What Trinidad is doing in Alamosa
Sidebar by Marcia Darnell
Education – November 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine
Some day you may do what Ed Quillen did, and idling in Main Street traffic in Alamosa, ask yourself, “Why the hell is there a branch of Trinidad State Junior College here?”
“I’m not sure how we got together,” recalls Tom Scarlett, dean of instruction and student services. The facility used to be the San Luis Valley Area Vocational School, under the control of the Alamosa School District.
Then someone noticed that the demographics here were similar to the student population at TSJC in Trinidad. Eventually, the president of TSJC met with the school board and worked out the details for a switch.
“There’s state funding for both, so it was fairly streamlined,” Scarlett says.
The change became official in 1996.
The Valley campus boasts 343 full-time students and 667 part-time per year. The school averages 15 full-time and 24 part-time faculty, plus 17 full-time staff positions. In May, 143 people graduated from the Valley campus.
Educational programs include aquaculture, CIS, the Cisco Academy, agricultural and business management, barber/cosmetology, basic skills and GED, early childhood ed (for day care workers), EMS, manufacturing technology (diesel, welding, machining), health care (CNA and LPN), office technology, the Colorado Young Farmer program, and the Reserve Academy for criminal justice training.
There are a lot of transfers to four-year schools, and TSJC works closely with Adams State College in Alamosa.
“It’s been a win-win situation for everyone,” says Scarlett.
The improved funding led to more programs, and more campus. A new building has gone up, and another across the street was acquired for a student center.
The Valley campus does outreach in Del Norte and Sanford, offering some courses in those rural areas. The school also plans to open a massage therapy program and an automotive tech program with Alamosa High School.
“This school is busy all the time,” says Scarlett.
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