The Colorado Re-Engaged (CORE) Initiative enables four-year institutions in Colorado to award an earned associate degree to eligible students who have stopped-out from a baccalaureate program after earning at least 70 credit hours. In enacting the supporting legislation, the Colorado Legislature recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students – particularly those from low-income communities – to stop attending the state’s colleges and universities before attaining a bachelor’s degree. These stop-out students have invested a significant amount of time and money to advance their knowledge and skills through higher education, but do not have an academic credential to reflect this investment.
Data gathered by the Colorado Department of Higher Education indicates over 25,000 Coloradoans may be eligible for an associate degree under CORE. By offering qualifying stop-out students an earned associate degree for credits already completed, institutions participating in CORE can:
- Enable degree recipients to obtain higher paying jobs and more secure employment, which will improve economic prospects for these former students and their communities.
- Increase the number of Coloradoans with academic credentials and degrees, which will strengthen the state’s workforce and support the economic recovery of the business community.
- Better position degree recipients to return to higher education to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher.