CMC to offer some ‘green’ degrees |

CMC to offer some ‘green’ degrees

Daily News staff report

Colorado Mountain College is launching two new areas of study related to environmental sustainability. The school says the decision to do so is based on strong student interest, a collegewide commitment to sustainability and projected growth in environmental careers.

The first academic program will begin this fall for an Associate of Science degree with an emphasis on environmental science. This emphasis area encompasses coursework in the natural and physical sciences and is in direct response to the current growth in “green” careers. Colorado Department of Labor statistics project a 10-year growth rate of 25 percent for environmental scientists and technicians through 2018.

The second program, which will kick off in fall 2011, is an Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in environmental studies. This program is grounded in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and will include coursework in ethics, economics and environmental science. The program will also have a heavy emphasis on environmental sustainability, which is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

“We observed that there were a large number of students within CMC who were interested in pursuing environmental degrees. These programs will give them that opportunity,” said Robert Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental science at the college.

Wang said the college’s new two-year environmental degrees will also provide pathways for students who wish to pursue bachelor’s degrees in areas such as environmental science, sustainability and green business.

“Due to the diversity of environmental career fields, these programs were designed to accommodate a wide range of career goals,” said Sunny Schmitt, Ph.D., assistant vice president for arts and sciences at Colorado Mountain College. “Both programs provide students with a solid academic foundation and are highly transferable to a number of four-year postsecondary institutions.”

Introduction to Environmental Science, which is a guaranteed-transfer-level course and is required by both new programs, will be offered this fall at four of the college’s campuses: in Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley, Steamboat Springs, Edwards and Leadville.

More information about the two new areas of study in environmental sustainability is available by contacting an academic counselor through any Colorado Mountain College location or online at