College & Career Advisors

CMU has partnered with Mesa County Valley District 51 and Montrose County schools to implement college and career advisors in the county’s high schools, including Grand Junction, Fruita Monument, Central, Palisade, Montrose, Olathe and Peak Virtual Academy.

The mission of the College and Career Advisor program is to ensure high school seniors and their families gain an in-depth perspective on the different ways they can better themselves after graduation — whether that is continuing on to higher education,  pursuing internship opportunities or joining the military.

Why is this program important?

For the student

Making decisions for “after high school” can be overwhelming for both the student and the family. Financial considerations are a priority for many families. Understanding the possibilities of post-secondary options, scholarships, grants and navigating the FAFSA are all areas in which advisors can assist students. Job opportunities are growing for those with higher education, while those heading into the workforce straight after high school can be at a disadvantage with lower pay and fewer job opportunities.


For the community

There is a direct correlation between the education level of the population and overall community success. According to the College Board’s Education Pays 2013 Report, when a community has a more educated population, there are very distinctive benefits including increased wages, increased tax revenues, less dependence on government subsidies, healthier lifestyles and reduced spending on health care and more engaged citizens. All of these benefits contribute to stronger and more vibrant communities.

Did you know?

According to the National Student Clearinghouse report on 2016 graduates, less than 48.76% of Mesa County Valley School District #51 graduates and less than 45.91% of Montrose County high school graduates further their education within the first year of graduation.

Program Goals

By May 2020, we strive to ensure that graduating classes will have 75% of their graduates extending their education by enlisting in the military, entering a certification program, pursuing internship opportunities, enrolling in a community college or a four-year university.

By May 2019, all eighth-graders will have started their Naviance (counseling software) account and Individual Career Academic Plan. They will have identified several areas of interest and will share the data with the advisors at their home high school. A process will be defined to engage these students in career and college planning at an earlier age.

In collaboration with the Individual Career and Academic Program (ICAP) Coordinator for the Western Region, the Career Wise team, the Work Force Center and the District Career Technical Education (CTE) Team, CMU will join the efforts to define internships and apprenticeships throughout the valley and make them available to high school students.

The estimated annual cost of the program to CMU is $283,185. The estimated annual cost to District 51 is $21,600 and Montrose County Schools is $16,000. For this budget, the school districts and the CMU Foundation will work in conjunction with the Mesa County Workforce Center and Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce to pursue alternative funding sources and promote sustainability of the College and Career Advisor Program

How can you help?


Learn how you or your business can help support this project through the CMU Foundation.

Give to the CMU Foundation


Are you interested in sponsoring a future career exploration opportunity?

Contact Jody Diers