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Colorado Commission on Higher Education Adopts Statewide Master Plan for Higher Education

DENVER – Today, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education formally adopted “Colorado Competes”, the statewide master plan for higher education.

This action is the culmination of over 18 months of work since the passage of Senate Bill 11-052, which charged the Commission to collaborate with all of the colleges and universities in creating a statewide master plan with clear state level goals that could be tied to individual performance contracts between the Commission and the governing boards.

“The Commission’s work on the master plan with leaders from Colorado’s colleges and universities is nearing completion and will help ensure that Colorado has an educated workforce to meet the needs of our economy. Our system of higher education and our ability to create human capital is key to the future of our state,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. “Each governing board will now work toward achieving these goals based on the uniquely tailored performance contracts which respect the institutions’ important roles and missions. We thank all of the institutions for their partnership and leadership in helping more students earn a college credential.”

The performance contracts will establish transparent benchmarks to gauge how Colorado public institutions of higher education are performing in meeting the needs of the state and will be the basis for future performance funding from the state. Each governing board has or is nearing completion of selecting the specific performance indicators which will meet the statewide goals adopted in the master plan. These statewide goals include:

  • Increase the attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials by at least 1,000 new certificates and degrees each year with a target of reaching 66 percent postsecondary credential attainment for Colorado citizens aged 25-34 by 2025.
  • Improve student success through better outcomes in basic skills education, enhanced student support services and reduced average time to credential for all students.
  • Reduce attainment gaps among students from underserved communities to ensure that the system reflects the changing demographics of the state.


The Commission is also committed to developing resources through increases in state funding, which will allow public institutions of higher education to meet projected enrollment demands while promoting affordability, accessibility and efficiency.


Each governing board has its own strategic plan for its respective institutions which is specifically designed to address its needs. Final performance contracts will be completed and signed by the Commission and governing boards by the end of December.


A copy of the master plan is available on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: