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New housing agreement to benefit college students

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As of May 15, local colleges have entered into two agreements hoping to encourage educational opportunity for area students and employees of both the institutions.Colorado State University-Pueblo and Pueblo Community College have created a plan, which allows a limited number of PCC students to live in CSU-Pueblo’s student housing. CSU-Pueblo hopes the arrangement will prompt PCC students to pursue a four-year degree at CSU-Pueblo.

In the summer semesters, PCC students who are registered for six or more credit hours up to May 15 of each year or are registered for at least nine credit hours in the fall will be given priority for housing. In the fall, however, CSU-Pueblo will be given first precedence regarding the housing. PCC students can live at CSU-Pueblo if space is available. If there is no room, the students will be put on a waiting list.

A second part of the agreement deals with employees. Full-time employees of either CSU-Pueblo or PCC can use their tuition waver benefits to enroll in courses at each institute. The staff currently is eligible to receive up to six hours of tuition credit at their respective campuses from May to June per fiscal year. With the new plan implemented, employees are still eligible to receive up to six hours of tuition credit per fiscal year, but they now attend either college.

According to CSU-Pueblo Vice President of Finance and Administration, JoAnne Ballard, both CSU-Pueblo and PCC have been discussing the plan for several months. School presidents, J.D. Garvin(PCC) and Joseph Garcia(CSU-Pueblo) attended a meeting in Colorado Springs where they found out Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs have a mutual agreement similar to the proposed plan between PCC and CSU-Pueblo, Ballard said.

Both Garcia and Garvin liked the idea that two colleges would help each other out and support education in southeastern Colorado, she said. The two presidents decided it would be beneficial for both schools. They are hoping to better service students at PCC by helping them have a smoother transition into CSU-Pueblo and better communication between the campuses.

“In terms of the housing plan, were hoping that if a student wants to continue their education into a four-year school that if they’ve been in housing here they’ll be familiar with us and make us a logical choice after their time at the community college,” said Ballard. Housing also gives students at the community a full college experience.

“It’s an opportunity for them to experience being a resident. It’s an opportunity for our students and it helps to the residence hall. The fuller our residence hall is, the better it is for us,” said Ballard.

“These agreements symbolize the historically strong connection we have had with PCC and the value of PCC students to this institution. We hope this latest offering will further enhance that connection,” President Garcia said in a press release.