Path to historically Black universities now open to Colorado community college students

By: - April 10, 2023 1:15 pm

A view of Front Range Community College Westminster Campus in August 2016. (Google Maps)

The Colorado Community College System announced new transfer agreements with two historically Black universities on Thursday, expanding options for transfer students and students of color. 

The collaboration will add Saint Augustine University and Texas Southern University to CCCS’s signature Bridge to Bachelor’s Degree Program, a 2020 initiative that guarantees admission for new students to participating four-year institutions upon the completion of their associate degree.

“We are constantly looking for ways to expand options for students and ensure they can live out their college dreams,” Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System, said in a statement. “We are proud to have TSU and SAU join our roster of transfer destinations and excited to see students take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity.”


The Colorado Community College System comprises 13 colleges across the state, including Front Range Community College, Pikes Peak State College and Northeastern Junior College. While some colleges like the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Regis University have been federally designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions or Minority Serving Institutions, Colorado has no accredited Historically Black College or University, or HBCU. The primary mission of an HBCU, as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, is the education of Black Americans.

Previously, guaranteed transfer agreements in the CCCS extended to several universities, colleges and online colleges, including Colorado School of Mines, Regis University and the University of Colorado Boulder. With the new agreement, SAU and TSU will become the program’s first out-of-state transfer options and provide students a guaranteed pathway to a four-year HBCU. 

“Texas Southern University is pleased to partner with the Colorado Community College System in providing pathways for students to continue their education at our esteemed university,” Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, president of TSU, said in a statement. “This cooperative effort provides accelerated opportunities for students to earn a bachelor’s degree and ultimately secure the career of their dreams.” 

Every year, about 20% of students enrolled through the Colorado Community College System transfer to a four-year college or university. Doing so has saved students an average of $10,000 in tuition costs.

As part of the partnership agreement, SAU will provide scholarships to CCCS Bridge to Bachelor’s students.

“Our partnership with CCCS will provide students with financial resources to complete their bachelor’s degree, leadership opportunities, and global exposure to ensure career participation,” Leslie Rodriguez-McClellon, senior vice president of student experience at SAU, said in a statement. “I am excited to work with the many great faculty and staff of CCCS and look forward to the success of this collaboration.”

Since the creation of Bridge to Bachelor’s in 2020, nearly 6,800 students have registered for the program, with more than 270 now eligible to transfer and continue their education at a four-year university.

Students will be able to select SAU or TSU as their intended transfer school starting in the fall. Students do not have to take any specific tests or pay for transfer application fees.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to indicate that Regis University is a Hispanic Serving University. Regis is the only private Colorado university with such a federal designation.


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William Oster
William Oster

William Oster was a reporting intern for Colorado Newsline. He's currently a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. He's also the Managing Editor for the CU Independent, the university's student-led newspaper.