Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Colleges and Universities: Colorado Mesa University

Founded in 1925, today’s Colorado Mesa University has grown and evolved significantly since its beginnings. Located in Grand Junction, the school started out as a junior college, then began offering baccalaureate degrees in 1974 and master’s degrees in 1996. In 1988 the school’s name changed from Mesa College to Mesa State College. Then, in 2011, the Colorado State Legislature officially changed the institution’s name to Colorado Mesa University, reflecting its expansion and evolution.

Today Colorado Mesa University has an enrollment of about 11,000 students; about 15 percent of the student body comes from out of state. The university has thirteen academic departments offering a variety of courses of study. In addition to its main campus in Grand Junction, CMU also has a campus in Montrose. Also part of the CMU network is Western Colorado Community College, an open admission college from which many students transfer to CMU.

Researchers looking for information about Colorado Mesa University, including historical information on Mesa College and Mesa State, can find many resources in our library. These include budgets and financial audits going back to the 1970s; catalogs from Mesa CollegeMesa State College and Colorado Mesa University; security reports; and more. Other reports include a 2012 admissions policy study; economic impact studies, annual statistical data, and 2013 self-study.

A number of research publications from the institution are also available from our library. Several issues of the Journal of the Western Slope, Mesa State College’s history magazine exploring life in Grand Junction and the surrounding area, have been digitized. CMU also sponsors the Ruth Powell Hutchins Water Center, publishing an annual report and technical report series. The center has also produced a documentary video, Water in the Desert, that you can view online or check out from our library on DVD.

To find more publications, search our library’s online catalog.


Open Education Week: March 4-8, 2019

Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Consortium, the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase the impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Week has become one of the foremost global events recognizing high achievement and excellence in open education.

The week-long event spotlights amazing work from over a dozen categories including live, face-to-face events, webinars, projects, and resources.  The Best-of-the-Best participate in Open Education Week. ​

What is Open Education:

Open Education employs a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.  It combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources, while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs.

Basic Principals and Benefits:

  • seeks to scale up educational opportunities by taking advantage of the power of the internet, allowing rapid and essentially free dissemination, and enabling people around the world to access knowledge, connect and collaborate.
  • open allows not just access, but the freedom to modify and use materials, information and networks so education can be personalized to individual users or woven together in new ways for diverse audiences, large and small.
  • by providing free and open access to education and knowledge, open education helps create a world to support learning. Students can get additional information, viewpoints and materials to help them succeed. Workers can learn things that will help them on the job. Faculty can draw on resources from all around the world. Researchers can share data and develop new networks. Teachers can find new ways to help students learn.
  • people can connect with others they wouldn’t otherwise meet to share ideas and information. Materials can be translated, mixed together, broken apart and openly shared again, increasing access and inviting fresh approaches. Anyone can access educational materials, scholarly articles, and supportive learning communities anytime they want to. Education is available, accessible, modifiable and free.

Who participates?

Universities, colleges, schools, organizations and individuals from around the world committed to the ideals of open education participate in Open Education Week.  In 2018, over 2,500 participants from 98 countries contributed to Open Education Week.

How to Contribute?

There are many ways you can contribute to the Open Education Week.  Consider hosting one or more the following events and have it featured on the Open Education Week Calendar:

Local Events:

  • Workshop: Hold a workshop for the general public or a specific audience, such as faculty members or students, on how to use open materials, understanding open licenses, how to modify materials for classroom use, how to create OER, etc.

  • Mini-conference/forum on open education: Invite local professors who use or contribute OER, open access journal articles or other open practices. Link up with other institutions for a live chat or debate.

Online Events:

  • Webinars: Offer a webinar open to the world during Open Education Week. The topic can be on anything related to open education: tools, resources, impacts, practices, case studies, debates, etc. You can also stream your local event, or simulcast lectures or talks.

  • Online discussions: Feature a live chat, discussion forum or global conversation around related topics, trends, challenges or issues via an interactive online platform.  Discussions can be synchronous and moderated or open and asynchronous. The idea is to create a space for dialog.

Involve one, two, many or all aspects of open. Organize an event with organizations related to “open” in your region. Consider open licensing, open culture, open access, open governance, open data, open source software, etc. in the design of your event. Do you have something new to offer?

Promoting your event

Your event can be featured on the Open Education Week Events Calendar by filling out the OEW Submission Form.  Entries must be submitted by February 25th, 2019 to be featured in the calendar.  Generate more excitement by promoting your event through your local networks and local media. Please use the hashtag #OEWeek on social media so that the Open Education Consortium can find and amplify your messages.

