ACC Community Spotlight: Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB)

Colorado Center for the Blind building signFor several years, ACC and the Colorado Center for the Blind (CCB) have been collaborating on Shared Visions, an accessible art exhibit. This last summer the two organizations also joined forces on an exhibit held at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. The dynamics between the ACC and CCB classes seems to inspire everyone, the students, teachers, and the public!

CCB students at potter's wheels at ACCCCB students dissecting sharks at ACCAnn Cunningham, an art teacher at CCB, said that the best thing about being a part of the ACC community were the quality of our instructors. “Nathan (Abels) and Katie (Caron) are both excellent artist as well as amazing teachers. Truly, I am very impressed with both of them,” said Ann.

The CCB curriculum is expanding because of the collaboration. The Center now has new methods to explore because of the newly acquired skills of their teachers. “I also know that when I need to ask questions Katie and Nathan will be there with answers. ACC’s generous donation of a pottery wheel will enable us to continue building our skills in our pottery program,” said Ann, of the graciously fostered partnership.

CCB logoThe Colorado Center for the Blind would certainly recommend ACC to others! CCB is completely impressed with the openness and sense of adventure that ACC instructors bring to the experience. In fact, some of the teachers would love to take classes here, moving beyond just a partnership but a true relationship with ACC. The Colorado Center for the Blind and ACC Move Mountains together!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

Why I Attend ACC and Joined Phi Theta Kappa

Camila Monroe, ACC studentNowadays, we hear everywhere about the importance of diversity; community colleges are the most diverse academic population anyone will be able to find. A quick walk around our school will illustrate that: we find overachieving high schoolers, coming back students, young adults pursuing a new career, international students, Hispanics, people of color, LGBTQ activists, Republicans and Democrats, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers…and the list goes on. The differences in backgrounds, race, gender, political affiliation and age make community colleges the environment that we would like to see along the streets. It’s an environment where all of that diversity comes together to learn. Of course big universities might also offer that variety, but in community colleges that is a sure thing; one of the reasons is that nearly every person can afford that kind of education.

Which brings me to another point: we are at school because we want to – not because our parents do. We sign up for classes because we truly expect to learn, and to apply that obtained knowledge as soon as possible, whether it is towards a job or higher levels of education. We are goal-oriented students, and we will persevere in the journey towards that goal.

I joined PTK to become the VP of Honors in Action (HiA), a position that combined two things that I have a passion for: research and community service. I started my project that summer, and I have learned and grew so much ever since. I have had experiences with community service and journalism back in my home country of Brazil, doing something similar in a completely different language and culture was beyond challenging. But I succeeded, and as a consequence I started to engage more and more every day.

The success of that project made me thirsty for more; more friends than those amazing ones I had met at PTK, more outreach of my ideas on how we could improve our community, more ways to be part of my school beyond showing up and getting good grades. After my award-winning HiA, I joined many clubs, became a chemistry, biology and economics tutor at ACC, joined the Colorado Space Grant Program, and, finally, became president of student government and of our PTK chapter. I believe PTK is not only for those who were born ready, who had all resources available; it is also an honor society for those who overcame obstacles, who do not ignore, but recognize and even celebrate their imperfections. Those are the hard-working students, who understand that a leader is not born, but built, slowly, as a consequence of the never-ending process of bettering ourselves.

by Camila Monroe

ACC Student Spotlight: Leah Porter

ACC Student Leah PorterAt ACC, Leah received lots of support from administrators, faculty, and staff. When she realized she want more than just an associate degree, she reached out to several ACC employees and was offered help in fulfilling her goals and achieving her dreams.

Leah loves that ACC is small and that everybody is very nice. She also loves that ACC has a Dean of Students, Vice Presidents, and the President of the college walking around communicating with students. “Our school doesn’t preach inclusivity, we practice it,” said Leah. ACC has become her new family.

