The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) was established in 1965 by the legislature. The CCHE replaced an association which met informally to consider matters related to higher education. In 1985 the legislature gave the Commission increased authority and specific directives through the passage of House Bill 1187. Specific responsibilities include developing long-range plans for an evolving state system of higher education:
CCHE's mission is to provide access to high-quality, affordable education for all Colorado residents that is student-centered, quality driven and performance-based. CCHE’s primary "customers" are Colorado students and citizens. CCHE is committed to providing the best quality education at the best price with the best possible service for its customers.
In January, 2008, Senate Bill 08-018 made the Department of Higher Education (DHE) separate from CCHE in order to clarify the individual roles of the DHE and CCHE. The bill was a clean-up bill intended to streamline Title 23 and make it more coherent. The legislation, supported by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE):
These revisions to certain sections in Title 23 enabled DHE to operate more efficiently.