Press Release


Fort Morgan, CO. 08/03/17. The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) recently hosted their 3rd annual grantee symposium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Over Pictured at the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative annual grantee symposium were Shelley Banker, COSI Director; Kelly Rasmussen, MCC Default Management Advisor and Scholarship Coordinator; Koreen Myers, MCC Grant Writer; Kari Linker, MCC Foundation Director of Development; Madalyn Piper, MCC Foundation Coordinator; and Kate Berg, COSI Regional Director. Linker holds the certificate presented to the MCC Foundation’s award in recognition of the organization’s collaboration & partnerships promoting higher education.100 participants from approximately 70 organizations gathered to collaborate and learn from one another.

New this year, COSI recognized grantees that have excelled and promoted best practices in one of six categories:

  • New program
  • Family engagement
  • Undocumented student & family support
  • Increase in pertinent academic area
  • Fundraising
  • Collaboration & partnerships

“The Morgan Community College Foundation was recognized for its collaborative spirit and its success in developing partnerships that effectively result in post-secondary access for under-represented groups in rural Colorado,” stated Kate Berg, student success advocate at the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative was created to increase the attainment of postsecondary credentials and degrees for underserved students in Colorado. The project addresses this challenge in two ways: accessibility and affordability. To increase accessibility, the Scholarship Initiative funds programs that will help prepare students for postsecondary education as well as support them through completion. To increase affordability, the Scholarship Initiative will provide tuition support via matching funds for community scholarships.

“What an honor and privilege to be elected for this award,” shared Kari Linker, MCC Foundation director of development. “The COSI initiative has been an amazing opportunity to leverage more dollars to assist our students. Collaboration and partnerships are what it takes to be successful; it allows us to touch all parts of our service area.”

“We are proud of all of the work our partners do each day in their communities. Without their continuous commitment to students, our state-wide network would not be what we are today,” said Shelley Banker, director of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative. “The team at Morgan Community College clearly demonstrates how multi-sector collaboration and community engagement can be used as an effective tool to increase post-secondary enrollment, persistence, and completion. The group’s work is rewarding to watch as together they help more community members earn credentials and connect back into the local workforce.”

The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) is committed to reducing the attainment gap, which is the gap between Coloradans who traditionally go to college and Coloradans from demographic groups who are historically less likely to go to college. CDHE is working toward that goal through a variety of ways, including addressing college affordability through programs like the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative. To inquire about forming a scholarship partnership, please contact Shelley Banker at 303-974-2673.