A direct route to a Mines education

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Skill Set, Winter 2024 | 0 comments

Mines President Paul C. Johnson and Front Range Community College President Colleen Simpson interact with two FRCC students at a signing.

Front Range Community College and Mines launched a new partnership to offer FRCC engineering students a direct pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree at Mines with a new Mines Academy at FRCC. 

Students accepted into the Mines Academy will begin their program at FRCC pursuing an Associate in Engineering Science (AES) degree. The relevant coursework for that degree will also apply to their Mines degree program—allowing Mines Academy students to seamlessly transfer to the university to complete the second half of their bachelor’s degree. The academy will provide FRCC students the opportunity to earn guaranteed admission into any four-year degree program at Mines. 

Diversifying Colorado’s STEM workforce 

More than 400 FRCC students are currently majoring in one of FRCC’s AES programs. “With a student body that is 48 percent first-generation and 34 percent students of color, FRCC is proud to provide historically underserved students access and support on their path toward careers in engineering,” said FRCC President Colleen Simpson. “By giving community college students a way to transfer seamlessly into the degree programs at Mines, we’re helping to make these fields more inclusive and equitable for all budding engineers.” 

Preparing students for success 

“What’s exciting to us about this partnership with Front Range Community College is that it will expand opportunities for students to earn admission to Mines and support them on their path to graduation and a successful launch to their careers,” said Mines President Paul C. Johnson.

Throughout their time at FRCC, Mines Academy students will meet regularly with advisors from both colleges and be required to maintain a certain GPA. Students can also attend co-curricular events held at both schools. 

“The program is intentionally designed to set students up for success as they pursue a pathway to Mines. They’ll gain access to wrap-around support services, including career preparation and professional development, academic advising from both institutions and exposure to life as an Oredigger,” said Mines Provost Rick Holz.  

Mines Academy benefits 

Students who participate in the Mines Academy at FRCC will: 

  • Pursue an economical path to a bachelor’s degree at Mines. 
  • Find support through resources like TRIO Student Support Services (for first-generation students, those with limited income and students with disabilities), accessibility services, academic supports, FRCC scholarships or STEM groups. 
  • Take high-quality math, science and engineering courses at FRCC with small faculty-student ratios. 
  • Engage with Mines’ student success offices early and often, including the Center for Academic Services and Advising, Financial Aid and the Mines Career Center.
  • Gain access to resources and events at Mines. 
  • Be part of an engineering community with supportive academic peers both at FRCC and Mines. 

“Our students can now focus on studying and achieving academic success while at FRCC—and they can rest assured that they have a straightforward pathway to a bachelor’s program at Mines in engineering,” said FRCC Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Rebecca Woulfe. “We are excited about this progression in our longstanding partnership with Mines to meet the ever-growing need for more STEM graduates.”

This engineering academy is the second of its kind in Colorado and is modeled after an existing Mines Academy at Red Rocks Community College.