Education Briefs: Locals weigh-in on CCCS president selection |

Education Briefs: Locals weigh-in on CCCS president selection

At a forum held on Tuesday, leaders ship from the Colorado Community College System and State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education listened to what locals would like in a new system President. Pictured, from left: President and Search Committee Chair John Trefny, Board Chair Russ Meyer, CCCS President Nancy McCallin, Board Vice President Jean White and Student Representative Rachel Zinna.
Brian MacKenzie/Courtesy

The search for a new college system president began in Rangely and Craig on Tuesday, with forums that provided locals an opportunity to contribute.

The Colorado Community College System is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado.

Colorado Northwestern Community College is part of the system. 
The system president will play a role in approving major developments and programs for the local college.

Forums were held  in Rangely and Craig and live streamed on Facebook to allow leaders from the Colorado Community College System and State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education to listen to what locals would like in a new system president.

Participants had an opportunity to share their ideas for CCCS and the colleges, as well as provide input about strengths, experiences and attributes they would like to see in a future system president.

Participants at the Craig forum asked that the selection committee look for someone who would understand the challenges faced by rural colleges, support local fundraising, advocate and help identify additional resources for students, specifically child care in communities such as Craig, where such resources are scarce.  

Watch video of the events at

Coal Creek School restoration celebration planned
Rio Blanco County Historical Society and MM-Eight Construction will celebrate the restoration of the Coal Creek School, 617 County Road 6, in Meeker, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 23.

The school is on the National Register of Historic Places, the Colorado Register of Historic Properties and the Rio Blanco County Preservation Register. It will be used as an educational center for everyone, particularly school children, to learn about the role rural schools played in the development of Colorado. It can also be used for small events.

A free barbecue lunch will be served, and the event is also slated to include music and memories with family, friends and people of all ages. The event is free, but guests are encouraged to bring  a dessert to share. Park only in designated areas. Shuttles will take guests to the school.
For more information about the event or the Coal Creek School, call the Rio Blanco County Historical Society at 970-878-9982.

October student count set for Oct. 2
Moffat County School District asks parents and students to attend school Oct. 2 — the day the state looks at attendance to determine the amount of funding each school will receive. The goal is to have every child at school that day, and incentives will be given to students who are present. For more information, call MCSD at 970-824-3268.

Moffat County Library changes October hours

The Craig branch of the Moffat County Library will observe new hours for the month of October.

October library hours are as follows.

  • 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays
  • 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays
  • 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays
  • 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays
  • Closed Sundays

Cooking at the Senior Social Center slated Oct. 5
The Senior Social Center will host a presentation from 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 5 at the the Senior Social Center, 50 College Drive. The presentation will explore why food becomes less flavorful as people age. Join for conversation and a food-tasting kickoff to the center’s fall and winter cooking classes. The event is sponsored by the Senior Social Center and United Way.

The cost is $5. For more information or to sign up, call 970-326-3188 or email

Local kids invited to Ready-Set-Read reading challenge
Ready-Set-Read is a program for children age birth through fifth grade. Offered twice per year — September through November and March through May — the program sends reading logs home with students. Those who are not yet in school or who are homeschooled may pick up a log at the library. Complete the reading log by the end of the challenge period and bring it into the library to receive a free book. Participation is free.

Friends of Library offer baby book bags
The Friends of the Library is looking to give babies a head start in literacy.
Those who have welcomed a new baby into their home are invited to visit the library to pick up a free baby book bag.
Each bag contains a book and bookmark, as well as information about reading to babies and what the library offers infants and parents. Baby book bags are provided courtesy of Friends of the Library, in conjunction with the Moffat County Libraries.
For more information call the library at 970-824-5116.

Negative peer pressure subject of website
A new website — Speak Now! — offers strategies for parents and children to develop a plan to manage peer pressure regarding the use of drugs and alcohol.

According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, youth who feel they can ask a parent, guardian or other adult for help are one-and-a-half times less likely to binge drink. The survey says that creating a plan is a helpful way to start discussing healthy choices with children, especially if a young person is increasingly curious about alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or other drugs.

