Parker Campus Construction – New Labs

2017 is a big year at the ACC Parker campus! We’re gearing up to recreate our space and add new state-of-the-art science labs and work space. Construction is set to start in early February 2017. All of these updates mean we’ll be able to offer more classes, but also that it will be a construction zone this semester. Check out what’s to come!

Awesome things to come:

  • Innovative classrooms with state of the art technology to create a collaborative learning experience.
  • High tech science labs with flexible configurations to accommodate several different scenarios (wet lab, dry lab, prep areas, group discoveries, individual explorations – all things cool and science-related).
  • State-of-the-art lounge area for students to feel like part of the Parker community / ACC community / student community, all in one learning commons space.
  • Administration collaborative offices to create cohesion of shared ideas and expansion of experiential learning.
  • More course selections to finish your degree in your community.
  • Complete A.A.S. degree!

A few things to keep in mind:

ACC ear plugs

ACC ear plugs will be available to help you make it through any noise.

  • Construction will start the first part of February. We’ve got ear plugs on hand for those noisy days!
  • Parking spaces will be more limited. If your goal is to get 10,000 steps in a day, you’ll be on your way!
  • Intermittent electrical outages. Remember to save your work often!
  • Limited second floor bathroom accessibility. Don’t worry, the first floor will still be up and running!
  • We got a positivity pole to share your thoughts on what you are most excited about for the new science labs and we’re fully staffed if you have any question or concerns during this exciting time.

If you have any questions or need accommodations, please contact the ACC Parker campus at 303.734.4822 or

ACC Invoices and Small Payments are now Digital

ACC is Moving Mountains

We’re making it easier for our students to succeed with a brand new, integrated system that ensures full user friendliness and modern capabilities.

Changes that have occurred:

Effective September 15, 2016, ACC will be using monthly Electronic invoicing and no longer producing physical bills. These bills will be produced on the 15th of every month, rather than 2 to 3 times per semester. The Electronic invoices provide detailed listing of charges, expected Financial Aid, Courses, and options for remittance of payment.

Electronic invoices are produced for ALL students with a balance – even if you have a 3rd party committed to paying for your tuition or if you have signed up for a payment plan through Nelnet Business Solutions.

Why is ACC moving towards Electronic Invoices?

Electronic Invoices provide a more accurate, more frequent and timely bill. It’s a greater convenience for students and is easy to locate. It also helps track payments from 3rd parties and tracks the enrollment status (as well as any affiliated Financial Aid) that a student may possess. And system records are more capable as an electronic standard versus the traditional US Mail.

Where can I find my Transaction History?

Electronic invoices will be housed in myACC – 6 easy steps to access:

  1. Log in to myACC.
  2. Click on the “Student Finance” tab.
  3. Find the “Billing Statement” box.
  4. Click on “View Monthly Statements or Billing Notices.”
  5. Click on the “Click here for credit card payments and/or historical account statements at ACC.”
  6. Find the “Your Bills” box and click on “Banner Sched Inv S…”
    Students will receive an email notification when Electronic invoices are published and available for viewing.

And Moving Towards the Future!

With an efficient new way for you to purchase parking passes, pay for replacement student ID cards and to take care of your testing center fees!

A New Way to Pay:

ACC is catching up with the world’s most modern marketing advancements by introducing our own electronic ‘Shopping Cart’ onto the ACC website. An easier and more simplified way for students to pay for individual or multiple services that ACC offers. Not only is this method more efficient, it’s also effective and fast!

How it will work:

  1. Log onto myACC
  2. Select the “Student Finance” Tab
  3. Under “Payment Options and Refunds” click on “Pay with Credit Card – Optional Purchases”
  4. Click on “Shopping Cart” (located at the top of the Student Account Online Page) and click on “Continue Shopping”
  5. View choices and click on “View Detail” for the Parking Permit you wish to purchase
  6. Click on “Add to Shopping Cart”, click on “Checkout” when you are finished shopping. If you are finished shopping, click “Continue Checkout”
  7. Enter credit card information along with your name and address (verify email is correct)
  8. Review your information to ensure it is accurate and click on “Submit Payment”
  9. Once the “Confirmation” Page appears click on “View Printable Receipt” and print your receipt, showing you have paid

If you have any questions, please contact the ACC Cashier’s Office.

by Gail McKinney, ACC Bursar

ACC Student Bond Fee FAQs

From November 14 through November 18, 2016, all enrolled ACC students will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on an incremental student bond fee for the purpose of constructing a new building for a Castle Rock collaboration campus to serve ACC student needs.

Here are a few FAQs about this proposed bond fee referendum.

When is the voting period and how do we vote?

Voting is November 14 – 18. All currently enrolled student will be eligible to vote in the bond referendum. Students will receive an email from “” Monday, November 14 with a link to a survey to complete the voting process. Each student will be required to enter their ACC Student ID number in order to vote. The Student ID number will be used to verify the student has only voted once, not to track responses. If a student votes more than one time, only their first vote will count. The link will be active until Friday, November 18 at midnight.

What is a passing vote?

A simple majority will count as a passing vote. For example 51% For the Fee vs 49% Against the Fee would be a passing vote.

What will this campus do for the community?

It will offer more classes and services in the Castle Rock area and provide ACC students with an opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree without having to drive to Fort Collins. The collaboration campus will have space for employers and students to partner on internships and other learning opportunities.

