University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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Coordinates: 38°53′31.9632″N 104°47′58.14″W / 38.892212000°N 104.7994833°W / 38.892212000; -104.7994833

University of Colorado
Colorado Springs
University of Colorado seal.svg
Motto in English
Let Your Light Shine
Type Public
Established 1965
Endowment US $1.5 billion (systemwide)[1]
Chancellor Venkat Reddy
President Bruce D. Benson
Academic staff
Students 12,753[2]
Undergraduates 11,000[2]
Postgraduates 1,753[2]
Location Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Campus Urban, 520 acres (210 ha)
Colors Black & Gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIRocky Mountain
Nickname Mountain Lions
Mascot Clyde

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is a campus of the University of Colorado system, the state university system of Colorado.

As of Fall 2017, UCCS has over 12,400 undergraduate and 1,822 graduate students, with 32% ethnic minority students.[2]

[3] For public universities in the Master's Universities-West category it was ranked 6th.[4] It has been ranked in the top ten on that list each year since 2002. For the 2015 rankings released by U.S. News, UCCS was tied 51st overall in the west for all private and public schools. Among public, private and for-profit universities, the UCCS undergraduate engineering program ranked 14th in the nation.


The campus history begins with the creation of Cragmor Sanatorium, which is now Main Hall. In 1902, William Jackson Palmer donated funds to build a sanatorium (a place for treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy for the chronically ill). The Cragmor Sanatorium opened in 1905 and was nicknamed the "Sun Palace" due to its sun-loving architecture. In the following decades, it developed a following among the cultural elite, and many of its patients were wealthy. However, they were hit hard by the Great Depression in the 1930s and Cragmor suffered from financial distress into the 1940s. It was briefly reinvigorated in the 1950s when a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs established Cragmor as a treatment center for Navajos with tuberculosis. About ten years later, the Navajo patients were transferred elsewhere.[5]

As early as the 1945, University of Colorado offered classes in the Colorado Springs area at various locations, mostly Colorado College. By the 1960s, however, a permanent campus was desired.[5]

On February 16, 1961, the Committee for the Expansion of the University of Colorado was formed. Co chairman were Joseph Petta and Ronald B Macintyre. Members included Angelo Christopher, Clint Cole, Albert Hesse, Don King, Don Kopis, Rosemary Macintyre, Dorothy Petta, Harrington Richardson, Joseph Reich, Robin Tibbets, Mike Valliant, Phyllis Warner and John Whigham. (These Co-founders are all honored on a plaque in the lobby of the current campus site.) On March 4, 1961, they submitted a resolution to expand the extension of The University of Colorado to Colorado Springs. Legislators were favorable. After several more years of local and state meetings in June 1964, the next phase of UCCS's development came about when Dr. George Dwire, the Executive Director of the Cragmor Sanatorium, began formal actions necessary to transfer the assets of the Cragmoor Corporation to the University of Colorado. The solution came when George T. Dwire sold the Cragmor Sanatorium property for $1 to the state, which became the property of the University of Colorado in 1964.[5]

In 1965 UCCS moved to its current location on Austin Bluffs Parkway in the Cragmor neighborhood of northern Colorado Springs. The campus is located at one of the highest parts of the city.[5]

Because of its ties to Hewlett-Packard, initial university programs focused on engineering and business, and classes were held in the Cragmor Sanatorium building, what is now Main Hall, and Cragmor Hall, a modern expansion of Main Hall. The first building built exclusively for UCCS, Dwire Hall, was not complete until 1972.[5]

A 1997 community referendum merged Beth-El College of Nursing with UCCS. In recent years, programs such as the Network Information and Space Security Center were added to connect the university with the military to improve national security. Other programs, including the CU Institute for Bioenergetics and the Institute for Science and Space Studies, cast an eye toward the future.[5]

In 2001 UCCS purchased an 87,000-square-foot (8,100 m2) building at the corner of Union and Austin Bluffs to house the Beth-El College of Nursing.[5]

Colleges and academic programs[edit]

College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences[edit]

The College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences is the UCCS college of liberal arts and sciences. It is the largest college at UCCS, offering undergraduate programs in anthropology, art history, biology, chemistry, communication, economics, English, film studies, geography and environmental studies, history, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, Spanish, and visual and performing arts. It offers graduate programs in biology, chemistry, communication, applied geography, history, applied mathematics, physics, psychology, and sociology.

Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences[edit]

The Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences is the UCCS nursing school. It has two departments, Health Science and Nursing. The college is accredited with the Colorado State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Both departments are primarily located in the upper levels of University Hall about half a mile east from the main campus and in the northwest corner of the Austin Bluff at Union intersection. Degrees granted:

College of Business and Administration[edit]

The College of Business and Administration is the UCCS business school. It is located in the Dwire Hall. The college established in 1965. It is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Degrees granted:

College of Education[edit]

The College of Education is the UCCS school of education. The College of Education is located in Columbine Hall on the UCCS campus. It is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It is primarily a Colorado state educator licensure program.

In addition to its primary degree and educator licensure programs the COE operates many other auxiliary programs that are integral to the mission and objectives of the College.

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling: CRTLC is a program designed to help prospective teachers and educators learn to customize curricula and fine-tune classroom interaction in order to maximize teaching effectiveness and increase cultural awareness. Annually the COE holds a symposium at UCCS for local teachers and administrators that discusses various sub-topics and special topics that involve culturally responsive education. Speakers at this symposium are nationally known for their research on CRTLC.
  • Quality and Excellence Community Learning Series: The QECLS series are biannual events that highlight various educational topics, everything from emotional literacy to an analysis of civil rights in the classroom and how they have evolved.
  • Daegu Gyeongbuk English Village: In 2006 UCCS and Yeungjin College, a prominent national university in South Korea, joined forces to construct a world-class English language learning campus in Daegu. The English Village offers a full immersion curriculum for children to adults, complete with various miniature versions of everything from an airport to a bank to a police station where students can interact and utilize English in real-world situations and scenarios.
  • Office of Global Education: The OGE is the newest COE endeavour. It was established in 2009 in order to facilitate the growth of the global educational endeavors of the College of Education by expanding on the Daegu English Village project. The Office oversees the English Village as well as sponsoring Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Foreign Language (TEFL) certificates. Also, OGE co-sponsors a Yeungjin Summer College program and is in the process of implementing a new Oaxaca Spanish Language and Culture Tour in Mexico among other Summer Study and Culture Tours.

The COE is also active in a number of special programs, including the following:

  • EduStat: EduStat university is an annual conference for teachers and administrators from across the nation designed to facilitate modern education solutions. UCCS last hosted the event in 2008.
  • Pikes Peak Educational Research Center: The PPERC was established to allow UCCS to collaborate with local school districts in order to meet accountability challenges. Currently, the associate dean directs two major research projects through the Center. The PPERC is an operating unit in the new campus-wide Education Outreach Center.
  • Reading Clinics: The Graduate Reading Program of the COE biannually offers two programs designed to both provide assistance for teachers in diagnosis and remediation of reading difficulties for children K–12, and also to directly assist children in such a position.
  • SuperSaturday: A program designed to cater to gifted children of elementary age. The program's purpose is to challenge students' intellectual and creative abilities in one academically-orientated Saturday.
  • Teacher-in-Residence Program: A partnership with the Pikes Peak Board of Cooperative Educational Services, TIRP's purpose is to allow working professionals to make a career transition to education.
  • Troops-to-Teachers: A cooperative program of the Department of Education and of Defense which provides referral and placement assistance to military personnel interested in becoming a teacher.
  • UCCS Teacher/Cadet Alliance: A project designed to encourage outstanding students to enter and complete undergraduate teaching programs offered by the COE.

Degrees offered[edit]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

  • President's Award: In 2007 the COE received the President's Diversity Award in the academic unit category from the Regents of the University of Colorado.
  • Educator of the Year: The Colorado School Counselor Association awarded Assistant Professor Rhonda Williams the 2008 Educator of the Year award.
  • National Board for Certified Counselors: In 2009 Professor Joseph Wehrman was appointed as a board member for the NBCC, an international credentialing body for professional counselors.

