CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association

Name Change History

The Evolution of a Regional, Comprehensive University

Colorado State University-Pueblo has evolved from a three-room junior college with 63 students and two (2) instructors to a regional comprehensive university offering 29 baccalaureate and six master degree programs, serving more than 4,000 students from all 50 states and 23 countries. Over the past 70 years under four different names, the institution has graduated more than 27,000 students from 41 states and 32 countries. Today, more than 14,000 graduates live in Colorado.



Southern Colorado Junior College provided two years of college instruction in the arts, literature, and science, adult education and vocational opportunities, and coursework to complete a high school program.



Taking advantage of the Junior College Act of the General Assembly, the Pueblo County Junior College District was formed, making the college part of the public school system supported by county-wide taxes. The name change to Pueblo Junior College brought with it a change in mission. The institution offered the first two years of general study at the college level, providing the educational foundation for students seeking to transfer to complete their higher education degrees at four-year colleges and universities, and continued to offer a range of practical courses for those not seeking a higher education degree.



The 30th anniversary year saw the State enact legislation making the institution a four-year degree granting college and a member of the state system of higher education. The first juniors were enrolled in 1963, followed in 1964 by the first seniors and the first bachelor's degrees awarded in 1965. The name change to Southern Colorado State College reflected recognition of the need for more advanced degrees and an increase in the number of students pursuing a four-year degree in the southeastern region of Colorado.



As the demand for higher education programs increased, the number of academic degrees offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels increased. The first graduate program to be offered was the Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in industrial education beginning in 1972. In recognition of an expanded role and scope, the institution was granted university status and was renamed the University of Southern Colorado.



In May of 2002, Governor Bill Owens signed legislation changing the mission and name to Colorado State University - Pueblo effective July 1, 2003. Today, the university is a regional, comprehensive institution with a focus on professional studies such as business, nursing, social work, and teacher education.