If your campus is not offering or hosting an event – you can still get involved by helping to promote Open Education Week in general.  Here are some additional ideas on how to participate helping promote Open Education Week:

  • Display the Open Education Week banner on your website or blog
  • Post or retweet tweets using #OEWeek
  • Follow @OEWeek on Twitter
  • Write an opinion piece for the editorial page of your local newspaper or your favorite websites
  • Contact community education or on-campus groups and offer to help them organize an event
  • Write blog posts on Open Education Week (email us at and we’ll post a link on the website)
  • Customize the Open Education Week poster and hang them up
  • Send an email to your colleagues and friends to let them know about all the events and information available at

Download Open Education Week logos, web banners, posters and more at OEW Promotional Materials. You’re welcome to customize these materials to fit your needs – they’re openly licensed, too.

We at the State Library would love to learn more about what you are doing for Open Education Week – and with Open Educational Resources.  Please email me ( and let me know what your campus is up to and we will share on future Colorado Virtual Library posts.  I look forward to learning more.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Colleges and Universities: Arapahoe Community College

We continue our profiles of Colorado’s public higher education institutions with Arapahoe Community College. A member of the Colorado Community College System, ACC was founded in 1965. ACC’s main campus is in downtown Littleton, but it offers branch campuses in Parker and Castle Rock. ACC is known for its art and graphic design, business, health, and automotive technology programs, among others.

Those looking for information on ACC will find a variety of resources available from our library, including college catalogs back to 1977; college budgets; audited financial statements; accountability plans and reports; statistics; institutional self studies; and much more. In 2017 ACC issued an economic impact report, which includes a great amount of data on the college. They have also recently issued a Facilities Master Plan. Additionally, as part of the commemoration of their 50th anniversary, ACC created a video of oral histories of long-time staff members, which you can view online via our library.

To find these and other ACC publications, search our library’s online catalog or request items through Prospector.


Colorado State Publications Blog

College Application Month

September 17 through October 31 is College Application Month in Colorado, “a six-week boot camp to get students to identify career goals, research matching education programs and apply successfully regardless of their postsecondary path,” according to College in Colorado.

As part of College Application Month, Colorado is sponsoring Colorado Free Application Day this October 30. That day, all of Colorado’s public higher education institutions, as well as several private institutions, are allowing students to apply with no application fee. Click here for a message from the Governor about Colorado Free Application Day, and see the College in Colorado’s Free Application Day website for more details, including a list of participating institutions.

Still need help deciding what college path you’d like to take? Visit College in Colorado’s College Planning webpage for helpful tips, a handy College Admissions Tool, and a guide to programs and majors.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Colleges and Universities: Aims Community College

Aims Community College, in Weld County, is what the Colorado Department of Higher Education calls a “local district community college,” meaning that while it is a state-funded community college, it is not part of the Colorado Community College System but is locally managed.

The idea for a college in Weld County was first studied in 1965, according to the Aims history website. The college officially began in 1967. 949 students were enrolled that first year, and classes were held in Greeley’s old Lincoln Elementary School until a permanent site was purchased in 1969. Construction of the campus buildings continued over the next several years. A South Campus opened west of Fort Lupton in 1984, and a Loveland campus opened its doors in 1987. A Windsor campus was added in 2010. Aims also offers online courses.

7,966 students were enrolled in Aims in 2016/17, the majority being under the age of 22. Check the college’s website for additional stats, including information on tuition, financial aid, degrees awarded, and more.

In our library you can find a number of publications about Aims Community College, such as their annual budgets, historic and current college catalogs, annual report, and an economic impact summary.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Colleges and Universities: Adams State University

Adams State UniversityFrom community colleges to research universities, Colorado offers a variety of public-funded higher education options. Today we profile Adams State University.
Adams State, located in the San Luis Valley, was founded as a teacher’s college in 1921. Originally Adams State Normal School, it eventually became known as Adams State Teachers College and then Adams State College until 2012, when it became Adams State University. The school is named for William H. “Billy” Adams, a legislator from Alamosa. Adams served in the General Assembly for four decades (this was before term limits), from 1886 to 1926, when he was elected Governor of Colorado. During his forty years in the legislature, according to the Colorado State Archives, the only bill he introduced was the one that founded the Adams State Normal School.
Today, Adams State University has an enrollment of 3,701 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. To learn about the programs offered at ASU see their Academic Catalog. To learn more about the school’s plans for the future, see their 2020 Strategic Plan. Search our library’s online catalog for more documents from Adams State University and the former Adams State College, including budgets, audit reports, financial accountability plans, self-study reports, trustee manuals, presidents’ reports, promotional materials, master plans, and more. We also have some interesting historical documents produced by the school, such as a 1980 report on migrant farmworker youth and a 1974 model for San Luis Valley community development.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Planning for College

It’s that time of year…back to school time, and time for college-bound high school students to choose classes that will help them toward their college goals.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education’s College in Colorado website has planning tools for high school students that can help them plan their high school experience with their future goals in mind. The site offers a timeline for what kinds of classes to take each year of high school, along with information on SATs, the college admissions process, and tips for succeeding in high school. There’s even a way to connect with peers and learn about their experiences.

