The community college movement in Colorado began in 1925 when Trinidad State Junior College opened to local young people so they would have the option of beginning their college careers close to home. Several other rural communities followed suit, and these junior colleges were truly created out of a fierce sense of local pride and as the result of strong local leadership.
In 1967, the state legislature created the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) with its current structure and form of governance, and the emphasis of the colleges shifted to workforce development rather than a strict focus on university preparation. The CCCS is required by the legislature to accomplish six objectives that make up its statutory mission: 1. provide open access; 2. provide career and technical training; 3. create transfer opportunities; 4. provide workforce development; 5. provide concurrent enrollment for high school students, and 6. provide remedial education.
The Colorado Community College System Foundation was founded in 1987 to support the Colorado Community College System's goals. While each of the 13 colleges has its own fundraising foundation, the System Foundation seeks funds on behalf of the whole. It has a ten-member board that oversees the operations and is doing business as the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges.