Outreach is a fundamental part of Colorado State University’s mission, and the Office of Engagement and Extension fulfills that mission through diverse programs that touch every corner of the state. Here are the numbers and some of the people behind them.

Colorado 4-H 

The Colorado 4-H Youth Development Program helps young people build leadership and life skills.

•          10,000+ volunteers

•          106,000+ youth
            reached annually

•          200+ projects 

“My favorite part of being a 4-H leader is working with the young people and watching them grow. I feel that I have gotten as much from the program as I have been able to give.” – Delores Comstock, Fremont County 4-H leader for the past 60 years and recipient of the inaugural Raleigh and Edith Brooks Salute to Excellence Award

CSU Online

CSU Online students receive the same education, learn from the same faculty, and earn the same accredited degree as students on campus, from anywhere in the world. CSU offers dual enrollment to Colorado high school students through online courses at reduced rates.

•          16 online bachelor’s degrees 

•          98 online graduate degrees
            and certificates

•          514 graduates in Spring 2023
            (largest class to date)

“As a nontraditional student returning to academia, I knew that an online program would provide me with the flexibility necessary to juggle my current career with my future studies. CSU Online not only allowed me to take courses that worked with my schedule but did so in a format that allowed me to thrive academically; I graduated with summa cum laude honors, which is something I thought would not be attainable with my busy schedule.” – Meghan Boland

Cottage Foods Training

The Colorado Cottage Foods Act requires food safety training to sell foods produced in an unlicensed home kitchen and names CSU as a provider of food safety training. CSU Extension is the only provider of food safety training specifically for cottage foods in Colorado.

•          10 years of providing cottage
            foods training 

•          346 trainings offered to date

•          5,744 participants

“The wealth of information you gain from those few hours [of training] can change your life. It has really been such a positive in my life.” – Lori Christensen, owner of Rocky Mountain Brownies

Colorado Master Gardeners

Colorado State Extension Master Gardeners are volunteers who share their horticulture knowledge in local communities, help Coloradans make informed decisions about plants, and act as environmental stewards. Colorado Master Gardeners also grow food for communities and provide hands-on education in school gardens.

•       1,446 volunteers in 2022

•       178,210 Coloradans reached
            in 2022

•       45,210 hours (more than 5
            years) volunteered in 2022

“One of the responsibilities of becoming a Colorado Master Gardener is to be an educational resource for the community. I love helping people find answers to their gardening issues. Working with elementary school students has also been fun.” – Master Gardener Donna Packard

Professional Education

Professional Education provides career-oriented professionals with the ability to advance their skills through flexible learning experiences in online, hybrid, and in-person formats. Partners include CSU colleges/departments, industry professionals, other universities and cooperative education partners, Fullstack Academy, and Ed2Go.

•       100+ noncredit courses

•       38,400+ learners in 2022

•       Students from 187 countries 

“The program worked great for me. I could work all day and still make it to class early to switch gears and get ready to learn. I felt that every class was full of powerful, relevant information.” – Michael Chavez, Sky Blue

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Initially endowed by the Bernard Osher Foundation, OLLI at CSU is a membership-based, self-supporting program committed to fostering lifelong learning and enriching the lives of those ages 50 and better. Each semester, OLLI offers a diverse selection of in-person and online courses in the arts, cultural and global issues, natural and social sciences, history, literature, politics, technology, and wellness.

•       950+ members

•       100+ classes

•       55+ instructors

“I don’t want to stop learning. It’s just so invigorating, going to class. You never know what you’re going to see, who you’re going to talk to, what you’re going to hear, what perspective is going to be shared that you haven’t thought of before. It’s an opportunity to check out what’s novel.” – John Blair,
OLLI member

Extension internships

The Summer Extension Internship Program connects research and communities by engaging students in outreach. All colleges at CSU work with the Office of Engagement and Extension to support the program by providing mentors and interns. The internships are funded by OEE, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the President, most of the colleges, and some individual faculty members.

•       89 internships in 2023

•       Interns in 32 counties,
            4 statewide in 2023

•       295 interns since program
            began in 2018

“This internship is an incredible opportunity to learn about the region’s and archaeological history and gain insights into the interactions between prehistoric humans and their environment. One of the highlights has been the opportunity to collaborate with archaeologists and geologists at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.” – Tewabe Kassaw, 2023 Extension intern

Northeast Regional Engagement Center 

The Northeast Regional Engagement Center in Sterling builds community partnerships, pilots Extension and community-led programming, and facilitates connections to CSU faculty and research, in English and Spanish.

•       54 community members
            participated in Logan County’s Rural Action Project with full Spanish/English simultaneous interpretation to build relationships and work together on a project to improve the community.

•       600+ community members attended Logan County’s first Cinco de Mayo cultural celebration.

•       146 individuals/partners/stakeholders attended nine “Taste of” programs with English/Spanish interpretation. 

“[The center] is a big source of support and involvement within the community. It’s an awesome place to go and grow, and they’re super friendly and inviting.” – Nathalie Bejarano, community volunteer and small business owner

Illustrations: Kerry Fannon