The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was established in 1965 to create a permanent Colorado University campus in an area already hosting classes at various extension locations. It has since become one of the “fastest growing universities in the state and nation”, becoming one of the largest employers in Southern Colorado, as well as developing top ranked business, nursing, engineering, and public affairs programs.
Currently housing a student body of around 8900, over 1700 of which are graduate students, on a 520 acre campus that averages 2 bear sightings per year, UCCS holds a diverse student body made up of a 22% minority population (with grad rates for minorities that exceed university averages). Academically, there are 36 Bachelor degrees, 19 Masters, and another 5 doctoral degree programs offered, taught in an intimate 22 student average class setting allowing “opportunities to interact with professors”.
The campus is also home to the Center for Space Studies and the Center for Homeland Security, offering experiential programs and unique research, education, and outreach not offered at other universities. Unique and high-need programs at UCCS also include a Bachelor of Innovation (a multi-disciplinary degree for creative undergrads to create idea people who are knowledgeable across several areas), Professional Golf Management (a business major), and Disaster Management (always vital to our country and the world).
The UCCS Extended Studies department provides “non-traditional…quality educational, training, and professional development opportunities” through numerous and varied distance education programs. Online degree programs exist undergrads (an RN to BSN tract and a BS in Allied Health Completion), but are much more plentiful for graduate students, with 11 completely web-based Master’s degrees (an MBA, two Nursing degrees, an MA in Space Operations) and a PhD in Nursing Practice. Similarly, the online certificate offerings for undergrads numbers around 7 (including a non-credit Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner offering), but graduates have 32 options ranging from 6 Nursing options to selected Business and Education areas. Of course, on campus students also have access to online classes, with offerings aplenty to add flexibility to traditional learning.
For those already in the workplace looking for an edge, or working towards additional degrees, UCCS offers both onsite and online “non-credit condensed courses…to enhance your professional career”. Additionally, the Academy of Lifelong Learning is a campus-wide initiative offering education to those over 55, with online learning through Ed2Go, with over “250 online personal enrichment and professional courses”, as well as the Listening In program, allowing seniors to audit on-campus courses for personal enrichment (i.e. non-credit).
UCCS also offers Weekend University, a ten week, Saturdays-only way to take for-credit classes and the CU Succeed program gives local Colorado high school students the chance to take UCCS courses for college credit, taught by the university’s professors at the high school. The MathOnline program allows students of any age to access real time math classes at UCCS, with a simultaneous “audio and whiteboard feed” and the ability to ask question during class, or even access the archives of past classes on their own time. UCCS also offers Project Lead the Way, bringing pre-Engineering courses to secondary school students that can often be used for college credit down the road.
One of the best universities not only in the state, but quickly getting notice across the nation, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs offers a range of learning options, so that their quality education can be delivered to a larger and larger audience of hungry learners.