November 8 marked the launch of the Colorado Governor’s and Governor elect’s Complete College in Colorado Program.
As Associate Provost of Colorado State University’s Continuing Education division, I attended the launch and was able to talk with Governor Ritter, the new Lieutenant Governor-elect Joe Garcia (former president of Colorado State University-Pueblo), the current head of the Colorado Department of Higher Education Rico Munn, the Colorado State University System chancellor Joe Blake, the head of the Colorado Community College system Nancy McCallum, as well as a few Colorado community college presidents.
We are all bound by a common goal around this program. Research shows that there are between 600,000 and 750,000 people in Colorado who have 15 or more college credits and never graduated from college. Research also shows that 62% of jobs in Colorado in 2018 will require a college degree. Today 32% of our population has a college degree, 3rd highest in the country, but still well below the need. Our shared goal is to close this gap with high quality, affordable undergraduate degree completion programs.
The private universities that have thrived in this market are now stumbling on quality and affordability grounds and are being pushed back by Federal regulations that will greatly slow their growth with tough new compliance rules on quality and marketing.
Colorado State University, with its outreach and engagement mission and programs, is prepared and excited to fill this need. On campus, at learning centers along Colorado’s Front Range, and online, Colorado State provides accessible, quality education. With four undergraduate degree completion programs offered online, adults can earn a well-respected and affordable bachelor’s degree even if they can’t attend classes on campus. These flexible options give allow students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree and start on a path to a stronger economic future without sacrificing their work and personal commitments.