This fall I'll celebrate my 15-year college reunion, which is why when coordination of our annual higher education guide landed on my plate, I turned to our spring intern team — the trio of Claire Jencks, a senior at Colorado College; Matthew Ruppert, a former U.S. Army sergeant who graduates from Regis University this Saturday; and Eric Calder, a student in the process of transferring from Pikes Peak Community College to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs — to tackle this project.
Really, we couldn't have had a better group (especially when you add in 2010 college grad Claire Swinford, who provided some extra help) to bring varied experiences, and enthusiasm, to this package.
Education guides are always a challenge, and this one was no different. Some school representatives talk your ear off. Others don't want to share tuition costs or student population numbers. And some, no matter how many times you call, refuse to call you back. (Perhaps we should have told them we were potential students?)
For interns, it's a great lesson in tenacity. And in the end, this guide is all about learning. We've done our best to list all the local colleges and universities, as well as a variety of trade schools and continuing education options. (Please let us know of any place we've missed by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or commenting at csindy.com.) You've already seen Chet Hardin's interview with Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, and going forward amid the listings, you'll find two additional stories: one tailored to our local military, and another to that ever-growing population of non-traditional students.
Whether you're a high school junior trying to decide where to head in two years (perhaps the Air Force Academy, like the cadet pictured to the left?), a nine-to-fiver yearning to earn that degree that'll boost your career, or someone just wanting to tackle a new hobby like belly dancing or watercolor painting, we hope you'll use this as a jumping-off point for wherever you want to take your education.
— Kirsten Akens
Area colleges & universities
CollegeAmerica at Colorado Springs
3645 Citadel Drive South, 227-0170
Student pop.: did not respond
Appx. annual cost: did not respond
According to its website, CollegeAmerica's Colorado Springs branch offers programs in business, computer technology, medical specialties and graphic arts. Both "on-ground" and online classes are available, and most programs can be completed in 15 to 36 months.
14 E. Cache la Poudre St., 389-6000; 800/542-7214
Student pop.: 2,000
Appx. annual cost: $39,900
Jill Tiefenthaler will soon take over as president of Colorado College, and her reign begins with some additional padding to the school's coffers. Last year's $10 million matching grant awarded by the Walton Family Foundation will greatly increase scholarship funding available to high-need and first-generation students, and a Keller Family endowment this year, equivalent to $2 million, ensures that the college can continue distributing $1,000 Venture Grants to upward of a hundred ambitious students each year. Tiefenthaler should know there's one aspect of CC that doesn't need improving: Director of communications Jane Turnis raves, "The thing that makes CC different is our block plan. Our students take one class at a time for three and a half weeks. It frees people up to really concentrate on that one thing at a time and not have those competing classes to work with."
Colorado State University at Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo, 719/549-2100
Student pop.: 5,100
Appx. annual cost: $5,210
A CSU-Pueblo campus visitor just a few years ago would've been met with a scattering of construction sites. Now the projects are actualized, and the admissions director is proud to show them off: "A visit provides a prospective student with the opportunity to get a real look at what the campus is like by talking to current students, visiting with faculty in their intended major, and experiencing the 'true feel' of the campus community, which can't be felt though a brochure or website," says Dana Trujillo. A full $12 million in improvements to Massari Arena have rendered it one of the top Division II arenas in the nation, and the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl football and track stadium was completed at a price exceeding $13 million. The ThunderWolves also have a new university library, after a $24 million project. Road trip, anyone?
CSU-Pueblo in Colorado Springs
730 Citadel Drive East, #300, 442-2264
Student pop.: 700
Appx. annual cost: $4,849.50
"I know this sounds silly because we've been here for 42 years, but people still don't realize that we are in Colorado Springs," says Barbara Borland, program manager for CSU-Pueblo in Colorado Springs. And there are savings to be had when opting to take CSU classes in town: Borland says the $161.65 per credit hour for a four-year institution in Colorado is competitive to begin with, but then you can consider there aren't any additional fees, such as lab fees. Plus: free parking! If you enjoyed dwelling on this money stuff, then know a BS and BA in business, plus a master's in business administration, were recently brought to the Springs campus.
