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Western Colorado Community College and the Montrose Adult Education Center create partnership

New effort supported by Montrose County School District will locate at CMU’s Montrose Campus

Montrose – Dave Thomas was the founder of Wendy’s — one of the most recognized brands in the world. He is among many well-known people who found their passion for education on a timeline that didn't conform with everyday norms. Thomas got his General Education Development (GED) in 1993 while others like Eminem, Jim Carrey, Paris Hilton, Waylon Jennings, 50 Cent and thousands of others also found their way to education through a GED.  

Providing this alternative pathway to adult basic education is what the Montrose Adult Education Center provides for the community of Montrose. This mission is the foundation for a new partnership between Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) the Montrose Adult Education Center (MAEC), the Montrose County School District and the WCCC Community Education Center (CEC). 

MAEC Executive Director Anne Ventrello believes the partnership may expand on the services offered by the organization by exposing adult learners to the wide variety of educational pathways in Montrose. With this new partnership, these pathways will be close at hand under one roof as MAEC is relocating from the existing Montrose School District location to the Colorado Mesa University Montrose Campus.

“We serve adults who do not have a high school credential or who may have a language barrier that keeps them away from education,” said Ventrello. “As we provide the aspiring students necessary skills to obtain a high school equivalency diploma, we believe the location at CMU Montrose Campus, and the partnership with WCCC, will inspire learners to take yet another step towards engaging higher education.” 

Ventrello’s sentiment is shared by WCCC Vice President Brigitte Sundermann who sees great potential for the joint effort. 

“Education has a way of catching fire,” said Sundermann. “With those pursuing a GED already on campus, we will be able to speak with them directly about obtaining new skills and by earning a degree or certificates from WCCC.” 

The Montrose Adult Learning Center was previously located with Montrose County School District – an organization that also has a number of partnerships with WCCC and CMU including concurrent enrollment, summer camps, scholarships, career and college advisors, and graduate programs for high school educators. 

The school district also believes the relocation of the center is good for all three partners, the community and the students.

“We are looking forward to our continued partnership with the Montrose Adult Education Center and Colorado Mesa University,” said Montrose County School District Re-1K Superintendent Carrie Stephenson, PhD. “The adult-based education program is an asset, and through this partnership the center will be more visible and convenient to the community in which it serves. We are thrilled that we can continue to support a program that creates a contagious spark for learning for members of our community.”

Adults interested in acquiring a GED or additional service offered by the learning center are encouraged to visit the organization’s webpage.

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Written by David Ludlam