2012-2013 Catalog 
    Mar 04, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mission, Vision, and Goals




The University System


The University of Colorado system is composed of three campuses—Boulder, Colorado Springs, and the Denver and Health Sciences Center—altogether having a combined enrollment of more than 56,000 students. To meet the needs of its students, the university offers an extensive number of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, as well as opportunities to study abroad, engage in public service, and conduct research.

The University of Colorado is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Regents, which is charged by the state constitution with the general supervision of the university and the exclusive control and direction of all its funds and appropriations, unless otherwise provided by law. The board conducts its business at regular meetings open to the public and through committees. The university president is the chief administrative officer of the three-campus system and is responsible for providing leadership to the university. Each campus is administered by its own chancellor and executive staff. 

 The University of Colorado Colorado Springs


1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-UCCS (8227) or 1 (800) 990-UCCS



The Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado shall be a comprehensive baccalaureate and specialized graduate research university with selective admission standards. The Colorado Springs campus shall offer liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, health sciences, and teacher preparation undergraduate degree programs, and a selected number of master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Vision Statement

UCCS will provide unsurpassed, student-centered teaching and learning, and outstanding research and creative work that serve our community, state, and nation, and result in our recognition as the premier comprehensive, regional research university in the United States.

Core Values

The UCCS community subscribes to these core values:

Excellence: We will attract, develop and retain outstanding faculty, staff, and students, and focus on those programs and services that we can offer at an exemplary level.

Student Success: We will help traditional and nontraditional students succeed in their academic endeavors by assuring a stimulating, supportive, and safe environment in a naturally beautiful setting. We will encourage students to recognize their responsibility to participate fully in their own educational success and to contribute to the quality of all aspects of campus life.

Community Interactions: We will make known our vision, values, and goals and provide a demonstrated return on investment to the citizens of Colorado. We will link the university more closely to the communities we serve. We will communicate the value of the university to the citizens and elected leaders of our state, alumni, and potential students everywhere.

Enriching Environments: We will aggressively seek the development of a multicultural campus environment in which each person contributes unique talents to make the university a better place. In turn, each person will be fully valued and supported. We will reaffirm the tradition of shared governance and encourage all members of our campus community to join together in creating a positive working environment where all enjoy respect, fair treatment, and a voice in campus decisions.

Quality Teaching: We will promote and reward teaching excellence. We will strive to maintain predominantly small classes taught by dedicated and accessible faculty.

Research and Creative Work: We will promote and reward research and creative work that advances knowledge, that makes a valuable contribution, that enhances our teaching and service missions, and that encourages collaboration between students, both graduate and undergraduate, and faculty.

Service: We will attract and reward members of the campus community who place a high value on service and who are committed to contributing their expertise to the university and the public good.

Staff Contributions: We will value the vital role that staff play in supporting and enhancing the mission of the university.

Innovation and Change: We believe that universities both preserve the past and help create the future. We will encourage innovation in teaching, research, and service and prepare our students to succeed in a rapidly changing global and technologically advancing environment.

Lifelong Learning: We will commit to serving the educational needs of members of our community at many points along life’s path—as K-12 students, as university students, as they enter the work force, as they retrain for new careers, and as they continue to learn and grow throughout their lives.


Diversity and Inclusiveness

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is charged with providing opportunities for higher education to the general public and with offering the fruits of knowledge, research and cultural development for the betterment of the broader public good. To truly serve the public, the university must be inclusive of everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, age, social class, gender expression, abilities, religious values, sexual orientation, political viewpoints, national origin, or military status—to name some of the social and cultural differences that may create barriers. Historically, certain social groups have been excluded and marginalized within public higher education, creating legacies of advantage and disadvantage. The principle of diversity advocates a university that is inclusive of all while overcoming the legacies of exclusion.

Promoting diversity and inclusion addresses shortcomings in the university’s service to the public, but also contributes very directly to the quality of learning for all that participate in university education. To put it simply, diversity does not just benefit groups that have historically been left out: diversity contributes excellence to the education of all UCCS students. Realizing this potential requires more than reflecting diversity within the composition of our student body, staff, and faculty. The challenge is for members of the university community to engage fully across social and cultural differences, and to integrate lessons from distinct cultural perspectives into their development of knowledge, skills, and character.

