CMU expands program promoting additional education

Colorado Mesa University has expanded its efforts to increase the number of Western Slope students who continue their education after high school.

Starting in January, CMU will collaborate with the Montrose County School District to hire an advisor who will help students at Montrose and Olathe high schools and Peak Virtual Academy to explore their operations for additional education. CMU will cover the salary, benefits, training, supplies and some travel expenses. The Montrose County School District will provide office space and a laptop computer and cover some expenses for travel and events.

The program is similar to one in place in Mesa County School District 51 with advisors in Central, Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade high schools.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, less than half of Montrose County School District graduates further their educations within the first year after graduation.

CMU President Tim Foster said efforts are needed to increase that proportion. “The better educated our communities are, the better is our overall quality of life. An investment in today’s high school senior will pay dividends for 40 years,” Foster said. “The more post-secondary education or training a citizen has, the more likely they are to find a job that pays well. The more educated and well-trained our employees are, the more attractive the community becomes to prospective employers.”