Four of CMU's career college advisors pose for a photo
CMU added four career advisors last fall to work with Mesa County D51 high schools. This January an additional college advisor will work with Montrose area high school students.


CMU, MCSD join forces to support post-secondary advancement for local students

Colorado Mesa University is expanding its efforts to increase the number of Western Slope students who further their educations after high school. Starting in January, CMU will have a college-career advisor in Montrose and Olathe high schools and at Peak Virtual Academy.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, fewer than half of Montrose County School District (MCSD) graduates further their educations within the first year after graduation.

“The Montrose County School District is very excited to begin another collaboration with the number one university in western Colorado, Colorado Mesa University,” said MCSD Superintendent Stephen Schiell. “Colorado Mesa University is providing the MCSD with a skilled staff member that will help to increase the number of students that can go to college or on to the military. Having a highly skilled community in Montrose is critical to the expansion of business and opportunities in western Colorado.”

Working together, CMU and MCSD will help students explore their post-secondary options and understand the potential ramifications of stopping their educations at a high school diploma.

“The better educated our communities are, the better is our overall quality of life. An investment in today’s high school senior will pay dividends for forty years,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “The more post-secondary education or training a citizen has, the more likely they are to find a job that pays well. The more educated and well-trained our employees are, the more attractive the community becomes to prospective employers.”

Colorado Mesa will pay the salary, benefits, training, supplies and some travel expenses for a college-career advisor in Montrose and Olathe while the school district provides office space at each school, laptops and expenses for travel and events. That breaks down to contributions of $68,400 by CMU and $5,700 by the school district.

The goal is to increase the percentage of MCSD graduates who pursue post-secondary education and/or training by attending college, training programs or joining the military within a year of graduation. The college-career advisor will work with students as early as eighth-grade to identify career interests and plan how to acquire the knowledge and skills to achieve their career goals.

The effort in Montrose County is very similar to a program CMU instituted this fall in the four traditional high schools in Mesa County Valley School District 51.

Montrose native Jeff Turner is the new Montrose County college-career advisor. Turner will begin training in December and will be in the Montrose and Olathe schools in January. He is a graduate of Montrose High School and of Colorado Mesa.

Media Contact

David Ludlam, Director of Public Relations

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