Highlights from 100 years of enriching lives and building community
Committees of high school teachers and CU faculty recommend establishment of an extension department, which was later approved by the Regents and CU President James Baker.
Loran D. Osborn accepted the position as extension’s first director. He brought a great deal of enthusiasm and managed to persuade many prominent department heads to teach extension courses.
Extension, now the Division of Continuing Education, was formally recognized in 1912 and staff were some the first occupants of the new Macky Auditorium. Burlap bags separated administrative offices from the space shared with the Red Cross.
Twenty-eight correspondence courses in 11 fields were taught that first year, including courses in physics, zoology, sociology, music, engineering, and business. In addition to correspondence study, classes were taught in Cripple Creek, Fort Morgan, Brighton, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Telluride, Boulder, and Pueblo.
Continuing Education began offering foreign nationals what was then called courses in Americanization. Enrollees took part in citizenship and English courses.
Division offices moved to Woodbury Hall.
Elmore Petersen was named director. Petersen previously led business classes across the state, often traveling by freight train with only a blanket on the hard floor for a bed.
The Division offered non-credit Home Reading Courses consisting of 27 lists of books in various fields. Each list was considered a course, and successful participants were awarded certificates of completion.
The Division organized summer institutes for public teachers in response to a new state law requiring "scholastic and professional training of college grade" to certify teachers.
Continuing Education sponsored a series of community health conferences in more than 30 towns statewide. CU experts examined children and gave parents and community leaders information to combat health problems.
The Division delivered ten radio programs featuring CU faculty. Each program included musical numbers, a reading, a resume of university findings, and a short lecture, covering topics such as birth rate, diabetes, and the universe. Letters from “radio fans” were received from listeners nationwide.
The Writers Conference in the Rocky Mountains was founded by the Division and administration was later moved to the Department of English.
In the depths of the Great Depression, Continuing Education organized classes for Civilian Conservation Corps members with instructors essentially donating their time.
Continuing Education established alumni forums, a community lecture series led by esteemed faculty. Each year it gained popularity, with 400 Coloradans participating the first year and 14,000 participants by 1939.
Complete with classrooms, offices, and a library, Continuing Education opened an extension center in Denver, which would later become the independent CU Denver campus in 1972.
Clifford Houston named director. In 1942, Houston accepted the governor's appointment as chairman of the Public Information and Education Committee of the Colorado Council of Defense. With support from the Division, the committee sponsored victory rallies in 24 Colorado communities in its first year.
During World War II, Continuing Education provided direct defense-oriented training and indirect programs for service people and civilians through the Engineering, Science, Management, Defense Training Program and correspondence courses contributing to military proficiency.
The end of World War II brought a surge in enrollment due to the GI Bill, and the University Placement Bureau aided 800 CU graduates in the Armed Forces in finding jobs after their discharge.
Continuing Education began offering High School Correspondence courses, allowing high school students to take university courses and meet with an appointed teacher.
Former Bureau of High School Visitation director, Arthur Cross was appointed director. Cross first served as acting director while Clifford Houston served in the Navy.
Walter Campbell was named director. For the 28 years prior, Campbell was director of the Bureau of Class Instruction, which offered arts and sciences, engineering, nursing, and some graduate courses in seven widely separated cities with a large portion of enrollment centered in Denver.
Boulder Evening courses offered students access to smaller class sizes and credit courses outside of the daytime campus class schedule.
The Bureau of Audiovisual Instruction was created during television’s golden age. In 1958, it moved into studios in the new stadium building and produced nearly 30 programs for KRMA, Denver’s educational channel.
Former bureau director D. Mack Easton named dean. When the university appointed a committee to review the function of extension, Easton said the Division should function for citizens and local governments adding: "The university as a whole should serve the state as a whole."
The Bureau of State and Community Services offered courses to inmates with little or no formal education. A number of inmates entered incarceration at a third grade level and reached an eighth grade level within nine months.
Offices moved to 1165 Broadway.
The state approved the establishment of a continuing education center in Colorado Springs, which would later establish an independent campus in 1972.
The Division offered statewide professional development for the realtors, brokers, and appraisers for nearly 50 years.
Continuing Education coordinated all non-credit conferences and institutes on campus. Beginning in 1959, the Division coordinated “Great Decisions,” a foreign policy discussion program that was the most successful in the nation with 15,000 participants.
The Bureau of Class Instruction opened an office in Grand Junction and began offering classes in 1965. By 1971, in cooperation with Mesa College, the Bureau began offering graduate-level courses.
After serving as assistant dean for the Division, Avon Bristow was named acting dean.
Offices moved to the Academy Building, the former Mount St. Gertrude Academy.
The Division officially changed its name from Extension to Continuing Education.
P. John Lymberopoulos was named dean of Continuing Education. Lymberopoulos joined the CU-Boulder faculty in 1964 as a professor of statistics and international business in the Leeds School of Business.
As more and more women entered the workforce, the Division created the Mini College for Women, which encouraged women to continue their self-exploration by enrolling in a four-year institution or exploring employment opportunities.
Continuing Education offered Space Available Voluntary Education (SAVE) to permit enrollment of non-degree students after campus reached enrollment caps. The program later became Available Credit Courses for Eligible Special Students (ACCESS).
Continuing Education established the International English Center and began offering English courses in the fall of 1975.
Applied Music was created to provide private and group music lessons to students for CU credit in the 1970s.
An arson-caused fire destroyed in the Academy Building where the Division was housed. The disaster forced the administrative offices to temporarily relocate to the three cottages near the Office of the President that had been destined for deconstruction. The arson was never solved.
Offices move to 1221 and 1229 University Avenue.
Former music teacher and director of the Bureau for Class Instruction Clay N. Berg was named executive director.
Science Discovery was established as an experience-based, educational science outreach program. Administration of the program moved to Continuing Education in 2010.
The Audiovisual College Education (ACE) program was expanded to form the Center for Advanced Training in Engineering and Computer Science. The program is now the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE), which fills distance-learning needs from engineering firms.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Bruce Ekstrand established a grant program for faculty to deliver statewide outreach programs to Colorado citizens. A faculty committee coordinated by the Office for University Outreach now administers the fund.
Continuing Education began administering the High School Concurrent program to serve students interested in the challenge of completing college courses for high school and/or college credit.
Continuing Education offered its first online course. Many departments, schools, and colleges now offer online courses through Independent Learning, CAETE, and Summer Session.
Anne K. Heinz was named dean of Continuing Education and associate vice chancellor of Summer Session.
Although Summer Session had been offered since 1904, an academic affairs strategic committee recommended it be enhanced and its administration moved to Continuing Education.
The Division moved into former Delta Tau Delta fraternity house at 1505 University Ave. The white, brick building remains home to the Division's administrative offices.
Maymester was founded to provide a three-week intensive session that allows students to earn credits in May as one of Summer Session's five terms.
Faculty In Residence Summer Term (FIRST) was established to bring world-class faculty to Boulder during Summer Session to teach and foster partnerships with the host academic departments.
CU Complete was established to help former CU students return to college to earn their bachelors degrees. Many students had not completed their degrees despite being in good academic standing and at least halfway done with requirements.
The Office for University Outreach was established and Dean Anne K. Heinz was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Outreach and Engagement.
The LearnMoreAboutClimate. colorado.edu website and outreach initiative was created to extend the university’s climate science education and research.
The Outreach and Engagement website, at outreach. colorado.edu, was created as the comprehensive, campus-wide source for outreach program information and resources.
CU Continuing Education celebrates 100 years of enriching lives and building community.