Education Beyond High School

State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education

The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE) is charged with establishing and maintaining a state system of community colleges. It also provides the state-level structure for the administration of occupational education programs in the public schools.

This board also administers the laws relating to occupational education programs in public schools. It must review and approve postsecondary occupational education programs to be offered through boards of cooperative educational services. The board also supervises the allocation of all state and federal funds provided for occupational education programs and purposes and establishes minimum qualifications for teachers of occupational subjects and other professional personnel who provide occupational education supervisory and counseling services in the schools.

Colorado Commission on Higher Education

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) is the state policy and coordinating board for Colorado’s higher education system. CCHE sets policies, in accordance with state law, that apply to all state-supported institutions of higher education. This includes all postsecondary institutions supported in whole or in part by state funds (including junior colleges and community colleges), extension programs of the state-supported universities and colleges, local district colleges and area vocational schools. CCHE’s policies also apply to the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado and the institutions it governs.

The community colleges, as well as state colleges and universities, provide many services to school districts and to boards of education. Most of these institutions have personnel who are willing to assist districts by providing consultant services, conducting school building surveys, providing speakers for various occasions and maintaining a close working relationship with secondary schools to better prepare students for entrance into college. State law directs CCHE to establish a network to connect the faculty of postsecondary institutions with the teachers in school districts for the purpose of exchanging information. Most of the institutions that provide teacher training also maintain a placement agency to assist school officials with the selection and screening of prospective employees.

The law recognizes that the public system of elementary and secondary education must provide students with the skills and abilities necessary to make the transition to the postsecondary system. It is the prerogative of local boards to establish the goals and standards necessary to provide these skills. At the same time, CCHE is authorized to set the standards for admission to the postsecondary system. When these standards are raised, it has a direct impact on local school districts and the students they serve. Ideally, there should be continual dialogue between representatives of elementary and secondary education and higher education because of common goals, numerous challenges, opportunities and overlapping interests.