CU Complete History
When we started this project in March 2009, we were surprised to learn that more than 1,000 students who had enrolled at CU between 2002 and 2006 had not completed their degrees despite being in good academic standing and being at least half-way done with their degree requirements. There is no reason, we thought, that we cannot help these students. The Director of Extended Studies at the Colorado Department of Higher Education said even one student would be a good start.
One year later, we had contacted around 375 students, heard back from about 100, and were able to assist 14 in re-enrolling at CU. Analyzing the information we gathered from our intake forms and surveys, we determined that time and money were the primary barriers standing in the way of degree completion for most students. In addition, many students needed more flexibility – online and evening courses – to fit their educational goals into their already busy lives.
To date we have worked with over 600 students and graduated nearly 200 with more on the way. Inspired by these students and many others, we seek to address the barriers that can stand in between a student and his or her degree. Working strategically with academic departments and individual faculty, we have been able to increase our offering of evening and online courses, making degree completion easier for working adults.
We were thrilled to receive additional funding from Colorado Department of Higher Education, allowing for the creation of a scholarship program for CU Complete students. When this funding, approximately $54,000, was exhausted in the summer of 2013, the Dean of Continuing Education agreed to continue offering scholarships funded by tuition revenues to CU Complete students. As of fall 2013 we have awarded over $100,000 to students working toward their degrees.
We still have scholarship funding available to help address the financial barriers that keep so many students from earning their degrees. CU staff and faculty remain determined and excited to assist students on the path to graduation.