CMC recognized for excellence in outdoor classes

Randy Wyrick
Vail Daily
Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs students, along with sustainability and outdoor education faculty, spent 12 days packrafting five Chilean rivers in 2017 in a course called Rivers of Life: Sustainability & Wild Rivers of Chile. The class was so popular, faculty members are currently planning a 2020 course. Classes like this are why Elevation Outdoors magazine named CMC Top Adventure College for 2018 and 2019.
Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College is where higher education meets high adventure, say readers of an outdoor adventure magazine.

Elevation Outdoors magazine readers named CMC its Top Adventure College for the second straight year, ranking CMC ahead of 32 colleges and universities in seven western states.

“Our students, faculty and staff are so excited to receive this honor two years in a row,” said Brian Barker, Colorado Mountain College director of marketing and communications.

CMC’s campuses are close to outdoor recreation and world-class adventure-based locations.

“There is no other college that boasts insider access to nearly a dozen mountain campuses which offer career-focused educational adventures for our students,” Barker said.

Outdoor education, outdoor industry

Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry is growing exponentially, contributing $62 billion to the state’s economy in 2017. That’s double the 2013 total.

CMC offers continuing education classes, specialized certificates and degrees in outdoor education, avalanche science, natural resource management, professional fly-fishing, environmental science and studies, wilderness emergency medical services, ski-area operations, action sports and the ski and snowboard business.

CMC’s Rocky Mountain Land Management Program is one of the programs tied to the outdoors and adventure industry, and it works with the U.S. Forest Service. Students perform field-based research as part of their bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies and other disciplines. Students receive a stipend and, upon completion of the program, can compete for jobs with the Forest Service and other agencies with a special hiring status.

“This partnership is ideal because CMC provides an unprecedented educational opportunity, students gain great field experience and our communities gain a diverse, well-trained workforce,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, White River National Forest supervisor. “It’s an ideal opportunity to fill our talent pipeline and help train the next generation of natural resource specialists and land managers.”

Elevation Outdoors magazine’s Top Adventure College contest began in 2015.