Skip Main Navigation

OJC Press Release ID: 2869

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Alumni Michael Bacciarini Now an Admissions Counselor for Colorado Mesa University


Otero Junior College is a place where many students get the start to their higher education journey. This was the case for Michael Bacciarini, a 2014 Swink High School graduate, and an Otero Junior College graduate, who earned an Associate of Science degree in 2015. He then transferred to Colorado Mesa University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He is currently working for CMU as an admissions counselor. His long term goal is to become a science teacher for middle or high school students.

Bacciarini speaks very highly of the education he received at OJC. “My time at OJC helped to validate that I wanted to be a science teacher someday. Attending OJC was a great way to start my higher education experience. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for OJC.” Bacciarini said.

Now an admissions counselor at CMU, Bacciarini said he loves his job. He explained the highlight as being able to travel to a variety of areas to recruit students. He has been to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Bacciarini outlined that there is not a typical day for him. Some of what he does can be seasonal. His position includes a lot of traveling, visiting high schools to talk with students, college fairs, office support, and helping with the backend of admissions. He hopes that he can provide students with a smooth high school to college transfer. Bacciarini said he especially likes interacting with students and hearing about where they come from.

Looking back over his higher education journey, Bacciarini said that when he began his search for a college his senior year of high school he was not sure where he was going to end up. He looked at number of different schools in California because it is where he is originally from. He also looked at some schools in Colorado such as the University of Colorado, CMU, and OJC.

“After looking at several schools I was not sold on any of the four-year colleges. This led to my decision to attend OJC for one-year. I just felt like it was a great option. After coming from a small high school I was looking for a tight knit environment in college, and I found that at OJC,” he said.

When classes started for him at OJC, Bacciarini was impressed with his instructors. “I built some of the best relationships with my teachers at OJC. The science teachers stand out the most. The lab sessions were great because they were small enough were I was able to get the maximum out of them.”

At OJC Bacciarini was involved in the President’s Leadership program as well as Phi Theta Kappa. Bacciarini speaks very highly of OJC’s President’s Leadership program. “I made some of my best friends in the program, many of whom I still talk with today. The program definitely helped me grow as a person and a leader. I think being a member of the PLP is a large reason I was accepted into CMU’s ambassador program. PLP helped me break out of my shell and allowed opportunities I would not have had otherwise,” Bacciarini stated.

As a result of his experience at OJC and his continued academic and leadership education at CMU, Bacciarini feels very confident in helping future students navigate their path in college. He encourages all prospective students to visit the college they may be interested in. He also urges students to understand the difference between the cost of tuition and total cost of attendance. He explains that students should always look at the total cost and what goes into calculating this number. Once in college he suggests students get involved because it helps with the overall college experience and sense of belonging. As students explore their future options, Bacciarini encourages them to ask questions and keep asking until they feel confident that they fully understand what it means to be a student at a specific college.

For more information, contact Foundation Director Dillon Martin at 719-384-6821 or


Press Release Photo
Michael Bacciarini, an Otero Junior College alumni and Swink High School graduate, has taken his experience at OJC to prepare him for his work at Colorado Mesa University’s admissions office.