Pueblo Community College Offers Classes at Bayfield
Pueblo Community College is bringing its instructors and virtual classes to students at Bayfield High School, as well as community members who want to take college courses.
Beginning this fall, PCC will operate a site at 658 East South St., the former location of Bayfield Primary School. Classes will be offered face-to-face on site and at Bayfield High School, as well as through virtual classrooms and online instruction.
“I think that’s the most exciting part, is that it brings access to higher education to anyone,” said Kevin Aten, superintendent of Bayfield schools. The district is working with Ignacio High School, as well, to see if the offerings fit in with their students’ needs.
“We’re already offering PCC credits at BHS in career and technical education classes, as well as core academic courses,” Aten said. “This expands that college offering, so students can really get that leg up and get that confidence. They can achieve it.”
Classes will be available to other adults who want to focus on technical education, or who might want to start coursework in Bayfield, then transfer to Fort Lewis College or a long-distance program.
“There is value to the community,” in having college and technical classes available locally, Aten added. “Whether someone wants to re-skill, re-train, or get back into college, there’s much we can do via distance learning.”
Also, the community college option is an affordable one for many students. Community colleges in Colorado cost about one-quarter to one-third of what four-year colleges charge, and PCC credits are guaranteed to transfer to any college or university in the state. Furthermore, any student who gets an associate degree at a Colorado community college is guaranteed acceptance into a four-year school, Aten added, noting that his son earned an associate degree at a community college before transferring to Colorado State University.
Some classes will be taught by PCC faculty at the old Bayfield school campus, while other classes will be taught virtually by an instructor in Pueblo, or at PCC’s other campuses in Mancos or at Durango High School.
“The equipment is stellar,” Aten said. “It’s like the teacher is standing in front of you. The technology is a real game changer.”
Other classes might continue to be offered at BHS. PCC staff and Bayfield counselors are working out the logistics now to have classes available this fall.
Ideally, the Bayfield School Board wants to continue transforming the old Bayfield school into a community center. It already houses a satellite clinic for Pediatric Partners of Durango, providing a second primary health-care option in Bayfield, along with Mercy Family Medicine. Pine River Shares and the Community Treehouse, a co-operative daycare, also are set to move into the building.
“We have these buildings, and we don’t want them to sit there empty,” Aten said. After Bayfield voters approved a $40 million bond issue to build a new intermediate school and renovate Bayfield Elementary, “we want to provide as much community connection and opportunity as we can for all of our citizens,” Aten explained.
The program is a bonus for PCC because BHS students are already taking college and technical education courses.
“The addition of the PCC Southwest Bayfield Site is yet another exciting opportunity for the college to deliver on the PCC Promise,” College President Patty Erjavec said in a press release from PCC. “We are so pleased to be able to expand our offering of affordable access to higher education. By establishing a collaboration site with the Bayfield school district, the pathways offered will be specific to the needs of the community, ensuring highly skilled, highly educated individuals remain available to contribute to the community and region at large.”
PCC will offer guarantee-transfer general education classes in education, psychology and social sciences. Courses will include math, English, psychology, science and humanities.
Residents interested in learning more about the classes can contact, Lisa Molina, regional director of student success, at (970) 564-6228 or Lisa.Molina@pueblocc.edu
They can also visit the college website, www.pueblocc.edu, and use the Live Chat option on the home page.
Photo courtesy Bayfield School District.
Pueblo Community College will offer classes this fall at the old Bayfield Primary School site on South Street in downtown Bayfield.