Expanding Rural Engagement

Investing in Rural Colorado

In June 2021, the CSU System Board of Governors voted to invest $8.58 million over the next three years in expanded support for rural Colorado students and communities. We are making these investments after listening to and learning from our communities, economic and community development leaders and individuals across the state.

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Building on our land-grant mission across Colorado

VP of Engagement and Extension Blake Naughton on CSU’s commitment to rural Colorado

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Over the last six months, we have continued conversations to listen and learn as we work together, evolving and enhancing our approach to best serve the needs of Colorado. This inclusive, statewide process led to four goals.

Four Key Goal Areas

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Accessible Education

Support college access, curriculum and partnership development with community colleges and other university partners to create collaborative bachelor’s programs around the state. Pilot 4-H programs targeting underserved populations. Develop innovative new positions that bridge school-based STEM education with college admissions.

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Improved Health

Expand our lifelong learning and wellness programs for older Coloradans and establish a ‘health extension’ system based on prevention science.

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Vibrant Communities

Expand community leadership training, civic capacity building and dialogue and establishing a system of ‘humanities extended’ to create connections that promote rural histories and cultures.

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Thriving Economy

Expand the Regional Economic Development Institute’s capacity to inform and support community planning and redefining our impact on the agriculture economy with a focus on technical assistance and research translation.

Next Steps

Year 1: Initial needs assessment, design and planning, position creation and staffing
Year 2: Implementation begins and the first student scholarships are awarded
Year 3: All expanded programs and resources in place with a strategy to sustain and continue to build upon