A taste of college for kids

RANGELY I When it comes to community education, people often think of classes ranging from quilting and stained glass to retirement planning and computer skills. And they’d be right.
But these days, one kind of community education at Colorado Northwestern Community College is going a step further, taking on characteristics of some of the school’s flagship programs.
The College For Kids program, once a CNCC summer staple that has been resurrected by community education coordinator Angie Miller, will offer children ages five and older a taste of aviation and geocaching, among other classes.
“I’ve been a community member off and on since 1990, and I love this area,” Miller said. “When I was given the opportunity to work at CNCC in this capacity, I jumped at the chance. I love bringing things back to the community from the college.”
A three-hour Junior Pilots course, which kicks off College For Kids on July 10, begins with a tour of the Rangely Airport. Kids will sit in airplane cockpits and learn about instrument panels before “flying” their own aircraft using the Aviation Technology program’s flight simulator.
Also on the schedule is a Geocaching Treasure Hunt, in which students learn about global positioning systems (GPS), then join the instructor to seek out four “geocache treasures” hidden around the Rangely campus.
For kids who like to hike, the Junior Rangers course is another option. Dinosaur National Monument rangers will take children on a nature hike and teach them about high desert ecosystems. Other offerings include an art class featuring painting and tie-dye; a youth football class; and a “weird science” course.
Adults looking to learn or do something new have options, too. Two new community ed clubs are in full swing: the Northwest Colorado Stargazers, for astronomers, and the Page Turners, which caters to book lovers. July features a basic computers II class and a wildland fire fighting course, while CNCC biology instructor Todd Ward heads up a hiking trip to Mount Sneffles. And a wilderness/first responder class will be taught by Nols in August.
“There are so many fantastic opportunities, and (the schedule) is ever changing and always growing,” Miller said. “I really hope people take advantage of all there is to do.”
For those looking ahead to fall, CNCC is slated to offer an American Heart Association (AHA) Heartsaver/CPR/First Aid and AED certification course. A concealed carry certification course, scuba diving and living will/estate planning are also on the schedule.
Miller welcomes suggestions from community members who have ideas for classes. She’s also happy to talk with individuals whose education or experience could enable them to teach a community ed class.
“If you ever have an idea, let me know — email me, put a note under my door, stop me on the street,” Miller said. “I want this to be interactive, for people to feel like they have a say.”
The cost of registration for community education courses varies depending on the type of class and number of contact hours. A simple registration form can be filled out at CNCC’s Johnson Building.
For specific College For Kids and other community education offerings, look for schedules in the Johnson Building and around Rangely in the next two weeks, with Facebook and website updates soon to follow. For questions or more information, contact Miller at angela.miller@cncc.edu or at 675-3227.