Arntzen sees Bitterroot College as a new way to connect lifelong learning

HAMILTON – State Superintendent of Education Elsie Arntzen says it will be exciting to see Montana’s first new community college in over half a century create new opportunities for public and home school students .

Arntzen made the observation during last week’s swearing-in for the trustees of the new Bitterroot Valley Community College, saying it was a chance to make the connection between K-12 learning and the lifelong learning.

“And that’s what the administrators and the community are going to do,” Arntzen told MTN News. “They’re going to make sure they visit our K-12 partners. And it’s the public school, but it’s also the home and private school. To make sure that this opportunity is there for the continuity of learning. ”

It’s been 53 years since Montana launched a new community college. And Arntzen hopes BVCC will not only promote the economic development of Ravalli County and the surrounding region, but also provide new options for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. She says it’s especially good for high school students, who will no longer be exposed to a one-day-related career, but a continuous path to their future.

“But if we let our kids, our young kids from their schooling, know to really focus on this college, this year of training, they’re not saying high school is easier, but they know the doors are coming. open to the next step ”. Arntzen noted. “What could certainly be a community college, where that local flavor, that local control, those local Montana values ​​that are so dear to us, are at the heart.

Arntzen says the establishment of Bitterroot Valley Community College not only “rejuvenates” the economy emerging from the pandemic with “workforce development,” but also “rejuvenates people in the hope that they can. learn better, improve their lives and make Montana proud ”.