The Aug. 29 Times headline “CMC bails on BV” represents a backward step for adult education.
While CMC might sponsor college-level classes at our local high school, we have lost our opportunity to expand the CMC curriculum to include some areas of adult education and professional credentialing in Buena Vista.
We might not appreciate that loss now, but we’re probably going to regret it in future years.
To better understand my position, I spent years teaching auto mechanics at Colorado Mountain College’s Leadville campus circa 1972-76.
The late Don Hix, former vice president of CMC’s Leadville campus, aptly defined our mission as community service.
With those two words in mind, my colleague and I not only spent days and nights teaching adult students, we often spent our off-times providing local auto dealerships and shops with technical support and trained student placements.
But a community college provides many other support services and my own life is an example. Before opening my own business in 1977, I took business law and business management classes at CMC’s Frisco campus. When completing my degree in occupational education at Colorado State University in 1996, I saved a considerable amount of time and money by taking several semesters of math requirements at CMC’s Buena Vista Campus.
So we should remember that a community college is not only a career-bound stepping stone for future generations, it’s also our own stepping stone for developing a more vital and prosperous business community.
Believe as we might in a 4-year college education, the gears of trade and industry don’t turn on academics alone. In the world of high technology, somebody has to keep those high-tech gears perfectly oiled and that’s not an easy job to do in today’s labor market unless that person has an associate degree in perfectly oiling high-tech gears.
I firmly believe that, given the needed economic and material support, CMC could eventually accomplish that mission by operating as an area vocational school for northern Chaffee County.
I also firmly believe, that with faith, hard work and material support, we can prepare for a brighter future by becoming part of the CMC community. Better now than later, it’s up to us to start getting that job done for ourselves and for our future generations.
Gary E. Goms