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Colorado Education Highlights

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CDE's Misti Ruthven recognized by governor as 'thought leader'

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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Misti Ruthven

Misti Ruthven, executive director of the Innovation Division and formerly the director of Postsecondary Readiness, was recently recognized by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper along with 19 other state employees for her superior service. Ruthven has been with CDE since 2012, when she was hired as secondary initiative principal consultant. She was recently promoted to her current position by interim Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.

In his comments about Ruthven, Hickenlooper touted her experience as making her "a uniquely valuable asset to CDE's postsecondary readiness effort" and called her a "thought leader."

Last year, Ruthven and Dr. Beth Bean were invited to the White House to discuss the state's approach to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. Colorado created a model approach to the form that has been adopted by other states and has drawn national attention due to its effectiveness in increasing college enrollment among low-income students. In Colorado, the first year the statewide data portal was implemented (2012), FAFSA completion increased by more than 5 percent.

Approximately 30 percent of low-income students who attend college do not complete a FAFSA. For high school seniors in Colorado, that equates to $12 to $14 million in Pell grants that is left on the table annually. Of course,
many more who fail to fill out the FAFSA never enroll at all, leaving not only money, but human potential, on the table.

Colorado's work on postsecondary readiness, thanks to Ruthven, is the main reason the White House scheduled First Lady Michelle Obama's mid-June Reach Higher convening event in Colorado Springs.

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