School of Public Affairs[edit]

The School of Public Affairs offers degrees in criminal justice and public administration. UCCS SPA is located in the new Academic Office Building on the UCCS Campus. UCCS School of Public Affairs offers the only Master of Public Administration NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accredited program in the Pikes Peak Region.[6] U.S. News & World Report ranks the School of Public Affairs in the top 14% of schools of public affairs throughout the nation.[7] Degrees granted:

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences[edit]

The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the UCCS engineering college. In the U.S. News & World Report "America’s Best Colleges," the 2008 college rankings edition, "the magazine’s editors ranked the UCCS undergraduate engineering program ninth in the nation among public engineering schools offering bachelor’s or master’s degrees."[10]

UCCS Engineering is rapidly expanding and includes many research institutes and laboratories. It consists of three departments: the Department of Computer Science (computer science); the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (electrical engineering, computer engineering), and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering). The college is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). In conjunction with the College of Business it offers the unique Bachelor of Innovation[11] which won the 2008 ASEE new program innovation award.[12]

Because of its proximity to U.S. government and military installations and the technology private sector, the college has partnerships with several institutions, including defense contractors and semiconductor manufacturers (Intel, Boeing, Agilent, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin), national laboratory (Sandia National Laboratories), and the military (United States Northern Command, Air Force Space Command, and the United States Air Force Academy). It provides outreach services to the local community through Project Lead the Way and the FIRST Lego League.

In 2006, the American Society for Engineering Education ranked the college seventh among U.S. public universities and 18th for all U.S. universities in the number of degrees awarded to women.

The College is located in two buildings:

A new $56.1-million Science and Engineering Building has been completed at the center of campus to add needed laboratory and lecture space for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as well as the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology departments. The building opened for classes in fall 2009. It holds an expanded computer, wind tunnel, fluids, instrumentation, and other mechanical engineering laboratories with an enlarged machine shop and research space, design studios with payload and project areas. The building was later named Osborne Center for Science and Engineering after its biggest donors, Ed and Mary Osborne.[13]


El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization[edit]

University of Colorado’s El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization (EPIIC)[14] is located on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). The thrust of EPIIC is to play a role in the early development of new ideas and products and to aid people in taking their ideas to market. Connecting academia with the business community and with the local, state, and federal government through innovation and commercialization will provide short- and long-term benefits to Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. The original El Pomar grant endowed three prestigious chairs in the Colleges of Business and Engineering at UCCS who work with the community. EPIIC continues to operate as a focal point for an alliance among high-tech companies, entrepreneurs, community leaders, the University of Colorado, and the El Pomar Foundation. EPIIC support economic development by providing technology-centered enterprises with access to technology/business information and resources with an emphasis on sectors recognized as critical to the regional economy; to facilitate research with other organizations which assist companies; to provide services through a web of personal connections and information resources; and to catalyze changes in the business climate to establish Colorado Springs as a center for entrepreneurial high-tech and sports oriented companies. EPIIC serves as a bridge between the intellectual resources of the University, the three El Pomar Chairs, and the high-tech community. In support of the vision of Colorado Springs as a high-tech leader, the strategic plan calls for EPIIC to support the emergence of Colorado Springs as a nationally recognized leader in creating and growing high-tech companies by creating an infrastructure where entrepreneurs have easy access to resources and expertise; promoting collaboration between industry and the University; and promoting the creation of a world-class workforce.

National Institute for Science, Space and Security Centers[edit]

The National Institute for Science, Space and Security Centers (NISSSC) is a multi-disciplinary institute established to better focus on developing and implementing sound academic and research deliverables in the science, space and security disciplines, for meeting the nation’s challenges. The NISSSC includes the Center for Homeland Security (CHS); the Center for Space Studies (CSS); the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education (CSTEME); and the Trauma, Health & Hazards Center (THHC).

Center for Space Studies[edit]

The Center for Space Studies[15] (CSS) is an educational and research & development organization formed under affiliation with UCCS and the NISSSC. Founded in 2004, the Center’s mission is to promote research, education and outreach in the domain of space technology. The CSS is led by Dr. Scott Trimboli, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UCCS. CSS is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just minutes away from key military space activities including: Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Headquarters Army Space Command, Shriever AFB, and Headquarters US Northern Command.


The vision for CSS is to promote space through education and research in service to our nation and for the betterment of society. The Center functions as a focus of scholars and professionals working together to build and support a center of excellence in space technology and education. Specifically, the Center aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Research: Investigate space-related questions relevant to our nation’s future
  • Education: Sharpen the skills of our nation’s space professionals
  • Outreach: Promote technical learning to sustain the nation’s capacity for technological innovation

The Center for Space Studies solves technical problems facing government and industry in Colorado and across the nation with technical expertise in emergency management, astrodynamics, micro-propulsion, data fusion, and space systems engineering. CSS projects include:

  • Satellite Thermal Modeling for FalconSAT (Dr. Andrew Ketsdever)
  • Tethered Satellite Orbit Determination (Dr. Steven Tragesser)
  • Emergency Response Operations System Integration (Dr. Roger Sambrook)
  • Terahertz Technology for Multiphase Flow Applications (Dr. Andrew Ketsdever & Dr. Hoyoung Song)
  • Small Satellite Simulator Development (Dr. Scott Trimboli)
Education programs[edit]

The CSS mission is to promote the educational development of the space workforce through graduate programs offered through the UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science.

