Metropolitan State College of Denver

Metropolitan State College of Denver
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Metropolitan State College of Denver logo.JPG
Motto We Educate Colorado
Established 1965
Type Public, Urban-grant[1], Space-grant[2]
Endowment US$8.6 million (2009)[3]
President Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.
Academic staff 299 (fulltime)
Undergraduates 23,948[4]
Postgraduates 47
Location Denver, Colorado, USA
Campus Urban,126-acre (0.5 km2)[5]
Former names Colorado School of Opportunity
Metropolitan State College
Colors      Berry
Nickname Roadrunners
Mascot Rowdy the Roadrunner

Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities

National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program

The Metropolitan State College of Denver (also known as Metro State) is a four-year college and now offers certain Graduate programs located in Denver, Colorado, United States. As of 2009, Metro State had the second-largest enrollment of undergraduates of any college in Colorado. With 54 majors and 90 minors, the college is noted for a wide array of liberal arts and sciences programs as well as its teacher education, business, aviation, and criminal justice programs.[6]

In fall 2010, the college began offering master's programs in teacher education and accounting, with social work to begin in fall 2011. The college is noted for its fine athletic programs: Metro State's women's soccer team won the Division II National Championship in 2004 and 2006; the men's basketball team won the Division II National Championship in 2000 and 2002. Metro State is located on the Auraria Campus, along with the University of Colorado Denver and the Community College of Denver, in downtown Denver, adjacent to Speer Boulevard and Colfax Avenue. Metro State has an enrollment of over 24,000 students.[7]


History and geography

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Metro State is located in one of the older areas of Denver. The campus is located at the former townsite of Auraria, which was founded in November 1858. Denver was founded three weeks later on the opposing side (east side) of Cherry Creek. Denver would overtake Auraria, yet to the present day, there is still an Auraria neighborhood in Denver. The boundaries of the neighborhood are Colfax Avenue on the south, the South Platte River on the northwest and Cherry Creek on the northeast. The Auraria Campus now dominates this area.

Auraria had a mix of residential areas and industrial areas through the mid-20th century. When the campus was built, many Aurarians, a majority of them Hispanic, were displaced and the school promised to serve the community. The historic Tivoli Brewery was a beer brewery on this site that was preserved and the "Tivoli" now serves as a Student Union to all three schools on the campus; among other things it is noted for being the site of a stage of the now-defunct Coors Classic world-class bicycle race. Two churches are still on the campus, St. Elizabeth's Church and St. Cajetan's. The Emmanuel Gallery, which is the oldest synagogue structure in Denver, is on the campus as well.

The Metropolitan State College of Denver was founded in 1965 as an opportunity school. The concept was that people from all walks of life could have a chance at a college education. By design, Metro State is required to be accessible to all, which is why it consistently has some of the lowest tuitions of four-year Colorado colleges and universities. The college also admits all students over the age of 20 that have a GED or high school diploma regardless of their prior academic record, according to the 2004–2005 Metro State College Catalog.

The 2008 Democratic National Convention was held in Denver. The Auraria Campus is situated between Invesco Field at Mile High and the Pepsi Center. Metro State started that semester a week early, closed it for the convention, and then restarted on schedule. The campus was within the security perimeter designated by the United States Secret Service, leading to the decision to close the campus to all except essential personnel.

The Metropolitan State College of Denver Board of Trustees on March 9, 2011 voted 5-2 to pursue legislative authority to change the institution's name to "Denver State University."[8]

Different names

  • 1965: Colorado School of Opportunity (mascot: Broncos)
  • Metropolitan State College
  • 1990: Metropolitan State College of Denver
  • Metro State (informal)

Organization and administration

Board of Trustees

On June 7, 2002, Gov. Bill Owens signed House Bill 1165 - Concerning the Establishment of an Independent Governing Board for Metropolitan State College of Denver - and named his appointees to Metro State’s Board of Trustees.[9]

Student government

The student government at Metro State operates under the name "Student Government Assembly" (more commonly referred to as "SGA"), and it is composed of legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The legislative branch is called the SGA Senate, and it is composed of ten senators popularly elected each Spring semester to serve one-year terms of office that begin on June 1. The executive branch includes the popularly elected SGA President, Vice-President, Student Trustee, and two Representatives to a panel known as the Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board ("SACAB"). These five officers form the core of a group called the Executive Committee, which also includes the Speaker of the Senate, the SGA Treasurer, and several additional executive officers known as directors. The President and Vice-President are elected jointly as a ticket, and each serves a one-year term of office that runs concurrently with the senators' terms of office; the Student Trustee and SACAB Representatives' terms of office (also one year in length) begin on July 1. The Treasurer and directors are appointed by the SGA President with the consent of the Senate, and they serve at the pleasure of the President. The Senate oversees, and may issue directives to, the SGA President. The President, in turn, is responsible for implementation and for regularly reporting to the Senate on the affairs of the student government.

