The state House of Representatives education committee OK'd State Sen. Dan Gibbs' CMC bill unanimously Thursday. If passed, Colorado Mountain College may offer up to five four-year bachelor's degrees by Summer 2011.
"We are extremely pleased with the level of support we've seen in the Legislature, and especially among the students, communities and businesses we serve," said CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford. "There's a lot of work ahead, and it's pretty exciting."
According to state Rep. Christine Scanlan (D-Summit County), the bill will likely go before the full state House of Representatives sometime next week. It was already passed by the state Senate earlier this month. If approved next week, the governor's signature will be the final step to send it on to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission for other necessary approvals.
As of now, CMC only provides two-year associate's degrees, and Gibbs said Colorado's mountain region is underserved regarding higher education. CMC's service spans a 12,000 square-mile radius with seven campuses spread throughout the region.
According to Scanlan, concerns over funding impacts were also discussed with education committee members.
"It will not have a fiscal impact to the state or locally," Scanlan said. "Their plan to go to bachelor's degrees does not require any additional funding from either the state or the local communities where CMC operates. Any needed increases will be covered by the additional tuition they expect with new people enrolling in the programs. That was the biggest issue. Otherwise, people were really supportive."
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.