Acquiring the cultural competence to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds requires an informed understanding of others and, perhaps most critically, an informed understanding of one’s own social and cultural origins as a point of departure. A UCCS education must therefore be a journey of self-discovery, even while imparting training in scholarly traditions and methods of knowledge acquisition. Diversity within the student body, faculty, and staff is a resource in this regard, but should be reinforced with conscious and reflective efforts to engender multicultural knowledge and understanding.

Making UCCS more inclusive depends in critical ways on the relationships that are fostered and sustained outside the university. The connection with recruiting and retaining diverse students, staff members and faculty is quite apparent, but such “pipelines” will not be established unless the university is actively engaged with diverse communities. Community engagement increases our value as a public university: as a trusted resource, as an ally, as an engine of economic development and as an international partner. Such broad support is fundamental in the very competitive and challenging context of public higher education.

UCCS Core Educational Goals


General education at UCCS prepares students for success in their majors, professional pursuits, and lives as creative, thoughtful, informed, and engaged members of our diverse, global society.

The goals of our general education program focus on three interrelated areas of learning, all of which are essential to an undergraduate education. Through the general education curriculum, students will develop competencies in each area and the ability to integrate these competencies as a foundation for lifelong learning.

1) Evaluate and Create

Students will develop intellectual and practical skills central to investigation, creative pursuits, and problem solving. Students will gather, understand, analyze, and evaluate information as well as synthesize that information in order to create and articulate new ideas. This area includes:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Quantitative and qualitative reasoning
  • Information literacy
  • Communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening

2) Know and Explore

Students will have a broad understanding of fundamental explorations, applications, and innovations in the natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities. This area includes knowledge of:

  • The physical and natural world
  • Humanities, arts, and culture
  • Society, social and economic institutions, health, and human behavior

3) Act and Interact

Students will cultivate self-awareness and understanding of their impact - locally, nationally, and globally. Students will be prepared to participate effectively in a society that encompasses diverse experiences, perspectives, and realities. This area includes:

  • Responsibility - personal, civic, and social
  • Engagement - creative, collaborative, artistic, and innovative
  • Inclusiveness - competencies for cultural responsiveness across social differences in contexts ranging from local to global
  • Sustainability - understanding the interaction between human development and the natural environment

University Assessment of Student Learning: Student Achievement Assessment Committee

Columbine Hall 203d
(719) 255-4186

Institutional Assessment

The Student Achievement Assessment Committee, composed of faculty, staff, and student members, oversees the implementation and advancement of assessment of student achievement and student learning at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Campus-wide assessment of undergraduate general education is conducted annually, and each major and stand alone minor creates and implements a unique assessment plan and reports progress annually.

UCCS students are a valuable source of information for helping to determine whether educational programs are meeting stated goals. Through the use of surveys, tests, and other instruments, information is gathered that assists in making improvements to curriculum and teaching that, in turn, can lead to increases in learning by students. Since these efforts are critical to achieving the university’s goals, students may be required to participate in the assessment program.

UCCS reports results from various surveys and assessments to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, our accrediting agency The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association, as well as other state and public constituents. UCCS faculty and staff also use assessment results to evaluate and improve the quality of general education, major, and distance education programs.

Information collected in assessment processes is kept strictly confidential. Information shared with governmental and accreditation agencies is aggregated and individual student identities are not revealed.

The following is a summary of what might be expected:

Freshman Year:

  • Entering Student Survey
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Sophomore/Junior Years:

  • ETS—Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (general education test)

Senior Year:

  • Graduating Seniors Survey
  • ETS—Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Note that in addition to these institution-wide assessments, some departments have assessment requirements where students may be asked to take a standardized test, exit survey, or other form of assessment.

Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives

Each major and stand-alone minor has an assessment plan in place and reports progress annually. These outcomes/ objectives are detailed in this Catalog with the individual study programs, and on the assessment Web site; they come directly from the most recent progress reports on file at the time of the Catalog publication date.

The UCCS Campus

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is located on approximately 521 acres in northeast Colorado Springs, at the foot of Austin Bluffs, a rugged natural cliff formation. The campus provides a spectacular view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak, a 14,100-foot mountain that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful” from its pinnacle in 1893.

