Dear Colorado Community College Colleagues:
I write today to tell you that I have decided to retire as president of the Colorado Community College System effective July 31, 2018. It has been an honor to serve as your president over the past 13 years. I have been privileged to work with highly talented, committed presidents, faculty, instructors, staff and students. I believe the work we do is some of the most important work in the nation. Providing the State Board for Community Colleges with one-year notice will ensure sufficient time for the Board to embark upon a national search for my replacement and assure a smooth transition.
Together, we have accomplished much in the past 13 years – transforming student lives and assuring that the Colorado Community Colleges are unsurpassed at providing quality education for all who aspire to enrich their lives.
- Last year, our 13 community colleges conferred 19,864 degrees and certificates, up 40% from five years earlier.
- Our colleges transferred nearly 12,000 students to four-year institutions last year. Our students who transfer perform as well or better than their counterparts who started at their four-year institutions.
- In 2016, our colleges enrolled 22,582 high school students in college courses through concurrent enrollment. The number of students in this program has increased more than 200% in the past seven years. Conservative estimates show that this program has saved Colorado families $22 million last year and more than $90 million in tuition costs since 2009.
- We initiated four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in career and technical fields at four colleges in the System, with additional degrees to be offered in the near future. In addition, Red Rocks Community College now offers a master’s degree in its Physician Assistant program.
- There are now 34 statewide transfer articulation agreements, allowing our students to graduate from community colleges with a 60-credit Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree and to enroll with junior status at a university and complete the bachelor’s degree in no more than 60 additional credits.
- We completely restructured and redesigned how we provide remedial education to our students. With this redesign, our students needing developmental education courses are experiencing high levels of success in college-level classes.
- We worked for the passage of Amendment 50, which created a dedicated funding stream for community colleges from gaming tax revenues. The measure passed with 59% of the vote, more than any other statewide initiative or candidate. This was a testament to the value community colleges provide Coloradans.
- We created financial strength and stability in the System by increasing reserves, pursuing alternative sources of revenue such as grant and foundation dollars, and cutting expenditures all while keeping tuition increases and levels far below those of other Colorado higher education systems.
- Over the past seven years, we invested $392 million in capital improvements to serve our students better.
- We embarked upon an aggressive fundraising campaign that provides scholarships to thousands of students.
We can be proud of these accomplishments and the benefits they produce for our students and the state of Colorado. In the upcoming year, we will continue our work to improve student graduation and retention rates with our investment in a new student career exploration and onboarding system; we will partner with businesses to create new programs to meet the workforce needs of Colorado industries; we will continue to focus on our fundraising efforts; and we will remain committed to provide quality education throughout the state!
Thank you for your remarkable work on behalf of our students. I look forward to continuing our progress as I complete my 14th year with the best educators in the State of Colorado!
Nancy J. McCallin, Ph.D.