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CMC, local high schools to offer vocational courses

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – High school students in four area school districts will be able to take a variety of hands-on vocational classes, including a new culinary arts program at Glenwood Springs and Rifle high schools, starting next school year.

Colorado Mountain College is partnering with the Roaring Fork Re-1, Garfield Re-2, Grand Valley and DeBeque school districts to offer career and technical courses, in addition to the many college-level academic courses that are already available to high school students.

“We’ve had students taking academic classes in the high schools for college-level credit in the past,” Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said. “Now, they’ll have the same option for vocational classes.”



In addition to the new culinary arts program, other course options available to high school students include early childhood education, law enforcement training, health sciences, veterinary technology and industrial trades.

Already, Glenwood Springs High School has filled the 15 available slots in the culinary arts program, which will take place in the otherwise little-used kitchen facility in the new high school building.




“We had a tremendous amount of interest,” Glenwood counselor Scott Loeffler said. “This is the first time that CMC will offer the program in our area. It’s usually a two-year program, and can take three years including a required internship. So, to get this head start is great for these kids who are interested.”

Classes will include a general Art of Cooking course, plus introductory courses in food production principles, garden management, vegetable preparation, poultry, baking principles and more.

The courses will be taught by CMC instructor Rick Kangas, who teaches in the culinary arts program at the Breckenridge and Edwards campuses, CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said.

“It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the students,” she said. “It’s a full year program, with four classes each semester, two or three days a week.

“At the end of the year, they can show a potential employer their transcript of classwork and be immediately hirable,” Crawford said. “They can also use it to transfer into our program and complete their certification.”

The courses are being offered in accordance with the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act, which allows high school students to be enrolled in both high school and college-level classes at the same time.

“Through that, students can take classes that count for both high school and college credit,” Crawford said.

The program includes developmental level coursework, career and technical courses and transfer-level core academic courses in math, writing, Spanish language and political sciences.

Some classes are taught at CMC campus locations, while others are taught in the high schools. Participating schools include Glenwood Springs High, Roaring Fork High and Bridges High in Carbondale, Coal Ridge High, Rifle High, Grand Valley High and DeBeque High.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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