Colorado has embraced online learning for K-12 students, offering fully-online schools for all grades, as well as blended-learning opportunities and supplemental programs. In the 2013-14 school year, more than 16,000 students took advantage of 56 full-time online schools. A pilot program introduced in 2014 took the integration of online learning even further, allowing Title I funds to follow students to their chosen online schools. Colorado is continually making strides to include even more K-12 students in the online opportunities available in the state, with many district schools and charter schools incorporating blended learning into their everyday curriculum.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Colorado Cyber School||K - 12||Castle Rock||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(888) 427-2863|
|Colorado Virtual Academy||K - 12||Northglenn||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(866) 339-6816|
|Eldorado Academy||K - 12||Erie||Both Live/On-Demand||Private||(303) 604-2822|
|Falcon Virtual Academy||K - 12||Colorado Springs||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(719) 494-8940|
|Grande River Virtual Academy||K - 12||Grand Junction||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(970) 254-5343|
|HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-op||K - 12||Englewood||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(303) 989-3539|
|Poudre School District Global Academy||K - 12||Fort Collins||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(970) 490-3086|
|Woodland Park Online Learning Program||K - 12||Woodland Park||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(719) 687-6048|
|21st Century Virtual Academy||7 - 12||Golden||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(303) 982-6770|
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 Colorado Community College (CCC) system present a unified distance-learning program. In addition, most of the state’s private, nonprofit 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. Colorado’s three technical colleges, and its numerous community colleges, offer hundreds of short-term certificate programs.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Aims Community College||5401 W. 20th St.||Greeley||+|
|Community College of Aurora||16000 E CentreTech Pky||Aurora||+|
|Front Range Community College||3645 W 112th Ave||Westminster||+|
Best Online Schools in Colorado for 2015-2016
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||University of Colorado – Denver||98.66||11:1||85%|
University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) offers five different online bachelor programs in a variety of colleges and is in the process of adding four more programs to the list available. In addition to the 100 percent online programs, UC Denver has many hybrid master programs. Online certificates and minors are also accessible to students. Because of the large variety of programs offered from different schools within UC Denver, online courses' structures vary. However, all programs match the requirements of the degrees obtained on-campus and follow the same calendar system. The online programs are offered to adhere to learning styles not present in the traditional classroom setting.
|2||University of Northern Colorado||98.45||18:1||90%|
University of Northern Colorado's (UNC) extended campus system offers fully online B.A. and M.S. degrees. The university's online program prides itself on the faculty teaching the courses. UNC emphasizes online instructors are the same professors that teach on-campus courses. Instructors' enthusiasm is stressed to ensure students stay motivated during online courses. Online courses are not considered an easier option than on-campus due to the same course structure and being a fully accredited institution. UNC uses Blackboard as its online communication system. Blackboard does not require students to be necessarily tech-savvy, but online students are encouraged to have a comfortable level using computers.
Regis University is one of only 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country. Its online programs were designed to give flexibility to students that may not have the ability to get a degree in a traditional setting. Regis online courses are offered in accelerated terms of both five- or eight-weeks and run on the same calendar system as on-campus courses. Courses have weekly assignments due, but still give students the ability to read, research, and communicate with others in the program in a way more convenient to their schedules. The university offers 18 different bachelor programs completely online.
|4||Nazarene Bible College||97.72||12:1||50%|
Nazarene Bible College offers two majors within the B.A. in Ministry only online. These programs have a firm outline of required classes including general education, bible and theology, and course specific requirements. They also outline specific core courses needed in the first and then second year depending on if the student chooses the AdVantage structure or Salvation Army. Online courses at Nazarene Bible College are divided into four terms (spring, summer, fall, and winter) with an A and B session offered within every term. The college provides classes from an assortment of professors to give students diverse learning opportunities.
|5||Colorado Mesa University||96.4||23:1||90%|
Colorado Mesa University's (CMU) fully online courses are offered only in specific states. The university has a state authorization map accessible on its website to verify if prospective students are in an approved state. Two of CMU's bachelor programs offered completely online require students have already completed their A.A. at another institution. However, other programs are designed to cater to students beginning at the freshman level. CMU offers three branches of online courses: classes 100 percent online, hybrid courses (both face-to-face time with instructor and online), and web-enhanced classes (assignments given and turned in through same online software system).
|6||Johnson & Wales University-Denver||93.6||22:1||99%|
Johnson & Wales University (JWU)- Denver offers a variety of bachelor and master programs fully online. The online academic calendar consists of four terms, each term roughly 10 weeks long. The JWU School of Online & Continued Education follows the same standards as the on-campus JWU locations. JWU provides students with the resources needed to succeed in courses, and emphasizes diversity to create a unique online learning community. Most of the fully online programs offered fall under business management. However, there is also a liberal arts program available. Students can further their education at JWU with many master programs to choose from as well.
|7||Colorado State University-Global Campus||86.96||26:1||N/A|
Colorado State University - Global Campus (CSU Global) offers a vast amount of fully online programs. These programs are geared to motivate students who may not have been able to succeed in a traditional on-campus program. CSU Global focuses on the end goal: a degree will help students get ahead in their careers. Additionally, there is a tuition guaranteed rule. It states that a student's tuition will not be raised while the student is enrolled at the school. To further cost efficient, CSU Global does not charge out-of-state tuition. Therefore, non-Colorado residents are not charged higher tuition fees.
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.
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|University of Colorado Denver||Public||1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400||Denver||+|
|Colorado State University-Global Campus||Public||8000 East Maplewood Avenue||Greenwood Village||+|
|Fort Lewis College||Public||1000 Rim Drive||Durango||+|
|Colorado State University-Pueblo||Public||2200 Bonforte Blvd||Pueblo||+|
|Colorado Mesa University||Public||1100 North Avenue||Grand Junction||+|
|Nazarene Bible College||Private not-for-profit||1111 Academy Park Loop||Colorado Springs||+|
|Johnson & Wales University-Denver||Private not-for-profit||7150 Montview Blvd||Denver||+|
|University of Denver||Private not-for-profit||2199 S. University Blvd||Denver||+|
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 four accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Engineering Accreditation Commission.
Best 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, nonprofit 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 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 fewer than 20 students per professor on average. The following four-year, nonprofit 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 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|
Best Schools 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|