College in Colorado isn’t just for high school students. There’s also information for current college students on financial aid, career planning, resume and interview tips, and more. And, adults looking to go back to school will also find much helpful information in College in Colorado. The site’s workforce/adult page is a helpful tool for adults who are looking for a career change. Here you can take a variety of interactive quizzes, profilers, and assessments to help you find the career that is right for you…and what skills you already have that might be transferable.

So whatever your age, if higher education is in your future, check out this helpful website.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Community Colleges

The Colorado Community College System has just launched a new website, which includes many helpful resources for potential students as well as for researchers. Those interested in attending one of Colorado’s public community colleges can use the site to learn about the different schools and explore the programs offered, while researchers can find out about economic impact, workforce and industry data, and institutional research reports.

For further information on the colleges in Colorado’s state-funded community college system, search our library’s web catalog. Here you will find numerous resources, from college catalogs to planning reports to financial data and budgets. Some recent community college system publications in our collection include:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) recently released its annual report on concurrent enrollment for the 2016-17 academic year.  The report shows that nearly a third of 11th and 12th graders participate in dual/concurrent enrollment programs, which allow them to earn college credit while still in high school, with the courses also counting towards their high school graduation.  (For an explanation of the differences between concurrent, dual, and ASCENT enrollment, see this fact sheet.)  Credits earned are generally transferable.

You can find the annual reports back to 2010 on our library’s website.  Visit the CDHE site for more information about dual/concurrent enrollment in Colorado. You can also find information about concurrent enrollment from the college or university of your choice:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Open Educational Resources

Good news for students and professors! On Monday Gov. Hickenlooper signed HB18-1331, a bi-partisan bill that encourages “expanding the use of open educational resources at public institutions of higher education.”  Open educational resources, or OERs, are “high-quality teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits free use or repurposing by others and…[are] available to students for free or very low cost.”

OERs have gained popularity due to both the rising costs of textbooks and to professors’ desires to adapt and create content for their classes using a variety of mediums, such as streaming videos, software, online course modules, etc. The expanded use of OERs not only helps students save money on textbooks, but may help them academically, too — “research…indicates that, because of the cost of textbooks and other materials, students often do not buy [them], resulting in poor academic performance…Other studies indicate that students take fewer courses or drop courses because of the cost of textbooks and materials, extending the time to graduation,” according to the bill’s Legislative Declaration.

So what are those studies that the bill is referring to?  During last year’s legislative session, SB17-258 created the Open Educational Resources Council, which included representatives from higher education institutions and academic libraries across the state. The council issued their Report to the Joint Budget Committee in November 2017. This report cites the studies used to develop the reasoning for the new legislation. The bill signed this week continues the OER Council until at least 2021. It also provides for a new grant program “to support the creation and use” of OERs in Colorado public colleges and universities, helping save students money and giving teachers new options.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Jobs in Advanced Manufacturing

The Colorado Community College System has developed, an informational website for those seeking careers in the advanced manufacturing industry in Colorado. Jobs in this industry include electrical and mechanical maintenance techs; machinists; welders; and jobs in engineering/R&D; logistics & supply; production & assembly; quality assurance; and sales.  The site provides information on where to go to get an education in these fields, as well as information on how to advance your career in the industry.  The site also includes a helpful feature where you can “map your skills” to advanced manufacturing from the energy, construction, or military sectors.  Finally, the site includes recruiting information for employers in the industry.

This is a helpful site for anyone considering a career in, or a career change to, the advanced manufacturing industry and for those looking to attract top talent to their companies.

Colorado State Publications Blog

State Government Facilities Planning

What is the State of Colorado’s vision for the future of its buildings?  Although sometimes overlooked, buildings are one of the state government’s most important assets.  Running the government requires offices and a Capitol building.  Colleges and universities couldn’t exist without classrooms, libraries, labs, athletic facilities, and community spaces.  So maintaining these structures – and building and acquiring new ones as our state’s population grows – require significant planning.  The various “campuses” of state buildings – including higher education campuses and the Capitol Complex – have developed Master Plans that include building inventories, maintenance needs, new development, and projected associated costs.  Many of these Master Plans are available from our library:

  • In 2014 a new Capitol Complex Master Plan was released.  The Capitol Complex is the campus of state buildings including the State Capitol and the various satellite state office buildings.  The State of Colorado previously issued master plans for the Capitol Complex in 1966 and 1989.  These plans can be checked out in print from our library or through Prospector.
  • The University of Colorado’s current (2011) master plan for its Boulder campus can be viewed here, and for comparison its previous (2001) plan can be viewed here.
  • Colorado State University’s current (2014) master plan can be viewed here. CSU also issued a separate Parking and Transportation Master Plan.  Older CSU master plans from the 1970s and 1980s are available in print from our library.
  • The Auraria Higher Education Center updates its master plan about every five years. The 2017, 2012, 2007, and 2001 plans are all available online.  See also the campus’s Strategic Implementation Plan (2012) for more facilities planning information. To see the campus’s earliest planning report see the campus Concept Report (1968), which has been digitized by our library.
  • Although a part of the Auraria Campus, the University of Colorado Denver also issued their own master plan in 2017.
  • The Anschutz Medical Campus’s 2012/2013 Facilities Master Plan can be viewed here. For historical purposes a 1998 master plan for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s old 9th and Colorado campus is also available.
  • Planning for the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley is divided into several different master plans covering different areas, all available to view here. A previous (1981) plan is also available in print from our library.
  • The current (2012) master plan for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is available online here.
  • Planning documents for the Colorado Mesa University campus in Grand Junction are available here.
  • Fort Lewis College planning documents can be viewed here.
Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: College and University Histories on Film

Over the past couple of years several of Colorado’s public higher educational institutions have celebrated milestone anniversaries.  Others, while perhaps not celebrating a formal anniversary, are still proud of their past.  Whatever the reason, each of the following colleges and universities has put together short films documenting their past and their people:

A still from Arapahoe Community College in the 1960s.

Arapahoe Community College has produced two videos that look at specific decades through photographs:  Arapahoe Community College in the 1960s and Arapahoe Community College in the 1970sThey have also produced a series of oral history interviews with retired faculty and staff.

Last year Colorado Mountain College celebrated their 50th anniversary.  They put together this video to commemorate the event.  It includes interviews and lots of old photos and artifacts.

Aims Community College also celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.  They created this video to tell the story of their college.

2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Metropolitan State University of Denver.  Check out their series of commemorative videos here.

The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs celebrated their 50th in 2015.  They also created a series of videos and interviews for the event.

For their 80th anniversary in 2013, Pueblo Community College created a three-part series commemorating the event and the college’s history.

Colorado School of Mines has captured the oral histories of some of its alumni from the 1960s and ’70s.

Community College of Aurora interviewed some of its founders for this video.

Fort Lewis College has produced “history of” videos for their Environmental Center’s 25th Anniversary and their Community Concert Hall’s 20th.  For the history of the College as a whole, check out the book Rich Heritage, Shining Future:  Fort Lewis College 1911-2011 from our library.

The nursing school at the University of Colorado created A Legacy of Innovation: History of the University of Colorado College of Nursing, which can be checked out on DVD from our library.

Colorado State Publications Blog

CSU's National Western Center

Last week was the groundbreaking for the new National Western Center, a major project to revitalize the National Western Stock Show complex into a “year-round educational and entertainment hub.”  The project includes both the construction of several new buildings as well as the preservation and restoration of several of the complex’s historic structures, most notably the 1909 Stadium Arena.

One of the major partners in the project is Colorado State University, which will have three new facilities at the complex: the CSU Water Resources Center; a facility for equine sports medicine; and the “CSU Center,” which will provide classroom, laboratory, and art spaces as well as a “K-12 Food Systems Exploration Center.”  For details on the CSU buildings see their program plan.  You can also find out more about the project at and at the City of Denver’s National Western Center webpage.

A rendering of the site, including the historic Stadium Arena and the new CSU buildings.  Photo courtesy Colorado State University.

