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PWR Endorsed Diploma Archive

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Work Group Summary

Work Group Objectives

  • Identify opportunities, challenges, and best/promising practices.
  • Develop implementation recommendations.
  • Explore and outline resources and tools.
  • Align skills, abilities, and knowledge that are valued by business, industry, and higher education.
  • Outline systematic pathways for students to explore and develop these skills.
  • Identify stakeholder connections and messages.
  • Maintain a written record of implementation recommendations, tools and resources, best/promising practices, and relevant discussions

Work Group Members

  • Angela Baber, Colorado Education Initiative
  • Erin Dreeszen, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, Denver Public Schools
  • Charles Dukes, Denver Public Schools
  • Carl Einhaus, Department of Higher Education
  • Annie Evans, Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Kelly Finley, Summit county Schools
  • Bianca Gallegos, Boulder Valley Public Schools
  • Sarah Heath, Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Cori Herbst-Loehr, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, Denver Public Schools
  • Dan Hoff, District 11, Colorado Springs
  • Allison Hoffman, Mapleton Public Schools
  • Mark Hudson, Denver Public Schools
  • John Keane, Colorado Springs D11
  • John Lanning, University of Colorado Denver
  • Tammy Lawrence , Adams 12
  • LaRonda Lawson, Heritage HS, Littleton Public Schools
  • Mimi Leonard, Littleton Public Schools

  • Barbara Lindsay, Community College of Aurora
  • Ron Marostica, Sterling RE1Valley School District
  • Sheena Martin, Front Range Community College
  • Cheryl Miller , Telluride School District
  • Becky, Minnis Park County RE 2 School District
  • Lydia, Nava-Cordova, Roosevelt HS, Weld RE 5J School District
  • Khara, O’connell, Community College of Denver
  • Rich, Patterson, Aurora Public Schools, Facilitator
  • Kim, Poast, Aurora Public Schools
  • Patty, Roundy, Aurora Public Schools
  • Misti, Ruthven, CDE, Facilitator
  • LaRae, Scott-Jennings, Denver Public Schools
  • Andrew, Tucker, Boulder Valley School District
  • Tamara, White, Department of Higher Education
  • Diana, Zakhem, Englewood School District

For More Information

Developing Colorado’s Endorsed Diploma Criteria


In August 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) jointly adopted high school diploma endorsement criteria that local school districts may choose to use indicating a student’s level of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR). The offering of a PWR Endorsed Diploma is voluntary for districts. The intention of this diploma is to identify student excellence over and above a standard high school diploma. The endorsement rewards high school graduates for excellence by guaranteeing that the student meets minimum academic qualifications for admission to all open, modified open, or moderately selective public institutions of higher education in Colorado, as well as priority consideration for admission into Colorado’s selective and highly selective institutions. Priority consideration for this purspose has not yet been defined.

The Colorado PWR Endorsed Diploma signifies a student has thoughtfully planned for post-high school life and is academically prepared for credit-bearing 100-level postsecondary coursework without the need for remediation. It also means the student possesses the abilities and skills demanded in a rapidly changing, 21st century workplace or postsecondary education environment (i.e., critical thinking and problem solving, information literacy, collaboration, self direction, and invention skills).

Process and Timelines

The PWR Endorsed Diploma criteria have been developed by a statewide task force of members representing parents, high school leaders and postsecondary administrators. The task force convened in a series of five meetings beginning in late August 2011 and concluding in October 2011. Subsequently, all twenty three Colorado institutions of higher education approved the criteria by June of 2012.

The endorsed diploma criteria will be piloted in several Colorado high schools over the next few years in partnership with the Department of Higher Education. Statewide implementation is aligned with the Graduation Guidelines timeline. The PWR Endorsed Diploma is not a statewide requirement, local districts may elect to implement the PWR Endorsed Diploma in their high schools if they so choose.

Criteria for the Colorado PWR Endorsed Diploma

The PWR Endorsed Diploma criteria include four steps a student must satisfy:

  • Step 1 – Student is college ready in math and English language arts
  • Step 2 – Student completes ICAP
  • Step 3 – Student demonstrates 21st century skills
  • Step 4 – Student demonstrates mastery of academic content in three content areas