2017 Marks Landmark Year for Advancing STEM Education in Colorado

Recently-passed policies position state as leader in STEM and workforce development

May 17, 2017 Denver, Colorado – More Colorado students will have greater access to relevant and rigorous STEM learning experiences thanks to innovative policies passed during the 2017 legislative session. These new programs, coupled with STEM initiatives already underway in the state, mean Colorado students have richer opportunities than ever before to gain the skills needed to succeed in the world of today, and the near future.

“Our workforce is rapidly changing and increasing access to STEM education is essential to our state’s success,” said Scott Laband, President of Colorado Succeeds, a non-partisan business coalition focused on education issues. “These new policies will unlock opportunities for Colorado students – providing access to relevant, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences that will prepare them for what comes after high school – regardless of what pathway they choose. The business community has invested their time and testimony in support of these innovative solutions, and we’re committed to ensuring all Colorado students can benefit from the high-quality learning experiences they will create.”

The 2017 Colorado General Assembly approved a series of measures to strengthen and expand STEM education in schools. Through these changes:

  • Students gain access to computer science and technology education through the addition of these skills into Colorado’s academic standards.
  • Educators benefit from new opportunities to learn – and therefore teach – computer science thanks to a new competitive grant program that provides funds for teachers to complete high-quality training programs.
  • Educators gain access to new computer science resources, materials, and support through the creation of a free and industry-led computer science resource bank.
  • Tech industry professionals are now able to co-teach computer science in schools without needing a teaching license.
  • Students now have option to earn a STEM-endorsed diploma demonstrating their mastery in one or more STEM fields.
  • Districts have more opportunities to offer students associate’s degrees through improvements made to Colorado’s P-TECH 9-14 school model.
  • Students have more options to participate in concurrent enrollment through improvements made to the ASCENT program, which supports high school students in taking college-level courses.
  • Schools will be measured against a broader definition of success, whether that measure be student success in Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate classes, ACT scores, concurrent enrollment courses, or attainment of industry credentials.

Colorado Succeeds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of Colorado’s business leaders who join forces to ensure our education system works better and smarter for all people of Colorado. We believe Colorado is the best place to live and work, and we want it to stay that way. This great state can only continue its tradition of excellence when all of our children are educated to their greatest potential and all of our businesses have the talented and innovative workforce they need to thrive. We believe great schools are good business. We know when Colorado schools improve, everybody wins. 


Great Schools are Good Business