The Swiss Education Model and Colorado

There is a pipeline problem in Colorado. The kind that sends natural resources to industry, and contributes to our competitiveness as a state. We’re talking about the talent pipeline, which is vitally important to our success. Many different groups have addressed this issue, from the Colorado Legislature to local nonprofits. A venture that is gaining momentum, CareerWise Colorado, recently led a delegation to Zurich, Switzerland to investigate the Swiss model of apprenticeships and higher education, with the hopes of bringing best practices to Colorado. A forthcoming collaborator on the initiative is Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global), a 100% online state university.

Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker, president and CEO of CSU-Global, participated in the CareerWise Colorado’s apprenticeship delegation to Switzerland. The delegation, which brought together education, government, business, and policy experts, visited industry associations, apprenticeships sites, schools, and training centers.

“As a university committed to creating economic growth and opportunity in Colorado, we are very interested in the opportunity to partner with the business community for the identification of pathways that integrate internships and apprenticeships leading into formal education models,” said Takeda-Tinker. “We currently provide credit for our own internship and practicum programs, and are seeking new partnerships that will expand credit opportunities for vocational and community college students.”

CareerWise Colorado is a nonprofit organization that seeks to utilize the Swiss apprenticeship model as inspiration for a collaborative skill gap solution that unites the business and education community. For CSU-Global, this mission aligns with the university’s commitment to workplace success through education for modern learners.

“It is vitally important that students, particularly Generation Z, see the applicability of their schoolwork in the workplace. By encouraging students to pursue internships or apprenticeships that are integrated with their formal education leading to a bachelor’s degree, this initiative is an important step toward expanding opportunity to engage students who might otherwise be left on the sidelines of higher education,” said Takeda-Tinker.

In addition to CSU-Global’s potential participation, the University of Colorado and the Colorado Community College System are reviewing the opportunity as well. 

For more information about Colorado State University-Global Campus, visit

For more information about CareerWise Colorado, visit careerwisecolorado.or