Investing in Student Success at a New Missoula College
Western Montana soon will have a new place for students to prepare for in-demand careers. After months of public forums, and much internal discussion, the verdict is in: the new Missoula College campus will open on East Broadway.
The site is located across the Clark Fork River from the mountain campus and adjacent to the University of Montana’s MonTEC business incubator. Preliminary plans call for a multistory building with more than 155,000 gross square feet.
“The East Broadway site will give us a distinctive opportunity to make a bold statement about UM and the role two-year education plays in the Missoula community and western Montana,” says University of Montana President Royce C. Engstrom. “We will be able to implement more fully the Missoula College mission to serve the educational and work force needs of this region while placing a state-of-the-art facility in a showcase location.”
Missoula College (formerly the College of Technology) has been an integral part of the University of Montana since it became an academic unit of UM in 1994. The college opened as a vocational technical education center in 1967 and was designed to serve several hundred students. Today roughly 2,200 students crowd into buildings and temporary modular units – some of which students built themselves – on two separate campuses in south and west Missoula. It’s not a situation students or faculty enjoy.
Demand for Missoula College’s programs is at an all-time high. Enrollment has increased 120 percent in the last 10 years – the highest growth rate of full-time equivalent students of any two-year college in Montana.
It’s easy to see why. Graduates enter a range of careers, from restaurant management to diesel mechanics in the Bakken oil fields. Some students transfer on to earn four year bachelor’s degrees in their field of choice, while still others take classes to upgrade their professional skills.
In all, students can choose from 35 program areas, which offer breadth as well as depth; the college offers seven programs in the health professions alone.
Now the push is underway to provide these students – so dedicated to advancing their education and careers – the kind of modern, expansive facilities they deserve. In May of 2013 the Montana Legislature approved $29 million in state funding for a new campus building. To meet the projected total cost, the University must supplement state funding with $3 million in private resources.
Your support will provide a dynamic learning environment for thousands of students each year. Please contact Shane Giese, president and CEO of the University of Montana Foundation, to discuss how you can join this important community effort. Call 243.2593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more at umt.edu/buildmissoulacollege.