Checks and balances also exist in the arrangement: the President may veto legislation coming out of the Senate, and the Senate may override a presidential veto with a 2/3 majority. The judicial branch consists of a student court composed of a chief justice and four associate justices. The Metro State Student Court concerns itself with matters of interpretation, judicial review, and conflict resolution. Justices are appointed by the SGA President with the consent of the SGA Senate to serve perpetual terms (until they fall out of qualification or cease to be students at Metro State). The SGA Election Commission is an autonomous panel responsible for administering student government elections. It is composed of a chairperson and four commissioners appointed by the SGA President with the consent of the SGA Senate. The current SGA Constitution was ratified by the student body in December 2004, and it has been amended a total of nine times (most recently, in April 2009).[10]

Academic profile

Metro State provides 54 majors, 90 minors, and individualized degree programs along with Master's programs.

School of Business

  • Accounting
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Master of Professional Accountancy

School of Education

  • Teacher Education

Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS)

Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress and housed at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, Teaching with Primary Sources-Colorado promotes the use of primary sources in instruction across the state and at all grade levels[11]

  • TPS Connect at Metro State[12]
  • Metro State Showcase on TPS[13]
  • Teaching with Primary Sources (Library of Congress)[14]

School of Letters, Arts and Sciences

  • African American Studies
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chicano Studies
  • Communication Arts and Sciences
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology, Anthropology, and Behavioral Science
  • Social Work
  • Theatre
  • Women’s Studies and Services, Institute

Department of Journalism

Metropolitan State College of Denver has an award-winning[citation needed] journalism department offering classes for photojournalism, print and broadcast journalism, and public relations. The Metropolitan and other publications and broadcasts published by the Office of Student Media are part of Metro State's journalism department.

The department was founded by former award-winning reporter and editor Greg Pearson in the early 1970s. Most of his former students went on to work in the journalism field as reporters, editors, publications people and public relations professionals.[citation needed]

The department has alumni who have won many awards, mostly in the photojournalism area. These awards include College Photographer of the Year from the Atlanta Photojournalism Conference in 2005 won by Evan Semon who was a member of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists and used his accomplishments to obtain a full-time staff position at the Rocky Mountain News. The awards also include multiple Pulitzer Prize nominations, which went to Hyoung Chang and Andy Cross. Chang did his work in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq while Cross did his work in Somalia. Both of these students worked under former chair of the department and current photojournalism instructor Kenn Bisio. Other award-winning photojournalists are Olga Chilian, who won a four-year scholarship as well as three paid internships for her work on the Hayman fire of 2002 and Patrick Andrade, who won first place in the World Press for his photos of the war in Afghanistan.

The journalism department also offers the most internship opportunities available from Metro State.[citation needed] Marilyn Hetzel heads the intern department. The current head of the journalism department is Kip Wotkyns.

School of Professional Studies

  • Aviation and Aerospace Science
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Health Professions
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Events
  • Human Performance and Sport
  • Human Services
  • Industrial Design
  • Nursing
  • Technical Communication and Media Production

Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science

Metro State has an extensive aviation-related facility known as the "Seventh Street Building" (due to its location on Seventh Street). This facility contains the "World Indoor Airport", an extensive array of flight simulators designed to train students in single-, multi- and turboprop-engine aircraft flight. An ex-United Airlines DC-10 non-moving simulator is also employed. A project is under way to integrate air traffic control services and training into flight simulation training.

In addition, the Metro State Precision Flight Team is a member of NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flying Association) which is an association allowing university flight teams the opportunity to compete nationally in various flying categories of piloting. The Metro State Flight Team traditionally does well against competitors, despite being handicapped by the fact that Metro State, unlike other college aviation programs, do not possess their own fleet of aircraft and must rent aircraft from various local flying clubs at the expense of the teams members. NIFA consists of 80 college teams and only 3 of the colleges do not provide their teams with aircraft, Metro being one.

