The mission of the College Outreach is to provide access to post-secondary educational options, including two and four colleges and universities, for Western Slope high school students, parents, teachers and administrators through the Fair, its website and other resources.
College Outreach is committed to connecting students on the Western Slope of Colorado with college opportunities through the Colorado Western Slope College Fair, the College Next Spring Seminars, and the College Outreach website. Sunday October 5, 2017 marked the 13th Annual Colorado Western Slope College Fair held at Aspen High School, Aspen, Colorado. The Colroado Western Slope College Fair provides opportunities for students, families, and high school counselors from the rural Western Slope of Colorado to learn about and speak with admissions officers from colleges and universities from across the United States and beyond. Admissions officers from over 250 colleges, universities, two-year and technical schools and gap year/service learning programs answer questions about degrees and programs offered, and explain application processes and requirements to high school students from all 82 Colorado Western Slope high schools. This is the largest college exhibition on the Western Slope of Colorado and provides a unique opportunity for Colorado Western Slope students and their parents to research a variety of schools all in one location. In addition, the Colorado Western Slope College Fair hosts over 30 workshops on diverse topics of interest such as financial aid, the student athlete, and college access for Latino students (presented in Spanish). The Colorado Western Slope College Fair welcomes over 3,000 students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators.
The college conversation continues in April at the College Next Spring Seminars hosted by College Outreach in Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs, Colorado where more helpful workshops are presented to students, parents, and counselors on college access.
The Western Slope of Colorado is a diverse geographic area reaching from the Continental Divide, west of Denver, to the Utah border and encompassing an area of 47,174 square miles; an area larger in size than the entire state of Pennsylvania. The Colorado Western Slope supports an extremely diverse population where approximately 89,000 high school students attend school in a variety of different and distinct school districts. Kelly Doherty and Kathy Klug are Co-Directors and Co-Founders of College Outreach.
Kelly Doherty is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of College Outreach, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting rural students with college opportunities. Kelly co-founded College Outreach in 2005 to encourage rural students to imagine college as part of their futures and achieve a college education. Kelly has led College Outreach’s growth and development for the past 15 years. College Outreach now serves all 82 public, private, and charter high schools in the western half of Colorado, helping thousands of students in 27 counties covering over 47,000 square miles . Under Kelly’s leadership, College Outreach dramatically expanded its programs and access for students bringing a broad range of colleges and universities to the western half of Colorado and offering college fairs and college planning workshops and seminars. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BS in Language Arts. She earned her JD from The University of Chicago Law School. She began her career as a corporate attorney with the international law firm Mayer Brown & Platt in Chicago before relocating to western Colorado where she runs College Outreach. Kelly is also active with other educational organizations, including Georgetown University’s Alumni Admissions Program conducting interviews for applicants and serving on the Board of the Aspen Education Foundation. Kelly lives in Colorado with her husband and five children.
Kathy Klug has been involved in the Aspen School District in Colorado for over 25 years as the founder and designer of the College Counseling office, an English classroom teacher, and Reading Specialist. Kathy is Founder and Director of the Colorado Western Slope College Fair that has now grown to be College Outreach, designed to bring college options and possibilities to the students of Aspen and the Western Slope. Kathy was also Director from 2004-2014 of Teachers Across Borders and international NGO working with teacher training in Cambodia. Kathy’s own education includes a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Denver, and both a Masters and Bachelor degree from Regis University where she graduated summa cum laude. Her specialty is college access and counseling for rural and underserved students, which has driven the scope of College Outreach and the Colorado Western Slope College Fair for 15 years. She values experience, enthusiasm, energy, keen instincts, and a passion for teaching and professional development. Kathy grew up in Philadelphia, PA and has lived in Aspen, CO for 25 years where she raised her three amazing children. She has been married her whole adult life to her best friend and fellow adventurer, Warren. Throughout her life she has been a Small Business Owner, Hospital Foundation Board Chairman, Music Festival Development Officer, Public Servant, Elected Councilwoman, Sunday School Director, Athlete, and Service Learning Mentor.
Board of Directors
Kelly Doherty, Director CWSCF
Michael Gass, Superintendent Telluride R-1 School District
Elaine Gerson, General Counsel/Ethics & Compliance Officer, Chief Clinical Officer, Aspen Valley Hospital
Ken Haptonstall, Superintendent Garfield County School District No. 16
Kathy Klug, College Counselor Aspen High School and Director CWSCF
John Maloy, Superintendent Aspen School District
Katie McLellan, Treasurer CWSCF
Sandra Peirce, Aspen School District Board Member
Diana Sirko, Former Superintendent Roaring Fork School District and Educational Consultant
Phil Qualman, Assistant Superintendent Eagle County School District
Susan Walter, Independent College Counselor
Matt Gianneschi, Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff Glenwood Springs/Central Services, Colorado Mountain College
Matthew Diers, Executive Director of High Schools, Mesa Valley School District 51
David Smith, Pre-Collegiate Program Director, Roaring Fork School District
Brent Curtice, Superintendent Garfield County School District RE2