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University Tracks Center at South Fresh off a rebranding for the 2021-22 school year, a Colorado State University Pueblo Tracks Center is now located inside South High School.

On Tuesday, CSU Pueblo, District 60 and South High School officials celebrated the grand opening of the site, which complements the existing University Tracks Center at East High School.

The Center was established by CSU Pueblo to make the path that leads to college easier to navigate, with the added benefits of peer mentorship, career planning and exploration, and resume building.

Under the direction of Lacey Clemmensen, the Center serves as an on-site admissions office to CSU Pueblo and a valuable clearinghouse of information and assistance related to the college experience, including direction in filling out applications for college entrance, scholarships and financial aid, as examples.

Although CSU Pueblo is a focus of the Center, students who want to attend any college can find the support needed to ease the transition, and potentially, make it more affordable through the receipt of scholarships and financial aid.

 “One of the many ways we engage our community, is to talk to our local high school students about what it means to go to college,” said CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet. “What we’re doing here is part of being ‘The People’s University,’ which means serving those people who maybe don’t think of themselves as college material, when in reality they are.

“Intelligence is not limited to zip code, as ability is equally distributed in our population. And we are interested in connecting with those individuals. So if a person has that dream and desire to attend college, the Tracks Center is here to make that happen.” CSU Pueblo President, Dr. Timothy Mottet

A collaborative effort involving South custodial and maintenance staff members enabled the once vacant space along South High’s main hallway to be transformed into a bright and welcoming area overflowing positivity and optimism.

Although South and East are home to Centers, Lacey Clemmensen and staff rotate among the District’s high schools, working with seniors who have expressed an interest in post-secondary education. Additionally, the South and East centers are open to all District students on both an appointment and drop-in basis.

“The University Tracks Center plays an essential and vital role in preparing our scholars for the next step of their educational journey,” said D60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso. “Whether assisting scholars in filling out applications for financial aid or scholarships, or applying to the college of their choice, the work of our Tracks Center staff is greatly appreciated and a key to the continued success of our college-bound scholars.”

Recently, peer mentors were brought on-board as an additional way to support high school students with navigating the college process. Students currently attending CSU Pueblo provide support as a way to expose, on a first-hand basis, what can be expected at the next level of education.

In conjunction with the Center, CSU Pueblo recently introduced a “College-Ready” scholarship initiative: a stackable scholarship open and available to District seniors who work with Center staff in applying for admission to CSU Pueblo.

This year, Colorado Free Application Day, which gives scholars and families three days to apply to any Colorado public college or university free of charge, has been expanded from a one-day event to three: October 19-21.

To assist college-bound scholars with the process, the Centers are hosting the following workshops:

  • October 19: 1st to 4th hour at Central High School; 5th through 7th hour at Centennial High School
  • October 20: 1st to 4th hour at South High School; 5th through 6th hour at East High School.
  • On October 21, the East and South Centers will have open office hours for application assistance.

Group Photo in front of the entrance to the UTC