Fri Mar 13th, 2020
Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum
Pueblo Community College Southwest (PCC-SW) now operates three separate campus locations in the Four Corners region, with the newest training facility operating in Bayfield, Colo.
The new branch opened its doors on Aug. 26, 2019, as a satellite campus, which operates year-round with normal business hours, Monday-Friday.
The facility is managed by two coordinators: Drew Brown, PCC Site Coordinator and Bethany Powell, PCC Assistant Coordinator. Their roles include coordinating the facility itself and the instructors, in addition to oversight of technical aspects, such as the computer lab.
PCC-SW also offers virtual classes in addition to traditional courses. “This is a big thing to highlight with any of the campuses. With virtual classes, students get to choose — it’s accessible and convenient. This offers more opportunity, and more variety, especially in rural areas,” Powell stated.
Currently, three Southern Ute tribal members are attending PCC-SW’s Bayfield branch working on attaining college degrees. PCC-SW’s hope is to foster program collaborations and partnering with the Southern Ute Education Department going forward.
A Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) summer course will also be offered; this is a five-week intensive certification program. Other programs offered include business certifications and early childhood programs.
“We offer certification programs and assoc. degree pathways; because we are small, we can’t offer everything — so there is PCC-SW online,” Powell emphasized. Online coursework is easier for some, especially those with kids, full work schedules or transportation challenges. PCC-SW offers free Wi-Fi, and access to a computer lab. It is also a testing facility; plus PCC-SW is open to students of all ages.
PCC-SW Foundation Scholarships are available, plus other opportunities for financial aid, or payment plan options to make it more affordable. Evening classes are also offered. PCC-SW currently has around 60 students enrolled in a combination of on-site classes, and virtual or online course programs.
There are also a number of scholarships made available specifically to Ute tribal members and other Native Americans.
“Expansion is the vision of PCC-SW — reaching those rural communities and making education more accessible,” Powell explained.