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Adventure? Career? Both? Find it at Fort Lewis College

Adventure? Career? Both? Find it at Fort Lewis College

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

There are many reasons why students choose Fort Lewis College, but one that comes up often is adventure. Adventure is one of the draws that have brought people to Durango for more than a century.

FLC students find plenty of adventure while they’re attending school, both in and out of the classroom. Durango is often included in lists of best adventure towns, like the one National Geographic Adventure put together. On campus, students get to participate in projects like the designing and building of a Baja racer by FLC Engineering students for a competition this summer.

Upon graduating many FLC alumni look to the horizon for more excitement, while also wanting to do some good in the world. That’s one of the reasons why Fort Lewis College is recognized as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers.

Adventure is part of the reason why FLC alumna Darrah Blackwater moved to China and began a 2,000 km trek to raise awareness for the orphanage for children with disabilities where she volunteers.

And it’s one of the drivers behind the Climb Out of the Darkness team, a group of FLC alumni and current students who are going to climb every 14-er in Colorado this summer to raise awareness for mental illness.

These are just a few examples of those who are using Fort Lewis College as a springboard to the next adventure, and working to make the world a better place while they’re at it. These are the kinds of things FLC graduates want to do, though seeking adventure sometimes means forgoing a big paycheck.

“Some students are looking for adventure, some are looking for a great career,” says FLC President Dene Thomas. “At Fort Lewis College, students can find both.”

According to Colorado’s EdPays report, Fort Lewis College offers a number of degree programs that have proven earning potential for graduates. Below are a few examples:

Accounting
FLC accounting is ranked in the top 3 bachelor's programs in the state for 5th and 10th year earnings. This past fall, the FLC chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting honors society, was ranked as a Superior Chapter for its excellence in preparing graduates for careers.

Chemistry
EdPays shows that FLC Chemistry graduates earn above the state median 5 and 10 years out (in fact, at 10 years, FLC is the 2nd ranked bachelor's program in the state, less than $200 behind UC-Denver). One reason why 1st year earnings might be lower is that FLC is a top producer of undergraduates who go on to earn doctorates in chemistry. The National Science Foundation finds that only Colorado State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder produce more undergrads who earn a Ph.D. in chemistry than Fort Lewis College over the last ten years that data is available.

Physics & Engineering
Physics at Fort Lewis College (which includes engineering for the timeframe EdPays looked at) is the top physics bachelor's program in Colorado for first year earnings, which isn’t surprising given that FLC Engineering graduates enjoy an employment rate of over 90 percent. Significant growth in the College’s geosciences, physics and engineering programs were a catalyst in the state approving funding to construct a new Geosciences, Physics and Engineering Hall on campus, which will be completed in fall 2016.

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