About Us

 COSLI Gray Shirt










Mission Statement

Colorado Student Leaders Institute, an affiliate of the National Conference of Governor's Schools, is an academic summer residential program for high school students who are working to become quality leaders and who promote and inspire a strong United States of America. COSLI seeks to reinforce the importance of civic engagement, entrepreneurship, responsibility, accountability, ethics and integrity in the rising generation of American leaders.


Codified by SB290 in the 2015 Session, Colorado Student Leaders Institute (COSLI), is the newest member of the 25-state Governor's School network (with 57 programs), an institution steeped in a rich 50+ year history and revered throughout the nation as a highly successful model for post-secondary preparedness

Colorado Student Leaders Institute (COSLI) is a state-legislated, summer residential program on the University of Colorado Denver campus. For one month each summer, Colorado's best and brightest students, chosen from a competitive pool of applicants, live and study on the campus and earn three hours of college credit. Students choose one of two majors: International Social Studies or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math), and explore diverse topics through a lecture series by university professors and 3 hands-on projects--Colorado Social Problem Lab, Short-Term Business Lab, and National History Day.

COSLI students do not have to be formally designated as gifted and talented students, but they must demonstrate through their application that they meet the academic rigors that the program requires. At least 50% of our students must be eligible for free and reduced lunch and/or be first generation college students.

COSLI prepares students for college by fostering leadership, independence, innovativeness, initiative, critical thinking, and creativity.

In most states, governor school programs are funded entirely by the state. Because of Colorado's unique budgeting paradigm, COLSI represents a strong partnership among public, private, and corporate champions. In addition to the inherent benefits students gain, it is noteworthy that up to 80% of students participating in a governor's school program elect to remain in-state for college and career, with up to 90% completing a four year degree in four years, instead of the now six year nationwide average.

Increased retention of our state's best and brightest is a critical component of a strong Colorado economy. Help us retain these important Coloradans.

The Colorado Student Leaders Institute is aligned with the 2020 Colorado State Academic Standards. View Alignment HERE.

2021 COSLI Application Open: October 1, 2020-January 31, 2021

Acceptance Decision & Notification: Early March

The COSLI 2020 Summer Program was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two 3-week sessions will be held during the summer of 2021 from June 20-July 10 and July 11-July 31.

Director's Letter

Dear Friends,

As the founding Director of Colorado Student Leaders Institute (COSLI), an affiliate of the National Conference of Governor's Schools, for five years, I have had the privilege of working with community leaders, business people, educators, politicians, and next-door neighbors--along with students from across Colorado--who want to make sure Colorado has a strong program.
Governor's schools are summer institutes for the best and brightest high school students in a state. The goal is to retain these students, in whom the state has invested so much, for college and career. Additionally, students who participate in a governor’s school are 90% more likely to complete a four year degree in four years, as opposed to the national average of six years.
In Colorado, students live at the University of Colorado Denver for the month of July, where they earn three hours of college credit majoring in either STEAM or International Social Studies, become young entrepreneurs, solve Colorado's most pressing issues, and complete a primary source-based project on the history of our amazing state.
COSLI is a wise investment in our kids. Given that 50% of our students are required to be free and reduced lunch eligible and/or first generation college students, we are breaking cycles and allowing these students to earn a head start on a college career they might have otherwise felt was out of reach. Since its founding in 2012, COSLI has risen to the top of these programs that have been in place since 1963.
Each year, we are tasked with raising $40,000 to release the necessary state-legislated funds to make this a possibility for our students--it is an investment with returns that will ripple for generations. We hope you will consider making COSLI part of your year-end annual giving.
Thank you!

Celeste Archer

Founding Director,

Colorado Student Leaders Institute


Anti-discrimination policy

Colorado Student Leaders Institute believes that one of the great strengths of this country is the rich diversity of its residents. COSLI does not have, and will not adopt or implement, any personnel policy or practice that discriminates on the basis of race, religion (creed), national origin (ancestry), color, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, disability, political affiliation, military status, veteran status, belief, or any other protected status. This policy includes but is not limitedto hiring and firing of staff, selection of students selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and provision of services.