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Program featured in October Colorado Completes tour

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

(719) 549-2810

Press Release

PUEBLO – Colorado Completes Tour Honors CSU-Pueblo Denver Scholarship Foundation Program

CSU-Pueblo’s Denver Scholarship Foundation program was one of eight statewide on Lt. Governor Joe Garcia’s October Colorado Completes tour highlighting programs that assist college completion, particularly of first generation and low income or underrepresented students. 

Many programs at Colorado’s public institutions of higher education are moving the needle on student success by providing support systems necessary for all students to thrive in a campus setting and successfully complete postsecondary work.  The Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) program at Colorado State University-Pueblo will be one of eight programs celebrated next month as part of a state-wide tour by Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia.

During the month of October, the Colorado Department of Higher Education will celebrate these successful programs through campus events and visits by Lt. Gov. Garcia, who serves as executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, in a newly launched campaign called Colorado Completes! 

The Oct. 24 event at CSU-Pueblo will be held from noon-2 p.m. with a program in the Library and Academic Resources Center followed by a buffet lunch in the courtyard outside the LARC (weather permitting). The program will provide details about the success of the DSF program and include a video featuring current DSF students.  

While many schools in the state work in collaboration with DSF, CSU-Pueblo and DSF have developed the “model” program that is used to describe an effective and efficient program to those institutions that are developing similar programs.  This collaboration connects to key goals in the statewide master plan for higher education:

  • enhancing student support services and reducing the average time to credential
  • increasing access to and through postsecondary education while reducing degree attainment gaps, and 
  • improving success through better outcomes in basic education.

The CSU-Pueblo/DSF collaboration serves a primarily low-income population with 93 percent of the 2013-14 cohort of students considered Pell eligible, 85 percent first-generation, and 65 percent  female. ALL DSF scholars at CSU-Pueblo in 2012 were of minority status with the majority identifying themselves as African-Americans.  Fifty-nine percent of the DSF scholars required developmental education in at least one subject.

Retention rates for DSF cohorts are superb and are the reason why DSF has cited the collaboration with CSU-Pueblo as its model program, according to Derek Lopez, director of the Center for Academic Enhancement.  For the 2013-14 cohort, 98 percent of these students persisted from fall to spring. For the 2012 cohort, the fall to fall retention rate was an incredible 100 percent. The 2011 cohort has a first Fall to third Fall retention rate of 100 percent as well, which is higher than all other DSF partner institutions. Of the 60 DSF scholars at CSU-Pueblo in 2013-14, 98 percent of them met satisfactory academic progress requirements.  The retention rate at CSU-Pueblo for first-time, full-time students is generally around 65 percent.  

DSF Advisor Jishirll Clifton said the entire cohort of DSF scholars is from Denver Public Schools.  

“Students from DPS have a historically low college attendance and completion rate, yet students involved with DSF at CSU-Pueblo are doing quite well compared to their DPS peers,” she said. 

DSF Scholars are more likely to persist from their first year to their second year than low income DPS graduates, and African American DSF Scholars are more likely to persist from their first year to their second year than African American DPS graduates. DSF Scholars are more likely to persist and graduate from their first year to their fifth year than low income DPS graduates, and Hispanic DSF Scholars are more likely to persist and graduate from their first year to their fifth year than Hispanic DPS graduates 

In response to a query, the Department received 30 high quality program submissions that were reviewed by members of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and staff on the criteria of innovation; data; proposed event; and student demographics. The list was whittled to seven campus programs and one runner-up. Campuses to be visited by Lt. Gov. Garcia and dates are: 

  • Aims Community College (Catalyst second semester program), Oct. 22; 
  • Community College of Aurora (Student Success Center), Oct. 14; 
  • Colorado State University in Fort Collins (Key Communities), Oct. 8; 
  • CSU Pueblo (Denver Scholarship Foundation Program), Oct. 24; 
  • University of Colorado Boulder (CU LEAD Scholars Program), Oct. 10; 
  • University of Northern Colorado (University 101), Oct. 22;
  • Western State Colorado University (PRIME-Promoting Readiness in Mathematics and English), Oct. 28;
  • Pueblo Community College: Promising Practice Winner (partnership with St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center), Oct. 24.

In addition to the campus visits, all the program submissions will be featured on a Department webpage and highlighted via social media using the hashtag #CoCompletes.

Successful postsecondary completion is at the heart of the state’s higher education master plan, and this campaign attempts to capture success stories as measured against goals in this plan. ​​​

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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