What kind of classes will be offered in Castle Rock on the new campus?

The campus will have courses that are guaranteed to transfer. English, Math, Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences.

How will this new campus increase the value of my degree?

The Campus will give students an opportunity to gain real world experience when working directly with employers through internships or service learning. The fact that CSU wants to partner with ACC means that they value your ACC Degree.

Why is there a big jump in the fee in the year of 2019?

The new campus is expected to open in Fall of 2019. Students enrolled at ACC in Fall of 2019 will be the first to have access and use the new campus. It will also allow for space to open up in current classes (like Science) on the Littleton Campus with Parker and Castle Rock students taking those classes at the new Campus.

What are our fees now?

Right now students taking classes at the Littleton Campus pay a $2.80 per credit hour fee (up to 12 credit hours) that was enacted by a previous student vote to pay for maintenance of student spaces in the Main Building of the Littleton Campus. Students taking classes on the Parker and Castle Rock Campuses or online do not currently pay this fee.

Who will pay the fee if it is passed?

If the Bond is passed, all students on all campuses (with the exception of Concurrent Enrollment students who take classes at their High School) will pay the fee based on credit hours starting at $2.80 up to 12 credit hours in Fall 2017.

What if the Bond does not pass?

If the bond does not pass, fees will remain that same as they are now. ACC will continue with the project for the Castle Rock Campus. A Bond Fee may be reintroduced for student vote at another time. A tuition fee increase may be petitioned by ACC through the Colorado Community College System.

How many students will be on the new Castle Rock Campus?

The campus is expected to support up to 1000 students by the end of the first 5 years of operation with one building. Long term plans include a second building will be constructed for continued growth.

Whoa two buildings? Will that mean more fees in the future?

No. The fee that would be put in place for the construction and development of the Castle Rock Campus will not go above the projected $8.00 per credit hour in the year of 2021 and beyond.

Will I be charged for every credit hour?

You will be only charged a fee on a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester.

Do other Metro area Community Colleges charge Bond Fees?

Community College of Aurora – $2.24 per credit hour
Community College of Denver – $6.79 per credit hour
Front Range Community College – $33.71 per semester (Student Bond Fee) plus $4.15 per credit hour (New Construction Fee)
Pikes Peak Community College – $3.30 per credit hour (Parking Bond $1.35 and Student Center Bond $1.95 combined)
Red Rocks Community College – $70.00 per semester Student Recreation Bond fee plus $2.50 per credit hour Student Center Bond Fee

What about 4-year Colleges?

We are happy to help you with the transfer process.  We want you to pursue your Bachelor’s Degree.

Here are some of the Bond/Facilities Fees you can expect to pay.

Metropolitan State University – Metro Bond Fee of $21.15 per credit hour

Colorado State University – $20.75 per credit hour

University of Colorado – Boulder – $170.00 for 7 or more credit hours (Capital Construction Fee), $106.96 for more than 1 class of any credit hours (Rec Center Expansion Fee)

University of Colorado – Denver – Auraria Bond Fee $64.00

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs –  $33.00 + 9.50 per credit hour (University Center Bond Fee)

University of Denver – $590 per credit hours Bachelor of Arts Completion fee.

Regis University – Various flat fees of about $2046 per semester

Didn’t see your question? Just Ask.

Learn more about the ACC Student Bond Fee.

2015-2016 ACC Space Grant

ACC Space Grant TeamRocket launchACC NASA space grant payload







Payload balloonACC payload








NASA communication room

Chris Littlefield, ACC StudentChris Littlefield

I am a non-traditional student. I have returned to school after spending 25 years raising a family and working in the corporate world. I am old enough to have seen the last moon mission, Apollo 17. The last humans to leave low earth orbit.

Privatization of some space flight has led to an explosion in Aerospace companies. According to the Colorado Space Coalition there are more than 400 private aerospace companies in Colorado, supplying and developing commercial, military and government space applications.

Payload plansChris Littlefield working on payloadI am blessed with the opportunity to return to school at such a time in history. My goal in returning to school is get a job that enables me to participate in the rejuvenated push to

Participation in the RockSatC program has allowed me to be part of a diverse team of students and faculty from around the Denver metro area. We came together and with Model much work and gnashing of teeth built a scientific payload that returned valuable science.

My job on the team was lead Structural Engineer. I was able to take on the task of understanding the science group’s requirements, and design structures that would accomplish the required science. This project has allowed me to take a basic understanding of CAD and transform that into 3D structures that performed science in space.

Chris Littlefield working on payloadThe program is a challenge. It will test you in many unexpected ways. The people on the team became my friends and there are times where you spend more time at school working on the payload then you do with your family and studies.

I am pursuing a B.S. in Aviation and Aerospace science at Metropolitan State University where I hope to continue launching things to space. It is possible to accomplish your dreams. If you don’t do it this year you will be one year older when you do.  Warren Miller.

-Chris Littlefield

Jamie Principato

Jamie PrincipatoSometimes, the things you believe you are least qualified to do are the things you will learn and grow the most from doing. When ACC first established a Space Grant team, I was anything but qualified to take on such a project. I still wasn’t completely sure of my major, I hadn’t yet successfully completed a Physics course and I didn’t know the first thing about Space or the stratosphere or engineering or really how to be a part of a research team. But I knew it all sounded exciting.

