Gov. Polis discusses evolving higher education landscape post-pandemic at opening CMC Dual Mission summit session in Glenwood Springs
This story was published in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Nov. 3, 2022
By John Stroud, Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Facing unprecedented challenges driven by the pandemic, Colorado’s higher education institutions embraced innovation, Gov. Jared Polis said in Glenwood Springs on Wednesday during a talk about the future of postsecondary education.
Polis appeared at the Hotel Colorado event as part of a panel discussion titled “Higher Education: Disrupted” to kick off the three-day National Dual Mission Summit, which is being hosted by Colorado Mountain College.
“There’s an enormous opportunity to innovate in education, and in many ways even the term ‘dual-mission’ is too limited,” Polis said. “It’s really multi-mission. It’s about the skills people need to succeed in the workforce, whatever those look like, and how they can acquire them.”
CMC, as an official dual mission institution under state statute, does that by offering a mix of certificate and associate’s degree programs, alongside a range of four-year bachelor’s degrees, plus opportunities for continuing education and the random individual courses that community members can take to broaden their learning, said CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser.
A big part of the special district college’s mission is to meet the needs of the local workforce across the multiple central Rocky Mountain communities that CMC serves, Hauser said.
“We exist over 11 campuses, across a really big swath of Colorado to serve these hard-to-reach locations,” she said. “So, dual mission is not an ‘or’ proposition for us, it is an ‘and.’
“We are not vocational/skills training or liberal arts, we do both under one roof, and we do that intentionally.”
Polis and Hauser were joined in the discussion by Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education (ACE) based in Washington, D.C. Alison Griffin, senior vice president of Whiteboard Advisors, was the moderator.
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