As thousands of high school students across Colorado get ready for school this fall, their teachers are busy preparing as well.
For one group of teachers, part of their preparation involves the CU Succeed conference held recently at CU Denver. CU Succeed is a collaboration between the CU System and member schools that enables high school students to enroll in college courses offered at their respective high schools.
At CU Denver, CU Succeed started more than 20 years ago with a single class of 25 students. In that first group, after taking the CU Succeed course, 17 of the 25 students who were not previously planning on attending college did enroll in higher education. Since then, CU Succeed has grown to encompass nearly 100 schools across Colorado. The program encourages students, who may not have previously had college on their radars, to continue their education after high school graduation.
“As this program continues to grow, we are able to reach out to more and more kids in our inner city schools and give them opportunities they didn’t have a few years ago,” said Jason Robinson, associate director of CU Succeed.
Among participants at this year’s conference were Jerry Brush and Terry Henderson, teachers from the Four Corners-area Bayfield High School, who drove more than six hours to attend the recent conference.
While the drive to Denver was long, they agree it was worthwhile.
“I have a former student who’s now finishing her doctorate in counseling psychology,” said Brush who teaches psychology and Spanish at Bayfield. “And she got her first university credit through CU Succeed in my psychology class, so it’s really fulfilling.”
“I support CU Succeed because it’s such a great time and money saver,” literature and speech teacher Henderson explained. “Students get a taste of what college will be like, for a fraction of the cost.”
Reporter’s note: CU Succeed is fulfilling for both the instructors and the students. As a former high school student who was enrolled in a CU Succeed physics course, I, too, can account for the value of the program. While nothing could completely prepare me for living on my own or cram studying at three in the morning, CU Succeed gave me, along with thousands of other high school students all over Colorado, a head start to college. – Megan Morrato