About Us

Emily Griffith teaching two students in front of a blackboard in 1916.Emily Griffith Technical College's mission is to prepare students for today's workforce and tomorrow's opportunities. 

We are the largest tech college in Colorado and one of the first vocational schools in the nation.

Our school was founded in 1916 by a true pioneer in education, Emily Griffith. Emily Griffith began her career as a school teacher. She saw that the parents of her school kids could not read or write and therefore struggled to achieve good paying jobs. Her vision was to break barriers to higher education for those seeking economic mobility. We still use the motto coined by Emily Griffith: For All Who Wish to Learn. 

Today, Emily Griffith is Colorado's most affordable college. We are a public institution and pride ourselves on providing accessible higher education for all people, regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status.

Economic mobility remains our primary goal for students. Therefore, we help students graduate without student loan debt and get on a pathway to a long-term career in healthcare, skilled trades or creative arts. We are proud of our high job placement for graduates.

Over the course of our 100-year history, two million students and counting have received a quality education at Emily Griffith.

Technical Programs

More than two dozen career-training certificate programs, most of which can be completed in one year or less, provide hands-on instruction in health sciences, creative arts and design, administration and professional studies, trades and industry. Fourteen apprenticeship trades programs are taught at multiple sites across Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the Western Slope.

Schedules are flexible with multiple program start dates throughout the year, day and evening classes, part-time and full-time options and a growing catalog of online classes.

Our Three Campuses

We have three downtown Denver locations with convenient access to bus and light rail lines. All three sites have new, improved state-of- the-art training facilities.

Emily Griffith Campus
1860 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80203
College of Trades & Industry
1205 Osage Street
Denver, CO 80204
Video Production & Editing/DPStv22 Studios
200 E. 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

The main campus, also known as the Emily Griffith Campus, is located at 1860 Lincoln Street in Denver and houses many of our science and creative arts programs, along with High School Equivalency classes for those seeing their GED, as well as the English Language Acquisition (ELA, also known as ESL) programs. A second campus located on Lincoln Park at 1205 Osage Street houses the College of Trades, Industry, and Professional Studies, while a third campus at 200 E. 9th Ave. houses our Video Production and Editing Program along with a TV studio for Channel 22.


Emily Griffith Technical College is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE). In addition, specific programs are also individually accredited including our Licensed Practical Nursing, Dental Assisting, Auto Service program, Pharmacy Technician and others.

Visit our accreditations page for more information.

Who We Were, Are, and Will Be

Check out this short video about the past, present, and future of Emily Griffith Technical College:


History of Our Name

When Emily Griffith first started this school in 1916, she named it Opportunity School. In 1933, after Emily Griffith retired as principal, the school was renamed in her honor to Emily Griffith Opportunity School.

In 2011, the school was renamed Emily Griffith Technical College in order to better reflect our mission.

Pre-College Programs

At our Language Learning Center, you can learn or improve your English and gain confidence to achieve more. Our High School Equivalency courses allow you to get your GED quickly.

Language Learning Center

Emily Griffith Technical College is home to Colorado's largest and most diverse English Language Acquisition (ELA) school serving more than 2,000 immigrants and refugees annually. Students represent nearly half the globe, representing 92 countries and speaking 74 languages. There are more than 40 day and evening English classes and tuition is equal for all.

High School Equivalency

High School Equivalency (HSE) courses are for students whose goals are to enroll in GED® prep or the College and need coursework in reading and math. Classes start every month.

Classes are for students whose goal is to pass the GED®test, an equivalency test in lieu of a secondary education/high school diploma. Language Arts/Social Studies and Math/Science classes begin every month.

Technical College Cost & Credits

We offer some of the least expensive college programs in Colorado with financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify to help students graduate debt free. Up to 45 credit hours may transfer into an Associate of Applied Science degree at any one of Colorado’s community colleges.

Who We Are

We serve nearly 8,000 students each year; the average student age is 29. Our Student Success Center and Career Services offer free tutoring, computer access, workshops and job placement support.


Here are a few facts about our career and technical education college student body (rates vary every year):

  • 65% women
  • 13% African American
  • 39% Hispanic/Latino
  • 32% White

Recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution

Emily Griffith Tech College proudly displays the Hispanic Serving Institution member logo on our website!

Emily Griffith Technical College is proud to be recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution by The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).  A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is a nonprofit, accredited college, university or system/district in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment at the undergraduate or graduate level. 

HACU has successfully advocated for federal budgetary appropriations specifically for HSIs.  For the first time, HSIs were granted $12 million in 1995 from federal resources.  Since then, funding has increased significantly because of HACU’s persistent advocacy.

