a student walking on campus
Feb 21, 2024
Flathead Beacon

FVCC Offers Learning Opportunities for All Ages

By Micah Drew

Whether you’re a lifelong resident of the Flathead Valley or new to the neighborhood; whether you’re an adolescent, retired or ready to begin a career, Flathead Valley Community College provides a valuable learning resources for every stage of life. 

Located on the north end of Kalispell, FVCC’s main campus backs up to the Stillwater River and includes numerous academic buildings, dormitories, the Wachholz College Center, athletic venues, a campus farm and more. There is also an FVCC satellite campus in Libby that serves all of Lincoln County. FVCC has roughly 3,100 students each academic year, 37% of whom are non-traditional students over the age of 24, and offers in-person as well as online programs of study. 

At FVCC, learning can start at any age. Eligible high school junior and seniors can take part in Running Start, an affordable way to get started on higher education by earning college credits while still in high school. The first six credits are free to Montana students, and in-district students receive a discount for all other courses. 

Students looking to pursue a degree can choose from more than 80 degree options, including personalized transfer tracks for those seeking to continue their education at a four-year school. Flathead County graduating seniors are eligible for waivers and free tuition options, and FVCC has more than 850 scholarship opportunities available for students of all ages and programs. FVCC also offers numerous trade paths that include access and training using state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. To view all academic offerings, visit

True to its name, FVCC is a community college and offers educational programs for all members of the Flathead Valley community. 

For youth, FVCC hosts Kids College, a summer program of week-long camps and classes designed to stimulate creative minds, build healthy bodies, and challenge adventurous souls. Kids learn about art, science and technology, language and culture, and computer game design. 

Learning at FVCC continues long after you have a degree in hand. There are more than 250 continuing education courses offered each semester, a non-credit format for anyone interested in classes from Forest Bathing to Project Management and everything in between. 

This spring marks the 30th year FVCC has offered a special, for-credit Senior Institute during the spring semester specifically curated for individuals over 65. 

“It is inspiring to see the passion for learning and the community created during these sessions. It is lifelong learning at its finest,” said Director of Continuing Education Luke Lavin. 

The program comprises a vibrant community of older adults who are excited to learn, build relationship and explore new ideas. This spring will feature classes on human-animal relationships, watercolors for all ages, maintaining resiliency while aging and more. You can view all community education offerings at

With the recent addition of the multi-use 58,000-square-foot Wachholz College Center, FVCC has become a regional destination for world class speakers and performances. Take in local acts like the Glacier Symphony, touring comedians, and global stars such as Yo-Yo Ma. The WCC Speaker Series, designed to enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain local audiences, has included a former CIA director, world-renowned artists, history-making explorers, and more. You can view this year’s lineup at