Jennifer Jones, Jamie PrincipatoIt started, for me, the first time I was late to Physics class. It was raining and I was running through Downtown Littleton to try to get there before the end of that inevitable pop quiz I couldn’t afford to fail. Luckily for me, my professor was making a lengthy announcement at the beginning of class that day. I peered through the glass window on the door and saw a NASA logo on the projector screen, and a small rocket igniting on a launch pad. When a classmate opened the door for me, the first thing I heard was my professor explaining “you’ll get to work on some sophisticated projects and you might even be able to send them into space, so if you’re interested, just-” … and I couldn’t contain myself. While still walking to my seat, soaked from the rain and out of breath, my hand shot into the air and I blurted out “I’m interested!”

Image of the horizon from payloadAnd from that impulsive leap, my excitement and enthusiasm grew. I was one of the first people to join the first team, and there was so much to learn, but we had so much support and opportunity to facilitate that learning. Over the winter break, I attended a workshop with my professor, and I learned how to use a soldering iron and design and test circuits that were intended for a variety of purposes from turning on lights and heaters to getting information about the environment through delicate little sensors. I learned how to program the computer chip that would control all of these circuits and sensors, too, and make it possible for us to understand the information they’re collecting. These were the basic skills we would need to design and build our own payload later that spring.

Next, it was time to come up with an idea. We knew a little, now, about the environment to which we would be sending our payload. It would be flying on a high altitude weather balloon, through the very thin layer of  the atmosphere above the clouds, but below Space, called the Stratosphere.


ACC NASA Space Grant teamWe would reach an altitude of nearly 100,000 feet, where the sky above us would be black instead of blue, and we would stay in the air for a few hours. There are a lot of things you can observe at that altitude that are much harder to study from the ground, and the first thing that came to mind for me was cosmic radiation. Most of the radiation that bombards our planet from outer space is blocked by the many layers of our atmosphere before it can reach us on the ground, but in the stratosphere, there is much less in the way to block cosmic rays. I wanted to see what this higher level of radiation was like. And more than that, I wanted to thoroughly understand it. So I started doing research and learning about all the many ways there are to observe radiation, and believe me, there were more than I expected. I started discussing my questions and ideas with my professors and my newly established team, and before long, we had settled on a multimodal radiation study as our first project. We wanted to use three very different observation methods, because this would allow us to understand many different properties of cosmic radiation while practicing a lot of hands-on STEM skills.

Toy hooked up to electronic equipmentWe wanted to build a Geiger counter, which operates by interrupting a circuit when an ionized particle passes through a tube of gas, a dosimeter, which is like a piece of thin film that permanently darkens in places where it is hit by radiation, and (my personal favorite) a cloud chamber. A cloud chamber is basically a container of supersaturated gas, like a cloud in the sky, that condensates when a charged particle passes through it. If you record video of the inside of the container, or just look with your eyes, you’ll see wispy trails of condensation moving through the gas like tiny snakes through water. These trails are evidence of tiny subatomic particles from cosmic radiation moving
through the container!

Ring of LightIt took a lot of time, in and out of the lab, to integrate these three ideas into a single payload that met all the size and weight and budget restrictions we had to consider. It was a semester-long project, and while in the beginning we were only meeting once a week, we soon found ourselves getting together in smaller groups throughout the week to work on various parts of the project, and reserving our weekly full-team meetings for
things we needed to discuss or do with everyone. We learned quickly how to organize ourselves and delegate responsibilities to each other, how to set and stick to schedules and keep everyone up to date on new information or changes to plans and ideas.

Our professors were amazing. They stood back and let us find the routine that worked best for us as a group, and really stretch or creativity and try new things, even if it looked like we would fail, but they were always there in a pinch if we had a question or needed help with something we just didn’t understand. They played the role of facilitators more than instructors, and made sure we had everything we needed to learn as much as we could.

Payload balloon and crewWhen the payload was finished and it was finally launch day, I don’t think I could have been more excited. We all left ACC together in one van, well before the crack of dawn, and drove out to the East where there would be less water and fewer mountains to get in the way of a safe launch and landing. There were lots of other teams there, all to share the same balloon, and it was interesting to talk to them and learn about their projects and the ideas they had been investigating all semester long. Every school seemed to do things a little differently in terms of how their team operated, and it gave me a sense of pride in my own school to talk about how our lab worked and what we had accomplished so far. We even met another team of students who were studying radiation, and were later able to share data with them to make both our projects even better.

Finally, when the balloon lifted off, my heart lifted with it. I could barely believe I was doing science at the edge of space, that this thing flying up into the clouds was something I dreamed up and built with the help of my friends, that I really could ask a question about the universe and then go and find the answer without waiting for someone more “qualified” to give it to me or tell me I have the right to look. And I knew then, for me, that this was only the beginning.

-Jamie Principato

David Colclazier

David ColclazierHi! I’m David Colclazier, one of the project managers for the RockSat-C 2016 program sponsored by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium at Arapahoe Community College. With how little awareness exists around the program, I felt it prudent to jot down a few of my thoughts about my experiences now that it’s said and done. Well, not quite… the launch went off without a hitch, and I now spend my free time performing image analysis (what?!?) on pictures we received from our Ring Imaging Cherynkov detector (who?!?!), locating and determining the makeup of charged particle impacts we picked up with a hacked GoPro. If you had told me a month ago I would be doing this, loving it, and most importantly, succeeding, I would have laughed at you and told you I knew absolutely nothing about Ring-Like Cherry Detectors or image analysis or anything of the sort.

