Back to school, back to work

Adults expect to change employers, and even change careers, throughout their working lives. Colorado colleges and universities are eager to help. They are expanding their programs and adding courses that can help professionals get ahead, move to a different job, or even start a new career. Adult students are enrolling in everything from weekend classes to years-long graduate degree programs.

Here is a roundup of new or expanded programs from institutions of higher learning around the state.

American Public University System

American Public University System’s Bachelor of Science degree program in Nursing has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. APUS launched the nursing program in January 2011 to meet the professional development needs of nurses who hold an associate degree in nursing and an active Registered Nurse (RN) license, but do not have a B.S. degree. The program is offered by APUS’s two online universities, American Public University and American Military University. The focus is on three primary nursing roles: practitioner, scientist and leader, and students are required to complete a capstone seminar course. The degree is designed to help nurses move into management, education, public and community health.

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Colorado State University

Colorado State University launched two online Master of Engineering degrees.

The Master of Engineering with an Electrical and Computer Engineering specialization features areas of focus including Computer Engineering, Power and Energy Engineering, and Systems Engineering. The degree is for engineers who hope to increase their salary, want to work on higher-level projects, or simply need to keep up with the pace of innovation to make themselves more marketable.

The Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with an Engineering Management specialization features a curriculum that blends engineering processes with business elements to give students a combination of management concepts and technical focus. The coursework includes engineering classes as well as business classes such as Quantitative Business Analysis and Organizational Communication.

Hunt Lambert, associate provost, Colorado State University OnlinePlus, says CSU developed the two online master’s degree programs to respond to industry needs. “We talked to CEOs of all the major engineering companies, and they said 50 percent of their engineers will be gone in the next 10 years because they are hitting age 65,” Lambert says. “Our basic engineering infrastructure is aged, and the companies are desperate to replace these engineers.”

Separately, CSU OnlinePlus will introduce an online version of the new Master of Tourism Management degree that began this fall. The online version will be available fall 2013.

Also from CSU, the Warner College of Natural Resources will launch a Bachelor of Science in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability in spring 2013. Courses include Foundations of Ecosystem Science, Natural Resources Ecology and Management, and Sustainability and Ecosystem Science.

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University of Colorado
at Boulder

The University of Colorado at Boulder moved its bachelor’s degree in environmental design to the Boulder campus. The environmental design program was launched in 1970 and became a part of the College of Architecture and Planning at CU Denver in 1992. Now the Boulder campus is integrating the program into other related programs, such as environmental sciences and engineering. The degree is designed to prepare students for careers in architecture, landscape architecture and planning. CU-Boulder is also in the process of creating a graduate curriculum in environmental design. For more information, visit

Also at CU-Boulder, the Leeds School of Business announced the Anschutz Foundation committed $2 million to launch two initiatives. A new business minor will give CU-Boulder students studying in other fields, such as arts, humanities and sciences, an overview of business and the market-based economy. The second initiative is a new business honors program that offers an intense academic and professional development experience for top students. Both programs are offered to traditional and nontraditional students, and Leeds faculty have approved plans to revise the school’s core curriculum of courses offered to business majors in their first two years. For more information, visit

The University of Colorado Law School will host The Executive Lawyer, an executive development conference for general counsels, compliance officers, and chief legal officers February 11-13, 2013 on the CU-Boulder campus. The Executive Lawyer is designed to teach in-house lawyers how to run a law department efficiently, including how to cut expenses and maximize profits. The conference will cover topics such as the management strategy Six Sigma, and instructors will be experts who have implemented these strategies at companies such as Lockheed Martin and MassMutual.

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University of Colorado
at Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs expanded its Weekend University. In spring 2013 UCCS will add graduate courses in education. David Moon, interim provost for UCCS, says courses such as Student Affairs in Higher Education, Counseling and Principals, are introductory-level courses for teachers who are thinking about moving into other areas in education. Courses such as Adventure Education are for counselors, community workers and other non-teachers who are not necessarily interested in pursuing a degree. “It’s for professionals who work with young people regularly, who do events with young people, to find out how to construct those experiences for learning to take place, as opposed to it being just an activity,” Moon says.

UCCS also added a short course, Space Systems Engineering. The non-credit course offers an introduction to the characteristics of space. Carley Ries, director of Campus Wide Extended Studies and Weekend University at UCCS, says the new course is for space professionals working in government and civilian jobs, such as professionals who manage projects and engineering designs and personnel involved in space communications and logistical issues. The six-week class will begin in January.

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University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver has several new programs.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences added an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor, Health Humanities, that highlights humanities and related social science approaches to medicine and health and is designed for pre-med students and others pursuing heath careers.

The College of Architecture and Planning offers a Dual Master of Landscape Architecture degree, which grants the degree from both Tongji University in Shanghai, China and CU Denver.

The School of Education and Human Development launched an Office of Diversity and Inclusion to prepare teachers for diverse school settings. The School of Public Affairs is partnering with CU Denver’s Center on Domestic Violence to provide training for nonprofit administrators working with domestic violence-related services in Colorado.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science added an Engineering and Applied Science Doctor of Philosophy program for students in the Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs. At the Business School, the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship is redeveloping its incubator program.

