UCCS strengthens focus to educate for today and tomorrow’s jobs

New efforts at UCCS will expand student access, scholarships and learning opportunities to fuel the economic success of Colorado Springs and southern Colorado.

“UCCS is a launching pad for future leaders. And that is why we’re focusing on enhancing opportunity for students,” Chancellor Venkat Reddy said. “Over the years, donors have supported numerous student advancements on campus. Today, we continue to see the impact donors make to this institution and we look to partner with our community, alumni and friends to empower the next generation of innovators and leaders.”

UCCS partners with the community, businesses and donors to address workforce needs to provide access to state-of-the-art laboratories, technology and facilities, as well as through scholarships to well-deserving students, and support to retain talented faculty.

Through a recent commitment from UCHealth Memorial Hospital, UCCS’ efforts will expand initiatives like the RN-to-BSN completion program addressing the shortage of BSN-qualified nurses in Colorado Springs. This fall, nearly 50 students will be part of this workforce scholarship for UCHealth Memorial Hospital employees. In addition to the RN-to-BSN program, UCCS seeks to further partner with local businesses and organizations to increase internships for students.

“Retaining our best and brightest is critical to our community’s success, and we need our community and industry to invest in UCCS,” said Mayor John Suthers. “The future of our city relies on this pipeline of students to successfully enter the workforce, and we know that a college degree changes the trajectory of a student’s life.”

Colorado Springs businesses find varied ways to impact workforce development. In fall 2018, a channel simulator donated by Kratos, a community partner and its local subsidiary, Kratos RT Logic, allows electrical engineering students to create signals in the laboratory that precisely match those that occur in space of Earths’ atmosphere.

“Research and development between industry, the government and universities, is critical to the development of our workforce,” said Frank Backes, senior vice president of Kratos Federal Space. “We are biased to interns and students who are coming from UCCS. They are part of the Colorado community and we know they will stay.”

UCCS will continue to increase access to higher education with new scholarship programs. The Bridge Forward Scholarship, a fund to help middle-class students who do not qualify for the highest need-based financial aid but struggle to afford college. The renewable $2,500 award allows a student to focus more time on academic studies.

“Scholarships are the number one way to have an impact at UCCS,” Reddy said. “We want our students to make it to graduation, and we have found that the largest barrier to graduation is the financial burden of tuition. We are asking our community to invest in our students.”

To learn how to collaborate with UCCS, visit uccs.edu/give/workforce.

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