Colorado Mountain College Marketing Style Guide

Proper usage of common and branded CMC language

This guide was developed to help answer questions about how the college standardizes punctuation, usage, and grammar in marketing materials such as the college website, print advertisements, and printed admissions materials. CMC’s style is based primarily on Associated Press (AP) style. This guide, however, does contain exceptions to AP style, and in those cases, this guide takes precedent.

Media Relations adheres exclusively to AP style for press releases and posts to CMC News.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Marketing & Media Relations department.

Academic degrees

  • bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, associate degree, doctorate degree
  • Bachelor of Arts degree, Master of Science degree, Associate of Applied Science degree
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music, Associate of Science in Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts in English
  • BA, BS, BSBA, MS, AAS, PhD (note that doctorate is not necessarily the same as having a PhD; there are other types of doctorate degrees, such as an EdD)


Use instead of “official”; our administrators or trustees would never refer to themselves as “officials.”

Not adviser.


  • alumnus - SINGULAR, male or female
  • alumna - SINGULAR, female only
  • alumni – PLURAL, male or female or mixed
  • alumna – PLURAL, female only
  • alum (SINGULAR) or alums (PLURAL) – OK for informal use

Campus, building, and regional names – As approved by College Council, 2017

Start with the full name of the college, followed by the location, whenever possible. On second reference, the abbreviation CMC may be used in front of the location.

Named buildings can be used in conjunction with campus name: “The event will be held at the J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs campus.”

  • Colorado Mountain College Aspen; Morgridge Family Academic Center
  • Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge; Colorado Mountain College Summit County (regional name)
  • Colorado Mountain College Carbondale; Lappala Center
  • Colorado Mountain College Leadville (not Timberline)
  • Colorado Mountain College Dillon; Colorado Mountain College Summit County (regional name)
  • Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley (locally add “at Edwards”)
  • Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs (not Glenwood Center)
  • Colorado Mountain College Leadville; Climax Molybdenum Leadership Center
  • Colorado Mountain College Rifle; Encana Academic Center; Clough Auditorium
  • Colorado Mountain College Salida
  • Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs (for on-campus or local use, drop Glenwood Springs); J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center; Paul & Shirley Bushong Student Center
  • Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs
  • Colorado Mountain College Central Services
  • Morgridge Commons Glenwood Springs
  • CMC ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons Glenwood Springs
  • Morgridge Commons Basalt

Capitalization (also see individual words/phrases)

Academic degrees
See academic degrees

Proper nouns

    • Formal class names - Biology I, Human Anatomy; but biology, anatomy classes
    • Job titles – President Maria Chavez, President Chavez; but Maria Chavez, president of the United States; the president
    • CMC Board of Trustees; but board of trustees, trustee, board
    • CMC Foundation; but the foundation
    • Mountain Futures Strategic Plan; but the strategic plan
    • Dual Mission is always capitalized with no hyphen
    • Hispanic-Serving Institution
    • Schools
      • Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media
      • School of Academic Support
      • School of Allied Health, Public Safety, Wellness, and Outdoor Studies
      • School of Business
      • School of Human Services, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sustainability, Education, and Early Childhood Education
      • School of Nursing
      • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics


    • Campus: Steamboat Springs campus, Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs campus
    • College: Even when specifically referring to “Colorado Mountain College,” lowercase “college” or “the college”
    • Department: As in the Marketing & Media Relations department
    • Million: $1 million (not $1M or $1 million dollars)

Class titles
Capitalize formal class titles, but not generic titles. See Capitalization.

Abbreviate the following months when referring to a specific date, i.e. Jan. 1: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.

  • The following months are never abbreviated – March, April, May, June, July.
  • Don’t use “th” or “st” when referring to a date (don’t use March 14th, July 10th, Oct. 1st, etc.) for consistency's sake.

However, if referring to a month and year only – and not a specific date – spell out the full month, i.e. January 2024.

Dual Mission
Always capitalize with no hyphen

She graduated from college (preferred); Never: She graduated college.

Use hyphens when they describe a noun such as in-district tuition.

Do not use hyphens on the following words
Collegewide, campuswide, nationwide, statewide, worldwide

Hyphens are sometimes needed for clarity when several modifiers come before a noun. For instance, an 80-square-mile area (never an 80-square mile area); but 80 square miles were affected. 


  • Use "instructor” or “faculty” instead of “teacher” or “professor,” unless you know with certainty the specific title of the instructor.
  • Do not use “professor” to describe adjunct faculty members. Associate professor, assistant professor and professor have very specific meanings in an academic context.
  • And although our instructors do teach, save the title “teacher” for K-12.

Job titles

  • Capitalize formal titles before or after a name, but not when used without a name.
  • For instance: Vice President Mary Smith; Mary Smith, Vice President of the college; the vice president

(See Capitalization. Also see Instructor, Administrator)

Don't include "naked" URLs, such as

For best usability and accessibility, make links with text that names the target or action. For example:

CMC Training Resources

Register for the Sustainability Conference

Never use "click here."



Spell out numbers one through nine unless they refer to yearly ages of people and things. Ten and up is referred to numerically 10, 25, 100, etc. unless you’re starting a sentence with a number (like this sentence).

Use the % symbol with numbers.

Phone numbers
Use periods between phone numbers (i.e. 970.945.0000). Dashes are used only on our websites to facilitate phone links.


No exclamation points!

Oxford comma
Use the Oxford comma for all marketing copy.

  • The flag is red, white, and blue.
  • Note – Some formal names do not use the Oxford comma: Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media

13:1 instead of 13 to one

According to the AP Stylebook and others, not all computers or software can process accents the same way. Use this spelling rather than resumé or résumé.

8am – Lowercase with no periods; no spaces; no zeros on the hour.


(Also see Links)