The three most valuable benefits Leah have received from ACC are:

  • Education
  • Confidence
  • Leadership skills

Leah tells people that if you want success, there are lots of resources available to help you find your success within the school or on a national level. She also said, “ACC changed my life. At ACC, I have achieved what I thought was impossible. I received awards from ACC and the national level.” She is the honoree in the PTK’s All Colorado Team, Coca-Cola Gold Scholar, Guistwhite Scholar, and ACC’s Rising Star. ACC is proud to have Leah as part of the family.

She graduated in May 2017 and is transferring to CU Denver for her Bachelor’s in Business Management. Her new goal is to pursue a Master’s Degree in Higher Education to inspire others the way she has been inspired. “My experience at ACC is beyond wonderful,” said Leah. She will continue to Move Mountains!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Student Spotlight: Andrew Groom

ACC Student Andrew GroomAs an ACC student, Andrew has obtained a degree that puts him directly in line to start a specific career at a cost well below that of a four-year state school or a private college. He would definitely recommend ACC to others because the college works hard to engage with the students and incorporate their feedback as much as possible into the running of the institution. He values ACC as receiving a good quality education and views this s a huge benefit.

Andrew is also a work study employee in the Financial Aid Office. He said that working at ACC has definitely helped him integrate into the community here. “There are so many great employees who are ready and willing to help students achieve their academic goals and I have just really enjoyed being able to work alongside such an excellent team,” replied Andrew. Through his ACC student employment, he has greatly improved upon his customer service skills and has increased his cultural awareness of the many differing people and their circumstances as they look to progress through the education system.

Andrew wanted to end by saying, “ACC has everything you need to become successful as a student pursuing you academic dreams and plenty of people willing to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask.” Andrew is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

Student Services at ACC that won’t cost you a thing!

ACC students in writing centerArapahoe Community College is the perfect place to begin – or continue – your journey towards Moving Mountains with your academic and career goals.

ACC offers an affordable education (lowest tuition among state-funded schools) with instructors who are experts in their field. Classes are available online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock. We’re close to home, and our small class sizes allow students to receive individual attention.

Our Career & Transfer Center provides guidance for students looking to continue their education beyond ACC. In fact, we offer guaranteed transfer programs to all four-year Colorado public institutions. Transfer fairs and employment expos, as well as job/career exploration events, are held during the fall and spring semesters. Peer tutoring services, as well as math and writing support centers, are offered at no cost to students. Academic Advising provides one-on-one assistance with course selection and the registration process as students develop their personalized plan for one of seven degree pathways.

Students can get involved with clubs and organizations as they acclimate to college life. Our honor societies and student government foster leadership skills and provide opportunities for scholarly growth. The Student Success Center facilitates a variety of tools and enrichment workshops to hone time-management and study skills.

ACC is committed to supporting veterans and military-connected students, and has been named as a Military-Friendly School. Student Access Services can assist with permanent or temporary accommodations, and on-campus counseling services are available through the Student Engagement Center. ACC also introduced the Elevate program in 2016, providing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to pursue higher education.

The Library & Learning Commons offers the optimal environment for individual research or group study sessions. Our Fitness Center is open Monday – Saturday, providing a welcoming facility complete with treadmills, spin bikes, free weights, locker rooms and contemporary recreational amenities. ACC also has a fully-accredited childcare center on site, providing students, employees and members of the community with a clean, healthy and nurturing environment for little ones throughout the fall, spring and summer semesters.

ACC is partnering with Colorado State University and the Douglas County School District on the new Castle Rock Collaboration Campus. Students can now complete their associate degree or certification in its entirety at the recently-renovated Parker Campus. Brand new, state-of-the-art science labs at the Littleton Campus will deliver the best in experiential and collaborative learning.

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing innovative and responsive educational and economic opportunities in an accessible, inclusive environment that promotes success for students, employees and members of the south metro Denver communities.

