Executive Summary

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education presents its master plan, Colorado Rises: Advancing Education and Talent Development, as an urgent call to action. If the state of Colorado is to prepare its students for changing workforce demands and maintain its high quality of life and vibrant economy, it must invest more in the educational attainment of all its citizens.

Today Colorado faces a critical decision: Invest in expanded access in order to mitigate affordability and equity gap challenges or bear the weight and financial burden of an undereducated citizenry.

We face a dramatically changing higher education landscape in which postsecondary credentials are more important than ever. At the same time, the state’s disinvestment in higher education over the past two decades has put those credentials out of reach for too many Coloradans.

In this plan, the CCHE reaffirms a statewide credential attainment goal of 66 percent by 2025 for our adult population. Our economy demands it. We have made some progress since 2012 when the commission issued its previous master plan, but today our attainment is still only 55 percent.

Reaching our 66 percent statewide attainment goal is dependent on many factors outside the scope of the public system of higher education, including population changes, in- and out-migration and credential production by private institutions. The CCHE identified four strategic goals within the scope of the public system to make this plan actionable:

Today Colorado faces a critical decision: Invest in expanded access in order to mitigate affordability and equity gap challenges or bear the weight and financial burden of an undereducated citizenry.

Statewide Attainment Goal

66
66 Percent Statewide Attainment

Strategic Goal #1
Increase Credential Completion

Significantly increase the number of credentials that students earn over an eight-year period and increase credential completion for high-demand areas of STEM-educated workers and a growing shortage of educators.

Read Strategic Goal #1

Strategic Goal #2
Erase Equity Gaps

Success in meeting the statewide goal of 66% hinges on improving all students completion in colleges, universities and other pathways in the state.

Read Strategic Goal #2

Strategic Goal #3
Improve Student Success

Promote students’ timely completion through new approaches and practices.

Read Strategic Goal #3

Strategic Goal #4
Invest in Affordability and Innovation

Increase public investment and encourage models that reduce costs and time-to-degree.

Read Strategic Goal #4