I’m pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration that will allow CU Denver | Anschutz to offer classes in the southern metropolitan Denver area. Reviewed by the regents just last week, this collaboration will enable us to hold classes at The Wildlife Experience in Parker beginning as early as this fall. Programs from CU’s Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses are expected to join the effort in the future. (Read more details in this news release
about the effort.)
A CU location in south metro Denver will help meet several of our strategic priorities, including growing and developing new programs that match changing demographics and meet pressing local needs, as well as creating strong, mutually beneficial partnerships that engage with our local communities. It also aligns with The Wildlife Experience’s educational outreach mission.
We first began talking with The Wildlife Experience about an educational partnership using their facility over a year ago; over the spring and summer I met with our school/college deans, who were universally enthusiastic about the possibility. The university engaged a consulting firm to conduct a detailed feasibility study of the potential partnership, looking at population demographics, market demand, industry dynamics and competition. The overwhelming conclusion of that study was that the market was strong for higher education offerings in south metro Denver.
The south metro Denver region is a growing part of Colorado, home to a variety of engineering, finance and health care related companies. The region currently includes 34 percent of the total population of metro Denver and continues its robust growth with residents attracted to the job opportunities and amenities in the area, including strong K-12 schools.
The space provided by The Wildlife Experience—in Parker at 10035 Peoria Street, near the intersection of I-25 and Lincoln Avenue—will help us to provide educational opportunities that are clearly desired by both students and employers in the area. The building’s first floor will remain open to the public, continuing to operate as a wildlife art and natural history museum. A gallery area on the second floor will be renovated to provide CU with 11,000 square feet of classroom and administrative space. The university will also have access to the building’s expansive public spaces, including the theater and the ballroom.
Initial course offerings are expected to include: courses and certificate programs in general business and entrepreneurship that can be used toward an MBA from the Business School; a certificate program and a course in preventing and responding to school violence, and a combined certificate/course in addiction counseling from the School of Education & Human Development; certificates in software engineering, computer forensics and computer science teacher education from the College of Engineering and Applied Science; a Bachelor of Science degree and continuing education courses on emerging topics from the College of Nursing; and a graduate mini-certificate in health systems management with a focus on the health care industry from the Colorado School of Public Health.
I’ve said it a lot lately: In order to succeed, all organizations, including universities, need to evolve to meet their constituents’ needs. Offering classes in the southern metro Denver area will enable us to reach students where they live, providing the high-quality education our university is known for at a place and time that maximizes convenience for busy students. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this exciting development.