Pikes Peak Community College Case Study


In August 2014, Pikes Peak State College (PPSC), the second-largest community college in Colorado with 22,000 students, became the first community college in the nation to roll out the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program as a required first-year student success course for interdisciplinary students who were simultaneously enrolled in remedial courses.

PPCC aligned student success course outcomes to Ice House outcomes. As a result, students experienced a highly interactive, student-centered, real-world application curriculum with lessons focused on the power of choice, recognizing opportunity, solving problems, moving from ideas to action, and building community.

Students engaged in experiential learning by sharing and evolving ideas with others in the community and bringing guest entrepreneurs to the classroom to share their stories of persistence, forming relationships, and building networks that could support them through college and beyond. Students were encouraged to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset, applying it to their education and their lives.


Pikes Peak Community College conducted a blind, comparative data study. Half of the students enrolled in Ice House, and half of the students enrolled in a more traditional student success curriculum. PPCC’s data demonstrated that students who completed the student success course with their remedial education were more successful than students who did not. Significant data points include:

  • 28% Impact on Fall-to-Spring Persistence with 83% of First Time and Transfer students who passed Ice House re-enrolling the next semester. This compares to 55% in the control group (students who did not take the course)
  • 14% Impact on College-Level Course Success Rates with 91% of Ice House students (First Time and Transfer) who passed Ice House progressed on to pass college-level courses compared to a 77% pass rate in the control group (students who did not take the course)
  • 7% less of Ice House students dropped the course in the beginning weeks compared to the control group

Watch this video of PPSC faculty and students sharing their experiences.