Colorado Springs city council candidate’s education called into question, KKTV 11 News helps clarify

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:01 PM MDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 2:34 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The educational background of a Colorado Springs city council candidate is in the spotlight following a post online by the group “IntegrityMatters.”

Several viewers reached out to 11 News questioning why several media outlets were reporting candidate Michelle Talarico “graduated” from Colorado College. 11 News did not report that and reached out to a couple of those news outlets which did. At least one of those news outlets has since changed their candidate bio on Michelle, as Michelle clarified she was only an “alum” of Colorado College. Some people perceived an alum as a graduate, but Michelle says she has never told anyone she has received a degree.

Michelle is running against Scott Hiller for District 3. Scott was able to provide his diploma from St. Louis University minutes after 11 News reached out. Scott did not receive a degree from Texas A&M, but he explained he did complete courses there.

Michelle originally told 11 News she was one class away from receiving her degree at MSU Denver, but in an on-camera interview stated she isn’t sure how many credits she had completed there. A spokesperson with MSU Denver is reporting they don’t have a record of Michelle Renee Talarico, but Michelle tells 11 News she did attend that school in the 80s.

On Thursday, KKTV 11 News confirmed on behalf of Michelle that she actually attended CU Denver in 1985, not Metro State. At that time, the three institutions on that campus; Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, and Community College of Denver, did have some co-listed classes.

After 11 News started asking questions about her educational background, Michelle said she would update her LinkedIn profile which stated as of Wednesday morning read

“Colorado College

Bachelor’s degree, English Language and Literature/Letters


Michelle explained she could understand how people would misinterpret that meant she graduated from Colorado College.

“I was lucky enough to receive a full-ride scholarship with several different grants and things to Colorado college in 1982,” Michelle told 11 News. “I was studying toward a bachelor’s degree at Colorado College between 1982 and 1985 in that subject matter. Nowhere does it say that I obtained a degree.”

11 News Reporter Melissa Henry pointed out the LinkedIn bio to Michelle on Wednesday.

“It does say that, but then it lists three years under it, and as anybody knows, degrees are a four-year thing. So my intention in this was basically to list the educational experience that I had. It is regrettable to me that there is misunderstanding based on this or based on anything that I have ever said. I never meant to mislead anybody or the public on what my status was in terms of a degree or not degree.”

At a forum held by KKTV 11 News, Michelle did state she attended Colorado College, but never claimed she graduated.

KKTV 11 News is actively working with Michelle to confirm her educational background.

Election Day is Tuesday, April 4.