Just A Minute Archive

Just a Minute title image
We know your time is valuable, so I promise this will always be a quick update of something interesting happening at Trinidad State. Expect to see it around the 10th of each month.

Sign Up Now


| 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 |

August 10, 2015

Trinidad State's storied gunsmithing program to be featured on Outdoor Channel Wednesday

Trinidad State's Gunsmithing program will be showcased on the Outdoor Channel in a program called NRA All Access scheduled to air on August 12 at 5 p.m. (Mountain Time).

A two-person crew from Warm Springs Productions in Missoula, Montana spent a day at Trinidad State last April and shot the segment, which will be about seven minutes in length in its edited form.

Featured will be student Jennifer Stevens, soon to enter her second year of the two-year program as well as Danny Milan, who graduated in May, and Instructor Ryan Newport.  

Trinidad State's Gunsmithing program began in 1947 and is the oldest Gunsmithing School in the United States. Only about one out of three applicants are accepted. Trinidad State Gunsmith graduates work all over the world. 
Click here to watch a preview.

Alamosa Campus expansion is nearly complete

At our Valley Campus in Alamosa we're about to move in to our new wing, featuring two classrooms and two state-of-the-art science labs. It's been a long time coming. The first request for an expansion was submitted to the State of Colorado in 2007. It was 2013 before $1.5 million was appropriated. The addition has been under construction for most of the year. When completed it will encompass 6,700 square feet on two floors at the corner of 4th Street and Bell Avenue.
We plan to have a brief ceremony to introduce our staff to the new space on August 18 at 3 p.m.  

Remember fall classes start August 24 and there's still time to enroll in either Trinidad, Alamosa or online.  Go to

Watch for another Just a Minute next month!
Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

Return to Top

September 10, 2015

As promised we're back with more interesting happenings at Trinidad State. As you know, this will take Just a Minute.

Make a Difference begins at Trinidad State

Dr. Sue NesbittDr. Sue Nesbitt
Dr. Sue Nesbitt knows people. After all, she teaches psychology at Trinidad State. With the blessing of the college administration she has started a bulletin board inside the Berg Building at the Trinidad Campus where employees and students can honor others.  A sign simply says, "Tell us about the good things you have seen at TSJC and those who made them happen."  The board is already full, with thank you notes to faculty and staff members. They include thanks for unlocking doors, thanks for always offering encouragement, thanks for being patient, thanks for guidance. And on and on.

You can't help but smile when you read them.

Make a Difference!
With the help of Julie Kotalik, Massage Therapy faculty member, a similar effort is being planned for the Valley Campus.

Eventually the plan is to offer a chance for staff and students to make presentations to each other. Not necessarily on academic subjects, but some other topic, or even a demonstration of talent. The goal is to help people get to know one another better.

Sue and Julie were recognized yesterday for their innovative and positive idea at the monthly meeting of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education in Denver.

We have a great bunch of people here at Trinidad State and thanks to Sue and Julie, we're spreading the word!
Fall enrollment lags
Our fall enrollment numbers are down when compared with a year ago, not only at Trinidad State but at the rest of the community colleges in Colorado as well. Community colleges generally operate on an inverse cycle when compared to the economy - when the economy gets better, enrollment goes down.

Our full time student numbers are down just over eight percent compared to a year ago. On average the 13 colleges in the Colorado Community College System are down nearly five percent. But the rural colleges are down more than our sister institutions in bigger cities. Colleges in La Junta, Lamar, Fort Morgan and Sterling all report numbers similar to ours. We're watching this trend closely and realize we may be faced with some hard choices in the near future.

With that said, we've decided not to request money from the state government for a new campus in Alamosa during the next funding cycle.  In light of our current declining enrollment we cannot, in good conscience, ask for money for new buildings at this time.
Thank you for supporting Trinidad State. As always, we strive to support our communities with the best college education at an affordable price.
Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

Return to Top

October 10, 2015

Just a Minute of your time please?  Here's the latest from Trinidad State.

