Boosting College Completion has produced a comprehensive 50-state legislative database related to college completion and workforce development. The database will grow as we continue to collect and analyze policies.
Highlights of Colorado’s policies:
Check out the BCC database for a more complete summary of Colorado’s policies. Click on the Menu arrow for additional options, such as printing the summary.
Boosting College Completion has developed a policy profile for Colorado based on an analysis of data and policies related to college completion and workforce development.
Colorado is in an advantageous position, ranking in the top five states in degree attainment, percentage of workers in high-tech fields and college participation for adults age 25 to 49. Also, a concentration of jobs in STEM and health science fields produces competitive wages for college graduates. However, these education and workforce indicators mask three challenges.
The first set of challenges involves changing demographics. Over the next 15 years, a large percentage of college-educated adults will retire. Since the attainment gaps between younger and older adults and between minority and white adults are the third largest in the nation, Colorado will need to invest in postsecondary attainment for these populations to meet future workforce needs. While migration of college graduates has been steady over the last two decades, importing more skilled workers alone will not fill in these gaps.
The second challenge is funding. The state’s higher education strategic plan, The Degree Dividend, highlights the impact of funding levels on degree productivity and the need to align funding with strategic workforce goals. While Colorado Opportunity vouchers and other need-based aid could improve college affordability, the larger question is how to fund higher education in an era of static or declining state revenues.
The final challenge is how to leverage state resources and strategies to meet workforce demand. Colorado policymakers have responded by creating Colorado’s Promise, the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) and various task forces to explore ways of improving student success. To sustain Colorado’s position among the nation’s most highly educated states, the legislature should consider:
News & Updates
Sen. Bob Bacon, Chair, Education Committee
Sen. Evie Hudak, Vice-Chair, Education Committee
Rep. Tom Massey, Chair, Education Committee
Rep. Don Beezley, Vice-Chair, Education Committee
Colorado is participating in the following national initiatives that are related to college completion and workforce development:
American Diploma Project (ADP)
Complete College America (CCA)