The Speak Now! Colorado website, available in English and Spanish, gives parents age-appropriate tools and resources so they can initiate a positive and successful dialogue with their children about substance use and abuse. The Speak Now! Colorado statewide social marketing campaign is a project of the Office of Behavioral Health within the Colorado Department of Human Services.

“The key is helping kids come up with effective strategies in advance, before they find themselves in a difficult situation,” says Leah Emerick, youth substance abuse prevention coordinator at Denver Public Health. “Starting these conversations can sometimes feel awkward, but having an ongoing discussion with your child is really important. Support from parents and caregivers is crucial for kids, who are often faced with negative peer pressure.”

To learn more about Speak Now!, visit

CCCS raises $26M for student scholarships
The Colorado Community College System recently announced the conclusion of a four-year scholarship fundraising campaign at a celebration Sept. 14 at the Governor’s Mansion. The Campaign for Colorado Community Colleges generated $26,454,336 for student scholarships at the 13 CCCS colleges.

“The culmination of this scholarship campaign is one of the most meaningful events in my 13-year tenure as CCCS president, because thousands of students who might otherwise have been unable to attend college have access to higher education as a result of our generous donors,” said Nancy McCallin, CCCS president. “Throughout the campaign the great work that we do in providing quality educational opportunities was shared countless times and reached more people than ever. I am grateful for the many individuals and organizations who donated to help our students achieve more.”

In partnership with the 13 CCCS college foundations, gifts were secured from individuals, foundations, and corporations across the state.

“We’re proud the Colorado Community College System reached and far exceeded its monumental goal of raising $10 million in scholarship funds,” said Roland Lyon, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “As a supporter of this campaign from the start, we know this is about more than raising funds — this campaign will forever change the lives of thousands of talented students who seek to bring their education and skills to Colorado’s rapidly growing workforce.”

Beyond the funds raised for scholarships, an additional $10.4 million was raised for a range of academic programs, several capital projects, investments in faculty and teaching and other initiatives for CCCS colleges. 

The Campaign Celebration was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Colorado and ANB Bank.

Commission sets statewide goal to boost postsecondary achievement
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday released a statewide plan to increase postsecondary attainment.
“Colorado Rises: Advancing Education and Talent Development” sets a statewide goal of 66-percent credential attainment by 2025, including certificates and two- and four-year degrees. To reach this mark, CCHE has laid out four strategies for Colorado’s higher education institutions: increase credential completion, erase equity gaps, improve student success and invest in affordability and innovation.

With a rapidly changing economy, experts estimate the demand for college-educated adults in Colorado is the fifth highest in the nation. Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce shows that, by 2020, nearly 75-percent of jobs in Colorado will require some education beyond high school, yet only 55-percent of the state’s adult population has a degree or certificate.

“Our goal is clear and more important than ever. We must expand access to quality credentials to ensure that more Colorado residents have the skills, training and knowledge they need to succeed in the jobs of today and the future,” said Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, executive director of CDHE. “Critical to this work is our focus on erasing equity gaps, which is essential to expanding opportunity.”

The plan emphasizes closing equity gaps among minority and white groups as a key strategy to boost postsecondary attainment. The share of Colorado’s white majority population that has earned a credential is more than twice that of Hispanics and Latinos and about 1.5 times the share of African Americans. The gap between white and Hispanics is the second-largest in the nation, barely behind California’s.  

“Colorado is a state that has proven its commitment to success for all students, and we’re proud to partner with them,” said Scott Jenkins, a strategy director at Lumina Foundation. “The objective of Lumina Foundation’s Talent Innovation Equity partnership with states like Colorado is to demonstrate that educational attainment gaps among students of color can be closed.”

Available online, Colorado Rises
reaffirms goals set forth in the previous master plan released in 2012. Using institution data, CDHE is developing a dashboard to track progress on goals and metrics that will debut in the coming months.

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