DENVER (Oct. 7, 2020) — Today, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and Colorado State University-Pueblo announced that youth involved in the Division of Youth Services (DYS) will be able to enroll in college courses while they are in DYS care. This partnership will allow youth to pursue higher education beyond vocational programming and into college coursework after attaining their high school diploma or GED.
In 2020, DYS awarded 264 high school diplomas and GEDs, and 336 career and technical education certifications. This collaboration with CSU-Pueblo will enable concurrent enrollment and college credit opportunities for youth.
The first classes available include:
- Psych 100 General Psychology
- SOC 101 Intro to Sociology
- MGMT 201 Principles of Management
- ENG 101 English Composition
- MATH 121 College Algebra
- ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
These college credits will be transferable when the youth leave, giving them a head start on completing a degree. They are also exclusively print-based — classes that are able to be completed completely offline so they meet security standards for the youth center. The syllabus, assignments, books, etc. are mailed to students, and exams are taken with a proctor located at the youth center. This provides a new level of flexibility and opportunities for youth.
“It is so exciting to be part of the education partnership with the Division of Youth Services to provide a collegiate educational opportunity for students,” said Kristyn White Davis, CSU-Pueblo’s dean of Extended Studies. “It is a great demonstration of the commitment of our state leadership for providing this opportunity to these students and the commitment of CSU-Pueblo to being the people’s university. We are hopeful that upon release these students see CSU-Pueblo as a viable option to pursue a college degree.”
“This partnership is another step in treating and supporting the whole person,” said DYS Director Anders Jacobson. “We are committed to providing youth a range of educational and vocational opportunities that motivate and create excitement about the future. Not only is the division thrilled about this new partnership, the youth in our care are eager to jump into this opportunity to learn and further align themselves for success in the community.”
In the U.S., more than two-thirds of incarcerated youth do not return to school upon release. Educational services in youth services facilities could reverse this trend. Some studies show that youth who participate in remote college courses enroll in school after being discharged and show improvements in reading and math.
The CDHS Division of Youth Services provides for the care and supervision of youth committed by the District Court to the custody of CDHS. DYS operates 12 secure youth centers that serve youth between the ages of 10-21 who are pre-adjudicated or committed. In addition to residential programming, DYS administers juvenile parole services throughout Colorado.
Mark Techmeyer, Director of Communications