As president of Fort Lewis College, my focus is on helping students succeed in their educational and professional careers, as well as building FLC into a positive economic and social force in the Four Corners region. At FLC, students earn degrees relevant to current labor markets and study under faculty and staff dedicated to local partnerships and active learning.
Our mission at FLC is to put students at the center of all we do, and create inclusive, experiential learning environments that foster innovation, growth, and community engagement. My own experience as a first-generation student makes me even more committed to creating an institution where everyone belongs. Today, a central part of our mission is our distinct commitment to provide educational opportunities and pathways for Native American students, and to support each student’s determination and the choices they want to make for their education and career.
We are the most affordable four-year college in Colorado and are committed to providing access to higher education for working families, Dreamers, students of color, and first-generation students. We want to make sure that Colorado’s students’ financial situation is not keeping them from thinking about college or considering Fort Lewis College, so we have created the FLC Tuition Promise. Families making less than $60,000 a year can attend FLC tuition-free. We also know that out-of-pocket costs or financial emergencies can hinder a student’s degree progress, and our Skyhawk Persistence Grant keeps students going. These microgrants can help a student make a necessary car repair or get caught up on rent, so that they can focus on their academics without financial stress.
We have more than 50 degree options from three schools: the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration, and School of Education. Students are able to explore their passions in new ways and discover how to leverage their undergraduate education into a lifetime of opportunities. Our faculty are dedicated to their success and providing them with a full experiential education. Faculty connect students with field schools, internships with local businesses, and student organizations so students can apply their studies to real world situations and hone in on what career is right for them.
Last year when faculty, staff, and students were working together to formulate our strategic plan, we agreed that our success as an institution comes from our commitment to student-centered academics and experiential learning. We focused our goals into four work areas: Students at the Center; Community Responsiveness; Knowledge in Action; and Systems to Facilitate Success. Learn more about these and the initiatives we are prioritizing for ongoing implementation on the strategic plan page.
Our work to define the direction of FLC and innovate new strategies for today’s higher education challenges is in direct support of our students. We are continually evolving the campus’ facilities and offerings to meet the needs of students today and into the future. We are currently appealing to the State of Colorado for funding for a Health Sciences Center, an academic hub for the fastest growing department on campus. We also have a new partnership with Entangled Solutions, a consultancy of experts in higher education, that will accelerate our strategic plan goals. We were chosen to receive $2 million in-kind consulting services under Project Capstone. With the Entangled team, we’ll be able to put in place cutting-edge solutions, increase the value of our degrees for our students and alumni, and build on our fiscal sustainability.
President Stritikus arrived at FLC in August 2018 and began implementing strategies to advance higher education in Colorado, in addition to underpinning the college’s mission of providing professional education and regional economic vitality.
Previous to FLC, President Stritikus was a deputy director of education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served on the Global Learning Initiative, building a strategy to improve education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In addition to his work in global education, President Stritikus spent three years leading work in improving education in the United States, where he oversaw initiatives of personalized learning, assessment for student learning, instructional leadership, and teacher preparation.
Prior to joining the Foundation, President Stritikus was the dean of the University of Washington College of Education. He earned his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in Language, Literacy, & Culture. As a scholar, his work examined the effects of bilingual education policy and teacher practice on the academic lives of Latino and Asian immigrants. President Stritikus began his teaching experience with Teach For America in Baltimore.