Whether you’re a prospective, current or transfer student, you’ll find the education and resources you need to Move Mountains at ACC and beyond.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

ACC Student Spotlight: Tasha Estein

ACC Student Tasha EsteinTasha started classes in the fall of 2015 and wanted to be completely invisible, take a few classes and go. Her intended goal was to have a tenuous relationship with ACC. Fortunately, ACC has so many encouraging professors that her plan failed epically. Since that time, opportunities that she would have never believed possible have come her way. “My experiences here have changed my shape and outlook on everything and helped to push me into pursuing the impossible—doing things that I would have never contemplated otherwise,” reflected Tasha.

From her words, “There is no one single thing that sets ACC apart, rather, it is entirely a culmination of the whole that makes me feel the significance of being a part of the ACC community. We have a staff that motivates and will do everything in their power to help students become successful. We have a diversity of students from different walks of life that (occasionally) only have the one thing in common: a will to become something and the drive to keep pushing forward despite the difficulties that arise when pursuing higher level education. We have a place for everyone at this school. We have a litany of different resources driving students to success if they are willing to ask for help. If I were to try to define it in fewer words, I’d say that the best part of being in the ACC community is the fact that you become a part of a community of hardworking individuals that work together as a team that benefits that community as a whole.”

ACC is full of amazing professors and administration that care about their student’s academically and personally. Everyone here is willing to push students to their full potential, when they need it, but also help build up confidence in the students that may not think that they have the skills or ability to succeed. “My experiences here have given me something that no one can take away from me: education and personal development, and I’m confident that anyone that comes to this school can experience similar if given the opportunity,” said Tasha.

The three most valuable benefits that Tasha has received from ACC are a second chance at education, confidence, and a direction in life worth fighting for. She did not anticipate being successful by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t until she started taking classes here that she found her confidence to grow. “Through experiences with the inspirational staff that supported me and pushed me forward I found myself questioning my low expectations,” she thought. Tasha went from undeclared to a science major, won awards, scholarships, attended national leadership and physic conferences, and even went to NASA last semester. She will continue to grow and develop and continue to hone the direction she wants to go in. Tasha is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

Student Bond Fee Fall 2017 Additional Information and FAQs – Voting Update

VOTING UPDATE:

I am excited to share that ACC students voted to support the additional building bond fee in support of the ACC Castle Rock Collaboration Campus: 63.4% yes (527), 36.6% no (304). Student fee guidelines require just a simple majority percentage of those students voting in order to pass a fee. 63.4% is well above a simple majority. I also am proud that a record number of students elected to vote – 831. At almost 10% of eligible students, this is the largest number of students to vote on a fee in at least a decade.

Let the excitement begin!
Diana M. Doyle, Ph.D.
ACC President


We are nearing a student vote concerning the proposal of an incremental student bond fee to finance the construction and operation of a new Castle Rock collaboration campus to serve Arapahoe Community College (ACC) student needs, as well as to pay for continuing maintenance and renovations of existing ACC facilities and resources.

The Castle Rock collaboration campus partially funded by this fee will include ACC instructional space, space leased by Colorado State University (CSU) with the purpose of offering courses towards bachelor’s degrees, a partnership with Douglas County Schools, and collaborative space for companies and industry to partner with ACC and CSU to offer students integrated work-specific labs and learning. The campus will allow additional educational opportunities for all ACC students through additional classroom space, labs, collaboration and ability to receive CSU instruction without traveling to Fort Collins or Pueblo. Read more about the Castle Rock Collaboration Campus and student bond fee proposal.

From our partners:

“This partnership demonstrates Colorado State’s commitment to providing added value across the state with our engagement, research, and instructional programs,” says Provost Rick Miranda. “We have been very impressed with the enthusiasm of all of the local partners there and their willingness to invite us to participate in this exciting project. We can accomplish a lot for our students and for our community together.”

EDC Chairman Matt Call contributes, “Attracting Higher Education has been a vital part of our business infrastructure plan in Castle Rock.  The Collaboration Campus is a huge win for our entire community.  Quite honestly, I’m excited as a citizen with school age kids and the opportunity to significantly bring down the cost of higher education for my kids and my neighbors.”

