Emily Griffith Technical College

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Emily Griffith Technical College
1860 Lincoln Street


Coordinates39°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 typePublic technical college
MottoFor All Who Wish To Learn / Denver's most Unique Technical College.
OpenedSeptember 9, 1916
CEEB code060405
Executive DirectorStephanie F. Donner
Education systemColorado Community College System
School color(s)Black and Purple

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.[2] The school is a part of Denver Public Schools, serving as the adult education arm of the district and is also a member 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.[3]

By 1954, the school served 10,000 students annually and had over 400,000 alumni.[4] Public television in Denver, directed by Jim Case, signed on January 30, 1956 from a studio in an auto body shop at the school.[5] Funding from Denver Public Schools gradually declined over the years, leading the school to begin charging Denver residents tuition in 1991.[6]

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.[7]


The College operates across three campuses. The main campus, located at 1860 Lincoln Street in Denver, houses many of the school's Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, along with Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes for those seeking their GED, as well as the English Language Acquisition (ELA, also known as ESL) programs. A second campus at 1205 Osage Street houses the College of Trades and Industry, while a third campus at 200 E. 9th Ave. houses the Video Production and Editing Program.


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.[8]


Emily Griffith Technical College is organized into several different areas of study: the Apprenticeships Training Division, the College of Health Sciences and Administration, the College of Trades, Industry, and Professional Studies, the College of Creative Arts and Design, the Adult Basic Education program, and the Language Learning Center. The Language Learning Center is the largest English Language Acquisition (ELA) program in Colorado and serves 3,000 students a year.[9]


  1. ^ "Feature Detail Report - Emily Griffith Technical College". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. 1992-08-31. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "You Can Do It". TIME. 1946-07-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  4. ^ "Giant Classroom". TIME. 1954-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "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....
  7. ^ Chotzinoff, Robin (1995-06-07). "Tool and Die". Westword. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  8. ^ "Emily Griffith Opportunity School: History and Purpose". Emily Griffith Foundation. 2008–2009. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  9. ^ Aguilera, Elizabeth (2007-04-01). "English classes overflow". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2007-11-08.

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