Current majors offered at Metro State's aviation and aerospace department include professional pilot and aviation airport management studies. Also in 2009 Aerospace Engineering and Aerospace Physics degrees began to be offered through cooperation between the Aviation and Aerospace department and the Auraria Center for Individualized Learning.[15]


Metro State is accredited by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)[16] and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).[4]

Institutional Centers

Center for Innovation

The Center for Innovation offers courses and programs for entrepreneurial students and community members.[17]

Center for Math, Science, and Environmental Education (CMSEE)

The Center for Math, Science, and Environmental Education (CMSEE) was established by Dr. Larry S. Johnson and Dr. Joseph Raab in 1993 to serve Colorado schools by offering programs and services in math, science, and environmental studies. One of the goals of CMSEE is to have math and science taught in a more activity-oriented way. Dr. Johnson, Director of CMSEE, believes that students have a better chance of retaining information if they participate in an activity, rather than have a teacher just tell them the facts. CMSEE is part of the Metropolitan State College of Denver's School of Letters, Arts and Sciences.[18]

Center for Urban Connections (CUC)

The Center for Urban Connections is the outgrowth of the Civic Engagement / Urban Land Grant Task Force, which was created to develop the organizational framework for Metro State’s civic and community engagement activities, completed its work at the end of Spring, 2009 culminating in recommendations to set the groundwork for moving the Urban Land Grant Initiative forward.[19]

Center for Urban Education (CUE)

The Center for Urban Education (CUE), is the umbrella organization for the Urban Teacher Partnership (UTP), which is a collaborative relationship between Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver city schools and community organizations that have come together for the purpose of improving the quality of teaching and learning in local, urban schools. CUE serves as a broker of services – across Metro State College, the community and the state – to gather resources to help prepare college students to teach in urban schools, to provide teachers in high-need schools with the tools they need to help students learn and ultimately, to improve the quality of education received by children throughout the area.[22]

Center for Visual Art (CVA)

The Center for Visual Art (CVA) is the off-campus (Denver's Art District on Santa Fe) art gallery of Metropolitan State College of Denver. In addition to showing significant contemporary art, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for Metro State students and the larger community. The CVA was founded in 1990 to expose students to leading-edge art and to broaden Metro State’s art program. The non-profit art space makes an important contribution to visual art offerings available in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West, bringing in art that would not otherwise be seen here.[25]

The Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership (Golda)

The Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, operated by the Political Science Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver, is located downstairs in this historic house. The Center is a nonpartisan educational project whose purpose is to expand public understanding of the important role of leadership at all levels of political and civic life, from community affairs to transnational relations.[26]

Institute for Women's Studies & Services (IWSS)

The Institute for Women's Studies and Services offers a rigorous, multi-disciplinary curriculum in women's studies and provides services to support present and future success for students.[27]

  • National Women's Studies Association[28]
  • Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW)[29]
  • Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT)[30]

One World, One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship (OWOW Center)

The $1 million donation, the largest private cash donation ever awarded to the College, will seed the five-year pilot project. The College will also contribute funds to lay the foundation for the center’s long-term sustainability.

Set to offer a minor in water studies in fall 2012, the OWOW center will provide an interdisciplinary education program addressing the growing demand for water and the need for greater public education about this vital resource. Students will have the opportunity for internships, service learning and volunteer activities.

In addition to the water studies minor, the center will establish and facilitate co-curricular public education seminars and water stewardship activities on campus and in the community. A high-level community advisory group will work with the center to ensure direct relevance of the program to statewide water needs and interests.[31]

Auraria Campus

The Auraria Campus it the main campus of Metro State and is located to the southwest of downtown Denver in the Auraria Neighborhood, on Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway. Metro State shares the campus with two higher education institutions, the University of Colorado Denver and Community College of Denver.

The campus is located in the heart of the central business district and is in close proximity to the Pepsi Center, Elitch Gardens, The Colorado Convention Center, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Larimer Square, and the 16th Street Mall. The reclaimed Tivoli brewery, which closed in 1969, houses the student union.

Light Rail


  • The Auraria Campus is on eleven RTD bus routes. Catch RTD busses on campus at the Larimer turnaround and the Colfax at Auraria stops.


