UCCS College of Public Service
College of Public Service at UCCS
The UCCS College of Public Service (CPS), formerly the School of Public Affairs, is a leading public administration school in the Rocky Mountain West, offering degrees in public administration, criminal justice, social work, and more.
About the College
At the UCCS College of Public Service, our mission is to improve people's lives and communities worldwide through collaborative governance, public service innovation, community engagement, and research.
Our unique combination of rigorous academics, relevant research, practical application, and partnership networks empowers students to create significant impacts for a resilient community and world.
Social Work Accreditation
We are excited to announce that our Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees have received accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
This esteemed recognition will be valid for the next eight years, and we are thrilled to continue providing high-quality education to our students.
The Department of Criminal Justice within the College of Public Service offers bachelor and master-level degree programs and certificates.
The Department of Public Administration within the College of Public Service offers master-level degree programs and certificates.
The Department of Social Work offers bachelor and master-level degree programs, both accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Study Abroad Programs
The College of Public Service provides exciting study-abroad opportunities for students. These programs enable students to broaden their perspectives and enhance their academic experience. The College offers study abroad programs in the following locations:
- London, England
- East Africa
Outstanding CPS Students 2023
"My experience in the BSW program was nothing short of amazing, I've said it once and I'll say it again. The UCCS Social Work Faculty saved my life."
Axel Brown is a father, veteran, student body president, and social worker. The things that he has been able to accomplish in life are all accredited to each one of those. His time at UCCS has been nothing short of amazing. He would like to state that this accomplishment wouldn't have been possible without the help of his amazing BSW faculty members and most importantly his 2022-2023 BSW cohort. Axel is from Brooklyn, New York and joined the military at the age of 17. At the age of 22, his military career was cut short. He enrolled in UCCS in the Spring of 2020 and his journey to become a social worker began. As an African American man, the odds have been stacked against him since birth, but with the help of positive influences at UCCS, it has been an easier climb to overcome his challenges. He is proud to have the opportunity to help shape the future and it would not have been possible without the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
“The people in this program are what make it great. Everyone, including faculty and student peers, has made an immense impact on my learning experience in the Social Work program.”
Maddie is a non-traditional transfer student from Texas who came to Colorado two years ago to complete her education. Maddie’s life experiences, passion for mental health, and empathetic nature led her to an education in social work. She believes her purpose is to help and advocate for children and teens of dysfunctional families. She is honored to accept this award from the faculty and staff and is grateful for all the opportunities that UCCS has offered her over the years. She is excited to take a break from school to spend some much-needed time resting and exploring Colorado. She plans to continue her education after a year of rest by applying for the accelerated Master of Social Work program at UCCS. Lastly, she wants to thank her ESA, Binx, and her sister, Sydney, for supporting her and inspiring her through her last few years of college.
"The UCCS MSW program facilitated my learning and growth both inside and outside of the classroom. My professors taught me the skills to be an exceptional social worker, provided me with their unique and wonderful wisdom, and advocated for and believed in me to achieve things that I did not think I was ever capable of."
Ana Ortiz-Mejias is a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) graduate, artist, and human rights activist. She grew up in Colorado Springs but considers her home as both Colorado and Costa Rica. As a second-generation Latina, one of her passions has been to advance immigrant rights. During her MSW program, she worked with the immigrant population directly and has written an article for publication that focuses on the mental health needs of unaccompanied immigrant minors and how best to support them in our communities and schools with her professor and a pediatrician. Ana is interested in further developing her clinical skills, specifically to bring culturally responsive, decolonized clinical care to marginalized populations. In her free time, she enjoys making art, spending time with family and friends, being outside, and dancing.
"During my time in the program, I have been fortunate enough to have incredible professors who have challenged and inspired me and classmates who have become lifelong friends and colleagues. Through my coursework, internships, and research, I have gained a better understanding of the complex issues facing our communities/individuals and have developed some skills and tools needed to address these issues in a meaningful and sustainable way. My time in this program has allowed me to deepen my knowledge and skills in social work and has empowered me to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others."
Teyei Chollom was born in Plateau State, Nigeria, and moved to the States in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s in history and international relations at the University of Jos, Nigeria. Teyei joined the Army as a health care specialist in 2017 and was accepted to the Army Green to Gold program in 2021, allowing her to pursue her master’s in social work. While in the program, in her first year, she interned at the Department of Human Services and worked in the Department of child services (Ages 0-3). She also interned at the UCCS Health Circle Veterans Health and Trauma Clinic during her second year, providing case management and clinical services to diverse populations. Upon graduation in May, she will commission as a second lieutenant in the medical service corps to continue her military service and move to Seattle, Washington State, with her husband and their dog.
"My experience in the MCJ program at UCCS has been nothing short of phenomenal. What I have learned over the course of this program has significantly improved both my personal and professional growth."
Nikki Patton is a Forensic Interview Coordinator with the Colorado Springs Police Department. Her passion for helping families has led her to a career in forensic interviewing which allows children to share their experiences of abuse and neglect in a trauma informed and compassionate setting as part of a criminal investigation. She has been conducting forensic interviews for 13 years and has interviewed nearly 2,000 children as part of the investigative process, often leading to successful prosecutions and offender accountability. Nikki graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland and started her career path as a social caseworker for several years before landing her dream job with CSPD. She is humbled and honored to have a job where children's voices are heard and she is allowed to be a part of their healing process. Nikki will be graduating in May 2023, from UCCS with her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice through the College of Public Service, which has greatly enhanced her commitment to the criminal justice process.
"My experience in the BACJ program has been awesome, I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to learn from such instrumental people within the field of criminal justice. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of course offerings and feel that I was well versed in my education as a result."
Kristen Aguirre is not only a diligent student but also a devoted wife and mother. She prides herself on her academic accomplishments which include being on the President’s List every semester, the Chancellor’s Award, this BACJ Outstanding Student Award, and graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is proud to serve as an example to her daughter, Amelia, that hard work and perseverance can help you achieve your goals. When Kristen is not focused on her academics, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and hiking. She is originally from California but has called Colorado home for the past four years. She loves exploring the outdoor beauty our state has to offer. She is passionate about contributing to her community through public service. Upon graduation, she hopes to attain a position with a non-profit organization in which she is an intern.
"The Master’s degree in Public Administration has allowed me to deepen my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and civil service, both of which I am extremely passionate about. I think it’s incumbent on each of us to participate in community endeavors to create and shape the society we want to live in, and I’m excited to put this education to use as I continue to find ways to serve Colorado Springs and the State of Colorado."
Erica Oakley-Courage serves as the Associate Vice President of Grants at El Pomar Foundation, managing the operations of the grants department. She also directs the Pikes Peak Heritage Series, an El Pomar program that celebrates and raises awareness of the natural assets of the Pikes Peak region. Prior to El Pomar, Erica worked for six years as a development officer with the Palmer Land Conservancy and the Colorado Springs office of the American Heart Association. The Seattle-area native earned a Bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in Journalism/Public Relations and will earn her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in May. She completed her Certificate in Nonprofit Management in December 2022 and joined UCCS’ chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for Public Affairs and Administration, in November 2021. Erica was a member of the Institute for Leaders in Development’s Class of 2017, participated in the Community Leadership Program in June 2021, and is a member of the Mayor’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Class of 2023. She has served on multiple boards and volunteered for several organizations in the Pikes Peak Region including Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Girl Scouts of Colorado, and the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation. In 2016, she was recognized as the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Colorado Outstanding Emerging Fundraiser and in 2018 she was named a Rising Star by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Use our live-feed calendar to connect with other fellow Mountain Lions and foster relationships through events at UCCS.