Community College of Denver Creates Peer-Led Teaching and Learning Program to Increase Learning Outcomes in STEM Programs

Xcel Energy Grants CCD Foundation $10,000 for Academic STEM Program

Community College of Denver (CCD) Foundation and the Xcel Energy Foundation announced that for the third year in a row, they are continuing their commitment to increasing student success in CCD’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. The Xcel Energy Foundation new gift of $10,000 supports the creation of a Peer-Led Teaching and Learning (PLTL) program.


group of people holding large donation check
The Xcel Energy Foundation new gift of $10,000 supports the creation of a Peer Led Teaching and Learning (PLTL) program.

The goal of PLTL is to institutionalize a nationally recognized model for improving learning outcomes in two foundational chemistry classes (CHE 111 and CHE 112). Success in these “gateway” courses lays the foundation for transfer to four-year institutions in STEM studies.

PLTL will incorporate integrated support to chemistry students by pairing them with a student leader—a CCD student who has successfully completed the chemistry courses. Peer leaders will receive training in basic teaching techniques, develop leadership skills, and receive pay. Research indicates that peer leaders are more likely to complete not only bachelor’s but also advanced degrees in STEM fields. Student leaders will attend the chemistry lab, meet regularly with faculty, and facilitate either a weekly workshop or study session.

“CHE 111 and 112—CCD’s general chemistry sequence—are essential for any student seeking transfer into most four-year STEM degrees,” said CCD's Dean of Math and Science. “PLTL has a great track record with improving student success in STEM education. CCD has adopted it to nurture our students’ confidence in their ability to achieve in challenging courses. PLTL will better prepare students for other science classes here at CCD and also after they transfer to a university.”

PLTL program objectives include

  • ensuring student success,
  • increasing the numbers of underrepresented students in STEM programs,
  • expanding the numbers of CCD students applying for transfer to four-year STEM programs, and
  • growing CCD’s persistence and graduation rates for those students who transfer.

CCD will launch PLTL this fall. For more information, contact Brenda Garrison.


The Community College of Denver Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on developing resources to benefit CCD and its students through partnerships with businesses, foundations and individuals in the Metro-Denver area. Through scholarships to students, programmatic and faculty support, and capital enhancements, the Foundation invests in deserving CCD students—ensuring they have access to a high quality, relevant education. Learn more at CCD-Foundation.org