Robyn Kent was worried about the gap on her resume. Although she had been a licensed psychiatric technician for the State of Colorado for five years, she had taken time off to raise her two kids until they reached kindergarten.
“I hadn’t worked since 2005,” she says. At that point, she was living in New Castle and as she thought about getting back into the workforce, she found that Colorado Mountain College was an easy choice to make. In addition to the location and flexibility of the classes, affordability was a big plus for Kent.
“I could afford to pay cash for my education so I didn’t have to take out any student loans,” she says.
When she looked at universities outside Colorado, she said she was looking at $27,000 to $30,000 a year. She estimates she spent $5,000 last year at CMC for her education.
“I saved $22,000 to $25,000 [each year] on my education,” she says. “It’s a huge value to me.”
Kent was the first student to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Rifle campus. In 2010, then Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed the bill to allow Colorado Mountain College to offer a limited number of bachelor’s degrees. The bill was a result of extensive research the college conducted, showing unmet demand from employers and students in north- central Colorado.
A few short months later, in the fall of 2011, CMC started offering bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sustainability studies.
“The bachelor’s program enabled me to transition from being a mom to the workforce,” Kent says.
To finish her bachelor’s degree in business administration and two associate degrees in two and a half years, Kent took upwards of 24 credit hours some semesters. Throughout she maintained an “A” average.
“She doesn’t let anything stop her,” says Susan Looney, a former business instructor who mentored Kent. “She’s so driven and motivated to work through the program. She’s taking a full load and she also has to take care of her family.”
“If it wasn’t for the bachelor’s degrees we have, she wouldn’t have been able to further her education,” Looney continues. “It’s amazing to be able to give this opportunity to so many students.”