Fort Lewis College provides an integrated and formative liberal arts and professional education to a diverse student population, preparing global citizens to work in and contribute to a complex world.
Fort Lewis College is a public institution of higher education in the State of Colorado with selective undergraduate admission standards. Fort Lewis College has an approximate enrollment of 3,500 students.
Fort Lewis College recruits its faculty from the best colleges and universities in the country. All tenured and tenure track faculty hold the highest degree attainable in their disciplines. Many of Fort Lewis College’s faculty have developed national reputations for excellence in teaching, research, and curriculum development. Because Fort Lewis College is primarily an undergraduate institution, faculty members focus on teaching and work closely with students.
Baccalaureate Degree Programs
Fort Lewis College offers 30 programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree and 10 programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.
The Bachelor of Arts programs are: Accounting, Adventure Education, Anthropology, Business Administration, Communication Design, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Educational Studies, Elementary Education, English, Environmental Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, History, Journalism and Multimedia Studies, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Music Business, Music Performance, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art, Theatre and Writing.
The Bachelor of Science programs are Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Engineering, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Specialist, Geology, Physics and Sport Administration.
Graduate Degree Program
Fort Lewis College offers one graduate program, the Master of Arts in Education.
Fort Lewis College offers one undergraduate certificate program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Fort Lewis College offers one graduate certificate in Teacher Leadership.
Teacher Licensure Program
The Colorado Department of Higher Education has approved Fort Lewis College to prepare students for teacher licensure through multiple pathways:
Baccalaureate students: The Early Childhood Education program leads to Birth to 3rd grade licensure; the Elementary Education program leads to grades K-6 licensure; the Art, Exercise Specialist, Music Education, Spanish, and Theatre programs lead to grades K-12 licensure, and the Biology, Chemistry, English, History, and Mathematics programs lead to grades 7-12 licensure.
Post-baccalaureate students may pursue Birth to 3rd grade licensure, grades K-6 licensure, grades K-12 licensure in Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish, and grades 7-12 licensure in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
Master of Arts in Education students may pursue grades K-12 licensure in Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish, and grades 7-12 licensure in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
College-Wide Liberal Education Outcomes
A liberal arts education encompasses more than specific curricular requirements. The College has defined four liberal education outcomes that students will attain through fulfilling their Liberal Arts Core requirements as well as through in-depth study within the major and the experiences available to them at a liberal arts institution. The four liberal education outcomes for Fort Lewis College students are:
- Learning As Inquiry: The ability to use modern methods to access, analyze, interpret, and apply a wide range of information, data, and appropriate sources.
- Critical Thinking As Problem Solving: The ability to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information in order to solve complex problems.
- Communication As Intellectual Contribution: The ability to contribute to scholarly understanding of a subject by balancing complexity and clarity of argument, clear conceptual organization of evidence, and adaptation to context and audience.
- Action As Responsible Application Of Academic Learning: The ability to use all of the above to make positive contributions to one’s community and the larger society.
To improve instruction and to ensure achievement of educational goals, the College regularly assesses students’ progress. The College assesses institution-wide and departmental learning outcomes by using a variety of direct and indirect measures including surveys, student work samples, and nationally examinations. The College frequently requires students to participate in assessments to help the College improve its academic programs and teaching methods. All departments have assessment processes in place that provide data on student learning in the majors. For more information about assessment, contact the Director of Academic Effectiveness and Evaluation.
Fort Lewis College is named for Fort Lewis, a U.S. Army Post established in 1878 at Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Two years later, the military post moved to Hesperus, Colorado, a location more central to Indian settlements and pioneer communities. The U.S. government abandoned the site as a military post in 1891 and, in its place, established the Fort Lewis Indian School, an off-reservation boarding school.
By 1911, Congress had deeded the Hesperus site to the State of Colorado, which then established a high school of agriculture under the supervision of the State Board of Agriculture. A stipulation of the land grant was that Indian students would be able to attend tuition free. The school began to offer some college-level courses in 1925 and, in 1933, Fort Lewis began to offer college courses exclusively. In 1948, Fort Lewis was officially designated a junior college with its own president.
Fort Lewis moved to the Durango campus in 1956. The first baccalaureate degrees were granted in 1964. From 1986 to 2002, Fort Lewis was part of the Colorado State University System under the governance of the State Board of Agriculture. An independent board of trustees currently governs Fort Lewis College.
The State of Colorado continues to honor the commitment made in 1911 to Native American education by offering tuition scholarships to all American Indian and Alaskan Native students who attend Fort Lewis College.
Fort Lewis College sits on a mesa-like terrace overlooking Durango and the 13,000-foot peaks of the La Plata Mountains. With a population of approximately 17,000, Durango is the largest community in Southwest Colorado and serves as a hub of commercial activity for a regional population of more than 90,000. Durango’s elevation is 6,512 feet; it is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, yet it is only 50 miles away from the deserts of the Southwest. Durango is about 350 miles from Denver, 200 miles from Albuquerque, and 450 miles from Phoenix.
The distinctive architecture of custom stonework found on the Fort Lewis College campus reflects the heritage of Southwest Colorado’s Ancestral Pueblo Indians. The backdrop of the rugged San Juan Mountains creates a learning environment of incomparable natural beauty.
The College’s senior administration is located in Berndt Hall, Education-Business Hall, and Miller Student Services.
Teaching, research, advising, and learning support services are in the academic facilities of Art Hall, Berndt Hall, Center of Southwest Studies, Chemistry Hall, Education-Business Hall, John F. Reed Library, Jones Hall, Noble Hall, Sitter Family Hall, Skyhawk Hall, the Theatre Building, and the trailer complex.
The Student Union, the center of campus life, houses the Dr. Terry R. Bacon Leadership Center, the Ballantine Media Center, the Native American Center, and El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispano Center as well as several places to eat, the post office, the bookstore, and the I.D. office.
Miller Student Services is the location of the Health Center, Office of Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office, Dean of Students, Title IX Coordinator, and Student Housing and Conference Services and Noble Hall is the location of the Counseling Center.
Nine residence halls and apartments are located on campus for undergraduate students.
The Athletic program’s headquarters is in the Aquatic Center. Athletic facilities include the Whalen Gymnasium, the Ray Dennison Memorial Field, Dirks Field, and Aspen Field. Student recreational sports and activities utilize the Student Life Center, the Aquatic Center, athletic fields, and extensive campus trails.
Fort Lewis College operates on a semester calendar. The fall and spring semesters are each 15 weeks. The fall semester generally begins in late August or early September and ends in mid-December; the spring semester begins in early January and ends in late April or early May. The summer semester begins in early May and concludes in mid-August.