Update: Regents hear Garcia present state higher education master plan

Lt. Gov. Garcia presents board CCHE higher education master plan

Garcia, right, and Gianneschi


Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), and Matt Gianneschi, deputy director of CDHE, presented the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) master plan to the Board of Regents at Thursday’s meeting in Colorado Springs.

The higher education plan proposes performance metrics to increase the number of degrees awarded throughout the state. Some members of the Board of Regents will participate in the planning process this summer.

Garcia said the CCHE plan will address disparities in educational degree attainment among all students, especially underserved populations.

“That’s what this master plan is all about. How do we get everybody to recognize we’re all part of a state system; that we have shared statewide goals?” he said. “We have some things we should be very proud of in this state, but we do have some serious shortcomings we need to address.”

The four goals outlined by the CCHE plan:

  • Increase the attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials across the disciplines and throughout Colorado to meet anticipated workforce needs. Metrics include increasing the number of degrees attained each year by 1 percent through 2025, and increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) credentials by each institution’s annual goal each year.
  • Improve student success through better outcomes in basic skills education, enhanced student support services and reduced average time to credential all students. This would entail bolstering the completion rate of resident underserved students who take remedial courses, enabling community college students to more easily transfer to four-year institutions and ensure that credit hours are readily transferable.
  • Enhance access to and through postsecondary education to ensure the system better reflects the state's demographics while bolstering degrees awarded among students in underserved communities. This includes annually increasing the proportion of newly enrolled students from underserved populations.
  • Developing resources through increases in state funding that will allow public higher ed institutions to meet enrollment demands, lower the students’ share of college costs and maintaining the state’s position as a national leader in credentials produced relative to state investment in higher education.

These are shared concerns among all higher education institutions in this state, Garcia said. “It’s something we’re not going to be able to successfully address unless we all work together and we all pull in the same direction.”

The CCHE will present the master plan to Gov. Hickenlooper and the General Assembly on or before Sept. 1.


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