Department of Higher Education
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY POVERTY REDUCTION TASK FORCE
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01:11 PM -- Department of Higher Education
The task force returned to order. Mr. Andrew Carlson, Budget and Financial Aid Director, Department of Higher Education, Mr. Scott Mendelsberg, Executive Director of Colorado GEAR UP, and Mr. Kett Winsor, Lamar Community College, briefed the task force on the programs administered within the department and higher education institutions that help to alleviate poverty and promote economic opportunity for low-income Coloradans. Task force members received a one-page handout detailing certain key information pertaining to higher education in the state (Attachment F), and a packet of presentation slides regarding the TRiO programs (Attachment G). Mr. Carlson discussed higher education in Colorado and its impact on poverty reduction. Mr. Carlson responded to questions regarding the median income in the state, and how the department tracks graduation rates.
Discussion continued regarding the college graduation rate in Colorado, and the ability to measure the success rates of higher education institutions, along with consideration of funding invested in financial aid. Mr. Mendelsberg provided background on the Colorado GEAR UP Program, its mission, its successes, and its challenges.
Mr. Mendelsberg continued to brief the task force on the GEAR UP program, and efforts to apply the program to beneficial work force outcomes. Mr. Mendelsberg responded to questions regarding the applicability of GEAR UP to private schools and home schooling, and the scope of the program both geographically and population-wise. Mr. Mendelsberg responded to further questions regarding the history of the program, and the potential continuation of the program in Colorado. Mr. Winsor briefed the task force on the TRiO programs, based on the slides in Attachment G, with an emphasis on the conduct of the program at Lamar Community College.
Mr. Winsor continued to brief the task force on the TRiO programs. Mr. Winsor responded to questions regarding the ways in which Lamar Community College measures the effectiveness of the TRiO programs. Mr. Mendelsberg responded to questions regarding the eligibility criteria for GEAR UP, and the effectiveness of the P-20 Council in transitioning students to college.