David Colclazier and Chris LittlefieldThe experiences I had… the opportunities for learning, social interaction, problem solving, time-management, confidence building, and general handyman growth are infinite. To start with absolutely nothing, tap into a rusty imagination to create a pool of ideas with a group of other folks who have a much better imagination than I… To narrow down the validity of those choices to a single idea and see that idea spring into existance… It’s surreal. The experience opened a somewhat hidden door, as well… I now have similar personal projects I’m working on I never would have thought I had the capability of completing if I hadn’t participated. I’m building an RC lawnmower, an automatic hydroponic gardening monitoring system, my own RICH detecter because I now find the science freakin’ awesome…

The most common thing I hear from folks who are considering participating in a Space Grant program is either “I have nothing to offer the group,” or “I have no experience with {x}..” I beg to differ. I felt the same way before, and now think it’s one of the silliest reasons not to participate, but rather one of the best reasons you should. Following is a list of skills I had little or no knowledge of prior to particiaping in the COSGC program:

  • Embedded microcontroller programming (arduino, netduion, edison)
  • 3d printing with multiple materials and extruders (I’d 3d printed before, but knew very little compared to now)
  • 3d modeling and prototyping with SolidWorks and AutoCAD  <— THIS IS HUGE!
    Electronics – circuit design and testing, noise management
  • Hacking (the electronic kind – tear apart a gopro, design and print parts to fit inside, put your parts in, put it back together, it still works!)
  • Parallel programming
  • Going from about a 3 on the ‘handy’ chart to a ‘7’ or ‘8’
  • RC communications
  • The names and purpose of countless tools, pieces of hardware, and other gizmos I’d never seen before (ALSO HUGE, lol…)

Chris Littlefield and David Colclazier at 3D printerI am now brimming with the confidence that I will fly through the rest of my Aerospace Engineering degree at CU Boulder with not only a head-start on those who have not participated, but with the ease of mind that transitioning from the theoretical classroom setting to the hands-on application of everything I’ve learned will be cake.

David Colclzier with piece of payloadDavid Colclazier working on electronic componentsIt won’t be easy…. “space is hard.” You will lose sleep, you will fall behind, and you will have setbacks. I’ve learned where my limits lie from a stress management standpoint; no more weeks with less than 8 hours of aggregate sleep! Still, participating was nothing less than fantastic, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, and I guarantee you’ll feel the same way. I quote a new shirt I received for my birthday:

“The Only Reason I Became An Aerospace Engineer Was So I Could Build My Own Starship Enterprise.”

-David Colclazier

Joe Hamvas

Joe HamvasIt’s all about what they don’t teach you in class.

My name is Joe Hamvas, and I was in the Colorado Space Grant program for 3 semesters at ACC while I got an Associate of Science in Math degree. I’ve now transferred to CU Denver for Mechanical Engineering. Although I was able to apply some of the things I had learned in class to the RockSat- C Project, I learned the most from creating power point presentations and working with teammates. Often Engineering is misunderstood as just doing math all day, but this project taught me vital people skills.

Joe Hamvas working on construction of payloadJoe Hamvas working on payloadWithout “mundane” documentation, our rocket payload never would have launched.
The things I learned in RockSat-C were skills I can use in the workforce and in real life projects. The skills students learn here are more valuable than a degree, and, as icing on the cake, I even got to use some of the things I learned in class on the project.

There is no feeling like watching something you worked on get launched into space by NASA.

– Joe Hamvas

Lawrence Perkins

Lawrence PerkinsMy path to space and self discovery started with a poster on the wall.

I started at ACC as a part time student pursuing a path towards transferring credits to the electrical engineering program at UCD. At the time I wasn’t confident that I was good enough to have an engineering career. I knew I could do the work; however, I just didn’t have the confidence in my abilities to apply my self towards anything that could better myself.

COSGC slideOne of the first weeks of the beginning of the fall semester of 2015, I stumbled upon a poster for the RockSat team that was forming at ACC. I was intrigued at what I read but had to get to class. As I continued on with my week, my Trigonometry professor had a bit of special news for us. She presented to the class slides of the DemoSat and RockSat programs and explained what they were. I decided to investigate further thinking that I would not be a good fit for such a project. Lawrence PerkinsAfter attending the first meetings for both the DemoSat and the RockSat missions, I knew I wanted to be a part of the teams and contribute, even if that meant just keeping track of the budget and what we needed to order. So I did, by designing a spread sheet that tracked items that were ordered and/or in stock. Then we needed to make electrical schematics that were easy to understand, so I did that as well. Before I knew it, I was making contributions all areas of the projects from just giving sound advice to designing and building. Best of all, I noticed that I was becoming more comfortable making said contributions! I felt confident performing as an engineer!