Colorado Technical University
4435 N. Chestnut St., 598-0200; 888/307-9555
Student pop.: 2,700
Appx. annual cost: $14,000
"The staff and faculty at Colorado Technical University are dedicated to ensuring our students get the best possible education and prepare themselves well for life and work," says president Bentley Rayburn. With life-prep in mind: There isn't a single degree listed by CTU that won't sound impressive to future in-laws. CTU is doing its part to supply the technology sector with the employees that are in such high demand in this country. Their popular programs, as distinguished by vice president of admissions Beth Braaten, are in computer security and specialized accreditations in programs such as ABET. (I bet you don't know what in the world that is, but are impressed anyway.)
1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd., 632-3000
Student pop.: 2,000
Appx. annual cost: $8,760
"Our students tell us that they appreciate DeVry University's commitment to their career success," says Judy Lesser, center dean at DeVry University in Colorado Springs. It must be nice to have DeVry in your corner when the careers they're committed to you succeeding in are so ... cool. Since last year's Ed Guide, DeVry has added bachelor's programs with specializations in the hot and relevant fields of Web game programming and sustainability management. Their new tuition program starting in July rewards taking more than 12 credit hours at a time with a lower per-credit hour rate, and tuition assistance for active military and their spouses discounts the cost further. "I believe that it's this commitment to student success," Lesser says, "that will keep new students choosing DeVry University as their school of choice many more decades to come."
1815 Jet Wing Drive, 638-6580
Student pop.: 430
Appx. annual cost: did not respond
"We're trying to stay current and make sure that when our graduates go out there, they've got everything state-of-the-art from what they've learned," says Everest College's manager of student services, Diane Dillinger. Earlier this year, Everest improved itself with across-the-board technological upgrades. One manifestation of this directive is the newly installed SMART Boards. "It's an interactive whiteboard that connects to our computers. It's really nice, it's definitely high-tech, and we have those in all of our medical classrooms now and our business classrooms." Everest is similarly innovative in its approach to providing real-world experience for its business students. "Our Business 5.0 program has actually started an in-school business. Students actually get a hand in doing the marketing [and] helping plan the budgeting. Our accounting students get in and help the financial side of it." The revenue is then reinvested in the school's Student Ambassador program. "It's educational and beneficial at the same time."
Fuller Theological Seminary
540 N. Cascade Ave., #202, 385-0085
Student pop.: 100
Appx. annual cost: $16,800
Diversity of perspective is a big thing at Fuller Theological Seminary. "We are not affiliated with any one particular denomination," admissions counselor Jeff Cole says. "We kind of represent a broad range of thought." The Fuller Theological seminaries are America's largest nondenominational seminary body, but it still may surprise you that it's the largest ticket-buying organization at the Sundance Film Festival. "Students will actually travel out to the Sundance Film Festival for the weekend and then they have writing assignments that are based on the films that they watch. We are kind of at the front with some of the ways that we try to be conversant with culture." The Colorado Springs campus offers a new military chaplain program.
2315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 632-7626
Student pop.: 590
Appx. annual cost: $25,000-$30,000
"As a group of colleges," says IntelliTec College's director of marketing Stacey Snyder, "we're constantly looking at the market to see what the needs are in the employment area, and then based on that, looking at new program offerings." The expanded offerings on the Colorado Springs campus in the past year relate to health care. IntelliTec has added medical assisting and medical administrative technician programs to the menu, which already includes automotive technician and HVAC, computer network systems technician and drafting associate degrees. "At our Pueblo campus, I'm excited to say that we have begun a cosmetology program that includes a full-service salon," she says. Much of IntelliTec's training is hands-on, career-focused training. It doesn't offer any online classes at this point, but Snyder explains, "A majority of students are local and non-traditional — the career changers and the underemployed as well as unemployed students."
