Welcome to the Education Innovation Institute. As our name suggests we are here to stimulate innovative thinking about improving education in Colorado and the rest of the country.  We have a strong base to build on. Colorado has earned national attention in recent years for adopting extensive reform policies that now are being implemented. In this world of rapidly changing expectations, our goal is to be both bridge-builders and agitators. We need to urge stakeholders to keep pushing on the status quo as we work together to help find effective, efficient implementation models. Our focus is on three major stakeholder groups – practitioners, policy makers, and researchers – whose work and needs can be shared and bridged to produce fresh new perspectives. Our inaugural projects operate in two broad policy areas: advancing education as a respected profession and cultivating a climate of productive accountability in higher education, including in teacher preparation programs.

Outreach is key to our mission. We use op-ed pieces to present what we hope are thought-provoking perspectives about current issues and provoke public discussion.  We also produce policy briefs to explore selected topics in more depth and work with other universities and nonprofits on emerging policy issues. 

EII was created by the Colorado General Assembly at the University of Northern Colorado to identify key issues and set research policies in consultation with other institutions. As such, we are coordinating with education policy and research organizations already working in the state to draw on their expertise, collaborate on their work, and help all of us reach a wider audience. We will focus mostly on Colorado although we hope our publications and discussions will help put local issues into broader national context. The institute relies on private sources of funding and we welcome support from both individuals and organizations.

Now that you know who we are, we hope you will join our effort.  We encourage you to send ideas and suggestions to our staff at eii@unco.edu.  I look forward to working with you. Together, we can make Colorado’s schools and universities even better for generations to come.


Kristin Klopfenstein, PhD
Executive Director