Colorado State Publications Blog

College and University Veteran Services

Colorado’s state-funded colleges and universities support veterans and active-duty servicemembers in a variety of ways, from tuition benefits to job placement assistance to mental health services.  If you are a servicemember or veteran who is thinking of applying to a Colorado higher education institution, the following list provides links to the different veterans programs offered by each college or university:

Adams State College:  Veteran’s Educational Benefits
Colorado Community College System:  Veteran Education & Training
Colorado Mesa University:  Veteran Services
Colorado School of Mines:  Veterans Services
Colorado State University:  Services for Veterans at CSU
Colorado State University – Global Campus:  Military Tuition Assistance and Benefits
Colorado State University – Pueblo:  Military and Veterans Success Center
Fort Lewis College:  VA Educational Benefits
Metropolitan State University of Denver:  Veteran and Military Student Support Services
University of Colorado – Boulder:  Office of Veteran Services
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs:  Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs
University of Colorado – Denver: Veteran & Military Student Services
University of Northern Colorado: Veterans Services
Western State Colorado University: Veteran Educational Benefits


Colorado State Publications Blog

The Buildings of Auraria

The Auraria Higher Education Center (or Auraria Campus, as it is often known) is quite unique among Colorado’s college campuses.  This inner-city campus is home to not one, but three separate higher education institutions: the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver.  Auraria is also unique for its history, as more than a century before the campus was built, Auraria was a separate town that competed with Denver.  Eventually, it became a middle-class Denver neighborhood that was home to many diverse ethnic groups.  Today, a few of the buildings from the old Auraria neighborhood remain to tell the story of the people who made Auraria their home.

The Auraria Campus is a prime place to experience the evolution of Denver’s architectural styles, because the historic buildings that have been preserved coexist with forty years of evolving campus architecture.  Among the repurposed historic buildings on campus are several churches, the old Tivoli Brewery, and the 9th Street Park, one street of old Auraria homes and businesses that was preserved to commemorate the pre-campus neighborhood.

You can learn more about Auraria’s architecture in the following resources, available from our library (publications without hyperlinks can be checked out in print):

The Auraria Neighborhood:

The Auraria Campus:

Old and new coexist on the Auraria Campus.  Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Museums and Galleries at Colorado's Universities

Did you know that several Colorado universities have museums and art galleries open to the public?  Whether presenting student and faculty artworks, traveling shows, or natural history collections, Colorado’s university museums are worth visiting:

Adams State University, Alamosa:

 Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction:

Colorado School of Mines, Golden:

Colorado State University, Fort Collins:

Colorado State University-Pueblo, Pueblo:

Fort Lewis College, Durango:

Metropolitan State University of Denver, Denver:

University of Colorado, Boulder:

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs:

University of Colorado, Denver:

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley:

Western State Colorado University, Gunnison:

Colorado State Publications Blog

Developmental/Remedial Education

The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) has just released a new publication, Legislative Report on Developmental Education for the High School Class of 2015As defined by the report, developmental education “includes traditional remedial education, assessment of a need for remediation education, and participation in Supplemental Academic Instruction.”  The purpose of the report, which was mandated by the Legislature, is “to inform the ongoing dialogue regarding preparation for college and the effects of developmental education.”  According to the report, 36.1{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} of — or more than 1 in 3 — 2015 high school graduates who went on to attend college were placed into developmental education in at least one subject.

The new report is the latest in the series of annual statistical reports on remedial education; past years’ reports are available online from our library.  So what do these statistics mean?  CDHE has prepared a quick video entitled Understanding Remedial Rates in Colorado that provides some helpful information. 

Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Mountain College 50th Anniversary

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year, Colorado Mountain College has set up a new website to gather stories and memories about the school.  You can use the website to learn about the history of the college, find out about anniversary events, view photos, and watch interviews with the college founders.

If you’re a CMC alum and want to reminisce, or to find out about the school’s past programs, our library has copies of the college’s catalog back to 1982.  Other historical information on the college available from our library includes budgets and financial audits.

Search our library’s online catalog for resources on the histories of all of Colorado’s state-funded colleges and universities.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Remedial Rates

The number of college students who need remedial classes is a growing concern in Colorado.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education tracks the numbers and demographics of students in remedial classes and issues an Annual Report on Remedial Education, which our library offers online back to 2002.   This report is presented to the State Legislature each year.  Information on remedial education in Colorado can also be found in several reports, also available from our library, including The Colorado Remedial Challenge and Success of Remedial Math Students in the Colorado Community College System:  A Longitudinal StudyFor tips on how to understand remedial education statistics and why they are important, view the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s 5-minute video, Understanding Remedial Rates in Colorado.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Campus Security Reports

The Clery Act is a federal law passed in 1990 that requires campuses to collect and report campus crime and safety data.  Here’s where you can find the reports published by Colorado’s state-funded colleges and universities: