Free tuition increases fall enrollment at Colorado Northwestern Community College |

Free tuition increases fall enrollment at Colorado Northwestern Community College

Members of the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board of Control consider changes to their meeting agenda, in April 2017. Pictured, from left, are Secretary Zach Allen, member Lois Wymore, Treasurer Andy Daniels, Foundation Liaison Terry Carwile and board chair Mike Anson.
Sasha Nelson/staff

CRAIG — Enrollment at Colorado Northwestern Community College has increased.

Across CNCC’s two campuses, FTE — full-time equivalent, the measure used to determine how much per-student funding the state will provide — is up 3.1 percent from the prior year, according to fall semester student census data from Kelly Scott, director of institutional effectiveness.

The data show the Craig campus FTE was up 7 percent, with Rangely’s campus down by 4 percent.

Ron Slinger, Craig campus’s interim vice president, said 4 percent of the increase in FTE at the Craig campus was directly related to the offer of free tuition. He also noted that additional growth might occur when mid-semester classes — such as the new Introduction to Drones, Mine Training and Emergency Medical Services — begin.

Headcount — the actual number of students — is also up across both campuses, showing an increase of 6.3 percent compared to the prior year. Craig is up by 6 percent, and Rangley is up by 5 percent, compared to the previous the prior year, according to the census data.

The increase in enrollment at the Craig campus comes despite the loss of the women’s soccer team, which would have resulted in the enrollment of about 10 more athletes.

The Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board dipped into reserves to support both 100 percent free tuition for Moffat County residents and the Automotive/Diesel, Emergency Medical Services/Emergency Management Technologist programs, along with the development of new programs for drone, medical assisting, equine studies, and nursing.

The board also has promoted extra marketing for programs offered on the Craig campus.

Some of the programs are behind recruitment targets, while others are on track to meet or exceed expectations, CNCC President Ron Granger said. He added that CNCC will be using Perkins Grant money to hire a new recruiter, who will focus on increasing enrollment in career technical programs, such as automotive/diesel.

In addition to hearing enrollment and quarterly reports during Monday’s meeting, the college district board — following an executive session — amended its agenda to table a request by Memorial Regional Health for a letter of support for the sale of property to the hospital for a proposed expansion of services to patients and the college.

Andy Daniels and Terry Carwile abstained from the vote to amend the agenda to avoid conflicts of interest in their roles. Daniels is MRH’s CEO, and Carwile serves as a board of trustee for the hospital.

No other decisions were made pertaining to the issues discussed during executive session.

In other business:

• The board received invitations during public comment to attend “Let the Sun Shine” — a workshop on government transparency — to be held from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, Oct. 1 at the CNCC library.

• Board members expressed appreciation for a recent visit to Craig and Rangley by new Colorado Community College System President Joe Garcia.

“We were fortunate to have the visit that supplied a lot of feedback. … I’ve had two conversations since then, and we are working to resolve some issues. I think, in my opinion, that things will be moving forward,” said Board President Mike Anson.

• The board unanimously voted to approve minutes and the treasurer’s report.

• Board members were invited to open forum meetings with candidates to fill three vice president positions. Meetings with candidates for the vice president of instruction took place Sept. 18 and 19. Meetings with candidates for the vice president of student affairs and the Craig campus are scheduled for Sept. 24 and 25. More information about these forums may be obtained by contacting Director of Human Resources Angie Miller at 970-675-3235 or Keely Winger at 970-675-3219.

• As liaison to the CNCC Foundation, Carwile reported that the foundation retreat held Sept. 7 resulted in a foundation pledge to help with the push for on-campus student housing in Craig.

“The housing committee just needs to tell the foundation what we want them to do for us,” Carwile said. “I was quite satisfied with the outcome of the retreat.”

• Board member and student housing committee chair Lois Wymore said the housing committee would not meet this month while awaiting clarification on figures from Granger and the CCCS office.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or


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