From our students:

“As a student with little transport or financial options, having a collaboration campus within a certain distance would allow me to pursue my degree from CSU. I currently help my grandmother with her living situation while also going to school and working a job a local bookstore nearby the school. Trying to complete my Bachelor’s Degree at the Fort Collins CSU campus would be problematic as I would be uprooting myself and replanting myself far away from support systems and responsibilities. Online options are also not conducive to my learning ability, as I need face-to-face instruction. A collaboration campus in Castle Rock would allow a student such as myself to be able to attend my school of choice without having to take away from my personal and professional responsibilities.” – Scott Bright

“As a non-traditional student and veteran I support the collaboration campus. I love the concept of having a community college and university come together to help students have education much more accessible to them.” – Daniel W. Madero

Read more from ACC students.

FAQs

When is the voting period and how do we vote?

Voting is October 17 – 19. All enrolled students who take courses at Parker, Littleton or Castle Rock and students who take courses online will be eligible to vote in the bond referendum. Students will receive an email from “donotreply@arapahoe.edu” Tuesday, October 17 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 Thursday, October 19 at 11 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

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 CSU Bachelor’s degree without having to drive to Fort Collins or Pueblo. The collaboration campus will have dynamic collaboration space with industry to offer students hands-on workforce training opportunities not currently possible.

Where will the campus be located?

ACC has already purchased land between Castle Rock Adventist Hospital and Castle View High School. This location affords multiple collaboration opportunities for students from high school and concurrent enrollment, through partnerships with healthcare and other industries. Easy access for the community and students is available and there will be plenty of parking (unlike the current Castle Rock space!)

What will happen to the current Castle Rock location? 

The current location is leased. When the new campus is open, ACC will vacate the current space which has many limitations (only 5 classrooms, limited parking, no labs, etc.)

Will it be only students paying the cost for this new campus?
No. The City of Castle Rock is investing in the infrastructure of the campus as they value educational opportunities for their community and understand the value of an educated and trained workforce. Additionally, the current Castle Rock Campus location is leased by ACC, so ACC will be able to utilize that lease money directly on this new campus which will be owned by ACC. Other funds also will come from educational and business partners leasing space on the new campus. The student fee will allow ACC to fund a bond (think of it as getting a mortgage for a house) to be able to build the campus.
Can students utilize financial aid to pay for the fee?
Yes. Tuition and fees are financial aid eligible, so students eligible for financial aid will be able to utilize their awarded aid or scholarships to cover any fees and tuition.

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

The campus will have courses that are guaranteed to transfer and programs leading to industry certifications. English, Math, Science courses including lab courses, Health, Business, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. There will be classes that will transfer directly into CSU programs that will allow students the opportunity to achieve their four-year bachelor’s degree without ever having to leave the greater Castle Rock area.

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

The entire state of Colorado is watching how this Collaboration Campus develops. The CSU and ACC partnership, along with the early opportunities for Douglas County School District students is a model program. This puts ACC in the spotlight and highlights the quality of education you are already receiving as a current ACC student. This increases both the reputation and the value of your degree. CSU recognizes that ACC is preparing top-performing transfer students and is willing to partner to make sure you can continue your educational pathway with CSU to attain your goals.

Innovative workplace partnerships that will offer student’s hands on work experiences will also increase the value of your current degree. Industry and employers are looking for ways to enhance the talent pipeline to fulfill employment needs, and these same employers will be offering opportunities for ACC students to be the best prepared for any future opportunities.

How much will CSU charge for tuition?

That is undetermined right now, but CSU is working out their tuition structure for this campus. CSU is committed to providing affordable educational opportunities to the community. ACC and CSU are collaborating to make admissions, advising, financial aid and the transition from ACC to CSU a seamless process for students. However – you can count on savings in time and money by not having to drive to Pueblo or Fort Collins to be in a CSU classroom.

