DENVER (CBS4) – Students at 14 community colleges in Colorado will now have an easier time transferring to the University of Colorado Denver, as long as they meet certain requirement.

CU Denver will give automatic admission to students who earn an associate degree, saying it offers a cheaper option for students working for bachelor’s degree under the “CC to CU Denver Admission Promise Program.”

Karly Porter knows just how well it works, she was part of a pilot program. She dropped out of high school to raise her brother but went back to community college. Now she’s a senior at CU Denver.

“It’s the reason that I’m here,” Porter said. “Without it, I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity and I wouldn’t have known how to start going about it. So it really guided me and and answered all the questions that I didn’t have anybody to ask.”

Now more than 160,000 community college students will be able to follow in Porter’s footsteps.

“By creating a seamless pathway from high school the community colleges and then into a four year institution at UC-D, you’ve created the ability of someone to have a career path at an affordable higher education opportunity,” Nancy McCallan, the president of the Colorado Community College System said.

It’s a sentiment CU Denver chancellor Dr. Jerry Wartgow echoed. “Throughout this, they’re going to feel part of the family,” he said.

“They’ll be taking their classes at Community College of Denver or one of the area community colleges but they’ll really be part of the University of Colorado from Day 1.”

Administrators say the program means community college students will not have to worry about meeting the requirements to transfer.

About 700 students transfer to CU Denver from community college every year.

“Our projections are that our transfers will increase significantly through this program, very significantly,” Wartgow said.

Starting in community college and transfering is a less expensive educational option. The program is already open to first time freshmen around the state.

Porter believes plenty of students will grab the opportunity.

“Having the guidance, having the advisors meet you halfway rather than coming in almost blinded, it’s kind of a bridge to the school,” she said.


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