DENVER, CO – April 27, 2023: The Colorado Department of Higher Education announces Monday, May 1 as Decision Day. The statewide campaign celebrates the importance of higher education and encourages Colorado students to reach higher—whether they attend a university, community college, private occupational school, or serve as an apprentice or in the military.
On Decision Day, Coloradans are encouraged to wear apparel from their alma mater, favorite school, or future program to rally in support of students on their path to postsecondary success.
“Across the country, Decision Day supports our students in deciding to pursue a postsecondary pathway. That can be any path, from the military, to a college or university, or trade school. Whatever the path, it is important that they not only pick a path but actively pursue it,” said Colorado Department of Higher Education Executive Director Dr. Angie Paccione. “We demonstrate our appreciation and support of high school seniors across Colorado by wearing our college gear on Decision Day. We want them to believe in themselves and their future as we believe in them. They’ve worked so hard academically, researching programs, and filling out the FAFSA and CASFA. They deserve to be recognized and Decision Day is a part of this celebration.“ Last week, Dr. Paccione shared a video message to encourage students to participate in Decision Day.
Today, 74% of jobs in Colorado require some form of postsecondary education compared to 65% nationally. This makes Colorado’s demand for college-educated adults among the highest in the nation. According to the Colorado Workforce Development Council, in 2022, 91.4% of Tier 1 Top Jobs and 70.4% of Tier 2 Top Jobs require some type of postsecondary education past a high school diploma or equivalent. Tier 1 jobs are classified as a job that provides a living hourly wage threshold that can support a family of three with two adults—one working—and one child. Additionally, 76.5% of Tier 1 Jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree for eligibility, a 3.4% increase from last year’s Talent Pipeline Report findings. In the academic year 2021, 54.3% of individuals obtained a bachelor’s degree, 17.3% earned an associate degree and 28.5% were able to complete a certificate or credential, which stresses the need to increase credential completion across the board no matter the postsecondary pathway.
Decision Day encourages participation statewide from schools, businesses, alumni groups, and organizations. Colorado GEAR UP is organizing a myriad of events to celebrate Decision Day. Colorado GEAR UP is a national, federally funded pre-collegiate grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP is an acronym that stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness For Undergraduate Preparation.
- CDHE Executive Director, Dr. Angie Paccione plans to attend Decision Day at Hinkley High School in Aurora on May 2 from 12:15-1:15 p.m.
- Digital Campaign: Coloradans are encouraged to share selfies on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok tagging @CoHigherEd using #DecisionDayCO and #iDecided and #CollegeSigningDay. Find sample social media posts, graphics, and informational flyers here.
- Resources: High school juniors and seniors can explore resources here.