  • Master of Engineering in Space Operations

CSS, through its NISSSC affiliate Center for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education (CSTEME), collaborates with regional educational partners to develop innovative educational experiences for the K-12 student population. Collaboration involves a workshop for regional high-school students titled the Near Earth Object project (NEO project).

Center for STEM Education[edit]

Campus buildings[edit]

Kraemer Library
Dwire Hall
Summit Village
Osborne Center for Science and Engineering
  • ENT Center (2018) - Home to the Visual and Performing Arts classes
  • Main Hall (1914) – Administration building containing admissions, student success center, etc.
  • Cragmor Hall (1959) – Administration building containing bursar's office, orientation rooms, student recruitment, counseling, and financial aid.
  • Dwire Hall (1972) – Renovated from 2006 to 2007, it serves as the building for classes in business, economics, languages and cultures, and film studies.
  • The El Pomar Center (1975) – Home to the Kraemer Family Library and technical support. Renovated at the beginning of the millennium to expand the library and add the University Center.
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences (1985) – Engineering, math, science classes, currently undergoing a massive expansion.
  • Campus Services (1996)
  • Columbine Hall (1997) – The new home for most LAS classes, also containing writing center, communications lab, and a lecture hall.
  • Summit Village (1997) – This is the first of UCCS's student housing, now catering to freshmen only. Divided into Vail, Steamboat, Telluride, Aspen, Keystone, Monarch, and Brekenridge (laundry, computer facilities, and seminar rooms). Summit houses altogether about 800 freshmen.
  • University Center (2001) – Addition to El Pomar, this is the center of campus life where activities and seminars are held. The information desk, bookstore, news room, and campus recreation offices are housed in the lower level. A basketball court and gym will soon to be expanded to include larger facilities for games and a multi-use area to help ease strain on the facility until permanent facilities near 4-Diamonds are constructed sometime during the mid twenty-teens.
  • University Hall (2001) – Building purchased for Beth-El Nursing and other programs.
  • Services/Campus Police/Health Clinic/Parking Garage (2004)
  • Alpine Village (2004) – The second village in student housing, Alpine is divided into Shavano, Antero, and Crestone Houses, and caters now to all non-freshmen choosing to live on-campus. Students who live here must access campus via a trail or shuttle.
  • Campus Recreation Center (2007) – Recently completed, this new state-of-the-art recreation building for students, replacing the current facilities at the University Center, features a swimming pool, a climbing wall, and a full basketball court, along with the full complement of equipment.
  • Osborne Center for Science and Engineering (2009) – Formerly the "Science and Engineering Building", renamed in May 2011,[16] this building was designed by AR7 Architects (now NAC Architecture) and provides a twofold expansion of science and engineering classrooms and facilities, and connects via a bridge to the Engineering and Applied Sciences building.
  • Centennial Hall (2010) – The building was completely gutted and rebuilt inside with the exception of new classrooms added in 2006. Formerly called the Science Building, it was built in 1981 and used for science and anthropology classes along with the student art gallery.
  • UCCS Events Center (2010) – Money originally allocated to construct a temporary new home for Mountain Lion athletics was instead added to a larger budget to significantly expand the current athletics gym and create a new Events Center, which will, in addition to providing a larger gym for volleyball and basketball, will serve as a venue for conferences and large lectures when completed. Now the Events Center is called the Gallogly Events Center.
  • Summit Village Expansion (2013) – Two additional residence halls adjacent to Aspen House.[17]
  • Alpine Parking Garage & Recreational Field (2014)[18]
  • Academic Office Building (2014) – Academic office building at the former site of Building 20 on Regent Circle.[19]
  • Village at Alpine Valley(2016)- Added three residence halls and a new dining hall.

Master plan and future growth[edit]

In 2000, the CU Board of Regents designated UCCS as the CU growth campus. In 2003, the Colorado Legislature approved revisions in the university's statutory role and mission to remove geographic and program restrictions. In 2005, the Regents approved a seven-year plan that calls for the university to add to its base of 7,650 students (Fall 2004), 347 FTE faculty and 254 FTE staff.