Our nation's economic and social success rests on the level of skills and knowledge attained by Hispanics, Colorado’s and the nation's largest minority population.  Education is the key and Emily Griffith and HACU are committed to Hispanic success in education and moving into the work force. 

Emily Griffith has provided education for Colorado immigrants since opening its doors in 1916, “for all who wish to learn.”  Emily Griffith's Language Learning Center boasts Colorado’s oldest and largest English Language Acquisition (ELA) program, serving thousands of immigrants and refugees each year.  Hispanic students also excel in certificate programs in the ore than two dozen offered by the College.


Emily Griffith Technical College employs more than 40 full-time credentialed, experienced instructors. In addition, the school contracts with more than 175 credentialed part-time instructors experienced in industry and trade. Please click here for a list of faculty.

Our Results

We have some of the state’s highest completion and job placement rates for post-secondary education. In the 2017-2018 school year, we achieved an exception 89% completion rate and 80% job placement rate.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) Affiliation and Funding

Emily Griffith Technical College has been affiliated with Denver Public Schools (DPS) since our inception in 1916. DPS Board of Education approves (due to state statute language) large contracts and capital projects, and Emily Griffith works within the parameters of DPS fiscal and HR policy and platforms. Emily Griffith has some autonomy from these policies, while maintaining a healthy partnership in areas such as concurrent enrollment.


DPS subsidized tuition and fees for individuals wanting to take classes until 1991 at which time Colorado State statute formalized the Area Vocational Schools within the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and created a line item in the Long Bill to create higher education funding based upon an FTE (Full-Time Equivalency) allocation. Emily Griffith also derives funding through the student-generated tuition and fees for credit classes in certificate programs, as well as various soft-funding streams such as Federal Perkins Grant funding.

Community Use Policy

The Community Use Policy governs the availability of College property to outside individuals and groups. 

More About Us

For a century, the name Emily Griffith has meant community, opportunity and service for all throughout the Denver community. The educator who started her remarkable career in public service made an immeasurable and profound difference in the lives of countless members of our community. DPS has continued to honor her legacy; and in February 2014, the Board of Education agreed to name its new property at 1860 Lincoln Street the Emily Griffith Campus, now home to the Emily Griffith Technical College main campus.

Our Founder, Emily Griffith

Emily Griffith was a visionary, leader, teacher and principal.

Emily Griffith – Visionary, Leader, Teacher and Principal Emily Griffith had no more than an 8th grade education, yet she taught at Denver’s Central and Twenty-Fourth Street Schools from 1904 to 1912. She realized a parents' lack of a basic education often led to poverty and difficult situations for families. Her strong desire to help adults of all ages and determination drove her to open a school to provide “opportunities for all who wish to learn.” Griffith inspired others with the idea of a school where classes would be "so organized that anyone working in a bakery, store, laundry, or any kind or shop, who has an hour or two to spare, may come to the school and study what he or she wants to learn to make life more useful."

As a result of her steadfast advocacy, the rundown Longfellow School in downtown Denver was remodeled and “Opportunity School” opened September 9, 1916. More than 1,400 students registered the first week! The school was open 13 hours a day; five days a week and subjects included telegraphy, industrial millinery, typing, academic subjects, and English for those who spoke other languages. Her service extended beyond the classroom, as she frequently helped students with bus fare and provided soup to feed hungry learners.

Griffith served as principal of the school for 17 years and retired in 1933 with Opportunity School having served more than 100,000 students. The school was renamed Emily Griffith Opportunity School in 1934 to honor her bringing vocational education to Denver and revolutionizing education throughout Colorado.

On May 19, 2011, the Denver Public School Board unanimously endorsed the name change from Emily Griffith Opportunity School to Emily Griffith Technical College. With this milestone, Colorado’s oldest and largest technical college earned greater credibility and visibility in Colorado’s higher education and business communities.

Emily Griffith High School

Emily Griffith High School (EGHS) is an alternative school focused on retrieving students, 17 to 20, who left high school before earning a diploma. EGHS offers courses toward a high school diploma or a GED. EGHS is housed at the Emily Griffith Campus but is a separate school from Emily Griffith Technical College with its own administration and teachers.

Emily Griffith Foundation

Emily Griffith Foundation raises money for student scholarships, capital improvements, innovative projects, instructional equipment and other needs that cannot be funded by the College's regular financial sources. In 2015, more than $1 million was contributed by individuals, corporations and foundations.

Take the next step to a rising career

Fill out this form for more information on any of the programs we offer! 


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Upcoming Related Events

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Trades Information Session
Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Creative Arts Information Session
Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Health Information Session
Time: 4:00pm to 6:00pm

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Emily's Cafe is a product of our Culinary Arts Program. Our entrees are ordered, created, prepared, and served by our Culinary Arts students.



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