Colorado Mountain College was awarded a $2.1 million, five-year grant through a highly competitive U.S. Department of Education program, CMC announced Monday.
The Strengthening Institutions Program, as it is called, aims to increase schools’ abilities to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.
CMC intends to use the funds to bolster its police officer training programs, nursing labs and skilled trades programs, according to a statement from the college.
Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of CMC, called the news “so exciting and timely for our mountain region.”
“This SIP grant will allow the college to better serve its students, and to further meet the needs of our communities for skilled workers in essential services like health care and law enforcement,” Hauser said in the statement. “As we all work toward recovery from the recession and pandemic, it’s clear that there’s never been a greater need for qualified, compassionate and skilled professionals in these areas.”
CMC will use the funds primarily on equipment and supplies. The grant also includes monies for staff training in added mental health and academic advising support to students, as well as information technology.
The five-year SIP award will support “Phase 1” of a larger initiative CMC will undertake. One hundred percent of the total cost of that first phase of the project will be financed with federal dollars, with 0% financed through non-governmental sources. These funds will also enable CMC to launch a fundraising initiative to build three nursing simulation labs in Glenwood Springs, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.
In addition to the SIP grant funding, the CMC Foundation is seeking outside partners to match funds and help cover the cost of construction and other needs to transform these new lab spaces into learning hubs, Hauser said.
A space for CMC’s proposed simulation lab in Steamboat Springs was made available by way of a partnership with the locally based sports nutrition company, Honey Stinger. Honey Stinger is now hosting the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, which had been located at CMC’s Steamboat campus. The on-campus space previously occupied by YVEC will be renovated into a nursing simulation lab.
“I want to extend my congratulations to Colorado Mountain College on receiving a Strengthening Institutions Program grant,” Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse said in the statement. “CMC is a vital higher education institution for our state, and we are grateful for all they do to ensure all students have access to a quality higher education.”
CMC’s elected board of trustees also pledged an additional $1.5 million to help boost the college’s academic programs and improve fiscal management, among other areas.
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