Colorado Mountain College

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Colorado Mountain College
Type Public Four-Year Institution
Established 1967
Academic staff
354 full-time
509 part-time
Students 20,000 to 25,000 annually
Location Colorado, United States
Campus Rural
Telephone +1-970-945-8691
Affiliations North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
Mascot Swoop the Eagle

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is an accredited four-year institution that is made up of a network of eleven college campuses in Western Colorado, and grants both Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, as well as a range of certificates.


In addition to in-person classes, CMC offers distance learning, allowing students at one location to hear and speak with their teachers at other college sites. CMC offers many of the same introductory courses in arts and sciences found at other four-year colleges, with guaranteed credit transfers for most courses to any other public institution in Colorado. Also available are other career and technical programs for careers in the outdoor and resort fields. CMC offers professional certifications and custom workforce training.

In addition to providing many different recreational and educational activities through student clubs, honor societies, and the rugged snow-sport focused terrain of the Colorado Western Slope, the Colorado Mountain College Ski Team at Steamboat Springs campus is an associate member of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association. RMISA is composed of Division I Universities/Colleges in the West and is the strongest college ski racing conference in the country. [2]


In 2012, ranked Colorado Mountain College in the top 20 nationally for student success at two-year colleges. [3] According to the report the college is also ranked #1 among Colorado’s two-year colleges for graduation plus transfer rates. ranks CMC #17 in the nation for graduation plus transfer rates for schools with more than 200 full-time freshmen. This reporting tool is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Founded as a community college in 1967, Colorado Mountain College offers many associate degree program options, and has received accredation for a growing number of bachelor's programs including business, sustainability, applied science, nursing, and elementary education. Following approval from CMC's elected board of trustees, the Colorado Legislature, Bill Ritter and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, on April 18, 2011, the Higher Learning Commission approved Colorado Mountain College to begin offering 2 Bachelor's degrees. In Fall 2012, CMC began a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainability Studies. These degrees are offered at all 11 locations. [4]

Isaacson School for New Media

In Fall 2012, CMC opened one of the nation's first community college programs dedicated to new media, named the Isaacson School for New Media with classes at the college's locations in Aspen, Colorado, Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs. The school teaches courses in digital media, digital journalism, digital marketing and design. Named in honor of Walter Isaacson, writer, biographer and president of the Aspen Institute. The school provides professional training as well as degrees and certificates. [5]


The Spring Valley Campus, just outside Glenwood Springs, Colorado offers an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree in Professional Photography. Faculty includes program director Derek Johnston, assistant professor Joseph Gamble and adjunct professor Klaus Kocher. They teach small classes of photography students a variety of skills ranging from basic exposure to advanced Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom editing, and now visual storytelling using video and other media.

The Spring Valley Campus offers multiple computer labs, including Mac labs outfitted with regularly updated Apple desktops and large format Canon and Epson printers. The program also utilizes a photography studio which is attached to the photo labs and includes multiple lighting kits and backdrops. The program offers a strong foundation in technical skills but also encourages creative work with electives and field trips to places such as Yellowstone and the U.S. Southwest. The Professional Photography degree program is part of the Isaacson School for New Media.

Notable graduates of the CMC photography program include Pat Davison, who was part of a team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. [6]


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