Regjo picked for college-wide role at Colorado Mountain College
EDWARDS — Colorado Mountain College scoured the country for six months to find someone to lead academics across the college system. Officials found whom they were seeking when they looked inward.
Kathryn Regjo, currently vice president and campus dean at Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley in Edwards, is CMC’s new vice president of academic affairs. She starts her new college-wide position July 1.
“We are lucky in our mountain communities because of where we live and who chooses to live here,” Regjo said.
Because CMC doesn’t offer everything everywhere, Regjo will help ensure that academic offerings are “consistent in quality and creativity” across all the campuses, she said.
After a six-month national search, Carrie Besnette Hauser, CMC’s president and CEO, persuaded Regjo to at least think about the appointment. Regjo made the announcement earlier this week.
“I am a big believer that things happen for a reason,” Hauser said. “She has demonstrated time and time again that she has what it takes to lead successfully.”
Among her other experience, Regjo was president of a small college, Lincoln College of New England, a private residential college in Southington, Connecticut.
When Regjo steps into her new role, Kathy Kiser-Miller will focus on being vice president and dean of the Steamboat Springs campus. Kiser-Miller has been both a dean and led CMC’s academic affairs for several years.
Regjo will relinquish her role as dean of CMC’s Vail Valley campus.
“While we will miss Kathryn immensely at a local level, I am thrilled for the college as a whole that she will step into this college-wide leadership role,” said Chris Romer, the college’s trustee in Eagle County. “Her leadership at the Vail Valley campus has resulted in increased enrollment and increased community engagement.”
CMC to create new bachelor’s programs
Among her new duties, Regjo will help CMC develop new bachelor’s degree programs. Last Friday, state lawmakers unanimously passed HB19-1153, giving CMC the green light to offer bachelor’s degrees in all sorts of fields, in addition to the five they now offer:
Bachelor of arts in education
Bachelor of applied science
Bachelor of science in business administration
Bachelor of arts in sustainability studies
Bachelor of science in nursing
What their new bachelor’s degrees will be remains to be determined — they’ll work with students as well as regional businesses and industries — but CMC leaders have a pretty good idea, Regjo said.
College leaders are eying opportunities in high-growth fields such as health-care fields, local government and secondary (middle and high school) education.
The programs will likely feature internships and experiential learning experiences that include theory and classroom work, but also real-world practice, Regjo said.
“The first goal is to understand what programs will have a community impact. Our students are local and they have opportunities for not just jobs, but careers,” Regjo said.
listening to the community
However, the possibilities are now almost endless.
“This allows us to be more responsive. We do that by listening to our community,” Regjo said.
Colorado Mountain College still costs around $2,500 a year, one of the best educational values in the country, Regjo said. If you get a Presidents Scholarship, $1,000 is knocked off that.
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Mario Ruiz came to Aspen Highlands from Bariloche through the ski patrol exchange as part of the Sister Cities program last winter. He quickly ingrained himself with the Highlands patrol. Ruiz was killed July 27 in an avalanche while working at his home ski area. The Highlands patrol is raising funds for his family.