IntelliTec Medical Institute
2345 N. Academy Blvd., 596-7400
Student pop.: 400
Appx. annual cost: did not respond
Associate director of admissions Kimberly King says it's no secret why students love going to IntelliTec Medical Institute: "It's a lot about customer service. They feel like they're very well taken care of — the hands-on, smaller classroom sizes." She adds, "It's not all just lecture — we also combine it with clinics so they get all that hands-on experience." Students enrolled in the new personal fitness training program get bonus lecture-relief when they attend a boot camp in Las Vegas. Completion of the program results in an associate degree, and King notes that "a big thing is you actually get degrees from here, they're not just certificates. We're actually an accelerated degree program." Their dental assistant program is one of five schools in the state that has ADA accreditation, which King says is "huge."
National American University
1915 Jamboree Drive, #185, 590-8300
1079 Space Center Drive, #140, 877/628-5211
Student pop.: did not respond
Appx. annual cost: did not respond
According to its website, National American University (NAU), a private institution, offers master's, bachelor's and associate degrees at its two local campuses. Courses include accounting, applied management, organizational leadership, business administration, information technology, criminal justice, medical administrative assisting, medical assisting, health care management, health care coding, and health and beauty management courses. MBA and master's programs in management are available, along with traditional and online courses. The school is regionally accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Nazarene Bible College
1111 Academy Park Loop, 884-5000
Student pop.: 154
Appx. annual cost: $23,750
Nazarene Bible College, as described by vice president for academic affairs Gary Streit, "provides education for adults, most of whom are second career, who feel a call to ministry later in life. ... either pastoral ministry or counseling ministry, or teaching or music, or — the list goes on." NBC offers a full range of federal financial aid toward the tuition that's already advertised as lower than other private colleges and universities, thanks to support from the Church of the Nazarene. "For every four dollars of student expenses, the church covers one," says VP of marketing and recruiting Jay Ott. Starting this year, Christian School Education Degree Program graduates will have already met the teacher certification requirements needed by those wanting to teach at Christian schools.
New Geneva Theological Seminary
3622 Galley Road, 573-5395
Student pop.: 50
Appx. annual cost: $3,600
Borrowing from the description of the seminary on its website, New Geneva is based on God's Word and for His glory alone. The professors, says professor and registrar Dr. Mark House, "have doctorates yet are active in practical ministry." He believes that the seminary teaches effectively and at a good price. "Tuition is $300 per credit hour," he says, "or about $1,800 per semester of full-time study." The school welcomes veterans using the GI Bill and working people alike. Most classes are offered in the evening, allowing for plenty of daytime to do the Lord's work.
2120 Hollowbrook Drive, #100, 520-1214
Student pop.: 79
Appx. cost (of full program): $38,570
At its Colorado Springs campus, Newman University students can earn a masters in social work. Fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the program offers full- and part-time options as well as weekend and evening classes. According to John Moragues, coordinator of the Distance Education MSW Program, the school has seen increased demand each year since it opened here in 2005. Perhaps it's due to a growing need, particularly in the areas of military life and gerontology. "We baby boomers are coming along with a vengeance," Moragues says with a laugh.
Pikes Peak Community College
Centennial Campus, 5675 S. Academy Blvd.
Downtown Studio Campus, 100 W. Pikes Peak Ave.
Rampart Range Campus, 11195 State Hwy. 83
Falcon Campus, 11990 Swingline Road
Switchboard: 502-2000, 800/456-6847
Student pop.: 14,000
Appx. annual cost: In-state resident: $2,506.80, out-of-state: $10,108.80
As the second largest community college in the state of Colorado, PPCC currently boasts more than 14,000 enrollees. Founded in 1968, the two-year school has grown to serve students at four campuses, including an eastern location in Falcon. Several learning options are available: traditional classroom-based; distance learning via television; online; and hybrid courses that are a combination of online and classroom-based instruction. And it's going green: "This is apparent in new programs we offer, such as energy management technology, our partnership in a wind technology program with [Northeastern Junior College], and also the types of coursework available for students," says Cindy Buckley, vice president for educational services. PPCC's new energy-friendly programs, which invite military veterans and active-duty members who may have experience in the wind energy sector, add for a total of approximately 85 programs.
