Colorado College

Colorado College is a private institution that was founded in 1874. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,114, its setting is city and the campus size is 100 acres. It utilizes a block plan-based academic calendar. The enrolled student population at Colorado College is 64% White, 9% Hispanic/Latino, 9% Multiracial, 7% International, 5% Asian, 3% Black, and 3% Race Unknown. There are about 56% identified female and 44% identified male students. 13% of students are from Colorado.

Engagement Summary

Colorado College had pre-existing programs and initiatives that were established to aid students of marginalized communities to get the mental health care they need. A few of these included the Wellness Resource Center and its “Centering the Margins/Designing the Edges” approach, and the Counseling Center and their efforts to reach students of color by providing a counselor in residence halls.

Colorado College also made the Butler Center a space for education on diversity and inclusion, as well as a source of support to BIPOC and LGBTQ students. Reporting problematic incidents that take place on campus was easily done by calling a phone number, contacting a staff member, or by filling out a form online.

To improve the cultural climate in Colorado College, it was recommended that the message at recruitment matches the lived experiences of students of color. Another suggestion was to work with partners across campus to ensure multicultural competence and unconscious bias training was provided to faculty.

A third suggestion was to work with the diversity and inclusion staff so that efforts are coordinated with faculty and student groups to provide appropriate programming that was responsive to current events and to provide support to cultural identity focused groups.

The final recommendation was to utilize technology more effectively in advertising services for students and to connect more students of color.

Midterm Evaluation Progress-to-Goal Snapshot

Colorado College had a goal to to hold life skills workshops for student organizations with involvement by students of color, to establish an early intervention and identification process for students of color, and t collaborate with Institutional Research and Planning to design a process to evaluate wellness of students, faculty and staff. Resources such as the Racial Equity Tools would facilitate this process.

Highlights include:

  • Workshops were conducted in the fall, but connecting with identity based groups was difficult. 3 different focus groups were present. AVP and Director of Butler Center have resigned due to the new president of Colorado College eliminating those positions, so the students and campus community have developed mistrust. Students were concerned, because although campus activities were culturally competent, they could not provide the same amount of attention and care that the former staff of the Butler Center did. Training to the new directors will be provided by the Steve Fund.
  • New professional staff advisors were hired, many from the student life division. To have easier connections between the two offices, the new staff advisors also held positions on the CARE team. Training for staff across campus was provided, continuing to offer Mental Health First Aid, and they made referrals in culturally competent ways.
  • Azusa Pacific University’s Dr. Laurie Shreiner provided training with the help of the experiences of students and faculty of color. This collaboration was referred to as “thriving” to describe student success.
“When I first visited a year ago, the community atmosphere and the vibe I got from literally every single person I met - staff and students - it was just really welcoming. It made me feel like this could be somewhere where I would want to spend four years. Also, I was in a completely new and different environment. A lot of people from here or that go here have skied and hiked and camped. I’ve never done that but I’m open to it or at least open to hearing about it. So, it was just a way to get me out of my comfort zone, but also in a way in which I’m still around people that I feel I would be supported in a good community.”