Colorado Challenge: Driving degree completion

Colorado Challenge (COCH) officially closed its program and services to students on June 30, 2018. The Colorado Challenge program was launched in spring 2014, with its mission rooted in increasing persistence and on-time completion rates for low-income, first-generation students. The Colorado Challenge program impacted students by providing wraparound services and advising. These services were provided to Colorado GEAR UP, Denver Scholarship Foundation, Daniels Fund, YESS Institute and Colorado Department of Human Services/ETV scholars who were attending one of the seven partner institutions; Adams State University, Colorado State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and University of Colorado Denver.

The program was successful in targeting students from traditionally underserved groups, as most COCH participants were low-income students of color who were the first in their families to attend college. When comparing outcomes for COCH students to those of a control group with similar demographics at the same colleges and universities over the same time period, Challenge students persisted at rates 12-14 percentage points higher than the control group.

The core of the program, Colorado Challenge College Counselors, built connections and supported and advocated for students for the last four years all in an effort to support them in reaching their higher education goals. The legacy of the program and the support of current Colorado Challenge students will continue and expand through the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, Community Partner Program grant, as all of the current partner institutions either directly or through a partner were funded to continue the work of Colorado Challenge.

Thank you to the Colorado Challenge college counselors, DHE leadership and support team and institution and agency partners for your support of the program and students. Your support was instrumental in helping the program grow and evolve into one of the most effective programs in Colorado that directly impacted postsecondary enrollment and erasing the equity gap.

Colorado Challenge Outcome Reports
Coming soon!

Please direct any program questions to Cynthia Armendariz at or Carl Einhaus at