With the support of the Colorado State University System, CSU Pueblo has invested millions of dollars to make college more affordable and accessible to the citizens of Pueblo and southern Colorado.
Investing in Pueblo ensures our community is ready for the local, statewide, and global economic changes that are coming. According to a 2021 report from the Colorado Workforce Center, the top five growing industries in Colorado include: (1) health care and social assistance, (2) agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, (3) professional, scientific, and technical services, (4) construction, and (5) transportation and warehousing.
For decades, Pueblo has committed support to the existing manufacturing and industrial economies, but the pressures to do more for the emerging industries is growing. In response to this growing need, the University has developed degree programs to support the five expanding industries and is working hard to provide southern Colorado the opportunity to earn a four-year college degree debt free. Currently, only 14% of Pueblo County residents possess a four-year college degree, compared to 20% nationally.
In order to prepare for the future, CSU Pueblo has launched a series of programs and opportunities designed to make a college experience accessible and a degree attainable.
The launch of CSU Pueblo’s Colorado Promise program now ensures that any eligible Colorado resident (of any age) who is a first time college undergraduate or transfer student with a family income of $70,000 or less, working to obtain their first bachelor’s degree, can do so at no-cost. Colorado Promise is just one way CSU Pueblo is investing in Pueblo and southern Colorado.
CSU Pueblo remains a leader in the state in terms of investments in scholarships and financial aid. In fact, we set aside more of our total operating budget for student scholarships and financial aid than any other public university in Colorado. In 2022, we invested over $13 million dollars back into student support. And, in addition to our own investments, the CSU Pueblo Foundation invests another $2.5 million in annual student scholarships.
CSU Pueblo will increase our investments moving forward.
Through our Vision 2028 strategic plan, CSU Pueblo provides financial support for a growing number of graduate students in construction management, engineering programs, cannabis biology/chemistry, nursing, and education. And we just launched our second doctoral program, this one in Educational Leadership. Each of these degree programs will develop professionals and leaders who prepared to diversify the economic development of our region.
Another critical area of investment is funding students whose degree programs require semester-long experiential learning, including student teaching, nursing clinicals, and social work field practicums. These academic requirements are generally unfunded and require students to leave full-time jobs, or put family obligations on hold, in order to complete an unpaid degree requirement.
From 2020-2022, as a US Department of Education designated experimental work study site, CSU Pueblo was allowed to use federal aid for students to work off campus and pay them for their field-based learning experiences; today, we are fundraising and working with corporate partners to ensure no student’s path to a degree is stalled because of financial limitations related to mandated field work.
Being affordable and accessible is how we are making CSU Pueblo a university for the people. We are preparing our people for the emerging industries and workforce opportunities. Let’s partner together, Pueblo, to make sure we are ready for the future of work that is ahead of us.
We are CSU Pueblo.
Dr. Timothy Mottet is president of Colorado State University Pueblo.