Living up to its name, Sturm Collaboration Campus represents an unprecedented, highly collaborative approach to educational pathways for Colorado students, with partners from K-12 schools, community colleges, higher education institutions, industry, and the public sector contributing their time, skills, and resources to ensure the project’s accessibility and relevance.
Initial funding for the campus was provided by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and ACC. Given the project’s unique approach to educational pathways and its focus on community impact, the Colorado-based Sturm Family Foundation contributed an additional donation of up to $10 million to support the campus’s buildout – the largest donation to any one of CCCS’s 13 campuses in history – which will go towards operations and technology upgrades with matching opportunities for scholarships, an innovation fund for staff, and investment in Phase 2. The Town of Castle Rock contributed an in-kind investment of $3 million over three to five years for site improvements such as utilities, grading, and parking.
“This is really a unique partnership, and I honestly think this speaks to what people are talking about when they reference delivering education in the 21st century,” said Kathay Rennels, special advisor to the Chancellor at the CSU System. “People want their education in place, real-time, and convenient.”
Rennels has been heavily involved with the campus’ development since the CSU System was first brought to the table more than four years ago due to its ongoing engagement efforts across the state. Joined by then-colleagues from the CSU Office of Engagement, she participated in regular meetings with external partners and entities from CSU System institutions to incorporate programming to align closely with the University’s land-grant mission.
Sturm Collaboration Campus also will be home to the CSU Office of Engagement’s second Regional Engagement Hub in Colorado. The University’s Regional Engagement Hub Network creates a platform for the CSU System to serve and engage with communities across the state through research opportunities, student support programs, and work-based learning opportunities.
The Northeast Regional Engagement Center, located in Sterling, Colorado, was the first hub to be created and has shared University resources with Northeastern Junior College, Morgan Community College, and residents in seven northeastern Colorado counties since 2011.
Jill Garber serves as the director of the new hub at Sturm Collaboration Campus, working with communities, businesses, and educators to coordinate academic and community-based programming and services.
Garber, a 17-year resident of Castle Rock with deep ties to the local community, sees the campus as a key driver of economic development for the Town of Castle Rock and the south metro region.
“We want to continue to provide jobs locally and cultivate that talent,” said Garber.