PUEBLO — An initiative to bring college education to hard-to-reach places across Colorado now has the funds to get started.
According to President of Pueblo Community College Patty Erjavec, the college has been "working on this initiative for quite a while".
Today, Governor Jared Polis announced just over a dozen recipients of his Rise, Innovation, and Student Equity Education Fund grants out of "hundreds" of applicants, including PCC.
“When the Governor’s RISE initiative came forward, it was a tremendous opportunity to really get the financial resources that we needed in order to expand upon this ideal," said Erjavec.
The program will provide online college courses to over 70 high schools in some of southern Colorado's most rural areas, as well as help get high school teachers certified to teach college courses.
“Many times we hear from our rural partners, 'Why can’t we have the same opportunities as the metro areas do? The urban areas get all the resources,' so I think that we’re all excited!”
Above all, Erjavec is "excited" to begin providing equal opportunities to students who might otherwise never receive college-level education.
“They’re so bright and now we’ll be able to provide them with really disciplined pathways that will ultimately create good jobs.”
She was to emphasize that this project is a "collaborative effort" as six community colleges total throughout the state are helping spearhead the initiative. Erjavec reiterated that programs like this are important for the future of Colorado as a whole, and other communities should take the time to consider implementing their own version, as “This is something that can be duplicated across the state".'
News5 is working to get a copy of all of the counties and high schools that are eligible for the initiative, and will update the article as information is provided.