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Center for Learning and Innovation

Engaging experiences to discover new passions.

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The Center for Learning and Innovation offers exciting opportunities to discover new passions and gain new skills. Our experiential learning programs extend beyond typical educational courses, allowing you to learn the kinds of adaptable skills that will serve you for a lifetime.


Summer 2023 Courses

More courses will be available for registration in the coming weeks! Check back on June 5 for additional course and registration information.

Maya Archaeology Field School in Belize
ANTH 197/ANTH 469

Instructor: David Hyde, Ph.D.
Date: May 21 – June 13, 2023
Cost: Non-credit option – $2400; For credit option – $2400 + $680/four credits ($3080 total)

During this unique program, you will spend three and a half weeks living and working in a professional archaeological camp in northwestern Belize. This is an intense program, during which you will work 6 days a week excavating and participating in related activities at the ancient Maya community of Medicinal Trail. 

The program is an experience you will remember for years as it provides not only a tremendous learning experience but also an opportunity for personal growth and exposure to the cultures of the Latin American and the Caribbean area. 

For more detailed information about this program, click here.

To access the program application, click here.

An Evening Under the Stars

Instructor: Suzanne Taylor, Ph.D.
Date: 06/24/2023
Location: Gunnison Observatory
Cost: $46; Price includes ticket for dome tour and instructor costs, no meals will be provided

Join the distinguished Suzanne Taylor in a night under the stars. Start the evening off with a talk from Suzanne about her experience in the space and physics fields. Follow her talk with a dome tour inside the Gunnison Observatory and look up at the vast space above through the iconic 30” telescope!

Geology of the Upper Gunnison Valley

Instructor: Bruce Bartleson
Date: 06/15/2023
Location: Course meets at the Welcome Center Mad Jack Statue at 9 a.m.
Cost: $76; Lunch will be included at TBD place

The geology of the Upper Gunnison valley has some of the most interesting geologic features and history in the entire United States, if not the world. This tour features several stops and short hikes to learn about our complex history and how it relates to our human history and development. Special attention is paid to the Crested Butte/Gothic area. Transportation and a sack lunch are provided.

Beneath Blue Mesa

Instructor: Dave Primus
Date: 06/06/2023
Location: Course meets at the Welcome Center Mad Jack Statue at 9 a.m.
Cost: $76; Lunch will be included at Sapinero Campground

Take a tour with David Primus to explore what was Beneath Blue Mesa! Dave has been researching this topic for over 20 years, and has recently published the book “Beneath Blue Mesa: The Gunnison River Valley Before the Reservoir.”  He will stop at various locations to point out and discuss the three towns, sixteen fishing resorts/hotels, and fifteen ranches that once existed along this 23-mile stretch of the Gunnison River.

Zenith Intensive – August 28 – September 1

Zenith Leadership Experience supports you reaching your zenith – the time at which something (or someone) is most powerful or successful. Leadership development is a life-long endeavor, as teams, circumstances, and responsibilities are ever in flux. This calls for honing one or more dimensions of leadership, as well as refining one’s unique leadership style, drawing on the values, purpose, emotional intelligence, experiences, and personality.
So, wherever you are in your career journey, it’s always appropriate for you to refine your unique leadership style.

Location: Gunnison Valley, CO | Fee: $2,650 ($2,450 early bird through 7/14/23) |
Special non-profit & government rates available

Topics Include: Refining your unique leadership style, decision making, communication, leadership versus management, purpose and values, mentorship and coaching, change management, imposter syndrome, leadership assessment and coaching, TBD based on the group’s needs, and personal reflection time in nature. Celebratory meal included.

Read more about the course here.

Register Here

Register NOW! Many classes fill quickly. Classes may be canceled if minimum enrollment is not met at least three business days before class begins. Register as soon as possible to ensure a place in the course(s) you want.

Ways to register:

Online: https://bit.ly/CLIcourses
Call: (970) 943-2885
Email: center@western.edu

Mail request to:

Center for Learning and Innovation
303 Taylor Hall
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Ways to pay:

Payment must be received before course begins. Cash, Credit Card. Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. (Must call Cashier Office: (970)943-3003 between 9 a.m.-4 p.m., please have your ID number from your invoice. Check can be mailed to address above.

Registration Confirmations

Center for Learning and Innovation staff will send out an email confirmation as reminders of class dates and times. Participants will be notified if there are changes, such as location, time, date, or instructor. If classes are canceled, notification will be made as soon as possible.

Registration and Payment Information

Payment for classes is due with registration. Check or cash payments are accepted with registration. AFTER you have received your Registration Confirmation, please call the Cashier’s Office at (970) 943-3003 to make a payment with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card. Checks that are returned for non-payment are assessed a $20 service charge.

