Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Colorado College,

In my last letter to you, I laid out a detailed account of what I learned during my year of listening; the opportunities and challenges facing the American higher education system, particularly liberal arts colleges; and three strategies to guide the future of Colorado College.

First, building on our remarkable Block Plan, how do we take further steps to support engaged teaching and learning?

Second, how can we leverage our unique location, character, and community to support the academic venture and promote a collective sense of place?

Third, can we extend our reach and become better known for what we do by identifying a few promising ideas for new programs that build on our current strengths and support our core mission?

Since releasing my year of listening document, the Board of Trustees has charged me with taking the next step and building upon what I heard by leading the Colorado College community through a strategic planning process to be completed by July 1, 2013.

Planning is underway on campus; however, this plan will only be successful if we continue to receive your input. Currently, we would like your feedback on three questions:

What opportunities or experiences could enhance learning at Colorado College?

What makes CC a special place, distinct from anywhere else?

For what, specifically, should CC be known, and why?

These questions have been the focus of early conversations on campus with faculty, staff, and students. We have also asked them of alumni and parents during Homecoming and Parents weekend, as well as Colorado Springs community members and local alumni. You can respond to our questions on the strategic planning website: Please visit the website throughout the year to follow our progress and continue to engage in the process.

Even while we are engaged in our Year of Planning for the future, there are some things that simply cannot wait. As I listened last year, I heard loudly and clearly from our students, parents, and young alumni that we needed to do a better job of helping our graduates make the transition from college to the world of work. As a result, we are moving quickly on enhancing our career services. One related initiative, which we launched at Homecoming, is a campaign to secure 250 new internships for Colorado College students. We are asking for your help in finding, forming, or funding an internship for a CC student. To participate in this campaign, please contact Jason Owens, associate director for employer relations at or (719) 389-6893.

Thank you for you engagement with Colorado College!

With warm regards,

Jill Tiefenthaler

Read more from Jill at the President’s Blog.