Established in 1965, UCCS was built on an original 1964 gift of 80 acres (for the price of $1) from local businessman George Dwire. The campus  continues to expand with the recent additions of a Campus Recreation Center, the Gallogly Events Center, the Osborne Center for Science & Engineering, Berger Hall, Mountain Lion Stadium,  and renovations to Dwire Hall, the Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities and Centennial Hall.

In the Fall 2011 semester, more than 9,300 students enrolled in state-supported instruction and almost 1,100 students participated in extended studies. At UCCS 53% of students are female; 23% identify as ethnic minority students. Approximately 92% of UCCS students originate from Colorado; however, students from all 50 states and 55 countries are represented. More than 325 active military personnel and 20 U.S. Olympic athletes pursue higher learning at UCCS. About 84% of students are enrolled in undergraduate programs and 16% are pursuing graduate study, with the assistance of approximately 1,100 faculty and staff. The current funds budget for fiscal year 2012 is approximately $162 million. Campus expenditures yield approximately $310 million to the local economy each year through construction, employee and student spending, travel and operating expenses.


Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; Member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

 UCCS Degree Programs


UCCS is home to the following colleges and schools: College of Business; College of Education; College of Engineering and Applied Science; School of Public Affairs; College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; and the Graduate School. Please see the Degree Program table below for more information.

UCCS offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 30 majors.

UCCS offers the following Master’s degrees: Master of Science (MS), Master of Sciences (MSc), Master of Engineering (ME), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science Nursing (MSN), Master of Sciences Health Care Sciences (MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ).

UCCS offers five PhDs: Applied Science, Engineering; Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy; Nursing Practice; and Psychology.
Specific Information on Graduate Degree Programs and related options/emphasis areas or tracks are detailed within each college/school section of the Catalog.

Cross-Disciplinary Degree Programs: A new Bachelor of Innovation (BI) degree is offered at UCCS. Like a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA), the BI has a major field of study, but it also has a common core in innovation and entrepreneurship, including a unique long-term,multidisciplinary team experience. The innovative BI degree program draws on courses across colleges. Within the BI program, students can major in Business Administration, Computer Science, Computer Science-Security, Electrical Engineering, or Game Design and Development.

Information on the Bachelors of Innovation is detailed in the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Applied Science sections in this Catalog.

Teacher Education Program: Professional Licensure may be included as a part of a four-year degree program in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, or may be pursued after a Bachelor of Arts has been earned in a liberal arts program. Professional Licensure through the Alternative Licensure Program may be pursued after a Bachelor of Arts degree has been earned.

Pre-professional Programs: Programs in Pre-Child Healthcare Associate/Physician Assistant, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Education, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary may be completed at UCCS. (Not a major, these are a group of courses meeting specified professional school requirements; by themselves, these do not meet degree requirements.)

Through the UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science, students may complete two years of work toward the following degrees: Architectural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Engineering Physics.

Information on all these degree programs and other minors, certification, licensure, and pre-professional programs is detailed within each college section in this Catalog.

Degree Programs by College

B – Bachelor’s Degree L – Licensure
D – Doctoral      PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

M – Master’s Degree
MSc-Master of Sciences

Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences      
Health Care Sciences B    
Nursing B M D
Health Sciences   MSc  
College of Business and Administration      
Business B    
Business Administration   M  
College of Education      
Counseling and Human Services   M  
Curriculum and Instruction   M  
Leadership Education L M  
Educational Leadership, Research & Policy     PhD
Special Education   M  
Science Education   MSc  
College of Engineering and Applied Science      
Computer Engineering B    
Computer Science B M  
Electrical Engineering B M  
Engineering   M PhD
Game Design and Development B    
Mechanical Engineering B M  
College of Letters, Arts and Science      
Anthropology B    
Applied Geography   M  
Applied Mathematics   M  
Applied Science     PhD
Biochemistry B    
Biology- Molecular & Cellular,Ecology & Evolution, Exercise Science B MSc  
Biology/Biochemistry B    
Biology/Chemistry B  MSc  
Chemistry B M  
Communication B M  
Distributed Studies B    
Economics B    
English B    
Geography and Environmental Studies B    
History B M  
Applied  Mathematics   MS  
Mathematics B MSc  
Philosophy B    
Physics B M  
Political Science B    
Psychology B M PhD
Sociology B M  
Spanish B    
Visual and Performing Arts B    
Women’s and Ethnic Studies B    
School of Public Affairs      
Criminal Justice B M  
Public Administration   M