Extended Campus

Since 1976, Metro State's Extended Campus Program has served the needs of adult learners who live and work throughout the Denver metropolitan area.[32]

Metro North Campus

Metro South Campus

Outreach Programs

  • 2+2 Plan[33]
  • Alternative Licensure Program (ALP) - A unique[clarification needed] program that prepares individuals with bachelor’s degree to become teachers.[34]
  • Center for Improving Early Learning - Tools of the Mind (CIEL) - Early childhood program for self-regulated learning.[34]
  • Colorado Folk Arts Council - To encourage the preservation of ethnic cultural arts, history and traditions through educational workshops, youth team building, public performances and community projects.[35]
  • Distance Delivery Courses for Land Surveyors - courses for professional development in Surveying and Mapping.[34]

Student life

Metro State attracts a diverse student body. Classrooms provide a rich mixture of age groups, socioeconomic classes, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles. Students of all ages go to Metro State, from 16 to 70 and beyond. The median age is 23. Metro State enrolls the highest number of students of color (more than 6,800 in fall 2010, 28 percent of its student population) of all four-year colleges in the state. One in three African Americans and one in four Latinos who are seeking their bachelor’s degrees in Colorado are doing so at Metro State.[36]


The Auraria Higher Education Center is a non-residential commuter campus with no residence halls or facilities for student housing.[37]

Greek life

Fraternities Sororities
Alpha Phi Alpha Lambda Theta Nu
Sigma Lambda Beta Pi Lambda Chi
Phi Sigma Sigma
Sigma Sigma Sigma

Student media

Office of Student Media[38]

Honor societies

Students may join honor societies based on the given academic requirements of the national organization, in conjunction with those of the chapter at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.[43]

Events and tradition

Fight Song

Oh, cheer loud for Metro State, oh!
Cheer for our Champions, and
Fight on for Metro
Fight for vict'ry
Go! Fight! Win!

Give them your fighting spirit
Give them your Metro pride, and
Fight on for Metro
Fight for vict'ry
Go! Fight! Win!

R! O! A! D! R! U! N! N! E! R! S! GO!

Bring home a win for Rowdy
Bring home a win for glory
Fight on for Metro
Fight for vict'ry
Go! Fight! Win!

Denver Food and Wine Classic

The Classic is a celebration of distinctive cuisines provided by over 30 of Denver’s finest restaurants. In addition to over 600 featured fine wines, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the latest culinary and varietal trends. Metro State now hosts the second largest wine festival in the U.S. on a college campus, next to South Beach Food and Wine in Florida, and the second largest such festival in Colorado.[44]

Plain & Fancy Ball

The first Plain & Fancy Ball was held in 1988, and since that time Metro State has honored some of Denver's and Colorado's most prominent citizens as its “Plain & Fancy People of the Year”. The award was created to recognize individuals who have supported Metro State and its mission and vision.[45]


Metro State has produced 239 All-Americans and was one of the seven charter members of the Colorado Athletic Conference in 1989 before joining the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1996. Metro State competed as a NAIA member until 1983, when the Roadrunners jumped to the NCAA Division II ranks. Since 1998, Metro State has captured 32 regular season conference titles, 35 conference tournament championships, as well as the 2000 & 2002 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball National Championships and the 2004 and 2006 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer national crowns. Metro State also boasts five individual national championships. Men's swimmer Darwin Strickland won national championships in the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle in 1995 and also won the 100 free in 1996. Anthony Luna won men's track championships in the 800 meters during the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2009.[46] Metro State's main rivals are Colorado School of Mines, Fort Lewis College, and Regis University.

  • Basketball/Volleyball - Auraria Events Center
  • Baseball/Soccer/Softball - Auraria Field

Camps and clinics

  • Metro State Soccer Camps[47]

Domestic relationships

† = private ‡ = London Consortium[54]

International relationships

Notable alumni

Individuals of note who have attended Metro State include:


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  3. ^ "Metropolitan State College of Denver Foundation Audited Financial Statements June 30, 2008" (PDF). Anton Collins Mitchell LLP. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c,com_directory/Action,ShowBasic/Itemid,184/instid,1056/lang,en/
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  6. ^ Metro State University Programs Page
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  10. ^ "Metro State SGA Constitution" (PDF). Metro State Student Government Assembly. Retrieved July 2008. 
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External links

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