Pima Medical Institute
3770 Citadel Drive North, 482-7462
Student pop.: 470-500
Appx. annual cost: $8,100-$11,100
With campuses nationwide, the Colorado Springs branch of Pima Medical Institute offers dental assistant, medical assistant, medical administrative assistant, pharmacy technician, health care administration (online only) and veterinary assistant and technician programs. Pima's programs are specialized for careers in the health care field, but its teaching approach is twofold. According to Joe Albers, local campus director,"First is their academic education, which gives them the necessary skills and competencies needed to succeed in their field of study. But we also focus on developing their professional skills. Both of these areas are crucial in filling the needs of their future employers." Oh, and those vet programs? They'll get you up-close and personal with some needy "furries," through a unique partnership with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.
P.O. Box 26538
Colorado Springs, CO 80936, 264-8604
Student pop.: did not respond
Appx. annual cost: $6,710 (undergraduate rate only)
Once a Bible and seminary school for women, PPNC now welcomes men into all its programs. Bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certification programs are available. Programs include: pastoral and spiritual nursing, ministry, religious studies, and other religious programs. "PPNC Seminary is a long-distance learning educational program for students in Canada and the United States. Our programs are very affordable with monthly tuition payments," says Jo Ann Shepard, school administrator. PPNC also offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in theology/religious studies.
7450 Campus Drive, #100, 800/944-7667
Student pop.: 800
Appx. annual cost: varies by program
As one of 28 Catholic Jesuit institutions nationwide, Regis University rubs elbows with prestigious universities like Fordham, Boston College and Georgetown. But don't assume its Jesuit influence excludes applicants based on religious affiliations outside of Catholicism — applicants from all faiths are considered. "Regis emphasizes the whole person as a service leader in the Jesuit tradition," says Dr. Dorothy Williams, campus director at the Regis University-College for Professional Studies in Colorado Springs. "The Regis learning approach is values-centered, and provides the student with the tools necessary to give back in their community." Regis actually contains three schools: the College for Professional Studies, Regis College, and Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions. And even though Regis was founded in 1877, its options are modern, including online and weekend courses, and accelerated learning options including five- and eight-week terms.
6050 Erin Park Drive, #250, 532-1234
Student pop.: 125
Appx. annual cost: $14,700-$30,000
Remington College's diploma programs include Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Assisting, and Pharmacy Technician. For those not seeking a four-year degree, Remington's criminal justice program is offered at the associate level, which is available in the traditional classroom-based format and online. Students who are interested in a four-year degree in the Criminal Justice program can enroll in Remington's online delivery, whose administrative facilitation is separate from the Erin Park Drive campus. In addition to their various programs, Remington College actively encourages students to be civic minded. "We want to focus on helping our students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for their chosen career paths, as well as give back to our communities." said Jack Forrest, Remington College President and CEO. And their involvement in the community directly represents the types of programs they run — who better to do blood drives and blood pressure screenings?
8610 Explorer Drive, #101, 593-3001
Student pop.: 200
Appx. annual cost: $8,000
"We're an accredited 124-year-old state university with a worldwide presence, decades of experience in distance learning, and competitive tuition rates," says Dr. Louis Fletcher, director of Troy University's Western Region. And though it's based out of Troy, Ala., this regionally accredited institution offers Colorado Springs students on-site graduate programs in international relations and management (with concentrations in human resources, leadership and organizational affairs, international management, healthcare management, and information systems). Its online eCampus offers a whopping 40 degree programs ranging from associate to master's. The programs, presented in five nine-week terms each year, are organized with working and military students in mind. Campus locations include a Fort Carson location for graduate studies.