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University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business will offer a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering beginning in Fall 2013. The program is targeted to people who are problem solvers, are comfortable in front of a computer, and are detail oriented. Students will learn how to understand the history and principles of software engineering, analyze data and information to identify key problems, generate and evaluate appropriate alternatives and propose a feasible alternative, gain proficiency with state-of-the-industry technology, identify ethical problems and issues, and understand quality assurance techniques.

UNC’s Office of Extended Studies will begin offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Sign Language-English Interpretation at the Denver Center at Lowry in Fall 2013. The degree, which was previously offered only online, is a comprehensive, four-year program for students who have completed ASL Skills Levels 1 through 4. UNC will also begin offering ASL 1-4 in Denver in the 2013-2014 academic year.

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University of Denver

The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver added some programs and made changes to others.

The Master of Science in Business Intelligence program has been transformed to make sure graduates can succeed in today’s information-based, data-filled world. The program focuses on learning how to use data to make better decisions; understanding infrastructure, resources and security to support the business; analytics training and critical thinking skills to build complex models; and building a strong ethical framework and global perspective to ensure data is used responsibly and appropriately.

The School of Accountancy is also adapting. The new Executive in Residence program at the Daniels College of Business, in which executives help mentor students, helped the school develop a three-course sequence in the master’s program to focus on using fair value to determine company assets and liabilities. The courses are Valuation and Modeling, Business Valuation, and Auditing in the Age of Fair Value.

In the Gateway to Business class for first-year undergraduate business students, teams of students develop a mobile app and compete for funding. Students are taught a development tool so they can build a prototype of their app without needing to know programming. Then they learn how to write a business plan to support the app.

Also at the University of Denver, University College expanded its Bachelor of Arts Completion program with three new majors. The Environmental Studies major prepares students to understand environmental systems and assess, analyze, summarize and transform data into useful information and knowledge. The Information Technology degree helps students develop practical skills in systems analysis and design, networking, Web design and programming. The degree in Global Commerce and Transportation covers transportation safety and security issues, law and policy, economics and finance, international trade, supply-chain logistics, and transportation modes and nodes.

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Regis University

Regis University College of Professional Studies added an MBA degree in Project Management. The program, which began this fall, covers project management practices, tools and techniques. The courses include Operations Management, Project Monitoring and Delivery, and Leading Projects in Contemporary Organizations. Students learn from Project Management Certified faculty, and can begin the Project Management Professional Certification process.

Also new from Regis, the College for Professional Studies Human Resource Management undergraduate degree was recognized as being fully aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. The alignment certificate period runs from August 2012 to December 2014, and it means that the program can better prepare students to become certified in the HR profession.

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Metropolitan State University
of Denver

Metropolitan State University of Denver has taken over the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science. The program, which provides post-baccalaureate-level training for medical laboratory scientists, was previously sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation. The program complements MSU Denver’s baccalaureate-level nursing program and its Department of Health Professions, including academic programs in gerontology, health care management, human nutrition and dietetics, integrative therapies and recreation professions. The program is located at a new expanded teaching facility at the Medical Center of Aurora, and MSU Denver will continue to lease that space at a market rate.

MSU Denver also recently opened the Hospitality Learning Center. The facility contains a 150-room SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown hotel and 28,000 square feet of academic space. Amenities include a 3,100-bottle wine cellar, two high-tech classroom kitchens, a culinary demonstration theater, a beverage sensory analysis lab and a 72-seat student-run restaurant.

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Ecotech Institute

Ecotech Institute, which focuses on preparing people for careers in renewable energy and sustainability, will launch a two-year Business Administration-Sustainability degree program. The program, scheduled to launch in January 2013, is a business program with a focus on sustainability. Coursework includes accounting, financial analysis, human resources, project management, communications, customer service, sustainability, renewable energy and workplace ethics.

Ecotech, part of Education Corp. of America, also recently launched a two-year Power Utility Technician degree program. The program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in power generation, with specialization in power plant operations and maintenance. Students will receive immersive and hands-on training that focuses on electric utility distribution systems, grid and smart grid.

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Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University added two Master’s degree programs. Both are available at the Denver and Southern Colorado campuses as well as online.

CTU’s Master of Business Administration now offers a concentration in entrepreneurship. The curriculum explores both entrepreneurial theory and practice, including the challenges of developing and operating small firms, achieving business growth, securing funding and managing a budget. The program uses a problem-solving approach with emphasis on case studies and plans for new start-up ventures. Courses in the MBA in Entrepreneurship include Integrated Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Planning & Leadership, Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship: Skills for Success, and Entrepreneurial Business Planning Capstone.

The Master of Science in Management concentration in IT Management and Project Management is a professional degree intended for people who aspire to increasing levels of responsibility in business and industry. The coursework is designed to provide a solid project management core curriculum, plus courses in computing platforms and network architecture designs. The MSM degree helps students understand how to evaluate and present project objectives, requirements, scope and budgeting effectively to upper management. CTU’s MSM with a concentration in IT Management and Project Management helps prepare students to take the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional certification.

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Adams State University

Adams State University in Alamosa recently graduated its first cohort in the new master’s degree program, Higher Education Administration and Leadership, or H.E.A.L. Also, the Finance program had 100 percent professional placement of its spring/summer 2012 graduates. “We currently offer 11 courses in undergraduate finance and banking, more than any college or university in the region,” says Michael E. Tomlin, the new chair of the Adams State University School of Business.

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