The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) is the state’s only urban-serving public research university. Having been recognized as the #1 institution for social mobility in Colorado and #55 in the nation, by U.S. News & World Report, CU Denver strives to be the nation’s first Equity equity-serving institution as part of a larger 2030 Strategic Plan to make “Education Work for All.” To achieve this, we are working toward creating an environment throughout the student life cycle where one’s racial and social identity no longer predetermines educational outcomes. Our commitment to value, welcome, support, and educate all students is especially important for our Black students as they are one of the least represented student populations on our campus. The BSSI (Black Student Success Initiative) presents an opportunity to improve the success outcomes for Black students at CU Denver, while creating a more welcoming and supportive campus environment in which students will thrive.
Recognizing that our current national higher education model often marginalizes Black students, staff and faculty, CU Denver has set its goal to become the nation’s first Equity Serving Institution by 2030. To accomplish this, the BSSI is one of many initiatives designed to gain a better understanding of the impact campus culture has on the self-efficacy and academic success of Black-identifying students on this predominately white campus.
Currently, CU Denver serves an average of 1,300 Black-identifying undergraduate and graduate students each semester. For the BSSI, we would like to engage specifically on the institutional culture and environment that exists for our Black student population. We will use this opportunity to better understand the experiences of our students to inform them of the institutional changes needed to improve academic success outcomes and students’ sense of belonging. By doing so, CU Denver will implement the necessary changes that promote a community and learning environment that proffers ways for Black students to thrive, find majors that align with their interests, and gain valuable experiences that hone their social, cultural, professional, and leadership skills. Equally important, we must improve Black students’ access to research, internships, study abroad, and service-learning opportunities to increase the post-graduate trajectory of Black students entering into masters and doctoral graduate programs. This project gives us an opportunity to achieve our strategic goal of becoming an Equity Serving Institution by increasing access AND institutionalizing a holistic approach to ensure every aspect of the Black student experience is focused on their success.
A conference in February to introduce current and prospective students to staff, faculty, and campus resources, provide a solid connection to Black community members and allies across campus, and provide students with workshops and skills to become successful over the course of their academic tenure at CU Denver.
Friday, February 23rd. 9:00am-2:00pm
Breakfast 8:30-9:30 - Atrium
Opening Remarks 9:10-9:45 Room 11:30
A space to continue the discussion for Black students on campus by connecting students to timely resources and information around issues impacting the Black community.
Students will be introduced to campus and community leaders knowledgeable in their respective fields during the workshop series.