By Michael Howell
It’s official! The Bitterroot College Program of the University of Montana now has a new name and a new logo. From this day forward it will be known simply as the Bitterroot College University of Montana. Those words will circle around a new logo, a stylized version of a Bitterroot flower.
“No more ‘Program’ and no more ‘of the’,” said Bitterroot College University of Montana Executive Director Victoria Clark. She is happy about the change in name and the new logo.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom and Deputy Commissioner of Two-year and Community College Education John Cech were on hand last Tuesday, June 18 to celebrate the new “branding” of the local institution.
The regents initiated a program a few years ago to re-brand the university’s college of technologies and then extended it to include the community colleges. Our local college’s new name and logo are a result of that effort.
Clark loves the new name and is proud of the new logo. She helped on that project and considers the result a strong emblem.
“We wanted something local, something welcoming, and something that showed strength and credibility,” said Clark, “and we found it in this stylized version of the Bitterroot flower. It’s a strong flower.”
Clark said that the college was growing rapidly. Last year it had 200 plus students and this fall she’s hoping for 250. She said that four new degrees had been added this year. They are one-year technical degrees in Building Maintenance Engineering, Computer Support, Customer Relations, and Medical Reception. She said the new degrees were all part of the university’s efforts to provide career and technical education aimed at local employment.
“These degrees provide the skill sets for careers that are available in this valley,” she said. “These are classes where existing professionals in the community can upgrade their skills or a person can explore a potential career and see if it fits.”
The current facility, located at the Ravalli County Economic Development Center on Old Corvallis Road, behind the Job Service, includes offices, a large computer lab, a science lab, a lecture room and a quiet study area. The college offers about 40 face-to-face classes and over 200 on-line courses.
Clark is excited about a pending grant for advanced training in manufacturing, industrial and energy production that could prepare workers for work in the Bakken or in other local manufacturing facilities.
“I’m a perpetual optimist, but it looks promising,” said Clark.