Emily Griffith Opportunity School

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Emily Griffith Technical College
1860 Lincoln Street
Denver, Denver County, Colorado, 80203
United States
Coordinates 39°44′45″N 104°59′09″W / 39.7458°N 104.9858°W / 39.7458; -104.9858Coordinates: 39°44′45″N 104°59′09″W / 39.7458°N 104.9858°W / 39.7458; -104.9858 [1]
School type Public technical college
Motto Opportunities For All Who Wish To Learn / Denver's most Unique Technical College.
Established 1916
Founded 1916
Opened 1916
Status open
CEEB Code 060405
Executive Director Jeff Barratt
Education system Colorado Community College System
School colour(s) Blue and Green
Accreditations North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement,State Board for Community College and Occupational Education, & Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Tuition $65 per credit hour (as of 2011-2012)[2]

Emily Griffith Technical College is a public technical college in downtown Denver, Colorado, United States. Founded by Emily Griffith in 1916 as Opportunity School, it was renamed in her honor in 1933.[3] The school is affiliated with Denver Public Schools, offering an alternative high school program, and is part of the Colorado Community College System.


Denver educator Emily Griffith (1868–1947) shared her dream of opening a school to serve people of all ages and interests with a Denver Post features writer in 1915. Following its publication, she persuaded the Post and local trolley cars to promote the idea. In May 1916, Griffith received the condemned Longfellow School at 13th and Welton Streets from the Denver Board of Education. Opportunity School opened on September 9, 1916.[4]

By 1954, the school served 10,000 students annually and had over 400,000 alumni.[5] Public television in Denver, directed by Jim Case, signed on January 30, 1956 from a studio in an auto body shop at the school.[6] Funding from Denver Public Schools gradually declined over the years, leading the school to begin charging Denver residents tuition in 1991.[7]

Courses also changed with the needs of the community, adding more English as a Second Language and health care courses and closing programs in shoe repair, audio/visual electronics, and precision machining in the mid-1990s.[8] Over 30 years after being based at Stapleton International Airport, the airport's closing sent the school's aircraft mechanics program seeking a new location for five years before moving to Front Range Airport in 2003.[9]


The school's campus is an urban campus, across the street from the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. The auto shops, custodian training classrooms, and tutoring labs, and Emily's Coffee are located behind the main building in what is known as the Glenarm Building.

The current building actually consists of three buildings. The aforementioned Glenarm Building was built in 1958, while the main building was erected in two parts; the older, west part in 1916 and the newer, east part in 1956.


In 1990 the Emily Griffith Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was founded to provide financial support for Emily Griffith Technical College. The foundation is governed by a board of directors. Board members are business and industry leaders, educators, and community representatives.[10]


Emily Griffith Technical College is organized into nine college areas of study: the Apprenticeships Training Division, the College of Business and Technology, the Corporate Training Division, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Trades and Industry, the College of Design Industries, the Extended Learning Division, the Language Learning Center, and Emily Griffith High School. The Language Learning Center is the largest English as a Second Language program in Denver and serves 3,000 students a year.[11]

Noted people & alumni[edit]

  • Les Lindauer (Former Executive Director & former student)


  1. ^ "Feature Detail Report - Emily Griffith Technical College". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. 1992-08-31. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  2. ^ "Emily Griffith Technical College 2011-2012 Course Catalog" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  3. ^ Noel, Tom (2006-02-25). "Griffith's life, not death, endures". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  4. ^ "You Can Do It". TIME. 1946-07-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Giant Classroom". TIME. 1954-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  6. ^ Saunders, Dusty (2006-02-25). "'Frantic, fascinating, crowded' start for public TV in Denver". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Founder saw special school needed for adult education". Denver Post. 1997-07-20. ...in 1991, Emily Griffith Technical College, now open to non-Denver residents, ceased being free, but tuition has been kept low.... 
  8. ^ Chotzinoff, Robin (1995-06-07). "Tool and Die". Westword. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  9. ^ Bryer, Amy (2003-09-19). "Front Range Airport finds room for student mechanics". The Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  10. ^ "Emily Griffith Opportunity School: History and Purpose". Emily Griffith Foundation. 2008–2009. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ Aguilera, Elizabeth (2007-04-01). "English classes overflow". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 

External links[edit]