Overview of Colorado Colleges and Universities not visited
I attended a breakfast hosted by a group of Colorado Universities and Colleges. They each only had a few minutes to present information about their individual institution; what follows is a summary of what they had to say.
ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY
Adams is one of the most diverse in the state; with so many Hispanic students, it has officially been labeled as Hispanic-Serving. They also have a lot of first-gen students. The school, located about 3.5 hours southwest of Denver and 2 hours north of Santa Fe, is definitely off the beaten path. The popular majors are business, human performance/exercise science, psych, and bio/pre-med. Their sports are DII with 10 men’s and 9 women’s teams and are launching baseball this year. They’re known for running: they placed 2nd at the Stanford Invitational, almost beating Stanford. They offer a lot of admission-based merit scholarships.
COLORADO MESA UNIVERSITY
This medium-sized public university with just over 9,000 students is located in Grand Junction. With almost 150,000 people, this is largest city between Denver and Salt Lake City. They’ve recently invested $300 million into the infrastructure. Almost everything is new or renovated. The students they are looking for have an “adventurous spirit” who are willing and able to create own excitement. There’s a lot to do on campus but much of it is student run, so they want students who will be part of creating – and participating in – activities. They want those people who will enjoy what’s around. They have 23 DII teams which means that there is some scholarship money on that front as well as merit-based academic awards for students.
COLORADO MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
This is primarily a 2-year Community College, but they started offering BA degrees in 2011. This is a multi-campus college serving 9 counties in North-Central Colorado. Three of their campuses are residential including at Steamboat Springs. Because they have some dorms available, they do pull in some out-of-state students and provide scholarships to help draw these students in. They actually have 46 states represented on their campuses. Students come because of their highly ranked programs such as Resort Management, Vet Tech (they have a working farm), and a new media program. There’s a full range of student support services for students who need them.
COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES
This college is focused on very specific majors, but offers more than just Mining. They have several schools within the university: Applied Science and Math, Engineering, Geoscience and Resource Management, and even Humanities and Social Sciences (with majors like Economics, International Political Economy, and Public Affairs). Minors include unusual areas such as humanitarian engineering and explosives. Student life is active with typical sorts of clubs; 13 DII sports and Greek Life is also offered to students.
FORT LEWIS COLLEGE
Located in Durango, CO (the four corners region), this is “Colorado’s Public Liberal Arts Institution.” Their graduates have the lowest level of indebtedness in the state upon graduation. Due to its location in the Four Corners Region of the state and high Native American population, they’re designated as a Native American Serving institution. About 35% of the population is from out-of-state, with many of those coming from surrounding states, but they do pull from all over. The college is looking for students with an adventurous spirit who are willing to take risks and stretch themselves. There are no graduate programs at FLC, and as such, the students have direct, “privileged” access to faculty. Only one percent of classes have more than 50 students. The education, psychology, biology, engineering, anthropology/archaeology, and the Native American Studies programs are both popular and strong. Among their DII athletics, cycling and soccer are big.
JOHNSON AND WALES UNIVERSITY
JWU has 4 campuses across the country, one of which is in Denver. Their focus is on hands-on career preparation and offer both BA/BS and AAS degrees in areas such as Business Management, Culinary Arts, Hospitality Services, and Technology. 1 OF 2 colleges that have a culinary degree that’s certified by the nutrition board.
Naropa was founded by a Buddhist monk and a couple poets in the 60s in order to merge Eastern and Western ideals. They currently enroll 400 undergrads, 65% of whom come from out-of-state; 10% are international. During the admission process, Naropa will not look at test scores; they’re more interested in essays and the interview. They look for students who are interested in dialogue so what the students have to say, verbally and in written form, are important parts of the process. Some of their more unusual majors are Contemplative Psychology, Peace Studies, Writing and Literature, and Traditional Eastern Arts.
UC COLORADO SPRINGS
One of the main buildings in the middle of the UCCS campus.
This beautiful campus built on a hillside overlooking Colorado Springs is the smallest of the three UC campuses. I had a chance to walk around the campus when I was in CS, but did not have a chance to take a formal tour. They offer a wide range of academic offerings in 7 colleges. Some of their more unique majors include Professional Golf Management (in the Business and Administration college), Game Design and Development, Computer Security (in the Innovation college), Medical Technology, and Sports Health and Wellness Nursing and Health Sciences college). Their engineering program is ranked ninth in the nation. Their DII sports are generally well-regarded; cross-country is ranked 6th nationally.
Set right in the heart of Denver, this campus is three campuses in one, so students have the benefit of a medical campus and Metropolitan State all in one spot. Light rail and bus lines go right through campus, connecting students to the entire metro area, and since they’re downtown, students can easily walk to many places. UCD enrolls 11000 undergrads and 5000 graduate students, with a large out-of-state population. UCD accepts WUE so residents of the 15 western states can take advantage of reduced tuition; they also offer “Denver-Bound” scholarship for out-of-state students. Successful applicants have an average of a 3.4 GPA and 1150 SAT or 24 ACT. Popular/strong majors include engineering, architecture, and urban planning. The classrooms were deliberately designed to be small and can’t hold more than 22 students.
WESTERN STATE COLORADO UNIVERSITY
WSCU is located in a mountain valley about 3.5 hours from Denver and about 30 minutes from Crested Butte ski area. Gunnison has an airport making it easy to travel to and from school. They offer both WUE and out-of-state scholarships. The Business and Education programs are reportedly the best on campus, and Land and Resource Management is perhaps the most unique. They have DII athletics with Cross-Country and wrestling being the strongest.