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

Why you should meet with an Academic Advisor (and tips for a great first advising appointment)

ACC Academic Advisor with studentHave you meet with your academic advisor yet? Wondering why you should?

Academic advising is a way for you to get the guidance you need to set realistic academic goals and objectives. Your advisor will help you find the best path to meet your goals and keep you on track along the way. They’ll help you decide which classes to take and when to take them to make sure you are successful and that you are on the most efficient path to save you time and money. They can also help you explore opportunities within your major: internships, apprenticeships, and more.

Not sure what your goals are? Your advisor can help with this as well by helping you choose a pathway and determining the program that will best fit your interests and skills.

Or, if you need more help figuring our what career you might want to pursue, we also offer free Career and Transfer counseling right in the same office as Academic Advising. They can help you discover your ideal career based on your passions and interests. This will help you when working with your advisor to select the right program to get to your goals, whether that includes transferring to continue your education or beginning your career right after you graduate from ACC.

Ready to make an appointment with your academic advisor? At ACC we offer a few different options to meet your needs and schedule:

  • One-on-one appointments – for a more in-depth conversation, look into your goals and what you need to complete them, review DegreeCheck and major requirements and build a plan, complete and submit academic and financial aid appeals, connect to academic resources, major exploration, course registration, and transfer planning
  • Group registration sessions – for those just needing course scheduling assistance/guidance and to review DegreeCheck and major requirements
  • Phone or email appointments – for students who can’t make it to campus during advising hours, look into your goals and what you need to complete them, review DegreeCheck and major requirements and build a plan, complete and submit academic and financial aid appeals, connect to academic resources, major exploration, and transfer planning
  • Walk-in appointments – shorter appointments for help with registering for classes,  changing your major, or to address an immediate concern and schedule a follow-up appointment

How to get the most out of your advising session

  1. Think ahead – Think about what questions you have before you meet with your academic advisor and bring them with you along with relevant documents (transcripts, test scores, financial aid information)
  2. Problem solve – Discuss your educational successes and challenges and how to solve them
  3. Record – Write down what you discussed and the next steps to complete
  4. Participate – Ask a lot of questions!
  5. Plan – Leave your meeting with an action plan

We know you’ll learn a lot while meeting with your advisor. Don’t be afraid to follow-up with them afterwards to make sure you are on the right path and working toward your goals. Our advisors are here to help you Move Mountains and achieve your dreams. The earlier you meet with your advisor, the easier your path to success will become. Don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor today!

Why You Should Attend ACC’s Transfer Fair

ACC Spring Transfer Fair 2016So, you decided to start your college career at ACC to save a little and get a great education while doing so. You want to transfer to a 4-year university, but you’re not really sure where to start! ACC is hosting the Spring Transfer Fair on Wednesday, February 22nd from 10:30am – 1:30pm in the Summit Room on the Littleton Campus. Here’s why you should attend!

  • Get Connected with the 4-Year Representative – The earlier you connect with the 4-year university, the more effective you will be in your ACC education. Make sure that the courses you’re taking now will fit into the Bachelor’s degree you’re considering.
  • Ask Questions! Use the opportunity to find out more about programs offered, scholarships available, study abroad opportunities, internship possibilities and more.
  • Meet with over 40 different universities – Have you wondered about the difference between attending MSU or CU Denver? Have you looked into living in Boulder or Fort Collins? This is your chance to compare a variety of institutions and programs and opportunities at the same place and time!
  • Earn prizes and eat pizza – Come hungry and ready to win. Universities are giving away their cool swag and Student Life has generously donated pizza for participating students.

Did you know? The top eight schools ACC students transfer to:

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado – Boulder
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Colorado Christian University

Find out why ACC students succeed at these schools! All these universities will be at the transfer fair, and more! In addition to Colorado universities, there will be some from Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.

Upon enrolling, almost half ACC students identify that they intend to transfer as part of their goals. The best way to make that happen is by planning in advance for a seamless transfer. Let the Career and Transfer Center assist you. You can always check out what is new in Transfer Services online, including the visitation schedule of our four-year partners who would love to enroll ACC students!

Please contact the Career and Transfer Center at 303-797-5805, careers@arapahoe.edu, M2010, Littleton campus.

by Wendy Winter-Searcy, Career & Transfer Center Director and Shari Culver, Career and Transfer Counselor

Tips and tricks for finding a job – for new graduates (or any job seeker!)

ACC 2016 Career Fair

ACC 2016 Career Fair

While today’s economy continues to show positive signs of growth, recent graduates and job seekers are learning that landing the ideal job can still be a time-consuming, lengthy process. As suggested in her “5 Big Reasons New Grads are Failing the Job Search,” Lea McLeod encourages job seekers to adjust their short term-mindsets and set realistic expectations with the understanding that a job search can take 22 weeks on average. Though the process may be a daunting one, here are some tips to keep in mind to maintain your motivation and encourage you from start to finish!

  • Be persistent! Create a job search strategic plan and work it every day. Think of your job search as a job. Remember all those hours you spent studying for exams and preparing presentations? Put equal energy into the time you spend job searching.
  • Set realistic expectations. As mentioned above, an average job search in the US can last over 4 months. Conduct market research and determine what’s happening in your industry. How long are job searches taking for different disciplines? With this in mind, set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself in the process.
  • Develop a marketing mindset and identify your personal brand. Understanding who you are and who your potential customers (employers) are will help you be more efficient and effective in your job search. Get into self-assessment land and learn as much about yourself, your strengths, your desired workplace qualities and how you’ll add value. Based on your findings, develop clear messages about who you are and the value proposition you represent.
  • Get into the employer’s head. Use LinkedIn to research what employers want. Identify what jobs are posted, what problems are they trying to solve, what outcomes candidates are expected to achieve.
  • Work your network. Contact alumni in your field. Reach out to all your connections via LinkedIn or other Social Media outlets to remind them of your continued job search. Meet new industry connections by joining a professional groups in your area.

