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There are 28 public institutions of higher education in Colorado, including 13 four-year, public institutions and 15 two-year, public institutions, as well as several private institutions. The Colorado Department of Higher Education oversees the state’s public institutions, as well as two key loan programs. It works to ensure that higher education is accessible and affordable to all Coloradoans, as well as to improve postsecondary remediation levels, graduation rates, postsecondary readiness, and other deficiencies which inhibit college success. The department recently launched a new database tool called District at a Glance to aid in the state’s alignment of K-12 and higher education by providing detailed information on college enrollments and first-year postsecondary outcomes for the state’s graduating class of 2009.
Many of the state’s major institutions of higher education, including Colorado State University, Colorado Technical University, and Metropolitan State College of Denver, have also developed online course and degree programs to provide students with a flexible and accessible alternative to campus-based learning. Here’s a look at some of those schools and what they offer:
Colorado State University in Fort Collins is among the nation’s leading research universities. It was founded in 1870 as an agricultural college and now offers more than 150 programs of study within eight colleges. These programs include agricultural studies still, as well as applied human sciences, business, education, engineering, liberal arts, natural sciences, veterinary medicine, and natural resources. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school among the best in the country, while also highlighting its bachelor’s, computer information technology, and education programs. The school’s online college degree programs in computer information and education are also ranked among the top for online colleges by U.S. News. Overall, the school offers 20 graduate programs, certificates, undergraduate degree-completion programs, as well as undergraduate courses and noncredit courses, through distance learning.
As the name implies, Colorado Technical University provides career-oriented training in industry-current programs. The for-profit institution offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees primarily in the areas of technology, management, and business. Students can choose to attend full time or part time, on campus at its Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo or Sioux Falls locations, or online. Online programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels and in the areas of business and management, engineering and computer science, health sciences, information systems and technology, and security studies. All told, there are more than 100 programs from which to choose to take through Colorado Technical University’s Virtual Campus.
The Metropolitan State College of Denver serves more undergraduate Coloradans than any other school in the state, with nearly 24,000 students attending at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Also known as Metro State, the downtown Denver school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 50 majors, including education, business, criminal justice, and nursing. The school is noted for its diversity, wide-reaching STEM-training, and its successful Accelerated Nursing Program, which saw all of its graduates achieve a 100% pass rate on the 2011 national nursing licensing exam, making it the only undergraduate program in the state to do so, according to the school’s website. Metro State’s extended campus includes off-campus sites and distance learning opportunities. Students can take online college courses, though not full degrees, through its online division. Additional online services include library resources, technical support, and tutoring and writing assistance.