Shelley Banker

Director, Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative

Colorado Department of Higher Education

Shelley Banker

Director, Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative

Colorado Department of Higher Education

Shelley Banker is the Director of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative - created in 2014 - and manages the Initiative's $36 million reserve fund and $7 million annual appropriation. In the first four years under her leadership, the Initiative has already awarded $39 million of state funds, leveraged $20 million in additional local and private dollars, and has served more than 60,000 students in 57/64 Colorado counties. In 2018, Shelley and the Director of the Colorado Challenge shaped the integration of Colorado Challenge into COSI. The alignment of the two programs added the expertise of three additional team members, yielding increased support for grantees, more effective development and integration of valuable resources and best practices, and more accurate data tracking of program outcomes.

Shelley received her MSW from University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work focusing on community and social change, with an emphasis on promoting stable housing, education and workforce development for underserved communities. Prior to graduate school, Shelley specialized in marketing in the higher education technology and e-learning space.

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Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

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