September 8, 2022

JOINT RELEASE: COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM TO AWARD LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR TO MCCLUSKIE, SNYDER, BUCKNER AND KOLKER

The lawmakers will be recognized for their outstanding support of the community college system during the 2022 legislative session



DENVER, CO – Representatives Julie McCluskie and Marc Snyder, and Senators Janet Buckner and Chris Kolker will be awarded the Colorado Community College System’s (CCCS) Legislator of the Year Award at the upcoming CCCS state board meeting.


CCCS announced the honorees in a press release, describing the annual award as recognizing “legislators who make extraordinary efforts to understand issues facing community colleges and champion their open-access mission.”


"Every Coloradan should have a pathway toward educational opportunities that set them up for success and this session, we worked diligently to boost higher education funding, develop regional talent pipelines and carve out new postsecondary credential programs," said Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillion. "Higher education is transformational for so many learners, and I'm proud to continue my work as a strong supporter of Colorado's community colleges."


Rep. McCluskie, who chairs the Joint Budget Committee, earned the Legislative Champion Award for “her work to support higher education funding; launch a regional workforce development innovation grant; and expand access to state financial aid.”


“Education is the single best way to help Coloradans get the training they need to land a job and provide for their families, which is why it’s critical we do everything we can to support our community colleges,” said Senator Janet Buckner, D-Aurora. “I am honored to receive this recognition for my bill to help more students enter the nursing profession while giving Colorado hospitals a larger and better-trained pool of employees to hire from, and will continue supporting Colorado’s community colleges to help even more students thrive.”


Sen. Buckner earned the award for championing SB22-003, “which allows CCCS colleges to offer a streamlined, cost-effective pathway for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). These programs will help the state meet demand for bachelor’s-prepared nurses.”


“Community colleges are a critical resource in our state for both students seeking higher education and employers in need of well-trained workers,” said Senator Chris Kolker, D-Centennial. “I am proud to receive this honor for our work to support Colorado’s community colleges, and will continue working to expand opportunities for students, strengthen our workforce, and ensure every Coloradan is able to access the education they need to succeed.”


Sen. Kolker earned the award for supporting “important technology projects at CCCS colleges, including funding for CCCS’s innovative Rural College Consortium – an interconnected platform that will virtually connect student support services and courses across CCCS’ rural colleges.”


“For more than fifty years, Pikes Peak State College has made higher education accessible and created strong pathways to help Coloradans succeed after graduation," said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs. "I am proud of our legislation to rename Pikes Peak State College, because it gave the college some well-earned recognition for their long-lasting impact in Colorado Springs and beyond."


Rep. Marc Snyder earned the award for sponsoring “legislation allowing Pikes Peak Community College to change its name to Pikes Peak State College, a community-led effort to recognize the college’s growing impact in the Colorado Springs region.”