The 2006–2012 plan calls for growth to 9,100 students with corresponding increases in faculty, staff, programs and campus infrastructure.[20]

In addition to the completion of the recreation center, Dwire Hall renovation, and the third wing of the new science/engineering building, the seven-year plan also calls for the renovation and transition of the old Heller Center on the other side of the bluff that campus sits in front of into a sort of "arts retreat." This project is expected to cost around $4.4 million. Also, by 2014, two new buildings are in the works for Summit, and by that year the Alpine Village should be built out with three additional buildings across from the current ones.[20]

With construction on the new Austin Bluffs/Union interchange, the construction of a new frontage road from campus to University Hall began as well, enabling a closed circuit connecting Cragmor Campus with University Hall, making access to Austin Bluffs unnecessary.

From 2014 a new indoor athletics complex will be constructed along Nevada in the existing 4-Diamonds area. North Nevada is the 2nd phase of campus in the long-term, and extreme long-term build-out calls for dozens of new buildings, academic halls, and another resident village to be built along Nevada.


Mountain Lion logo

UCCS competes in NCAA Division II in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), fielding teams in men's basketball, women's basketball, women's volleyball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's indoor track and field, women's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, men's golf, men's soccer, women's soccer, and women's softball.

The school mascot is the mountain lion, Clyde, with official colors of gold and black, the same school colors of CU-Boulder (black, gold and silver).

Honor Societies[edit]

In addition to its honors programs, UCCS has chapters of the following honor societies on campus:

Professional fraternities: Phi Alpha Delta (pre-law) and Delta Sigma Pi (business)

School publications[edit]

  • The official campus newspaper is The Scribe, since 1976.
  • The university is home to Writers' Forum, a national literary journal founded in 1974.
  • URJ-UCCS: Undergraduate Research Journal at UCCS[21]
  • riverrun is the student literary and arts journal published yearly. They take poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art submissions. riverrun must never be capitalized because it is a reference to the first word of the book Finnegans Wake which is in the middle of a sentence whose beginning is the final sentence of the book.

Notable students, alumni, and staff[edit]

International exchange[edit]

UCCS Officers who died in line of duty[edit]

Police Officer I Garrett Preston Russell Swasey

Police Officer Garrett Swasey was shot and killed while responding to an active shooter at a medical facility after 11:30 am on November 27, 2015. A subject armed with a rifle had entered the facility and opened fire on employees and patients before barricading himself inside. Officer Swasey was among the initial Officers and was fatally shot at the scene along with two civilians. Five Colorado Springs Police Department officers, one El Paso County Sheriff's Office Deputy, and four civilians suffered gunshot wounds during the incident. SWAT took the subject into custody inside the building approximately five hours later. The suspect has been repeatedly deemed incompetent to stand trial and is being held in a mental facility. Officer Swasey had served with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. He died at the age of 44.


  1. ^ McConnellogue, Ken (November 20, 2013). "University of Colorado surpasses $1.5 billion Creating Futures campaign milestone". University of Colorado. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Spring 2014 Databook". uccs.ed. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  3. ^ UCCS | Best College | US News
  4. ^ " America's Best Colleges 2009: Top Public Schools: Master's Universities (West)". Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "History of UCCS". Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "UCCS School of Public Affairs". 
  7. ^ "UCCS World News Report and Ranking". 
  8. ^ "School of Public Affairs - Criminal Justice". 
  9. ^ "UCCS SPA Certificates". 
  10. ^ [1] Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "UCCS Bachelor of Innovation™ Family of degrees | Bachelor of Innovation". March 30, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ [2] Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Science & Engineering now Osborne Center". May 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "EPIIC - El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization at UCCS". 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Science & Engineering now Osborne Center". Communique. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Request for Qualifications for Architechural/Engineering/Consulting Services for the UCCS Summit Village Expansion" (PDF). RFQ. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Parking Garage and Recreational Field". UCCS Facilities Services Department. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Academic Offices Building". UCCS Facilities Services Department. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b [3] Archived June 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "URJ-UCCS: Undergraduate Research Journal at UCCS". 
  22. ^ "Raquel Pennington UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  23. ^ "Death of UCCS police officer in Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting confirmed". Colorado Springs Gazette. November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs at Wikimedia Commons