Colorado Mountain College approves $61 million budget | SummitDaily.com

Colorado Mountain College approves $61 million budget

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees approved a $61 million operating budget on Thursday, June 18, at the college's Spring Valley campus for 2015-16.

The operating budget makes a few strategic adjustments to last year's budget. Specifically, it retires overhead expenses originally set aside to launch the college's five baccalaureate programs and provides resources to start the college's new teacher education program.

Despite rising operating costs due to inflation, the 2015-16 budget reflects no increase in tuition for in-district students or for any bachelor's degrees.

Earlier this year, the board voted to maintain tuition at current levels for in-district and baccalaureate students. CMC's in-district tuition is $57 per credit hour — the lowest tuition among public colleges and universities in Colorado.

Trustees approved a new tuition rate that incentivizes adult students to continue with college-level classes after completing ESL or GED programs at the college. These students will now qualify for in-state rates.

The board also approved that students attending private, nonprofit high schools in the college's service area can take CMC classes through the college's concurrent-enrollment programs.

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Increased operating expenditures within the budget include a 2.5 percent cost-of-living salary increase for employees and a 2 percent mid-year performance pay pool. The college will also absorb a 6 percent increase in the cost of health benefits for its employees.

Also at the meeting, the trustees authorized president and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser to proceed with negotiating and initiating construction of a cell tower at the college's Spring Valley campus, which has minimal cell coverage.

Summit High School students visit Honduras

A group of Summit High School students recently traveled to Honduras on an eight-day service and language immersion trip.

The students were led by Summit High School Spanish and French teacher Susan Mocatta, who is on the board of directors of the Breckenridge nonprofit Summit in Honduras.

The June student trip piggy-backed on a Summit in Honduras medical outreach trip in May funded by a $2,500 grant from The Summit Foundation. Summit County doctors, nurses and physician's assistants provided medical services at the Amigos de Jesús orphanage, the Manos Amigos clinic and an indigenous Mennonite village.

The Summit High School group partnered with the Rotary Club of Summit County and its Rotary counterpart in Florida, Honduras, to deliver clay water filters made by the nonprofit Potters for Peace to five villages.

The school's Spanish Honor Society helped fundraise $5,300 for the trip, and Summit's Rotary Club granted Summit in Honduras $1,000 for the filters.

The students also visited a rural school in Chalmeca, Honduras, and distributed soccer balls, jerseys and water bottles donated by High Country Soccer Association.

The high school group used a $500 grant from The Summit Foundation's Youth Giving Council to set up computers at the Bethel Chalmeca school and orphanage and to purchase half of the clay water filters made in Tegucigalpa.

Mocatta said Summit in Honduras is thrilled to learn that The Summit Foundation recently created a grant fund specifically to help local organizations and Summit residents provide aid internationally.

Send local education news to reporter Alli Langley at alangley@summitdaily.com.