Colorado boasts more than 470 institutions of higher education, including two-year technical and community colleges, four-year public and private institutions, and private occupational schools. Approximately 400,000 students attend college in Colorado, and nearly half are enrolled at four-year public institutions.
Colorado has two networks of public, four-year universities: the University of Colorado System and the Colorado State University System. The state also has seven unaffiliated public, four-year universities. Seven private, non-profit, regionally accredited universities complement the state’s public higher learning institutions. The Colorado Community College System (CCC) incorporates 13 public, two-year institutions. There are also a handful of other public two-year colleges that are not part of the CCC system.
A high-tech, forward-thinking culture is reflected in the state’s wide array of distance learning programs. Both of its public university systems have expansive online education programs, while the schools in the CCC system present a unified distance learning program. In addition, most of the state’s private, non-profit institutions provide online education options.
A number of traditional colleges, including the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, have online degree and certificate programs. Schools often use online educational software, such as Blackboard, which allows students to log in to courses to view learning materials, submit assignments and participate in discussions. Additionally, some online schools in Colorado use videos, podcasts or mobile apps to facilitate distance learning.
Beyond Colorado’s three technical colleges, its numerous community colleges offer hundreds of short-term certificate programs, as well as predominantly campus-based two-year degree programs. The Department of Higher Education has initiatives to promote student success: The Guaranteed Transfer Program (gtPathways) is a statewide curriculum ensuring that students successfully complete all general education requirements necessary to transfer to a four-year institution in Colorado. With Colorado’s Transfer Articulation Agreement, students who have completed 60 credits of coursework with an acceptable GPA can transfer to any four-year institution in Colorado.
Among the numerous online schools in Colorado, the University of Colorado (UC) is the state’s largest, with campuses in Denver, Boulder, Aurora and Colorado Springs. The second largest system is Colorado State University (CSU), which houses campuses in Fort Collins, Greenwood Village and Pueblo. Public institutions are governed by the state, making tuition available at lower rates to residents. Showing the prowess of Colorado schools, UC Boulder ranked 88th among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015.
University of Colorado Denver (CU Online)
Among the degrees offered by CU Online are bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs administered through the Denver campus, as well as certificate programs and individual courses. CU Online offers a wide variety of subjects — including education, engineering, business, art and human development — that students can take from the University of Colorado’s Business School, School of Public Affairs and other divisions.
CU Online has 450 individual courses to choose from, which can be taken online only or in the hybrid format, where students complete some of their work on campus. Final examinations for CU Online’s courses are administered in a few different ways, depending on the instructor. For instance, in-person, take-home and online exams are all options.
While the application process for CU Online is the same for traditional campus studies, there may be additional requirements specific to the desired degree or certificate program. Interested students can take a sample course online before they commit to a program or class.
For more information about distance learning at CU Denver, visit: http://www.ucdenver.edu/Academics/CUOnline/Pages/CUOnline.aspx.
Colorado Community College System (CCCOnline)
CCCOnline is an extension of the services offered by the multiple colleges that make up the CCC System. Through this collaboration, the system’s home colleges can offer complementary courses that they would not be able to provide as individual entities. There is no substantive difference between courses taken or credits earned online and those received on campus. Not only does CCCOnline involve all 13 of its member colleges, but it also includes a 14th college: Dawson Community College located in Glendive, Montana. Although CCCOnline does not grant online degrees or certificates, it does offer a number of courses in five general areas: career and technical education, liberal arts and communication, math, science and social sciences.
The spring and fall terms include both 10-week and 15-week courses. In the summer, students can choose between 10-week courses and an accelerated 6-week program. One standout element of CCCOnline is the guaranteed-transfer program, which provides a list of courses to help take the guesswork out of deciding which credits would apply to a transfer.
Visit CCCOnline for more information: http://www.ccconline.org.
Colorado State University (CSU-Global Campus)
Colorado State University’s distance learning program, CSU-Global Campus, is home to more than 5,000 students. CSU-Global Campus is dedicated wholly to delivering online education through the Blackboard learning system and virtual classrooms. Thanks to a streamlined scheduling process, courses start every eight weeks. Most classes have a weekly schedule that includes peer discussions, readings, assignments and exams. Some courses include limited classroom instruction in addition to the online components.
Choices include individual courses, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs are available in areas such as agricultural business, anthropology, fire and emergency services administration, human development and family studies, liberal arts and psychology. The majority of CSU’s online offerings are at the graduate level, with dozens of degree programs, including applied statistics, tourism management, mechanical engineering, computer science and business administration. Professional development certificates are found in subjects such as project management, finance and business intelligence.
CSU also has a unique program in which students can earn digital badges that represent competency and mastery in a subject area. Student can tailor badge programs according to their needs and goals. In addition, the Division of Continuing Education and CSU OnlinePlus host free, non-credit Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs.
Learn more about CSU’s online classes: http://www.online.colostate.edu/.
