Academic Initiatives

Annually the VPAAs identify a set of priorities for the upcoming academic year. These priorities are aligned with the CCCS Strategic Plan and State Board priorities.

Academic Priorities

Equity and Inclusion

Equity and inclusion has been identified as a priority in the State Master Plan, the CCCS Strategic Plan, and by the Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) Division.  As community colleges who serve diverse communities and students, it is imperative that we focus our efforts on fostering welcoming and inclusive environments and insuring equity in student outcomes.  In the coming year, ASA will provide professional development in equity for English and math faculty and instructors.  In addition, ASA will explore and identify strategies to increase diversity in hiring and retention of Employees of Color.  Furthermore, ASA will provide training and make better use of data on the Center for Urban Education dashboard that shows disaggregated student success data at the course level.  Finally, ASA will lead efforts to reform the law enforcement academy curriculum.

Teaching and Learning

Excellence in teaching and learning are central to the work of the Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) division.  It is critically important that teaching practice is continually examined in an effort to improve teaching practices.  In the coming year, ASA will work closely with faculty and instructors to develop strategies that increase student success in developmental education and gateway courses in English and math.  This includes partnering with English and math faculty to pilot innovative supplemental academic instruction and co-requisite models.  In addition, ASA will develop and provide professional development that fosters welcoming and inclusive online and remote environments.  Finally, ASA will produce and expand the use of data and analytics to inform and improve teaching excellence.

Leadership Development

In supporting the System Strategic Plan goal of “Transform our own workforce experience” there are multiple priorities to enhance leadership development opportunities throughout the System. These include reviewing System Procedure 3-31, revisions to the faculty supervisor training, providing equity training for college leaders, and engaging the Deans council for implementation of System-wide initiatives. In addition, Academic and Student Affairs continues to work with Human Resources and Chancellor Garcia on a strategic system-wide approach to leadership development and succession planning.

Colorado Online Strategic Plan

By December 2023, Colorado Online@ will be a networked and coordinated enterprise-wide model delivering high quality, economical, student-centered online learning resulting in growing online enrollments, programs, fully online two year and four year degrees, and increasing revenue to the colleges and the system as a result of serving new markets.

Colorado Online@ Consortial Model Overview

Colorado Online @ Blog

Multiple Measures

Academic and Student Affairs began working on multiple measures for course placement in 2017 with a multiple measures taskforce comprised of faculty members from colleges, college administrators, and system office staff.  Since 2017, system office staff worked closely with math and English faculty to develop pilots that are being run at three CCCS colleges.  In addition to the pilots, some colleges have implemented their own course placement processes including guided self-placement and direct placement into college level courses.  Upon completion of the pilots, the multiple measures taskforce will make a recommendation for full System implementation.  This work is in alignment and with HB19-1206 – Higher Education Supplemental Academic Instruction.  This legislation focuses on removing equity gaps in higher education by ensuring that more students have access to supplemental academic instruction.


Each year Academic and Student Affairs, in collaboration with Legal Affairs and the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, identifies policies and procedures that need to be reviewed or developed.  System staff will convene committees of context experts to work on each policy or procedure.  The policies identified for review in 2020-2021 include:

      1. SP 3-31 – Evaluation of Faculty Job Performance
      2. SP 3-65 – Sabbatical Plan & Report
      3. BP/SP 9-41 – Assessment for College Readiness
      4. BP/SP 9-42 – Prior Learning Assessment Credit
      5. BP/SP 9-72 – Transfer of Post-Secondary Credits from Area Technical Colleges to Community Colleges
      6. BP 4-25 – State Student Advisory Council
      7. BP/SP 4-30 – Student Disciplinary Procedure
      8. BP/SP 4-31 – Student Grievance Procedure
      9. BP/SP 4-32 – Student Email
      10. BP 4-41 – Colorado Diversity Grants
      11. BP 4-50 – Student Government
      12. BP 4-120 – Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment
      13. SP 4-120a – Sexual Misconduct
      14. SP 4-120b – Student Disability Services
      15. BP 9-20 – Academic Master Planning

Teaching Excellence Grant


Academic and Student Affairs is pleased to announce the restart of the Teaching Excellence with Equity grant opportunity.  This three year, $5 million grant initiative is aimed at closing equity gaps through teaching excellence and building inclusive classroom environments. Grant dollars should be part of a larger institutional effort for transformational change aimed at closing equity gaps. This grant initiative provides an opportunity for colleges to apply for dollars to provide professional development and implement strategies, particularly those that are data-driven, evidence-based, culturally relevant, and aimed at transforming the classroom environment to be more inclusive and conducive to student success.  Though initially approved to kickoff in early 2020, this grant was paused due to the global pandemic.

Workforce Sector Alignment

The Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs have identified the need for a state-wide workforce development vision and set of strategies. The Academic and Student Affairs team will work to develop this strategy in collaboration with stakeholders throughout the state in specific industry sectors aligned with the Colorado Talent Pipeline report and the Career Pathways work. Ultimately, this will lead to data sets and reports that will assist in decision making for program and apprenticeship development throughout the state.

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