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CU Denver partners with St. Vrain to increase access to tech ed

New program will give students more opportunities to embrace tech with support from Apple
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St. Vrain Valley schools have been selected to be inaugural partners of the University of Colorado Denver’s new initiative to increase access to tech education and careers.

Students of the St. Vrain Valley, Aurora Public and Jefferson County school districts will have more opportunities to embrace technology and prepare for well-paid STEAM careers thanks to this new CU Denver initiative made possible with support from Apple, according to a release from the university.

Through its Community Education Initiative, Apple has donated an expansive technology hardware package and is supporting student scholarships, curriculum development and teacher training through the P-TEACh and Pathways to Teaching programs.

Under the leadership of CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development, the university will work with St. Vrain and select high schools in Aurora and Jefferson County to support the deployment of tech education, equitable access and innovation in the classroom.

The university said each district has demonstrated a commitment to innovation, has growing Latino populations and is committed to equitable tech access. The partnership is meant to create a tech-talent pipeline to support workforce needs across the Denver Metro Area and through the state by exposing teachers and students to Apple’s Swift Coding and Everyone Can Create curricula.

With over half of CU Denver’s student population identifying as a person of color and two-thirds of graduates staying local, the university said it is uniquely positioned to support the growth of an increasingly diverse workforce in tech.

“At the University of Colorado Denver, we believe that education should work for the talented many, not just the privileged few,” said Michelle Marks, PhD, chancellor of CU Denver. “Our partnership with Apple and collaboration with the broader education community in Colorado will enhance access to cutting-edge learning opportunities, which can boost student success and fuels talent pipelines. That equals life-changing community impact.”

According to the CBRE 2021 Tech Talent report, Colorado tech careers have grown 31.1% over the past five years and continue to be one of the fastest growing sectors within the state, yet it lags in attracting candidates from historically underrepresented populations.

“CU Denver’s mission is to make higher education work for all,” said CU Denver’s Managing Director of Partnerships and Innovation Anthony E. Graves. “This means developing innovative, future-focused partnerships that increase access to high-quality educational experiences. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Apple to expand tech education and access for teachers and students in classrooms across the Denver-metro region.”