Geiger CounterOne day, during a RockSat meeting, there was a proposal to make a RICH (Ring Imaging Cherenkov) detector using a camera. There were many cameras that we were trying to choose from, one of which was to use a GoPro. Before, I would have made a suggestion of which camera to use and that would be the end of it. This time, I tried something different called persistence. I was confident that I  could make a GoPro perform the task we needed it to, so I kept pushing my idea until we decided it was the best for the room, weight, power, and budget. I stood up for my idea and provided constructive ways to build the RICH detector the team needed. Our RICH detector flew on a DemoSat flight and our RockSat flight and is still functional to this day. I helped the team achieve designing a low cost functioning RICH detector and proved its function in space! This is something that I could not have done without the added confidence in myself that being a part of these teams have given me as the lead Electrical Engineer.

Lawrence Perkins working on payloadCurrently I’m leading a project for the Colorado Space Grant called the Eclipse Project. We’ll have the opportunity to study the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 via high altitude ballon. Just one year ago, not only was I unaware of Space Grants existence, but I was unaware of the true passion I hold to become engineer. Now the only question is “Do I become and Electrical Engineer or an Aerospace Engineer?” Maybe both…

– Lawrence Perkins

Transitioning to Civilian


This is my first blog so be gentle please. But first a little about me. My name is Jason Moore. I joined the army in 2010 as a 13B or other words knows as Field Artillery Crewman. I was stationed at 101st Airborne Division after basic training and AIT (Advanced Initial Training). I was shortly deployed to Afghanistan in the Kunar province for a year.  I spent 3 years in the army and got out due to a medical reason. When I got out I thought I would just go back to my normal civilian life but it wasn’t easy.

I decided to try and start school to occupy my free time and thought again “this will be easy, I’ve been through the military training, I got this in the bag.”  I was wrong, though. This is a completely different world than I thought. If it wasn’t for the great resources the Veteran center had such as peer tutors, a private place to study (the lounge) and instructors like I had (Joe Slonka, and Richard Corbetta) and all the others in the paralegal program, I believe I will would have quit, but I’m glad I didn’t. But I’m not the only one. DJ will tell you his story now.


My name is Daniel Cunningham, like Jason this is my first time writing in a blog format so please be understanding to the both of us. I joined the military back in 2005 as a 91w at the time, it is now known as a 68w or medic. My time in the military was very diverse. I went from Ft. Hood where I had my first deployment to Iraq with 4th ID. When I got back I was put with 1st ID 1/26 where I went on my second deployment in 2008 to Afghanistan. After that I did a stent in Korea and finally came back to 1/26 at Ft Knox, where I went on my final deployment which ended with me being medically retired from the military in 2014.

Coming out of the military was extremely hard on me. I did not want out and I had fought my medical board for almost two years before I finally resigned to my fate. When I first got out I lived with my family here in Colorado trying to figure out what I should do with my life now. My life goals of doing 20 years in the military and then going over to the police force were no longer possible, so I spiraled into a state of depression. Finally, my wife had had enough of me and forced me to go to school to find myself again. Since then I have been a lot happier and have finally chosen a career path for myself, geophysical engineering, which feels good. I believe that being around the fellow Veterans here at ACC and hearing their stories has helped me move through the transition and find a new life outside of the military.

ACC can be a great place for each of our Veterans coming back. We want each of you to find your place here at ACC – join us in the Veterans Lounge, stop by a Student Veterans Association meeting in the fall or use any of the great resources. While it will not always be easy to make a transition, by making connections here at ACC, you’ll have an overall better time here and hopefully a successful experience. You can contact us at and

by Jason Moore and DJ Cunningham

ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment Program Paves Path for Success & Cost Savings

Concurrent Enrollment Program - Earn College Credit while still in high schoolNearly 30 percent of high school juniors and seniors in Colorado participated in Concurrent Enrollment, ASCENT (Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT) or other dual-enrollment programs during the 2014-15 academic year.

Arapahoe Community College served more students (3,614) than any other two-year institution in the state during that time.  ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment program is designed for high school students looking for a challenging academic experience while simultaneously earning high school and college credit.

“Concurrent Enrollment is a great way for students to save time and money,” exclaimed Lisa Matye Edwards, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs at ACC.  “Courses are college equivalent and accepted at all four-year public institutions of higher education in Colorado.”

Statewide, 94% of districts and 84% of high schools offer Concurrent Enrollment programs.  High school students who enroll in dual enrollment programs have higher first-year credit hour accumulation, grade point averages, and retention rates in college.

“The cost savings for families in the south metro Denver area is significant,” said Taylor Van Antwerp, Director of Concurrent Enrollment at ACC.  “Data analysis reveals that Concurrent Enrollment classes offered by ACC saved students more than $3.3 million during the 2015-16 academic year, including more than $308,000 in Littleton Public Schools alone.”

ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment program partners with Cherry Creek School District, Colorado Early Colleges Parker, Denver Public Schools, Douglas County School District, Englewood School District, Jefferson County Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Sheridan School District, STEM School and Academy, and Weld County School District.

Academic and career/technical education courses are offered at the high schools, as well as at each three of ACC’s campuses in Littleton, Castle Rock and Parker.  For more information, please contact the ACC Concurrent Enrollment office at

by ACC Marketing Department

Start Now! Enrollment Expo on June 4

ACC Student Life Assistant Director Jennifer Husum assisting a student

ACC Student Life Assistant Director Jennifer Husum assisting a student

Will you be starting at Arapahoe Community College in Fall 2016? We have a great opportunity for you to begin the process of enrolling in Fall 2016 classes with our Start Now! student services and enrollment session on June 4 at the Littleton and Castle Rock campuses.

