Colorado Mountain College Community Education Classes – by Brooke Gilmore – The Ark Valley Voice

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Are you looking to learn something new or better the skills you already have? Colorado Mountain College is offering community programs in both Leadville and Salida. Current Community classes being offered in the summer and fall range from Spanish classes to rock climbing courses.

These classes are designed to offer educational opportunities for everyone. To stay up to date on all community classes, check CMC’s website regularly. To sign up for courses, click here and select which campus in which you are interested.

Leadville Classes:

Brains on Nature: Educators Backpack Retreat

A six-day professional development experience geared toward educators who want to enhance outdoor education opportunities and impacts for their students. The retreat is from 8:00 a.m. to 6:05 p.m. July 20 to July 23 and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. July 24. Click here to view a full itinerary.

Salida Classes:

Grappling with Uncertainty in the World’s Toughest Race and Beyond

Salida SteamPlant Riverside Plaza. Merrell Bergin photo

 After watching World’s Toughest Race on Amazon Prime, participants will engage in an interactive evening  including direct instruction, multimedia, and Q&A. As public health orders allow, this course will take place in-person at the SteamPlant following social distancing requirements.

Participants are asked to bring questions and enthusiasm. The event will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on September 15. It costs $10 and has 25 spots open.

Conversational Spanish in the Garden

Located in-person at Guidestone’s Community and School Farm site on Holman Ave in Salida, Director Monica Pless will facilitate a weekly hour of Spanish conversation as participants tend some of the gardens. It will be held from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. from August 31 to October 5. The class will focus on a different theme each week to practice different vocabulary. Sessions are geared toward speakers with significant basis in Spanish looking for regular practice and will be led in Spanish.

Pless learned to speak Spanish from her Argentinian father, from growing up in Mexico City and working in Panamá. All sessions are 60 minutes and include guided conversations, an accessible gardening project to keep hands busy and spur discussion, and relevant vocabulary written up on the whiteboard and sent out after each session. The class costs $10 and has 25 seats available.

English As a Second Language

The class will be held on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. September 28 to December 21. Each student’s needs are assessed to determine skill level and develop an educational plan.

This self-paced course allows students to work at their own pace. Class will meet at Salida High School in classroom 105.  15 seats are available and the class costs $75.


This class focuses on true conversational practice of Spanish and English between native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. Spanish and English learners will meet together under the direction of facilitators to practice their target language in group and paired teams. Weekly meetings will focus on rotating between themes and cultural sharing.

Class will meet at Salida High School in classroom 105. The class will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays from September 28 to December 21. 10 seats are available and the class costs $75.

Basic Computer Literacy

This class will cover general computer interactions, basics of word processing using Microsoft Word, basics of spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel, browsing the internet, and using email, including how to avoid pitfalls such as clicking links in unsolicited emails.

It will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Tuesdays from September 7 to September 28. The class costs $49 and has 12 seats available.

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters. Courtesy of unsplash.

GED/HSE Preparation

This course prepares students to take the GED or another high school equivalency exam. Each student’s needs are assessed to determine skill level and develop an educational plan. This self-paced course allows students to work at their own pace.

The GED test is not given as part of this course. The course will be held Mondays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. September 27 to December 20. The course is $75 with 15 seats available.

Training for Commercial Driver’s License Class B

This class trains students starting from the CDL manual through getting their CDL permit, up through the driving skills required for obtaining their CDL Class B license with passenger, school bus, and air brakes endorsements, and will take students to the third-party tester for the CDL license.

Student must obtain a DOT physical prior to course start date (required for CDL permit). In addition to the course charge, students are responsible for paying for their DOT physical, CDL permit, third-party tester fee, and CDL license (together totaling approximately $350-$500). Course schedule is subject to change but is currently the following:

  • Wednesdays 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. August 25 to September 8
  • Thursdays 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. August 26 to September 9
  • Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. September 18 to October 2

The class costs $700 and has eight seats available.

Introduction to Geology with Emphasis on the Arkansas River Valley

This is an introduction to geology course that will inform students about the geology they can observe while driving from Leadville to Salida. The goal of the course is to explore how geology is important to Coloradoans. Topics will include basic geology plus natural resources. The first five-course sessions will be offered virtually, with a final in-person half-day field trip on October 23 to directly relate what has been covered in the course to this amazing place we call home.

The class will be held on Thursdays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. September 16 to October 14 and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 23. 30 seats are available, and the cost of the class is $59.

Rock Climbing II

Building on skills gained from previous rock climbing classes or personal experience, this course is designed to help take your climbing skills to the next level. Based on the experience and interest of the students, it will cover a variety of topics from anchor construction, climbing self-rescue basics, to lead climbing on sport or traditional routes, and more. Whether you’re an indoor climber hoping to take your climbing skills outside or maybe you’ve been top rope climbing for a while and want to start learning to lead climb, this class is for you.

The two instructors for this class, Kip Davis and Rob Simpson, have over 50-years of combined rock climbing instructional experience. Both instructors hold certifications through the American Mountain Guides Association. Simpson is a certified Single Pitch Instructor and Davis is a certified Rock Guide and Single Pitch Instructor Provider. The class will be held on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sept. 07
  • Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11
  • Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 PM Sept. 12
  • The class costs $150 with 10 spots open.

Telling Your Family Story

This course will help you get started, tell your story, engage the next generation, help you organize your materials, and help you leave a legacy that future generations will value and reference.

It will be held on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from July 7 to July 28 and on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 12 through July 26.  Eight seats are available per class, and it cost $59.