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Workforce Diploma Pilot Program

The Workforce Diploma Pilot Program was established in 2019 to support Colorado adults without a high school credential. This program provides financial incentives for eligible providers who are able to re-engage adults and support them in obtaining a high school diploma and other credentials. This is a three-year pilot, and for this first 2019-20 fiscal year, the legislature appropriated $1 million for reimbursement payments to qualified providers. 

Adults eligible to participate in this program must:

  • be at least 21 years old, 
  • be a resident of Colorado, and 
  • not have a high school diploma.

This effort is authorized by the Colorado Revised Statutes 22-10.3-101 and builds on our state’s commitment to ensure Coloradans are engaged and have the needed credentials to elevate our growing economy. The Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) is administering the pilot program.

Authorizing Legislation

Provider Participation & Timeline

To be eligible for this pilot, providers must be:

  • A public, nonprofit, or private accredited, diploma-granting institution with at least two years of experience providing adult dropout recovery services, including recruitment, learning plan development, and proactive coaching and mentoring; or
  • A local education provider (defined in C.R.S. 22-10-103(7) as an entity that provides appropriate and effective adult education and literacy programs recognized by the Department of Education). 

In this first year of the pilot program, CDE is taking a phased approach to the Request for Qualifications process. Interested entities may complete the Intent to Apply at this time. The formal Request for Qualifications will be released at a later time as the State Board of Education may choose to promulgate rules for the implementation of the program, which could take a minimum of three months. Information about the State Board of Education’s rule making process is available on the State Board Rules page.

The Intent to Apply is the first step of the Request for Qualifications process to help CDE determine interest from potential providers. This Intent to Apply is due by Monday, September 30, 2019. Submitting an Intent to Apply is recommended, but not required, for any entity that will submit to CDE's Request for Qualifications.

Outcomes Reimbursements for Eligible Providers

Qualified providers may submit reimbursements by the 15th of each month to the Colorado Department of Education for each eligible learner’s completion or attainment of the following outcomes:

  • $1,000 - accredited high school diploma
  • $250 - each high school half-credit
  • $250 - employability skills certification program equal to at least one Carnegie unit
  • Industry-recognized credentials:
    • $250 - requiring up to 50 hours of training
    • $500 - requiring 51-100 hours of training
    • $750 - requiring more than 100 hours of training

The maximum amount that a qualified provider may receive per eligible learner is $7,000 for the first time the learner is completing the course or training. 

Helpful Resources:


Please contact the Office of Adult Education Initiatives at either or (303) 866-6640 for further assistance.