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Salida High School will receive a $50,000 grant from the State of Colorado after Colorado Mountain College (CMC) wrote in support of the Salida School District. The funds will allow the school to expand its concurrent enrollment program.

The concurrent enrollment partnership between Salida High School and Colorado Mountain College will give students the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school. In concurrent enrollment courses students have the chance to get a jump start on their college education at little or no cost for their families

Superintendent Blackburn said, “This grant will allow us to further integrate college and high school, as well as better support our teachers financially.”

For many, the cost and process of going off to college is daunting. Concurrent enrollment lessens those barriers and offers students a more accessible starting point. When those classes are taught by teachers the students are already familiar with, the barriers lessen even more.

In order to teach college-level courses, High school teachers must be credentialed to teach at a higher level as well. The grant will allow teachers to gain higher education needs to teach for CMC without having to take on extra debt.

CMC Vice President and Campus Dean for Leadville and Salida, Rachel Pokrandt said “The Salida School District has amazing teachers who are dedicated and highly qualified in their field of study. These grant funds will go directly to those educators to further invest in their career. This is just one of the ways that CMC and the Salida School District can partner to serve the whole community.”

Blackburn explained “This offers greater efficiency with tax dollars. Salida K-12 and Colorado Mountain College Salida are both collecting taxes. By credentialing our high school teachers to also teach college courses, we are paying one person to teach for both institutions.”

The opportunity this grant brings to the community, school district and CMC will be far reaching said Blackburn. “This is one more example of why bringing Colorado Mountain College into Salida was the right thing to do,” he said.

Blackburn said that the details are still being worked out, but he is hopeful that the funding for professional development will be available by the summer.