“It was the best thing that ever could have happened to me.” Stacey Novak

Stacey Novak-VertStacey Novak initially had every intention of going to a large university after graduating from high school in the Roaring Fork Valley, and was accepted to every program she applied to. Ultimately, however, she decided to stick close to home and pursue a two-year AAS degree in Professional Photography from Colorado Mountain College instead. “It was the best thing that ever could have happened to me,” says Novak. “The program was amazing, the instructors are still friends of mine, and it allowed me to study something I truly love.”

After graduating, Novak moved away for awhile. She wanted to move on to a four-year degree, but didn’t want to spend thousands on private art school. When she learned about Colorado Mountain College’s new bachelor’s degrees in 2011, she jumped at the chance to take part.

“I thrive in an environment that is personal, and value the relationships I’ve created with my professors and classmates. The instructors that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from at Colorado Mountain College have been absolutely amazing: I cannot speak highly enough about their caliber. For me, the interaction with and quality of the professors has been one of the highlights of this program. Having the ability to not just learn from, but get to know the people standing in front of you is a wonderful thing. They have amazing stories, and so many are so passionate about teaching. Here, I get to be Stacey, not a faceless number. That makes it so much more engaging for me. The realizations that some professors have helped unveil for me within my own life will stick with me for a lifetime.”