The Extended Studies Program


The Extended Studies programs offer life-long learning opportunities through credit and non-credit courses.  Several opportunities for enrichment and education are available for your convenience.

Outdoor Programs | Next Steps

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The Extended Studies Department is pleased to announce a partnership with the Crested Butte Heritage Museum for a Winter Speaker Series.

Dr. David J. Rothman will speak the evening of December 15, 2016.  - This was a huge success.  Thank you to everyone who came and a special thank you to Dr. Rothman for such a lovely evening! 

Our first speaker is David J. Rothman, who will talk about the early days of skiing in Crested Butte. Dr. Rothman is the Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western State Colorado University, where he designed the Poetry Concentration, which he also directs and in which he teaches. Dr. Rothman is a former NCAA Div. I alpine ski racer who writes regularly about skiing and mountain towns. In 2013 his book Living the Life: Tales from America's Mountains & Ski Towns appeared from Conundrum Press:

Dr. Duane Vandenbusche will speak the evening of January 27, 2017

Dr. Vandenbusche will offer his presentation on The Old Days in Gunnison Country.  Come and enjoy a Dr. Vandenbusche slide show emphasizing mining camps, railroads, skiing, the Black Canyon, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Taylor Park, ranching, and all sections of the Gunnison Country.  Doors open at 6pm and the presentation starts at 6:30pm.  This is a private event, please RSVP with the Western Extended Studies. 

David Primus will speak the evening of February 17, 2017.  ** Please note date moved from the 16th to the 17th. 

David Primus will present a slide show of the history of the Gunnison River Valley before Blue Mesa Reservoir was completed in 1965. He will discuss fishing resorts, ranches, towns, and the narrow gauge railroad that now lie beneath the reservoir as remembered by local residents. Primus has lived in Gunnison since 1978, graduating from Western State Colorado University in 1981. As a third generation Coloradoan, he has researched the history of the American West throughout his life. He serves on the Gunnison County Historic Preservation Commission and on the board of the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Historical Society. 

Dr. Bruce Bartleson will speak the evening of March 23, 2017. 

Dr. Bruce Bartleson will discuss the “real” history of the Gunnison Country starting over one billion years ago. Bruce spent the majority of his career from 1965 to 1998 as a Professor of geology at Western State Colorado University, although doing considerable summer consulting for various entities. While at Western he was named Outstanding Professor of the year, was graduation speaker selected by the students, and was honored as Outstanding Emeritus Professor of the year in 1998. Since retirement, Bruce has kept very busy as the President of the Gunnison County Library Board, Vice President of the Western State Alumni Board and researching and writing about local weather history as well as keeping in touch with his former students and writing a Newsletter for the Western State Geology Department. He has continued to be an educator by giving numerous geological tours and talks and was recently named as “Outstanding Educator of the Year” by the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce in 2012. In his spare time he still enjoys hiking in the local mountains, fly fishing, mountain biking, skiing, and traveling.

For more information click here.  


The History of Crested Butte with Dr. Duane Vandenbusche

Dr. Duane Vandenbusche will teach THE HISTORY OF CRESTED BUTTE AREA at the Crested Butte Community School Thursday evenings from 7:00- 8:30pm beginning on January 26th and ending on April 20th.  The course will include topics such as  geography, water, Ute Indians, fur trade, explorers, narrow gauge railroads, silver and gold mining, mining camps, ranching, and early days of skiing.  The course will also include slide shows on ranching, skiing and early Gunnison country history.  Click here to register

Date: 1/26/17 - 4/20/17
Day: Thursday
Time: 7:00-8:30PM
Location: Crested Butte Community School, 818 Red Lady Ave. in Crested Butte, CO 81224

Western Graduate Programs


Outdoor and Wilderness Education Programs - Credit Partnerships

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Extended Studies Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.

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Faculty & Staff


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