Grand County libraries: Colorado Mountain College collaborates with local libraries
August 29, 2008
There may not be an institution of higher learning in Grand County.
But @ Your Library there’s a virtual college available, both through Colorado Mountain College (CMC) offerings at the Granby Library and online.
The Granby Library is collaborating with Colorado Mountain College to offer free GED (General Equivalency Degree) and ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at the library.
Also, aware of the growing demand for higher learning resources, Colorado Mountain College is teaming up with Grand County Libraries through every-expanding on-line learning resources.
At the Granby Library, Colorado Mountain College’s efforts in Grand County have found a popular and convenient venue.
“The library has been so supportive,” said Gina Ricketts, the Grand County coordinator for CMC. “We’re able to use their rooms. We’re able to help our GED students. They are able to get on the computers for longer times than normally allowed to practice their GED tests. I think they’ve bent over backwards for us.”
This collaboration has paid dividends in broadened horizons for library patrons.
“There have been several success stories resulting from the GED classes offered through Colorado Mountain College at the Granby library,” said Cindy Eubank, former Branch Librarian at the Granby Library. “A student finished his GED after dropping out in the 8th grade to work. He is applying to a college in Mexico City – he is Mexican – to get a degree in architecture. Another student only has two tests left to pass, and then she is planning on attending CMC to get an A.S. (associates of science degree) in Criminology. A single mom passed her reading test. She had dropped out in the eleventh grade and wants to be a policewoman.”
Ricketts said one of her GED students at the Granby Library told her she had moved here from Kansas and had never even been inside a library when she lived there.
“Since she’s been here, however, she said that the staff at the Granby Library is so friendly and nice that she loves coming to the library, and now she comes into the library almost every day,” Ricketts said.
Roughly 50 people in the Grand County have taken advantage of the classes offered at the library through CMC. Ricketts is hoping for more participation since the library offers such an excellent setting.
Aside from a place, the Granby Library has also come forward with many other extras that have made it easy for CMC to expand the lives of library patrons. The libraries have donated computer time, Internet access, books, space, ESL learning and many other learning tools for both GED and ESL students.
Not only that, the library staff has stepped forward with help.
“Lynn Jennings, Granby Library’s youth service’s librarian, has come and talked to our parents about how to read to their kids,” Ricketts said.
She said there have also been several library tours during which students and their families can learn about how the libraries are available.
“Most of them are from Mexico and most have not been in formal education studying like we have, in public schools,” Ricketts said. “And they’re from areas that don’t have free public libraries.”
And in the realm of online learning through Colorado Mountain College, there’s been good collaboration as well. A special session is set for the Fraser Valley Library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4th with Suzanne Hyman with Colorado Mountain College. She will provide information on the many online learning courses available through CMC. Online learning is especially helpful for Grand County residents who are often unable to drive to classes on the Front Range. Colorado Mountain College provides courses online such as computer training, history and natural health. Suzanne will help explain what online learning is really about. For more information, visit http://www.coloradomtn.edu.
Ricketts said that through the collaboration with the libraries she hopes to expand what CMC can do in Grand County. A needs survey is planned for this fall to see what people want and more offerings are being considered.
But it’s this collaboration between CMC and the libraries that are opening the door for these expanded learning opportunities and Granby and all of Grand County.
“They have been supportive of CMC coming here since the first meeting with the representatives from CMC,” Ricketts said of the Grand County Library District. “They have been very, very supportive since day one.”
Supportive or resources and learning that can broaden and enrich the lives of Grand County citizens – @ Your Library.
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