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My colleague at the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) asked me to help spread the word about this good news. This is a press release from CCCS and the University of Colorado-Denver.

A degree from the University of Colorado Denver can begin at one of the Colorado Community College System campuses  under a new program called the CC to CU Denver Admission Promise. The program will provide joint admission at a Colorado Community College and the University of Colorado Denver as well as on-campus advising from the University of Colorado Denver and from the Colorado Community Colleges as part of guaranteed seamless transfer between the institutions.

The CC to CU Denver Admission Promise spotlights the University of Colorado Denver’s commitment to educating more of our state’s citizens and supporting them – wherever they begin their college education – in completing their bachelor’s degree,” said Chancellor Jerry Wartgow, PhD. “Advising from both CU Denver and the community college counselors will make the difference in helping these students not only earn their associate’s degree at their community college but also their bachelor’s degree from CU Denver.”

It’s well documented that students who complete their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees have more secure financial futures than those who don’t. Research shows that a full-time worker with a bachelor’s degree earns 84 percent more money over a lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma. Workers who earn an associate’s degree have earnings 35 percent higher than high school graduates and up to 100 percent higher in the health care fields.  Likewise, college graduates’ unemployment rates in 2011 were less than half that of those who only graduated from high school.

Advisors often play a critical role in a student’s degree completion. High quality academic advising has been repeatedly shown to have a positive impact on student retention. The CC to CU Denver Admission Program partners students with CU Denver and Colorado Community College advisors from the time they begin their studies and ensures the students meet regularly with the advisors to assure they are on track.

Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education and who has led both community college and university campuses, voiced his support of the program saying, “Bringing the opportunities of a college education to first generation and low income students is important for these students, their families and the whole community.  Programs like this Admission Promise strengthen the pipeline from community college to four-year colleges and universities and play a vital role in increasing the college education of our future workforce.”

Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System, lauded the agreement, saying “Our community colleges look to serve students in every aspect of their educational aspirations. The CC to CU Denver Admission Promise is a valuable partnership with University of Colorado Denver that provides a clear pathway from high school to an associate’s degree and from an associate’s degree to a baccalaureate degree.  This partnership offers affordable higher education opportunities to our citizens in a seamless manner. We know that to be competitive in the 21st century global economy, we must educate more Coloradans and this new partnership will increase college attainment and student success in the state.”

In addition to joint admission to both the participating Community College and the University of Colorado Denver, the Admission Promise is also the first advisor-intensive program by a public Colorado university to extend across Metro Denver. It’s modeled after the very successful Denver Transfer Initiative (DTI) between CU Denver and the Community College of Denver.  The DTI program’s success underscores the importance of advising in students’ success, with 98 percent of these students staying in school.

Students in the promise program agree to meet certain academic standards that are established by the CU Denver schools and community colleges they choose to attend.  They must enter the community college as a first-time freshman and have not had any previous courses to be eligible for this program.  Students also agree to meet with their assigned CU Denver academic advisor at least once a term.  These advisors will travel to the community colleges to make their meetings as convenient as possible for their students.

The University of Colorado Denver offers more than 120 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. It’s located on two campuses, the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. For more information, visit the University of Colorado Denver newsroom.

The Colorado Community College System comprises the state’s largest system of higher education serving more than 162,000 students annually. The system’s colleges include: Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, Front Range Community College, Lamar Community College, Morgan Community College, Northeastern Junior College, Otero Junior College, Pueblo Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, Red Rocks Community College and Trinidad State Junior College.

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