Aspen Institute’s Isaacson joins with CMC to launch new school |

Aspen Institute’s Isaacson joins with CMC to launch new school

ASPEN – Colorado Mountain College announced Monday it is forming a new school – the Isaacson School for New Media.

Based at CMC’s Roaring Fork Valley campuses, including Aspen, the school was named in honor of Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson.

“I’m really thrilled to be a partner with Colorado Mountain College and everybody who supports it in this great endeavor for new media, new technology and the future of the Roaring Fork Valley,” Isaacson said in a video statement played at a news conference Monday in Aspen. “I’m convinced by being part of a community college where people really understand how new media gets applied in the real world, we’ll be finding all sorts of new ways of looking at new media two, three, 10, 20 years down the road.”

Created to meet the growing demands of the evolving digital landscape, the Isaacson School for New Media will begin offering classes in the fall and will comprise three branches of study: digital journalism, digital media production and digital marketing and design. Students can receive an associate degree, and less involved certificate programs also will be offered as well as internship opportunities.

Having been in the planning stages for two years, the Isaacson School for New Media is designed to be a cutting-edge program – in the industry and in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“This valley will soon be known as a digital valley,” said Jensen, adding that the hope for the school is to make Aspen’s CMC campus a “destination college” for students and faculty.

Jensen said the college’s mission of creating a better future for its students was the impetus for the program.

“This college has always been leaning forward. With this, we’re not just leaning forward – we’re running forward,” he said, noting that the need for people trained in all areas of digital media continues to grow and that the Isaacson School for New Media’s curriculum will be tailored to those just starting their career as well as working professionals looking to expand their skill sets.

Having Isaacson, an well-respected author in the education field, give his name to the school was a real boon, CMC officials said.

Isaacson said he was honored to give his name to the new school and to be so closely associated with CMC.

“I’m really proud to be part of the School of New Media,” he said, noting that new media are the wave of the future for colleges across the country and that community colleges are “the training ground where academics meets practical skills for the work force.” “Whatever field students may be thinking of entering, … new-media skills will be at the core of how you communicate and do business in the 21st century.

“I think this School of New Media at Colorado Mountain College leans toward the future.”

According to CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford, Isaacson gave no money to have the school named for him.

“Walter Isaacson’s gift to us has been accepting our invitation to honor him by naming the school after him,” she said. “This is a reflection of our intention and plan to create a program of the highest standards and quality.”

Toward that end, the CMC Foundation is embarking on a two-year capital campaign to raise $1.25 million for faculty support and facility renovation and $750,000 for student support through scholarships. The foundation will be soliciting donations from both private individuals and corporations, Crawford said.

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