Engineering a good start to college, career |

Engineering a good start to college, career

CMC CornerMerne DragonetteGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Considering a career in engineering makes good sense. Nationwide and statewide, engineers are in high demand – a trend that’s expected to continue. According to CareerOne Stop, a U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored website, 11 of the 50 fastest-growing occupations in Colorado are in the area of engineering, and eight of these are in the top 25.In pursuit of such a career, it also makes good sense to receive the best possible education, paying particular attention to the first two years of college. During the critical freshman and sophomore years, you learn about concepts that will be used throughout your education and your career. These first years can be especially tough on college students. In addition to the challenge of adjusting to college life, you take some of the most challenging courses such as calculus, physics and chemistry – which students sometimes call the “weed out” courses.It’s understandable these difficult yet fundamental courses can throw a roadblock onto someone’s desired career path. During these critical first two years it is important to consider the factors that can improve student success: small class size, direct access to faculty members and ample support services – things that aren’t always available at large universities. Fortunately, these are available in the Roaring Fork Valley at Colorado Mountain College.CMC has a formal transfer agreement with all Colorado public colleges that have engineering programs, including the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. This agreement guarantees the seamless transfer of 60 specified CMC credits into their engineering programs. These are the required math, science and general studies credits common to all engineering specialties. Our students learn more about these transfer credits through conversations with their CMC academic advisors.Colorado Mountain College is well positioned to offer these formative first- and second-year courses. Both inside and outside the classroom, faculty members meet with students to answer questions and elaborate on difficult concepts. CMC science faculty member Robert Wang and I both have degrees in environmental engineering. Because we’ve been there, we can meet with students to discuss their interests and advise them appropriately.The Roaring Fork Campus has committed to offer all the required math and science courses that are part of this transfer agreement, even if the enrollments are small. I’m excited that CMC can provide this option for students living on the Western Slope to begin their study of engineering. Individual attention, affordable tuition, a solid foundation for engineering: When you add it all up, it simply makes good sense to begin engineering pursuits at CMC.Merne Dragonette is professor of mathematics at the Roaring Fork Campus of Colorado Mountain College.

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