Extended Studies

Engaging experiences to discover new passions.

Extended Studies 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.

Outdoor Programs

Fuel your passion for the outdoors.

Extended Studies 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.

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Rising to the Occasion

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

International Education

Become a student and citizen of the world.

Explore our extensive network of programs and partnerships that will provide you with opportunities to learn around the world. Take courses abroad to learn new skills and study diverse cultures. Meet people from other countries, learn new customs—maybe even a new language—all while earning credit toward your degree.

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Global impact

Energy Management students install solar panels in Peru during an international education course.

Additional Information

Extended Studies reserves the right to cancel classes and to make changes when warranted. Participants will be notified if classes are cancelled and will receive a full refund. Checks that are returned for non-payment are assessed a $17 service charge.

Dropping a course will result in a refund if the course is dropped 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 made in writing to the Extended Studies Office.

Join Duane Vandenbusche for a Gunnison Country Webinar Series at 7:00PM, every Thursday evening, beginning July 2nd, 2020. The series is sponsored by the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. Each lecture will be 35 minutes in length and the first, on July 2nd, will be covering Crested Butte. Other lectures will include ranching, the Black Canyon, early day skiing, coal mining, narrow gauge railroads, the great silver camps, farming, water and Placer gold mining.

Please go to crestedbuttemuseum.com to register for the FREE webinar.

Mapping the future

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

Online Course Center

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.

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Remote connections

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

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.

Wednesdays at Western

Join us for outdoor adventures during Wednesdays at Western.

Explore the trails and mountains around the Gunnison area mountain while learning about the area from local guides and experts. These hikes not only take participants into beautiful wilderness settings, but also teach backcountry skills and natural history along the way.

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Explore and learn

Wednesdays at Western are opportunities for students to explore our extraordinary surroundings while learning skills and natural history along the way.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

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Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) Day Trips


Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) Day Trips


Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) Day Trips


Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) Day Trips


Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO) Day Trips


First-Year Student Orientation


First Year Student Move In

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Teach A Course

Teach a course through Extended Studies at Western.

Extended Studies offers a wide variety of courses throughout the year, ranging from writing, yoga, computers, business and professional classes. Fall courses begin in September and spring courses begin in February. In the summer, courses are part of the Summer Teacher Institute.

If you would like to teach a noncredit course in the fall or the spring, please submit your course proposal using the “New Course Proposal” form. Return this completed form to Anne Chavez, Program Manager, by email to archavez@western.edu. Please email Anne to discuss new community interest course ideas. In addition to the form, be sure to include your resume and transcript and/or any certifications that will show your qualifications for subject matter. Instructors who have already had a course approved and would like to offer it again should complete the “Repeat Course Form” for each catalog in they wish to offer their course.

Please make sure your forms are complete with all requested information and attachments or catalog inclusion is not guaranteed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Courses by non-Western faculty to who desire to offer undergraduate credit to current Western students are not available for new set up through Extended Studies.

If you would like to teach a 500-level non-degree seeking graduate level course or offer an off-campus undergraduate course for credit, please email Kirky Lokie, Director of Extended Studies to discuss your course and for more information. Kirky can be reached at klokie@western.edu. You may submit your graduate level course proposal using the “Graduate Credit Course Proposal” form. For undergraduate level off-campus courses, please use the “Special Programs Course Proposal” form.

If you would like to discuss a new course idea in person, please send us an email message with a brief description of what you would like to teach and we can set up a time to meet to find if it will be a good fit. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Institute for Applied Sustainability

Promoting resilient living practices for a changing world.

The Institute for Applied Sustainability and Extended Studies has merged with the Coldharbour Institute of Gunnison to offer a suite of holistic courses that develop the practical skills and knowledge needed to create more sustainable and economically resilient communities. Coldharbour Institute’s mission is to promote resilient living practices for a changing world through education, research, experimentation, partnerships and the integration of environmental, social and economic solutions. For more information about the Institute of Applied Sustainability, contact Ellen Patten, Education Coordinator at ellen.patten@western.edu or 303.506.6849.

Directions to Coldharbour Ranch from Gunnison:

From the Adams St & E Tomichi Ave intersection in Gunnison, drive 6.7 miles East on US Hwy 50.
The Ranch is located about halfway between mile
marker 164 and mile marker 165 on Hwy 50. After you pass mile marker 164, drive about a 1/2 mile and look for a large yellow building with a red/orange roof on the right (the red/orange roof is the prominent feature), this is Coldharbour Ranch. The turn to the right looks like a small driveway, turn here, and you have arrived!

Ellen Patten, Institute of Applied Sustainability Education Coordinator

Department Information

Extended Studies

Department Director

Kirky Lokie

Program Assistant

Deanna Clark

Program Assistant

Contact Information




8am - 5pm

Campus Location

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