CNCC announces additions to curriculum, expansion of programs |

CNCC announces additions to curriculum, expansion of programs

In a presentation to the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday morning, Colorado Northwestern Community College Vice President of Student Services John Anderson talked about class expansion and a burgeoning aeronautics partnership with Front Range schools, which could drive a new industry to Northwest Colorado in the near future.

According to Anderson, CNCC will be expanding its nursing program this fall, adding another 20 spots for students. Additionally, the school is going to establish a guaranteed admissions track for the nursing program, meaning that students who come directly to the school from high school, take the prerequisites through CNCC, and achieve a specific GPA will be admitted into the program without a waiting list.

“We think that will help attract a lot of students to the area for the nursing program,” Anderson said.


CNCC offers its welding program on all of its campuses, but the Craig campus is still working on the viability of the program locally, Anderson said.

“Instructors can make much more in the field than they can as an instructor on campus,” Anderson said. “Knowing that, it’s hard to retain instructors, so we’re working on some things there, seeing what we can do to make it better.”

Commissioner Cook asked Anderson if the issue with the viability was with the number of students enrolled. According to Anderson, the Craig class had six students in its most recent class. The problem is that a trade certification can be obtained in just 2 weeks, where an associate’s degree can take longer than that.


Thanks to the proximity of Dinosaur to the Craig campus of CNCC, the college’s Paleontology program is expanding, Anderson told county commissioners.

“The paleo program became a plan of study this past year for the college,” Anderson said. Anderson added that the hallway is now basically a dinosaur museum and continues to grow.

Now, the college hopes to see more students pour into the popular program.


CNCC enters its third year in partnership with Metro State University in Denver. Metro State has a bachelor’s program in Aerospace Technologies that CNCC’s associates degree in Flight Technology will transfer right into, according to Anderson.

Additionally, Metro State doesn’t have its FAA certification, whereas CNCC does, allowing the partnership to progress.

“They’ve asked us to send some planes down and some instructors,” Anderson said. “So we’ve got some space on the Front Range airport to work together and partner on classes.”

Anderson added that Metro State sends its students to Rangely in the summer to log their flight hours, allowing for more flexibility within the partnership. Northwest Colorado doesn’t have a restricted air space, while the Denver metro area does, making it harder to get flight time around the city.

Due to joining the Air and Space Coalition with Metro State, among others, CNCC is looking to expand its flight program even more.

” With some of the aerospace and rocket technology out there, they need open air and wide open spaces,” Anderson said. “Rockets create a lot of noise, so the Front Range is basically all out on that.

Anderson said that if Northwest Colorado can attract this industry’s large companies like Lockheed Martin – which has shown interest in the area – to the area, it could be a very good for the local economy.

Commissioner Ray Beck added that the whole idea behind forming that Air and Space Coalition was to see if there was a way to get engineering and manufacturing technology to Northwest Colorado to create jobs.

“It’s just a conversation we’ve had, and there seems to be some willingness there,” Commission Beck said. “We’re getting engaged there.”

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