Colorado Technical University (CTU Online)
A private, for-profit university, Colorado Technical University (CTU) offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs across a broad range of subjects such as business, law enforcement, liberal arts, health sciences and homeland security. Many courses use Intellipath, the university’s online educational technology. This software is designed for adaptive, customized learning and tailors course materials on the basis of a student’s prior knowledge. CTU has earned accreditation from six accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission, the Engineering Accreditation Commission, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Best Online Schools in Colorado for Future Service Members
Colorado’s national parks tend to attract fans of the great outdoors, but its schools often attract service-oriented students. Among the variety of degree tracks, many colleges have ROTC programs that can include Army, Navy and/or Air Force, with a focus on the student who wants to give back to their community. Here is a list of the best four-year degree granting, non-profit colleges that boast at least two ROTC programs. Kudos to these online schools in Colorado that are offering economical educational choices and opportunities for students interested in serving their communities.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of Colorado Boulder||$8,056||Boulder||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||$4,304||Denver||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Northern Colorado||$5,214||Greeley||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Colorado Denver||$6,384||Denver||Yes||No||Yes|
|Colorado State University-Fort Collins||$6,875||Fort Collins||Yes||No||Yes|
|Colorado School of Mines||$13,590||Golden||Yes||No||Yes|
|Colorado Christian University||$18,540||Lakewood||Yes||No||Yes|
Best Online Schools in Colorado for Personal Attention
Colorado is home to dozens of top-quality colleges and universities, some with targeted training, and others offering a variety of degree programs. Whatever their desired specialties or degree goals, students are often looking for that special blend of a quality education coupled with individualized attention. These online schools in Colorado could meet those goals, with enrollments of over 5,000 but fewer than 20 students per professor on average. The following four-year, non-profit colleges in Colorado deserve praise for some of the best student-teacher ratios in the state.
|Montessori Education Center of the Rockies||20 to 1||16||N/A||Private not-for-profit||Boulder|
|University of Northern Colorado||20 to 1||11,895||$5,214||Public||Greeley|
|Fort Lewis College||19 to 1||3,962||$4,800||Public||Durango|
|Colorado State University-Fort Collins||19 to 1||25,590||$6,875||Public||Fort Collins|
|University of Colorado Boulder||19 to 1||29,890||$8,056||Public||Boulder|
|Colorado State University-Pueblo||18 to 1||7,122||$5,494||Public||Pueblo|
|Western State Colorado University||17 to 1||2,387||$4,627||Public||Gunnison|
|Colorado School of Mines||17 to 1||4,118||$13,590||Public||Golden|
|University of Colorado Denver||17 to 1||16,271||$6,384||Public||Denver|
|University of Colorado Colorado Springs||16 to 1||10,027||$5,640||Public||Colorado Springs|
|Adams State University||14 to 1||3,058||$3,816||Public||Alamosa|
|Regis University||14 to 1||7,165||$31,200||Private not-for-profit||Denver|
|Colorado Christian University||13 to 1||4,317||$18,540||Private not-for-profit||Lakewood|
|University of Denver||12 to 1||5,879||$38,232||Private not-for-profit||Denver|
|Colorado Heights University||11 to 1||117||$4,776||Private not-for-profit||Denver|
|Naropa University||11 to 1||484||$27,510||Private not-for-profit||Boulder|
|Colorado College||10 to 1||2,345||$41,332||Private not-for-profit||Colorado Springs|
|Nazarene Bible College||9 to 1||1,228||$10,050||Private not-for-profit||Colorado Springs|
|Colorado Mountain College||9 to 1||10,566||$2,850||Public||Glenwood Springs|
|United States Air Force Academy||8 to 1||4,422||N/A||Public||USAFA|
|Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary||7 to 1||24||$7,750||Private not-for-profit||Denver|
Best Online Schools in Colorado for Women in Technology
Colorado is home to many premiere degree programs aimed at women in technology. These online schools in Colorado showcase the very options for women seeking diplomas in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. What sets these schools apart from others is their ability to create gender ratios in STEM courses that match those of other programs. The number of women flourishing at these schools speaks volumes about the healthy environment, which may be created through mentorships and all-female residence hall options. Below is a list of Colorado colleges that could be a fantastic choice for women interested in pursuing an education in technology or engineering. Here is more information on the methodology driving these rankings.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|University of Colorado Boulder||$9,482||Boulder||227||26,842||Public|
|Colorado School of Mines||$15,654||Golden||223||4,892||Public|
|Colorado State University-Fort Collins||$8,649||Fort Collins||85||23,121||Public|
|University of Denver||$39,177||Denver||47||8,412||Private Not for Profit|
|United States Air Force Academy||N/A||USAFA||35||4,413||Public|
|University of Colorado Denver||$7,494||Denver||27||11,681||Public|
|University of Colorado Colorado Springs||$6,688||Colorado Springs||20||6,576||Public|
|Colorado Mesa University||$6,870||Grand Junction||5||6,738||Public|
Online Schools in Colorado Fighting for Families
Colorado’s higher education is home to some of the nation’s best social work programs. Strong programs with family and child concentrations are listed below. What sets these online schools in Colorado apart from other institutions is the extraordinary commitment to providing students with the foundations of skills, values and experience necessary for this demanding field. Through clinical settings, rigorous classes and constant fieldwork, these programs grant degrees to exemplary social work graduates. Taking into account rankings, reputation and academic facilities, here are the ultimate social work programs at Colorado schools, including the best degrees for rewarding careers working with children and families. More details are available on the methodology used.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|Colorado State University-Fort Collins||Fort Collins||295||209||86||$8,649||23,121|
|University of Colorado Boulder||Boulder||274||185||89||$9,482||26,842|
|University of Denver||Denver||267||242||25||$39,177||8,412|
|Colorado State University-Pueblo||Pueblo||148||96||52||$7,327||4,436|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Denver||118||106||12||$5,341||14,260|
|University of Colorado Colorado Springs||Colorado Springs||64||50||14||$6,688||6,576|
|University of Colorado Denver||Denver||61||45||16||$7,494||11,681|
|Fort Lewis College||Durango||42||28||14||$6,462||3,533|
|University of Northern Colorado||Greeley||40||28||12||$6,514||10,323|
|Colorado College||Colorado Springs||33||28||5||$41,892||2,025|
|Western State Colorado University||Gunnison||24||13||11||$6,449||1,983|
|Adams State University||Alamosa||23||15||8||$6,448||2,231|
|Colorado Mesa University||Grand Junction||11||7||4||$6,870||6,738|