communicating. Based on what we learn from these surveys, we aim to better program courses and plan for the future direction of the campus. The Roaring Fork Campus includes the two commuter sites in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, and the Spring Valley residential site.
In total, 665 surveys were returned, 76 percent in English and 24 percent in Spanish. Of these respondents, 59 percent reported they had taken a CMC class, most of them within the past five years. However, 26 percent had never taken a CMC class and 15 percent did not respond either way.
The top five reasons given for taking CMC classes were to enrich students’ lives, improve work performance, reach personal goals, learn a new language and develop creativity.
The top five specific learning goals were to learn computer skills, learn a new language, take art classes, improve health and meet new people.
When asked how they rated CMC tuition cost, 40 percent said it was “Excellent” to “Good,” 8 percent said “Okay” and 2 percent said “Poor.”
However, it is worth noting that a full 50 percent of respondents did not answer this question. So, of those who did answer, 80 percent rated tuition costs as “Excellent” or “Good.”
Most of the respondents like the current 15-week format for credit courses meeting Monday through Thursday between 6 and 10 p.m. For noncredit work-related courses, many prefer a one-day workshop format.
In terms of areas in which CMC might do a better job of communicating, many respondents indicated that they did not know that we offer a transferable associate of arts or associate science degree at $43 per credit (in-district) tuition rate at all seven of our campuses; that the Spring Valley, Steamboat and Leadville sites have residence halls; and that CMC libraries are open to all of the public ” not just to CMC students.
We are now tabulating the results of the business survey. Soon we expect to complete a full report that combines information from the English- and Spanish-language versions, and we will report summaries of the results of all three surveys back to our communities, through regional media and via the CMC Web site (www.coloradomtn.edu).
A sincere “thank-you” to the community members and CMC faculty and staff who helped administer the surveys and who completed and returned them. The information will be invaluable as we work to meet the needs of our communities.
Bill McGreevy is assistant campus dean for continuing education at the Roaring Fork Campus of Colorado Mountain College. If you have questions about the CMC survey, please contact him at 945-7486.
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