United States Air Force Academy
2400 Cadet Drive, #200, 333-2520; 800/443-9266
Student pop.: 4,400
Appx. annual cost: Tuition and fees covered by taxpayers
"You'll learn how to push yourself to the limits and discover what you're made of, via a world class engineering and management curriculum, coupled with experiences and travel that no other college can provide, and 100 percent job placement upon graduation. No other college or university can compare," says John Van Winkle, public affairs officer at the Air Force Academy. Of course, you've got to meet some pretty stringent requirements to make it in. Public law (Title 10) decrees that a cadet must be a U.S. citizen, unmarried, with no dependents, older than 17 but younger than 23, by July 1 of the year he or she enters the Academy.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 255-8227; 800/990-8227
Student pop.: 9,000
Appx. annual cost (includes room and board): In-state resident: $15,2874; out-of-state: $26,1914
UCCS stands as one of four institutions in the University of Colorado system, and it offers a wide variety of bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as doctoral degrees. There are six colleges on campus — business and administration, education, engineering and applied science, public affairs, nursing, and letters, and arts and sciences — and a number of new, state-of-the-art buildings, including a recreation center and science and engineering building. Upper-level degrees are offered through its graduate school and its Graduate School for Public Affairs. UCCS offers students the option of a traditional college experience, complete with on-campus housing, while facilitating an adult and military population.
University of Northern Colorado
12320 Oracle Blvd., #110, 800/232-1749
Student pop.: 1,700
Appx. annual cost: $7,560
The Greeley-based University of Northern Colorado provides students a traditional classroom learning option at its Oracle Boulevard location, as well as extended studies online programs. Studies offered in Colorado Springs include a post-bachelor's program in elementary education, master's in art education, and master's in clinical and school counseling. Its sport and exercise science program (with emphasis in either sport administration or physical education) includes an M.A. in sports coaching; the first of its kind in Colorado, this graduate program is designed as a 30-hour online program in response to a growing demand in the field, notably as youth sports programs continue to expand. Overall, its online offerings are more extensive, including a handful of bachelor's degree and certificate programs, and about 10 postgraduate programs.
University of Phoenix
South Circle Drive Learning Center
2864 S. Circle Drive, 527-9000
Southern Colorado Campus
5725 Mark Dabling Blvd., 800/834-4646
Pueblo Student Resource Center
121 W. First St., #150A, Pueblo, 719/544-0015
Student pop.: 2,500
Appx. annual cost: $12,000
The very visibly marketed University of Phoenix offers undergraduate, graduate and associate degrees, as well as doctorates in many fields, including business, education, criminal justice, social and behavioral science, health care services and technology. Enrollees can try distance learning, campus-based learning, or a combination of the two. "The curriculum for University of Phoenix mirrors the needs of the workplace while our instructors provide real-world experiences," says Brittany Nielson, Southern Colorado campus director. Classes are offered at night, and most courses can be taken online. There is also a 20-month degree program for associate degrees.
University of the Rockies
555 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 442-0505
Student pop.: did not respond
Appx. annual cost: $14,450
Located in central Colorado Springs, the University of the Rockies is emerging locally as a growing institution. It offers certificate programs in business psychology, general psychology, organizational leadership, and criminology and justice studies, and its programs also offer a few well-rounded options. "We earned the Higher Learning Commission's approval to offer three new degree programs: the Ph.D. and M.A. in organizational development and leadership and the M.A. in human services," says Dr. Charlita Shelton, university president. "These programs position University of the Rockies among the leading universities in the U.S. offering a range of programs in the social and behavioral sciences."
5475 Tech Center Drive, #110, 590-7340
Student pop.: 1,700
Appx. annual cost: $11,640
Webster University opened its first Colorado Springs location at Peterson Air Force Base in 1977. Since that time, Webster has expanded to offer graduate business and technology degrees at campuses on Tech Center Drive and local military installations. Students attend classes one evening a week from 5:30 to 9:30 and can complete a degree in two years or less. Master's degrees are available in business administration, finance, information technology, space systems management, and government contracting and procurement. Many of these programs are available online, so working adults and military students can take advantage of their flexible classroom delivery options.