Senior Discount

Seniors, ages 62 and older, may register for Center for Learning and Innovation non-credit courses at half price. This discount will be applied at the time of registration and may not be combined with any other discounts. Course fees payable to another agency, materials fees, or courses which involve travel do not qualify for discounts. The Center for Learning and Innovation is a part of the Colorado Statewide Extended Campus. State funds were not used to produce this document.

Employee Discount

Center for Learning and Innovation offers a $100 credit for Western faculty/staff per semester. This credit does not include Continuing Education Units cost, credit costs, material fees, tour course fees or outdoor program course fees. This credit does not apply to student employees.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized method of quantifying the time spent in the classroom during professional development and training activities. Ten hours of instruction = 1.0 CEU. One hour of instruction = 0.1 CEU. CEUs appear on your Western Colorado University transcript; however, they are not college credits and do not fulfill degree requirements.

Graduate Credit

Some classes are offered for graduate credit (510 level). Students must have a bachelor’s degree to register for graduate credit courses.


Prerequisites for some classes listed in this brochure are mentioned in the course descriptions. Students who enroll in graduate credit must be within 12 hours of receiving their undergraduate degree or must already have graduated.

Transcript Information

Transcripts for credit courses can be obtained by visiting www.parchment.com

Undergraduate Credit

Undergraduate credit classes offered through the Center for Learning and Innovation are based on semester credits and have the same academic expectations, including class time, as those offered through resident instruction.


The Center for Learning and Innovation reserves the right to cancel classes and to make changes when warranted. Participants will be notified via email if a class is cancelled and will receive a full refund.

Refunds for Withdrawals and Dropping a Course

Drops from a course will result in a refund if they occur prior to the week before the start date (unless otherwise specified). Non-attendance or non-payment does not constitute a drop. Full refunds are not given after the last day to drop. All drop requests must be in writing to the Center for Learning and Innovation at center@western.edu


Students have an opportunity to evaluate class content and their instructor at the conclusion of the class. Input from students is important, as it helps improve future classes. Evaluations are anonymous.

Immunization Requirement

Students attending the Center for Learning and Innovation classes are not required to be immunized or sign an immunization waiver.

Liability Waivers

Classes which present a degree of risk may require a signature on a waiver of liability. Waivers will be e-mailed with registration confirmations. Please return these to the Center for Learning and Innovation prior to the start of your course.

Photograph Policy

Photos of students and instructors in various classes are often taken to promote Western Colorado University Center for Learning and Innovation. Such photos are used in schedules of classes, flyers, and other marketing pieces.

Selective Service Information

Males who are 18 years of age or older, born after 1960, and who are not permanent residents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or the Northern Mariana Islands MUST be registered with the Selective Service to comply with Colorado law and to register for credit classes. Individuals not in compliance are subject to penalty of law and to withholding of transcripts.


Materials and/or material fess needed for a course will be listed with the course description.

Register Now

Outdoor Programs

Center for Learning and Innovation

Fuel your passion for the outdoors.

The Center for Learning and Innovation gives you the opportunity to earn credit while participating in valuable learning opportunities provided by our contract partners. You can embark on field expeditions, explore new cultures, attend leadership trainings and acquire new certifications.

Learn More

Rising to the Occasion

Student Tanner Saucerman ascends to the summit of Mt. Henry on a hike lead by Instructor Paul Tame.

Mapping the future

Lake Fork Valley Conservancy president, Harvey DuChene, shows students around Lake City’s newest river protection projects.

Online Course Center

Center for Learning and Innovation

Develop professional skills from anywhere.

In partnership with ed2go, Western offers online open enrollment programs designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional level positions for many in-demand occupations. Designed by a team of professionals from each respective field, our instructor-facilitated, web-based learning programs can be taken from the comfort of your home or office at times that are convenient for you.

Visit ed2go

Remote connections

Our extensive online course offerings allow students to work anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Data science

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to excel.

Career Step is a leading online education company focused on the allied healthcare market. They specialize in medical transcription and editing, and medical coding and billing training.

The Career Step online training courses have been developed in conjunction with industry experts and employers and are designed to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your chosen career. We offer both full career training programs and smaller continuing education and skill development courses. Each program requires approximately 640 hours of coursework. Students have one year to complete the coursework at their own pace. There is an option for a four-month extension, if needed, for an extra fee.

Get a step ahead

Career Step has trained more than 50,000 students and made more than 700 placements with companies.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

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Western Elevated: Beneath Blue Mesa


Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival




Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival


Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival




Gunnison Cheatgrass Pull Day


Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival - Dive into Improv


Gunnison Valley Theatre Festival

View All Events

Department Information

Center for Learning and Innovation


Shelley Jansen

Director of the Center for Learning and Innovation

Contact Information




8am - 5pm

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 303
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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