Governor approves grad programs
Gov. Bill Ritter signs HB 1295 for master’s programs at Metro State.
On Tuesday, May 5, Gov. Bill Ritter held a signing ceremony at the Capitol for HB-1295: A Bill for an Act Concerning Authorizing Metropolitan State College of Denver to Offer Master’s Degree Programs.
The bill represents “a milestone moment in the history of our institution,” said Metro State President Stephen Jordan.
The bill changes existing legislation, which had prohibited Metro State from offering graduate-level programs, to read as follows: “In furtherance of its role and mission, Metropolitan State College of Denver may offer master’s degree programs that address the needs of its urban service area.”
Though the bill was officially signed on Monday, May 4, Gov. Ritter wanted to have a public signing ceremony. “It’s important to students in Colorado who utilize Metropolitan State College” says Gov. Ritter. “This bill helps Metro State to fulfill its mission as an urban college. This is fantastic for students. I wanted to make sure we had a public signing.”
Signing the bill into law initiates a new frontier for the 44-year-old College, according to House Rep. Nancy Todd (D) who sponsored the bill. “It’s the beginning of the icing on the cake. Metro State used to be a secret. Metro State is no longer a secret thanks to Dr. Jordan.”
Arriving at this point was a privilege, says Sen. Rollie Heath (D), also a sponsor of the bill. “It’s a privilege as a senator to get a bill like this. I’m glad I could play a part.”
Metro State plans to initially explore adding master’s programs in accounting, social work and teacher education.
Metro State alumnus Armonde Hainesworth was among dozens of supporters who attended the ceremony. The 1973 criminal justice and criminology major says that he received the best education at Metro State and is looking forward to seeing his grandchildren earn master’s degrees in teacher education from the College. “My wife has been an educator for 38 years and my son is now an educator. I’d like to see my grandchildren take advantage of a master’s in teacher education at Metro State.”
This opportunity will help the College to “significantly enhance Colorado’s competitive workforce,” says Board of Trustee Chair Adele Phelan.