Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is stepping up during the COVID-19 emergency to offer distance learning classes. In addition, CMC takes the sting out of student costs with free tuition and books for the summer semester beginning May 18.
CMC President and CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser explained, “The important thing is to support our mountain communities and to be responsive.”
The CMC Board of Trustees will use all $1.6 million the college expects to receive in federal stimulus dollars to waive summer costs. Also, the college will distribute donated laptops or loan them to students.
Although in-person graduation ceremonies have been cancelled, Hauser said, “We will be holding a virtual commencement ceremony on May 15.”
Tuition waivers are available under “CMC Responds: Today, Tomorrow, Together” for in-district students, in-state students who were enrolled in the spring semester and employees working within the district and were recently displaced by public health orders.
Summer online registration just opened at coloradomtn.edu and includes regular credit classes for associate and bachelor’s degree programs. Also offered are English as a second language and General Education Development (GED), a high school equivalency certificate.
Hauser also noted that additional sources of financial aid can cover living expenses. Plus, the college is working to provide internet service to students and families without broadband access, including hot spots in CMC parking lots.
Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Linda Crockett has been teaching distance learning classes through Canvas, the online learning management system. She continues to build class modules with topics, quizzes, assignments and student discussions.
Crockett reported online operations are “going well, although there is a learning curve.”
She added, “The college has bent over backwards to make sure students have the resources they need to be successful.”
CMC also uses Basecamp, an internal student faculty and staff web portal for email, tools, services and college updates.
Hannah Johnson is a third year CMC student in the Isaacson School for New Media.
She said, “Classes that meet online allow us to speak and see a video of each other as we work through problems together.”
Johnson looks forward to a career in visual content marketing or production based on human connection and also hopes to grow her professional portraiture career.
Johnson explained she hadn’t planned to take summer classes and would not have been able to participate in important electives without the tuition waiver.
“This virus has created unpredictability, so I appreciate the college is helping prioritize finishing what I started,” she added.