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Colorado Re-Engaged (CORE) Initiative

The Colorado Re-Engaged (CORE) Initiative enables four-year schools in Colorado to award an Associate of General Studies (AGS) degree to qualifying students who stopped participating in a baccalaureate program after earning at least 70 credit hours.

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Expand your future opportunities

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Your Associate Degree

By completing the brief opt-in form, students who meet the eligibility requirements will receive an Associate of General Studies from Western Colorado University.

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Why It Matters

Earning an associate degree in recognition of academic credits already completed expands opportunities in the workplace and the ability to earn a higher income. Learn more about the initiative through the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

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Explore Your Options

If you’d like to explore more options to advance your education at Western Colorado University, please get in touch with Meagan Tracey, our dedicated Student Reengagement Coordinator, to find out what path might be best for you and your academic goals.

Opt-In to Enhance Your Future

If you think you qualify for an associate degree under the CORE Initiative after reading the eligibility requirements below, complete the brief opt-in form to earn this credential.

Secure My Associate Degree

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for an AGS degree under the CORE Initiative from Western Colorado University, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Earned at least 70 total credit hours, including at least 18 credits in residence at Western Colorado University and at least 15 credit hours in general education courses with a grade of C- or higher;*
  • Have a minimum overall cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 or better;
  • Was actively enrolled at Western Colorado University within the past ten years;
  • Has not enrolled in any college-level, credit-bearing courses at Western for at least two consecutive semesters (fall and spring);
  • Has not earned a degree at another institution after leaving Western Colorado University;
  • Did not earn 15 or more credits from a Colorado two-year institution before transferring to Western Colorado University (these students may be eligible for an associate degree through Colorado’s Reverse Transfer program).

*15 credits of General Education coursework must include at least 3 credits of English (ENG 102) and 12 credits from a minimum of three disciplines spread across at least two different Liberal Arts areas (Area I: Social Sciences, Area II: Natural Sciences, and Area III: Arts and Humanities) and Essential Skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Governor Polis approved the Colorado Re-Engaged Initiative (HB23-1262) on June 7, 2023. You can view the video of support here.

Please refer to the eligibility requirements listed above in the “Who is Eligible?” section. If you think you qualify, please complete the brief opt-in form here.

Students who qualify will receive an Associate of General Studies Degree from Western Colorado University.

If we determine that you meet the eligibility criteria, we will contact you using the phone number, email address, and/or physical address we have on file for you. Please contact Meagan Tracey, at mtracey@western.edu or by phone at 970.943.2243 if you want to update your contact information.

Please contact our Student Reengagement Coordinator, Meagan Tracey, at mtracey@western.edu or by phone at 970.943.2243.

No, you do not need to re-enroll at Western Colorado University to receive your associate degree. Associate degrees under the CORE Initiative are awarded in recognition of courses and credits you have already completed as a former student.

If you return to your previous four-year institution and complete these remaining credits, the CORE eligibility requirements state you would then need to be out of enrollment for a year or more (two consecutive semesters) before you could be eligible for the CORE program. A CORE associate degree is intended to provide the “best available option” for students who were making progress toward a bachelor’s degree but had to pause or discontinue their postsecondary education due to circumstances beyond their control.

If you do wish to re-enroll and continue your postsecondary education, please connect with our Student Reengagement Coordinator, Meagan Tracey, at mtracey@western.edu or by phone at 970.943.2243 to learn about your options for earning a bachelor’s degree or another academic credential.

Having an associate degree is more valuable than having only a high school diploma or having some college but no degree. Please note that CORE associate degrees are not intended to replace or match a bachelor’s degree. However, individuals with an associate degree are proven to have higher annual earnings, lower unemployment rates, and access to higher-quality employment opportunities than those who only have a high school diploma.

No. The associate degrees under the CORE Initiative are only awarded in recognition of academic credits already earned by students who were enrolled in a baccalaureate program but were unable to complete their bachelor’s degree.

Awarding of an associate degree to an eligible former student is not automatic. If you are determined to be eligible for an associate degree under CORE, you will be contacted and asked to “opt-in” before you can receive your degree. There are certain circumstances when receiving your associate degree might not be your best option. An advisor from Western Colorado University can help you understand any potential drawbacks to receiving your degree.

We're Here to Help

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Are you not sure if you qualify? Are you thinking about completing your bachelor’s? Connect with Meagan Tracey, our Student Reengagement Coordinator, to discover the best options for you and your academic goals.

Meagan Tracey
Student Reengagement Coordinator
Contact Meagan

Adult Degree Completion (ADC) Program

While CORE does not require you to return to Western, if you’d still like to advance your newly awarded associate degree to a bachelor’s, we highly recommend considering our Adult Degree Completion (ADC) program. Our online ADC program is designed to integrate seamlessly with your current life commitments.

Please know that electing to have your AGS awarded may impact your eligibility for the Finish What You Started (FWYS) Program. This program financially supports students interested in returning to Western to complete their bachelor’s degree.

Learn More About ADC

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