Amid ongoing fiscal difficulties, CSU officials have decided to
close the Continuing Education Center effective June 30.
“The reason we’re planning to close the center is because
revenue has decreased and student enrollment has decreased,” said
Academic Vice President/Provost Peter Nicholls. “We have to find a
way to operate profitably.”
The Continuing Education Center’s focus, on community outreach
by offering professional development certificates and noncredit
courses, will be discontinued.
The decision to close the center follows a university
investigation into the profitability of the technology, personal
enrichment and professional development noncredit courses offered
at the Continuing Education Center located at 2925 S. College
Nicholls said the cost of maintaining the campus outreach
program has increased due to heightened competition for business
and consequent decreased revenues.
“It seems to us that our services are competing with community
colleges, recreational districts and other area providers,”
Dallas Everhart, interim director of Continuing Education, said
that during financial difficulties it is “a priority for the
university to stay closely aligned to its mission,” citing online
courses and credit courses as Continuing Education’s main
CSU has three Continuing Education Centers. While the South
College Avenue center will close, the two other locations in Denver
and on campus in Spruce Hall will remain open.
The South College Avenue location differs from the other two
locations with its concentration on providing noncredit courses for
community members looking to expand their knowledge base and
The center provides a community focus that Bev Capps, program
director of noncredit programs, believes will be desired in the
“The main thing we will lose is access to the community; as an
outreach that is one of CSU’s missions and we are one way to reach
the community,” Capps said.
Still, Everhart believes opportunities for community relations
will continue despite the closure.
“We can still look forward to the opportunity to build
relationships with community members through credit courses and
campus evening courses,” Everhart said.
Yet, as a student at the Continuing Education Center, Lee
Varra-Nelson, a supply chain project manager for Hewlett Packard,
believes night classes will not be able to replace the center.
“I think that what makes the center very unique and very
valuable to students like me is its focus on nontraditional
students,” she said.
Varra-Nelson is taking 11 classes this semester to finish her
advanced project management certificate prior to the center’s
“The needs of students that use the center are a lot different
than those at the university because most of us work eight to 10
hours a day, and work has to come first. A lot of the time our
companies are paying our tuition and on top of that we have our
home lives,” she said. “The center helps citizens to connect to the
CSU campus differently than just going to football games and
basketball games does.”
Similarly, Sara Hoffman believes the university will lack a
community connection following the closure.
Hoffman has been a business-writing instructor at the Continuing
Education Center for about five years and said that while she
understands the university’s need to eliminate programs, she
enjoyed the community diversity in her classes.
“You get all kinds of people in there: (Hewlett-Packard)
executives, people who are changing their career directions and for
a while the Thompson Valley School District in Loveland would send
their custodial staff to become certified,” Hoffman said. “The
variety of people you would get from the community just brought
such a different presence to the classroom.”
Despite some disapproval from community members, Nicholls said
he hopes citizens will find the services offered through the
Continuing Education Center in other community resources or CSU
“Closing down something like this impacts a lot of people,”
Nicholls said. “It is not something that was done without a lot of
thought and careful consideration.”