New community college leader sets sights on advancing WCCC

A Colorado Mesa University alumnus who has taken the reins at Western Colorado Community College hopes to help make WCCC the first place people think of when it comes to workforce training, whether they are individuals looking for skills or employers looking for skilled workers.

Dennis Bailey-Fougnier, the new CMU Vice President of Community College Affairs and the leader of WCCC, has been on the job for about three months.

“My goal is to have people see WCCC as their ‘go-to’ for workforce training,” Bailey-Fougnier said, adding that he hopes that will be true for those preparing for their first career, those who want new skills to change careers and those who want to advance in their careers by enhancing their skills.

He said he also hopes WCCC will be front-of-mind for employers who want to provide specialized training to their current employees.

Bailey-Fougnier is a Fruita Monument High School graduate who earned an associate degree from what was then Mesa College. He went on to get a bachelor’s from the University of Oregon, a master’s from Wichita State University and completed his doctoral degree coursework in community college leadership through Oregon State University.

“I have been gone for 35-plus years,” he said. “My perspective has changed. During my years in California, in Oregon, in Virginia, in Kansas, I have learned things that other institutions in other places are doing. I bring those good things with me and will try to translate how to make those good things work at WCCC.”

Bailey-Fougnier was last at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif., where he served as vice-president of student services.

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