CNCC building for the future

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RBC | Northwestern Community College in conjunction with the Colorado Community College System began a strategic visioning process to address growth concerns surrounding the CNCC Craig campus. In the months that have followed, CNCC has accomplished a number of initiatives designed to be responsive to the campus and community, including: non-credit welding courses offered in the summer and fall of 2019, expanded faculty for the paleontology program of study along with museum exhibit space on campus, creation of for-credit evening sections of accounting and college algebra in response to local industry request, executed a Colorado First and Existing Industry grant to train HVAC professionals on the Western Slope, delivered customized workforce training to multiple local companies including, Anson Excavating, Yampa Valley Banks, and Trapper Mine, and secured funding for a cyber security degree program.

Given the current uncertainty of the fossil fuel economy in Northwest Colorado, CNCC has very intentionally positioned itself to respond to the workforce/employment needs of the area.  With this in mind CNCC has utilized its 2019 academic program review to re-evaluate low enrollment programs in an effort to maximize the investment of local tax payers.  The program review indicated three programs on the Craig campus that were underperforming. 

Following (but not related to) the review itself, the college received the notice of retirement from the current diesel mechanics instructor.  As a result the college felt the retirement of the one and only diesel instructor would be an opportunity to organically invest in the resurrection and stabilization of other programs. Vice President of Instruction Keith Peterson stated, “Suspending the diesel program provides CNCC with the maximum amount of flexibility.  It allows the college to pour resources into strategic programs, both credit and non-credit, without permanently closing the door on diesel technology.”

By suspending (not permanently removing) the diesel program of study, funding can be reallocated to the marketing and promotion of the other two low enrollment programs.  This proactive move would allow the college to target limited resources without employee termination. President Ron Granger stated, “We are building for the future and this is one step that will put us in a better position to do that.”

While CNCC is certainly proud of the strides made in the past six months, the college continues to keep an eye toward further growth.  As we continue to “build” programming at CNCC-Craig Campus, our constituents can look forward to the following:

Fall 2020- 10 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student expansion to the CNCC Nursing program

Fall 2020- Continued increase in for-credit evening classes

Fall 2020- Degrees with Designation (pending CDHE approval) in:

Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Elementary Ed, Geology, Math, Philosophy, and Spanish

Fall 2021- Continued FTE expansion of the CNCC Nursing program

Fall 2021- Launch of Cyber Security Degree program

Special to the Herald Times