CMC enrollment, diversity increase
Kimberly Vega’s first experience with Colorado Mountain College was through the faculty who taught concurrent enrollment classes when she was a student at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.
“The teachers had a big impact on me,” said Vega, who is now a second-year CMC student focused on earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Now, she is surprised by the diversity she found on campus.
“Everybody expects that students at CMC are just local, but there are so many people from different places. It’s weird if you find a local,” she said.
This fall, more students are learning what Vega has learned. Preliminary enrollment figures show that the student body is increasing, students are taking more classes, and the college is becoming more diverse.
Throughout CMC’s service area, which covers a mountainous area the size of Maryland, the number of students attending increased 3.4 percent, powered by a substantial increase in full-time students 23 years old and younger.
Compared with the same point during fall semester last year, the number of individual students has increased at nearly every campus, though online learning has slightly decreased. On average, students are taking more credits at all campuses, especially traditional-age college students.
Moreover, compared with the same time last fall, preliminary enrollment measurements show an increase of 18.5 percent Latino and Hispanic students who are 18 or 19 years old, and many more of these students are enrolled full-time compared with earlier years.
Also, full-time equivalent enrollment of students from outside of Colorado increased 8.2 percent from last year.
Final enrollment numbers won’t be available until later in the year because a number of courses start late in the semester.
“Because we have many late-start and short courses, our official enrollment data won’t be available until after the end of fall semester,” said Lin Stickler, the college’s vice president for student affairs. “But these preliminary data are a snapshot in time, and help us know how to adjust our focus to meet students’ needs.”
CMC President Carrie Besnette Hauser attributes some of the increased enrollments to intentional, strategic initiatives at the college.
For instance, last spring the college offered a $1,000 President’s Scholarship to all graduating high school seniors within the college’s service area. CMC administrators are now working more closely with local school districts on concurrent enrollment courses, in which high school students can earn college credit. College staff have also streamlined registration, and have become more involved in Western Slope college fairs.
“Our board of trustees is excited to see the outcome following discussions we’ve had over the past several years,” said Glenn Davis, president of the Colorado Mountain College board of trustees. “We’ve developed tuition and other strategies that support the college’s vision to become more innovative and inclusive, and we are starting to see results.”
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