If you are a prospective and currently-applied – but not enrolled – student, Start Now! will give you the opportunity to complete new student orientation and testing while receiving assistance with advising, financial aid and registration during this one-day session. If you sign up to take the college placement test during the Start! Now June 4 event prior to June 1, your test will be FREE!

Start Now! will run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., will include regular tours of the College, and staff will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about ACC’s programs, beginning your college career, financial aid or payment plans. Please bring your 2015 tax forms if you are interested in free assistance with completing the FAFSA. Refreshments will be available.

At ACC, we offer both quality and value.  ACC has nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as guaranteed transfer programs into many of Colorado’s four-year public institutions. Our instructors are experts in their field, and classes are available both online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock.

For more information and to register for new student orientation and/or testing, please visit our Start Now! page or contact the Student Recruitment and Outreach Office at / 303.797.5637.

by ACC Marketing

Which Note-Taking App Should You Use? 3 Great Note-Taking Apps for College Students

Portrait of successful business team standing together against wooden wall. Full length image of a group of diverse colleagues standing in an officeNote-taking has come a long way. Gone are the days of writing until your hand aches or using an audio recorder and transcribing. Now that 50 percent of college students use a laptop at least once a week in class, many of them are using note-taking apps and programs to take notes quickly and keep them organized.

Thanks to these programs, keeping up in class, staying organized, and even copying notes from your friends has never been easier. Here’s a comparison of three popular note-taking apps to add to your study routine.


Evernote is probably the most well-known note-taking app. In addition to supporting both list and longer-form content creation directly in the app, Evernote is also designed to clip and save content from the web and has well-developed collaboration capabilities.

Device Availability:

Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web

Note-Taking Options:

Evernote truly does let you keep all your notes in one place. When writing notes directly into the app it offers the usual text formatting tools plus the ability to embed tables, files, and pictures. It also has audio and video recording features. If you’re not working directly within the app from the get go, you can clip information from websites and save it to Evernote or take photos of handwritten notes to upload. You can even save emails to Evernote with some plans (sadly not the free plan).

The clipped content feature is particularly handy and an available browser plugin means you can work from your favorite browser, not just the app. When you’re trying to pull an article into Evernote you have options to eliminate the ads, capture just the text and graphics without the layout or videos, capture the full page, save only a bookmark to the page, or take a screenshot of the page. You can annotate the clipped content with text, highlights, and arrows to easily add your own notes. And best of all, the content is live – you can copy, paste, edit, and reformat it.


Evernote also makes it easy to share and collaborate on notes and projects with your peers. Message back and forth within the app to get the missing parts and pieces you need. You’ll also be able to see real time changes to any of the documents so you don’t overwrite or duplicate work. Whether you’re working on organizing a team To-Do list for a project or sharing your research notes, Evernote can handle a broad range of collaboration needs.

This feature is also particularly helpful if you miss class and need to get notes from a friend. They can simply send you the digital notes via Evernote.


All your notes are visible in a single pane, but Evernote offers two ways to catalog and organize individual notes – Notebooks and Tags. You can create and name your own custom notebooks and tags to organize your notes any way you’d like.

Each note can live in only one notebook, but can have multiple tags (up to 100 per note). You can then find your notes in all three views: notes, notebooks, and tags – all of which are individually searchable. Tags are also organized alphabetically so you can add as many tags to your Evernote app as you want without getting completely overwhelmed.

The best application for this organizational structure would be to create a notebook for each class (be sure you add your new notes to the right notebook!) and add multiple tags to your notes. For instance, you can tag notes with a particular project, by topic, by media type (articles, class notes, video, audio, etc.), and with helpful reminders of when you might need that note (homework, to-do, finals).


Evernote syncs with cloud storage, meaning you’ll still have your notes when you jump between devices. Different levels of storage are available with the three different plans. The Basic plan allows for notes up to 25MB and 60MB of monthly uploads. The Premium plan supports notes up to 200MB and 10GB of monthly uploads. A Plus plan falls somewhere in between.


Evernote Basic is free but does have a limited number of features. Plus is $24.99 per year and includes a few of the features you’re most likely to miss with the free plan. For power users, the Premium plan costs $49.99 a year.



Group of college students with laptop computerOneNote, part of the Microsoft suite of online tools, functions like a basic word processor but organizes as if you were writing in a divided spiral notebook. It has a lot of the same note taking features as Evernote, with the added benefit of also boosting most of Microsoft Word’s features.

Device Availability:

Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web

Note-Taking Options:

You take notes in OneNote just like you’d type in Microsoft Word – which diminishes the learning curve. In additional to typing in your notes, you can also make and insert audio and video recordings, include images, and embed spreadsheets and tables. One of the nicest things about working in OneNote is that it auto saves your work as you go – a feature that anyone who has ever forgotten to hit Save is sure to appreciate.

If you need to upload handwritten notes, no need to sit down and type them all. OneNote allows you to take a photo of the notes with your mobile device and upload it as an image. To make sure the notes are legible, Microsoft offers a companion app called Microsoft Lens.

OneNote also supports clipping content from the web and allows you to add your own annotations or edits. When clipping the webpage, you can select the area you want, leaving out annoying sidebars or ads.