TSJC Nurses
ACEN representatives visit Trinidad State Nursing Program

A few days ago three representatives from ACEN, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing visited our Nursing Programs in both Trinidad and Alamosa. ACEN supports the interests of nursing education at institutions around the country. This process is voluntary and recognizes programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards for educational quality. Because of the hard work of Nursing Director LoriRae Hamilton we believe we should be recognized at this elite level.  We expect to hear a decision from ACEN by next April.
Another accrediting agency to visit

Trinidad State Junior College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.  The College will host a visit December 7-9, 2015, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.  Trinidad State Junior College has been accredited by the Commission since 1962.  The team will review the institution's ongoing ability to meet the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation.
The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college:
Public Comment on Trinidad State Junior College
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
The Public may also submit comments on the Commission's Website at www.ncahlc.org.
Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs.  Comments must be in writing.
All comments must be received by November 9, 2015
Trinidad State budget tightens due to smaller than expected enrollment

Trinidad State Junior College will cut a handful of positions and reduce the work hours of a few others to save money after lower than expected enrollment numbers were reported for the fall semester.

Compared with a year ago, Trinidad State's enrollment is down about 10 percent. After deciding that a few open positions would not be filled, this still left the college with a projected deficit of about $400,000.

"While these are very hard decisions, we know the most responsible course of action is to trim costs sooner, rather than later," said Trinidad State President Dr. Carmen Simone. "We have decided to cut five jobs and reduce another six people to part time status. These cutbacks will happen immediately." The College will also offer different job duties to two long time staff members.
"We have attempted to keep these cuts as far away from our students as possible. With that in mind I would like to point out no faculty members will lose their jobs," said Simone. "While difficult in the short term, we are committed to the long term success of this institution and believe we can only reach our goals through fiscal responsibility and by staying focused on a top notch experience for our students.

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

Return to Top

November 10, 2015

Let's see if we can jam a month's worth of Trinidad State happenings into Just a Minute!

State legislators visit Trinidad State
On October 20 our Trinidad Campus got a visit from members of the Colorado Legislature's Capital Development Committee.  We showed them a grand new vision: An indoor shooting range/classroom building to complement our famous gunsmithing school.  Our preliminary vision is a two-story building north of Latuda Hall which is large enough to house a 10-lane, fifty-yard shooting facility.  Next we'll need help from an architect to put our ideas on paper.  Hopefully by next summer we'll be in a position to ask the state for financial help.  The legislators who visited were excited about the idea.   
State legislators visit a gunsmithing class

Trinidad State will add cross country teams

We've decided to add men's and women's cross country to our athletics program!  Because of our high altitude campuses (6,000 feet in Trinidad and 7,500 feet in Alamosa) we believe our teams will have a built-in advantage.  Our plan is to bring in 10 runners on each campus and begin participating in meets in the fall of 2016.  They would train separately, but compete at meets together.  This is our first venture with an athletic team that bridges La Veta Pass!

Magazine cover
In Touch Magazine 2015

Alumni magazine just published

The 2015 version of the Trinidad State alumni magazine called In Touch went into the mail last week. It features information about our former students as well as current developments.  It's a must read for former students! 

 Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State


December 10, 2015

We know you're busy getting ready for Christmas, but this will take Just a Minute!

New Trinidad State scholarships to benefit local students

Learn Local Scholarship
We're excited to announce the Learn Local Scholarship, effective with the start of our spring semester next month.  This means a discount worth three credit-hours of tuition for any student from our eight-county service area who enrolls for a full 15 hours of classes.  That's a 20 percent savings on tuition, simply by signing up!  Those eight counties are Las Animas, Huerfano, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache.  The Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation has collaborated with us to make this new scholarship initiative possible.  We are pleased to have such a strong partnership with the Foundation.

Finish Line Scholarship
We're also excited about our new Finishline Scholarship, which provides another 20 percent off tuition for an about-to-graduate student taking 15 credit hours.  These scholarships are stackable, meaning a local student in the last semester of a two-year degree can get his or her tuition reduced by 40 percent!  Now is the time to enroll at Trinidad State.  Our spring semester classes begin on January 18.  Call 800 621-TSJC.

Higher Learning Commission visit

We are celebrating the successful completion of a site visit by the Higher Learning Commission.  HLC works under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education.  Trinidad State has been accredited by this organization since 1962.  This arduous process evaluates colleges in areas ranging from academic offerings, administration, mission, finances and resources.  We were evaluated by four visiting educators from around the country over a two-day period of time.  We expect to hear positive news about our continuing accreditation in May.  After months of preparation and seemingly endless efforts on the part of many, it was heartening to hear such positive feedback from the College community and the evaluators.  Our "Students First" mantra continues to ring true everyday and I couldn't be more proud.

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

Return to Top