CSU has not set a tuition for degree completion at the Collaboration Campus, but is in the process of determining what the structure will look like. CSU is proud to have the lowest tuition of all Colorado doctorial research universities, and like ACC, CSU is committed to providing the greatest level of access and opportunity for students, residents and businesses in the community. By working together to provide a seamless transfer process, savings will come to students in the form of a clear pathway to graduation, no cost to relocate and local employment opportunities to provide financial sources for investing in your educational goals.

Furthermore, it is CSU’s vision to be a resource for lifelong learning. The goal is to engage with students beyond graduation whether that is through an alumni network, non-credit or certificate course offerings, access to webinars and lecture series for free or a football viewing party. We hope to connect and provide value beyond degree attainment.

The time to plan your transfer is NOW!

Fall Transfer Fair 2017 bannerSo you think you might transfer? I talk to students all the time who say they’re interested in transferring, but they don’t want to start planning. Not yet. Not now. They don’t have time to think about it now, or plan for it now, and decide on it now. But…what if you don’t have time not to plan now?! Students who plan their transfer from the beginning are more likely to experience a smooth, seamless transfer. Ask yourself the questions below to get yourself off to a great start here at ACC and beyond.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What is your career path? Decide whether you’d like to pursue a Liberal Arts & Sciences degree (such as English, Biology, or Psychology) versus an engineering, nursing, business, music or computer science degree. The earlier you decide your path, the more time and money you can save!
  • What is your timeline? Determine when you will complete your Associate’s degree and when you plan to transfer to a 4-year institution.
  • How will your credits transfer? Meet with your 2-year advisor and an Admissions Counselor at the school of your choice to understand how your credits will transfer from the 2-year program to your school of choice.

Learn about the transfer process  – NOW!

Want to know more about how your credits will transfer? Want to learn about the admissions process and financial aid process at the 4-year university? Get answers to these questions at the upcoming FALL TRANSFER FAIR! Wednesday, October 4th from 10:30am – 1:30pm in the Summit Room of the Littleton campus.

by Shari Culver, ACC Career and Transfer Counselor

3rd Floor Construction Updates

Are back after summer or new to ACC this fall? You may have noticed we’re doing some construction on the 3rd floor of the main building on the Littleton campus. We’re building brand new, state-of-the-art science labs to enhance your education and give you a better learning experience.

Feeling a little lost finding your classes, let our Director of Student Life, Dan Balski, help you find our temporary labs.

Take a look at our progress. Enjoy some recent photos of the construction zone. We’ve come a very long way! They’re putting up walls!

Construction worker drillingwall braces on 3rd floorwall supports and ladderbeginnings of a hallwayconstruction workers reviewing plansmore walls going inCurious to see how far we’ve come? Read our first construction update. Wondering where we’re headed? Get a sneak peek of a smaller scale project we finished in May at our Parker Campus.

Thank you for your continued patience. We’ll continue to update you on the progress of the labs and the 3rd floor. Check back here (on the ACC blog) for future information.

ACC Student Spotlight – Jason Tempest

John Tempest, ACC studentJason is getting an associate of arts in psychology and plans to transfer and continue down the psychology path. His primary coursework was taken at the ACC Parker campus. He appreciated the friendly staff at ACC and particularly the Parker Campus helped him in a variety of ways. When the day to day problems arose, the ACC staff was always willing to pitch in and help solve those everyday issues – they are so helpful. Jason is also thankful for the Financial Aid Office and Academic Advising department to keep him on track towards his degree and future goals.

Besides the staff, Jason also thinks very highly of the faculty at ACC. “The wonderful teachers have given me much insight into organization, writing, editing, and psychology basics.” The goals of the ACC learning outcomes are to prepare learners for life success. These outcomes address the knowledge, skills, and values that are fundamental to the personal and professional growth of students, employees, and community. Jason has experienced these outcomes firsthand.

To end with some final thoughts from Jason, “I believe the connections I have made here will no doubt go beyond my academic stay here at ACC.” Move Mountains, Jason!

by Karen Browning, Marketing Project Manager