You can even save emails to your OneNote by sending them to your own personal OneNote email address. Emails are saved to a default notebook that you need to select when you set up this feature, so it’s best to create a generic Emails notebook within OneNote. Once the notes are loaded in you can move them as needed.


You can share your OneNote notebooks with others so they can view, review, and edit your work. Sharing is on a notebook-by-notebook basis, so when you share notes for one class your classmate won’t be able to see the rest of your notebooks or notes.

When you’re sharing your notes, you can choose whether that person can edit or only view your shared document. For extra security, you can also require that the person log into their own OneNote account before they can see what you sent them. If you want to share your notes with someone who doesn’t use OneNote, unchecking the “require sign-in” option will send them a link they can access anyway. The same viewing or editing permission still work in these cases.


Documents, notes, and media cannot be stored in OneNote without being assigned to a notebook. Organization is done by setting up notebooks and adding “Sections” to each notebook. While you’ll need a different notebook for each class, the sections make it easy to keep notes for that subject well organized. These sections are organized like tabs, making this app easy-to-use.


OneNote is cloud-based, meaning your information syncs among all your devices. Free subscribers are limited to 15GB of space for all Microsoft OneDrive uses (not just OneNote). If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you can get more space.


OneNote is free when you sign up for a free Microsoft OneDrive account.



1Writer is designed to be a clean, distraction-free mobile note taking app that makes collaboration easy. It’s a fairly tech-advanced app that offers a lot of Markdown and JavaScript features and customizable views to really meet your needs.

Device Availability:

iOS only – particularly iPhone and iPad

Note-Taking Options:

1Writer’s main feature allows you to create and edit plain text or Markdown files directly within the app. This basic feature goes so far as to add a convenient formatting row to your mobile keyboard, making it easy to bold, italicize, and hyperlink text or even drop in an image.

1Writer syncs with Dropbox and iCloud so you can access and edit stored documents. If you’re working offline, your documents will be updated in the cloud once you reconnect to the internet.

As for doing research and taking notes from online sources, 1Writer has an in-app web browser and you can bookmark your favorite sites right in the app. The app can also convert web text to Markdown syntax and allows you to drop the copied text onto a clipboard.

You can also create handy To-Do checklists in the 1Writer app. Additional features – such as Find & Replace – can be added to the basic app by downloading them from the 1Writer website’s “Action Directory” at no extra charge.


1Writer has a host of built-in sharing features that let you share your work outside of the app. You can generate a sharable link that leads directly to your notes in plain text or PDF form. You can also email notes as plain text, formatted text, or a PDF. Interestingly, you can also turn 1Writer notes or text selections into Evernote notes.

More advanced features let you share using URL scheme or JavaScript text manipulation.

Overall, 1Writer allows more sharing of notes rather than active in-app collaboration between different users.


Your notes can be organized in searchable folders and tagged with searchable hashtags (within the text) to help you keep everything neatly organized and easy to find.


It’s unclear how much in-app storage 1Writer supports, but it can sync with Dropbox and iCloud, which gives you plenty of options for cloud storage.


$4.99 in the Apple App Store.


Using Note-Taking Apps

No matter which note-taking app you choose, all of them make keeping up and taking notes fast and simple. Technology can benefit you only if you use it properly, though, and it’s worth noting that studies have shown that writing with pen and paper helps to boost your memory and “ability to retain and understand concepts.” If you have a particularly challenging class, you may want to switch between handwriting and your note-taking app so you can retain difficult concepts better. Or opt for a note-taking app that supports uploading handwritten notes so you can keep everything organized while still getting the benefits of hand-writing your notes.

Where these apps do come in handy is in keeping you organized and keeping your notes legible. Sloppy or slow handwriting, misplaced or disorganized notebooks, and running out of ink aren’t problems anymore thanks to note-taking apps. Simply turn on, type, and you’re set!

Hottest Jobs in the U.S.

Female hospital administrative in a modern medical centerJob hunting is a balance of art and science. Many parts of the job hunt are subjective, such as resume formatting and how to answer tricky questions during an interview. Dick Bolles, author of the best-selling job-hunting book in the world What Color is Your Parachute?, teaches readers how to give yourself the greatest advantage in your job hunt. Bolles says that job hunters typically fall into three categories:

  • Those who follow luck
  • Hunters who rely on intuition
  • And those with a step-by-step process

Job seekers who use the step-by-step process are the most successful. If you’re thinking of finding a new job, now is the time to start, and using research as one of your first steps will help you land one of this year’s hot jobs.

Earlier this year, Glassdoor, the fastest growing jobs and recruiting site, released the 25 Best Jobs in America, which rank jobs according to three factors:

  • Earning potential (median annual base salary)
  • Career opportunities rating
  • A number of job openings

Here are the top three hottest jobs from that list.

The #1 hottest job for 2016: Data Scientist

A data scientist is defined as someone who does data analysis to present findings to executives. This is an evolution (or, as in some cases, a renaming) of the data analyst position. It also happens to be the “sexiest job” of the 21st century according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. To be a data scientist, you need to combine knowledge of computer science, modeling, statistics, and analysis to retrieve findings from data.

There are currently more than 1,700 openings for data scientists listed on Glassdoor and the median salary is $116,840. The career opportunities rating is 4.1 and the job score is 4.7. Take a look at ACC’s Data Analytics, Health Data Analytics, Computer Science or Mathematics programs to gauge your interest in these related fields.

