Oct 31, 2023 - Education

Colorado College unveils first-of-its-kind DEI program for transfer students

Illustration of a green apple surrounded by red apples.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Colorado College is setting a national precedent to protect college students facing discrimination at universities in other states.

Driving the news: Administrators at the private liberal arts school in Colorado Springs recently announced the creation of HAVEN — a program designed to give refuge to students who could be targeted in states where anti-diversity, equity and inclusion legislation is advancing.

  • The initiative comes in response to anti-diversity policies passed in places like Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

Why it matters: Colorado College is the first school in the country to initiate a program like this, according to the campus administration.

How it works: HAVEN offers a special status on transfer applications allowing students more access to additional financial aid consideration and full credit transfer, a privilege not usually extended to all transfer students.

Context: Within the past few years, the college has made commitments to antiracism and DEI programs in response to policies in conservative states.

What they're saying: "For students [who feel] it's no longer welcoming or safe for them, or that it's not going to be the most conducive learning environment, we are removing many of the barriers that many students face during the transfer process," Rosalie Rodriguez, CC's associate vice president for equity and belonging, told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Of note: Colorado College's admissions office was unable to provide the number of transfer applications it has received since the program was announced in mid-September, but spokesperson Alexa Gromko told Axios Denver that figures would be made available next month.

What we're watching: The Colorado Department of Higher Education is urging other universities in the state to adopt similar policies, but it's unclear if they'll follow suit.

The bottom line: HAVEN could spark discussion around ways colleges support students experiencing discrimination while still abiding by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June to strike down affirmative action.

Editor's note: This story was written by Colorado College journalism students Ronan Takizawa, Emma Logan, Kwynne Blaivas and Evan Arvizu with help from Axios Denver reporter Alayna Alvarez.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more