Tech-ed classes coming to Montrose

A new partnership is designed to provide high school students from Olathe and Montrose access to technical education programs offered by Western Colorado Community College.

The Montrose County School District RE-1J board of education approved an agreement with Colorado Mesa University and WCCC to provide access to the programs. The agreement was scheduled to go before the CMU board of trustees at its January meeting. Assuming approval, classes will be available to high school students at the CMU campus in Montrose starting in the fall.

Initial offerings will include classes in computer networking, early childhood education and medical preparation and certified nursing assistant, said Dennis Bailey-Fougnie, vice president of community college affairs for CMU. High school students enrolled in the classes may earn credit toward high school graduation as well college credit and, he said.

Montrose County School District Superintendent Stephen Schiell said the district is excited to collaborate with CMU and WCCC. “The district and the Montrose and Olathe communities see the value of this joint venture. The agreement will expand the opportunities for our students to receive programing that they have never had before. The potential to expand the CMU presence in Montrose is highly anticipated by the community and wanted. The students in MCSD are the winners.”

Gary Ratcliff, director of the CMU Montrose campus, said the partnership benefits students and the surrounding communities. “This partnership expands the career and technical programs in Montrose County and gives high school students more options to pursue a career,” he said.