College in Colorado
COMMITTEE ON JOINT EDUCATION
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07:35 AM -- College in Colorado
Dawn Taylor Owens, Executive Director of College in Colorado, introduced herself and her colleagues Julia Pirnack, Director of Web and Curriculum, and Gully Stanford, Director of Partnerships. Ms. Taylor Owens provided a packet of marketing materials to committee members (Attachment A may be viewed at the State Archives). Information about College in Colorado may also be found on their website, www.collegeincolorado.org.
Ms. Taylor Owens described College in Colorado, explaining that it is federally funded. Ms. Taylor Owens provided information about what each division of College in Colorado has done the past year, beginning with the website. She explained the products that are offered on the College in Colorado website, and spoke about the next generation products that would be offered on the College in Colorado website.
Next, Ms. Taylor Owens talked about the assistance College in Colorado provides to schools around curriculum, and she also spoke about College in Colorado outreach. She provided a number of statistics about the number of students, parents, and educators College in Colorado has reached in the past year. She talked specifically about outreach to students and the impact of that outreach.
Ms. Taylor Owens spoke next about College in Colorado partnerships. Then she spoke about marketing, talking about stepped up efforts to do grassroots marketing.
Ms. Taylor Owens talked about College in Colorado's College Guide, noting that, year-to-date, they have had over 16,000 requests for the guide.
Ms. Taylor Owens responded to questions from committee members. In response to a question from Senator Romer, Mr. Taylor Owens described how student account tracking would be enhanced in future products. She described the increase in accounts created, and responded to follow-up questions from Senator Romer about the number of students that are reached through College in Colorado, explaining that College in Colorado has not tracked students up to this point, but will do that going forward. Senator Romer commented on the possibility of financial incentives for students to set up a College in Colorado account. Conversation between Ms. Taylor Owens and Senator Romer ensued. Ms. Taylor Owens described changes to the system going forward, explaining that students could opt-in to receive emails and information from College in Colorado.
Conversation between Ms. Taylor Owens and the committee around outreach to students continued.
Senator King asked Ms. Taylor Owens about the content of the college planning website. She responded, speaking specifically about cost estimators students can access on the website. Senator King asked whether it would be possible for students to use the website to estimate cost savings around getting an associate's degree before transferring to a four-year institution. Ms. Taylor Owens said College in Colorado is working with the community college system regarding articulation agreements and community college costs.
Ms. Pirnack came to the table to speak to a question from Senator King regarding G.T. Pathways. She explained that the website is oriented around Colorado career clusters, which allows the use of locally and regionally specific paths. Conversation between Ms. Pirnack and Senator King on this issue ensued. Ms. Pirnack talked briefly about virtual campus tours.
Senator Romer asked how College in Colorado can reach younger students -- seventh and eighth graders -- who would not otherwise consider college. He noted that the group that needs to be targeted is the group with the least internet access. He said many low-income students do not start thinking about college until 11th grade, and at that point it is very late in the game. Senator Romer talked about the need to get to these kids. Ms. Taylor Owens described College in Colorado's efforts to reach low-income students and their parents, providing specific examples. She also noted that most content on the website can be accessed in Spanish.
President Groff asked what outreach is done for parents that do not go to school parent nights, or who are otherwise unengaged. Ms. Taylor Owens responded, talking about partnerships with PTA and other organizations, and talking about how they are reaching out to those parents.
In response to a question from Representative Todd, Ms. Taylor Owens described outreach to churches and other outside entities.
Senator King suggested putting Accuplacer preparation on the College in Colorado website. Ms. Pirnack noted that College in Colorado has contacted the College Board about this possibility. Senator Romer suggested working with cable companies and cell phone companies, which reach more students than internet. He talked further about the need to get "hard-nosed" in reaching students sooner.
Senator Bacon thanked Ms. Taylor Owens, Ms. Pirnack, and Mr. Stanford for the information.