Finish What You Started - Provider

Yellow badge with Finish waht you started text and photo of two students walking on campus

In 2020, the COSI Board approved the first Finish What You Started (FWYS) program (focused on adults 25+, Adams County residents, with some college, no degree), an outcomes-based contract providing bonus payments for services that increase enrollment, persistence, and completion. The current project is led by One Million Degrees and was initially intended to serve as a pilot for a larger-scale project.

The Colorado General Assembly passed a bill in June 2021 that will expand the Finish What You Started program. With the $3.8 billion of state aid provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Governor and Colorado legislature have allocated approximately $200 million towards workforce development and education. COSI received $48 million in federal stimulus funds to expand its Finish What You Started program, focusing on providing direct and indirect support to students to individuals with some college, no degree and those who applied in 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 but did not attend. 

These funds will support in addressing the significant decline in enrollment in the public institutions of higher education, high rate of job loss, continuing unemployment, and the overall disruption to the workforce caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  These disruptions have resulted in significant economic harm to individuals and businesses by quickly and effectively providing support for students to return to the public institutions of higher education to complete their postsecondary credentials and help to rebuild and revitalize the workforce of Colorado.  

Adams County Award

COSI launched the Finish What You Started-Adams County program to support adult students who have some college but no degree.  In partnership with One Million Degrees, the pilot project will focus on Adams County adults (25+) who are not currently enrolled and have some college and no degree.  The program targets explicitly Black/African American, Hispanic/LatinX, and Native American/American Indian adults and provides a holistic suite of wraparound support services and scholarship funds to address educational attainment equity gaps.

Finish What You Started is structured as a Pay for Success (outcomes-based contract) with upfront funding to deliver services and bonus payments tied to successful re-enrollment, persistence, and completion outcomes being reinvested into the program over time. CDHE is among the first state higher education agencies nationwide to use the PFS model to improve postsecondary attainment and mitigate equity attainment gaps by explicitly funding effective support services.

  • One Million Degrees $312,500

One Million Degrees is also eligible to earn up to $200,000 in additional funds as outcomes are met.  A philantropic donor provided the funds, and One Million Degrees will reinvest the funds into the program. 

Statewide Awards

With the $3.8 billion of state aid provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, the Governor and Colorado legislature have allocated approximately $200 million towards workforce development and education. Through HB21-1330 COSI received $46.5 million to expand its Finish What You Started (FWYS) program, focusing on providing direct and indirect support to students. 

These funds will support in addressing the significant decline in enrollment in the public institutions of higher education, high rate of job loss, continuing unemployment, and the overall disruption to the workforce caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  These disruptions have resulted in significant economic harm to individuals and businesses by quickly and effectively providing support for students to return to the public institutions of higher education to complete their postsecondary credentials and help to rebuild and revitalize the workforce of Colorado.  

  • Adams State University $678,546
  • Aims Community College $1,250,756
  • Arapahoe Community College $1,111,149
  • Colorado Mesa University $2,118,620
  • Colorado Mountain College $983,643
  • Colorado State University Pueblo $1,015,124
  • Emily Griffith Technical College $875,823
  • Fort Lewis College $552,344
  • Lamar Community College $251,898
  • Morgan Community College $344,391
  • Pikes Peak Community College $3,728,872
  • Pueblo Community College $1,430,926
  • Trinidad State College $567,165
  • University of Colorado Denver $3,205,271
  • University of Northern Colorado $2,024,812

 

Statewide Learning Community

COSI has partnered with One Million Degrees to convene institution leaders and practitioners to participate in a Statewide Learning Community to advance high-quality statewide implementation of Finish What You Started programming through peer learning and best practice sharing around data analysis, program design, student engagement, continuous progress monitoring, and evaluation design.

The Statewide Learning Community will share, reflect on, and strategize around real-time learnings, successes, and challenges as higher education institutions across the state seek to reach and engage the target student populations.
Click here to view a short video about this program, and complete this brief survey to help us prepare. 

The first convening will be held on
December 3, and January through June convenings will be held the 3rd Friday of the month. 
We understand that not all programming and permanent staff may be in place, but this is an excellent opportunity for those supporting the work to receive support and learn from others as programs develop and implement. 

Meeting Materials

Marketing and Communication Materials

The CDHE communications team is working on marketing materials and social media items.  We expect to mail hard copies (example materials) the week of November 15 & 22.  The communications team will take a portion of the Statewide Learning Community gathering on December 3 to review the items.

Next steps

  • Determine who should receive the mailed examples.
  • Complete this brief contact form and upload the institution's logo.

Materials

Reporting

Quarterly Reports

Pursuant to federal reporting requirements the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) must report quarterly grant spending to the Department of Personnel and Administration throughout the grant term. To provide accurate and timely reports Grantees must submit quarterly spending reports detailing the total amount of grant funds expended each quarter.  The Grantee must use this form to submit the quarterly spending reports to CDHE each grant year following the schedule as outlined here:

  • October 5 - to include spending from July 1 – September 30
  • January 5 - to include spending from October 1 – December 31
  • April 5 -  to include spending from January 1 – March 31
  • July 5 - to include spending from April 1 – June 30

 

Annual Reports

Grantee must submit a performance report to CDHE following COSI’s reporting schedule as outlined here:

  • August 1, 2022 - to include all terms between summer 2021 to spring 2022
  • August 1, 2023 - to include all terms between summer 2022 to spring 2023
  • August 1, 2024 - to include all terms between summer 2023 to spring 2024
  • August 1, 2025 - to include all terms between summer 2024 to spring 2025
  • August 1, 2026 - to include all terms between summer 2025 to spring 2026

Annual reports templates will be available in March of each grant year. 

 

COSI Point of Contact

The COSI team has grown! The expanded team allows for more individualized support for grantees. Please direct your questions to your assigned COSI POC.

Cynthia Armendariz Carla Castillo Jacquie Granados Kolby Knupp Mariana DelMonte-Gladstone Michael McArthur
Emily Griffith Technical College  Colorado Mesa University  Arapahoe Community College  Aims Community College Fort Lewis College Adams State University
Pickens Technical College Colorado Mountain College  Colorado School of Mines Colorado State University Technical College of the Rockies Colorado State University Pueblo
One Million Degrees Colorado Northwestern Community College  Colorado State University Global Front Range Community College Western Colorado University Lamar Community College
Community College of Aurora Morgan Community College Otero College
Community College of Denver Northeastern Junior College Pikes Peak Community College
Metropolitan State University of Denver  University of Northern Colorado Pueblo Community College
Red Rocks Community College Trinidad State College
University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Colorado Springs
University of Colorado Denver