Business people with charts and graphsThe #2 hottest job for 2016: Tax Manager

A tax manager oversees all tax plans for people and organizations. They ensure all tax matters adhere to governmental guidelines and provide advice on tax-related issues. A tax manager must have knowledge of local, international, and global tax laws, depending on the client’s needs, and must complete tax returns. A degree in accounting or taxation is usually required.

There are more than 1,500 job openings on Glassdoor for this position, with a median base salary of $108,000. The career opportunities rating is 3.9 and the job score is 4.7. At ACC, our Accounting program will equip you with the knowledge to being your journey to becoming a tax manager.

The #3 hottest job for 2016: Solutions Architect

A solutions architect is someone who designs applications or services in an organization that solves problems for clients. This person must be savvy technically and business-wise with great communication skills. Previously, this role may have been a systems analyst or IT consultant. This person selects the right technology to solve a problem and usually has a team who will implement the solution. The International Association of Solution Architect (IASA) has laid out a development path for those interested in this career.

On Glassdoor, there are more than 2,900 openings for solutions architects. The median base salary is $119,500 and it has a career opportunities rating of 3.5 and a job score of 4.6. If you’re interested in this career, ACC’s Computer Technology and Business programs are great places to start.

Landing a Top Job

The top rankings in the list are mostly for tech jobs, which has been a consistent trend for years. If technology isn’t your forte, jobs like human resources manager (#6) and marketing manager (#14) also made the list. There are number of great career paths you can follow with the right focus and education.

The best way to approach your job hunt is to prepare yourself while actively seeking opportunities. By attending classes at Arapahoe Community College, you’ll be able to enhance your skills in an area related to the field you’d like to work in. Never deny yourself a chance to land your dream job because of a lack of education or knowledge in a field; rather, invest in your education so you have the best chances for a great future.

8 Reasons to Choose Community College

ACC Communication Students

ACC Communication Students

Community college is “one of America’s best-kept secrets” according to Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. In the past, the stigma surrounding attending community colleges has overshadowed its strengths, but that’s beginning to change. Community colleges have a three-pronged mission: prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions, provide vocational training, and serve the community through continuing education efforts. It’s through the accomplishment of this mission that community colleges succeed, but there are several reasons to enroll that make attending community college a great choice.

  1. Lower costs
    As the cost of higher education continually increases, the prospect of attending a traditional four-year institution is out of reach for many. But as US high school graduation rates improve, more people are choosing to attend community college to efficiently begin their college careers. On average, community college tuition costs 90% less than four-year for-profit institutions, and 84% less than four-year non-profit schools.
  2. Flexibility
    Community colleges are designed for people from varied backgrounds. Flexible course schedules meet the needs of part-time and full-time students, such as classes offered in the daytime and evening. Online courses make pursuing secondary education more accessible with classes you can take from home or at the office.
  3. Two-year degrees, certificates and continuing to a four-year institution
    Some community colleges offer bachelor’s degrees independently or with a four-year institution. This helps to bring higher education opportunities to more students, especially nontraditional students who may not be able to travel to a four-year institution to pursue an advanced degree. At Arapahoe Community College, we offer nearly 100 degree and certificate programs to help you succeed.
  4. Small classes
    Class sizes tend to be small, which means one-on-one interaction with the teacher, the opportunity to have questions answered in class, and more meaningful relationships with classmates. Smaller classes enable teachers to adapt lessons to the needs of the class, which can promote more productive lessons.
  5. Dedicated teachers
    Community college instructors have traditionally dedicated minimal time to research and scholarship and have instead focused on teaching. This gives the benefit of having instructors who are entirely focused on what is taught in the classroom without having to spend their time producing articles for scholarly journals.
  6. Adaptive course offerings
    Community colleges adapt their curriculum to the needs of their communities.  For example, many community colleges began offering high-tech coursework as early as 2000 to meet the demand for this type of education. Enrolling in classes to improve your workplace skills in technology and computers will increase your employability.
  7. Variety of programs
    A key to success at college is studying a course that interests you so you remain engaged and passionate about your studies. The degree and certificate programs at ACC cover a wide range of academic, business and technical fields of study at affordable tuition rates so you can pursue your passions without going broke.
  8. Activities outside the classroom
    A key element of the four-year college experience is activities beyond in-class education. Student Life at Arapahoe Community College coordinates activities and events such as movie showings, guest speakers and music performances. Participating in clubs and organizations can expand your network while enriching your college experience. At ACC, we also offer community resources such as community education, fitness center, daycare, and a library to benefit the community, even those not enrolled in the college.
ACC Nusing Students volunteering for Project C.U.R.E.

ACC Nusing Students volunteering for Project C.U.R.E.

The community college experience is not to be overlooked. In addition to the tremendous tuition savings, community college is an excellent choice to pursue a degree, certificate or to improve your skills in an area of your choice. With more people learning about all that community colleges have to offer, they may not be one of America’s best-kept secrets for long.




Community College Education. By: Clapp, Marlene, Research Starters: Education (Online Edition), 2015
The % in this post are from the NY Times piece: “At public 2-year colleges, the average tuition was $2527. This compares to four year for profit schools where the average tuition is 15661. Average tuition at a four-year non-profit was 21,324.”