As McLeod offers in her article mentioned above, you want to stop asking “How can I find a job that pays a lot and that I love?” and start asking yourself “Who has problems that I love solving and how do I find them?” If you’re still coming up short-handed or feeling like you’re hitting the proverbial wall, use ACC’s Career & Transfer Center. Call 303-797-5705 to make an appointment with one of ACC’s career counselors to get additional advice and help with your resume, networking, and overall job search.

by Shari Culver, ACC Career and Transfer Counselor

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.

Discover Healthcare Career Opportunities

Past ACC Healthcare Career Day event.

Past ACC Healthcare Career Day event.

Jobs. We all have to have one, but who wants just a job? Who doesn’t long for a career which not only pays the bills, but also gives us a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, knowing that we made a difference in the lives of those we have touched? While there are many such career options available, for a fantastic group of people, the answer to such a yearning is found in healthcare careers. One would be hard pressed to find an industry as varied, with as many options, and which provides such a strong impact on the lives of all people as the healthcare industry.

Coming out of the worst economic recession in recent history, where many people were forced to scramble for a job which could just see them through the worst of the recession, many people are now looking to rebuild a new career, which can provide not only satisfaction, but stability. It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing and most stable today, and has been for quite some time. In fact, the healthcare industry was one of the few which seems to have been largely unaffected by the recession. Additionally, the healthcare industry as a whole will see continued growth well into 2022, with a projected growth of 29%, adding 5 million jobs, in contrast with the 11% growth of other sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. These jobs are not just confined to doctors, and nurses, but include all realms of the industry, including support staff, billing, health and wellness, laboratory, physical therapy, pharmacy, in-home care givers, CNAs, and paramedicine – especially in light of the Affordable Care Act and in large part due to the increasing number of aging U.S. citizens.

With these factors, it is no wonder why so many people think about getting into a career in healthcare. Whether you are currently working in the field or know someone who is, a current student in a healthcare degree program, or just thinking about a career in healthcare, the Arapahoe Community College Healthcare Career Day offers solutions for your needs. Leading area employers will be available to discuss current opportunities during the career fair. Representatives from Arapahoe Community College as well as four-year universities offering advanced and dual enrollment healthcare programs will be available to discuss educational options necessary to land one of these excellent opportunities. Scholarship and financial aid representatives will be present to discuss options for financing your education; and job search, resume, and interviewing assistance will be available to all job seekers who want a leg up on the competition!

This event is brought to you free of charge by the Arapahoe Community College Career and Transfer Center, and is open to all current Arapahoe Community College students and alumni, as well as future students, and the community at large! With so much to gain and nothing to lose, come and explore your options for a bright, stable, and rewarding career in the healthcare industry on Wednesday, November 4th, from 3:00 – 6:00 pm at Arapahoe Community College! 

The Healthcare Career Day not only gives you an incredible opportunity to explore a variety of healthcare professions right on your own college campus. It can also motivate you to prepare for the job application process, because you don’t want to walk into the fair empty-handed! Whether you are simply exploring your options, considering internships, or applying for a specific position, this is your chance to ensure that your resume and cover letter are polished and ready to present to potential employers. The career counselors in the Career and Transfer Center can help you create, edit, and finalize these critically important documents before you attend the Healthcare Fair. It is essential to work on your resume and cover letter well in advance of the fair so that you can produce quality products. Take advantage of our services, which are free and accessible to all ACC students and alumni! Either make an individual appointment to see a career counselor or visit us during our walk-in hours. It is best if you bring your laptop or thumb drive with your files on it so that we can work on everything during our meeting. On the day of the fair, make sure to come with plenty of copies of your resume and cover letter to hand out to potential employers as you meet with them.

The Healthcare Career Day is also an opportunity to make an outstanding impression on potential employers through physical presentation and professional, informed interactions with the people you meet. Even if you aren’t fully ready to apply for open positions, it is a chance to build your network, practice your interviewing skills, and pitch your 30 second commercial. What is a 30 second commercial, also known as the “elevator pitch”? Similar to your resume, cover letter, and eventual interview, the 30 second commercial is a marketing tool, and the subject you are selling is YOU – your experience, personal characteristics, education, skills, and strengths as they pertain to the position you are seeking. It is a short but densely packed explanation of who you are professionally that you can deliver quickly and confidently when you meet someone who could potentially hire you or connect you to someone who can. You can use your 30 second commercial anywhere you think you have a chance at a job lead – career fair, networking event, chance meeting in an elevator, even a family gathering. It is critical to prepare and practice this before you start using it, so that you feel confident and energized when you meet with and present yourself to people. There are multiple ways to approach the 30 second commercial, but a simple rubric you can follow is provided here:

I am a _____________________________________________________________________
(Professional identity:  i.e. recent physical therapist assistant graduate, medical office technology professional, etc.)

With demonstrated skills/experience in 3-4 areas related to the target position:
1.
2.
3.

In: (industries:  higher education, public, private sector)

I bring strengths in:
1.
2.
3.

Close strong
“I am seeking an entry level accounting position in the health care industry. Do you know of any opportunities that might be a good fit? Do you have any suggestions of who I might speak with about career opportunities?”

Finally, dress smart, as if you are walking into an interview. It is not uncommon for students to be interviewed on the spot by the employer, so be ready for anything! If you look and act the part you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And, be sure to peruse all the employers at the fair if you can, and not just one or two. You never know what you might discover, because when you approach an event like this with confidence, determination, and an open mind, anything is possible!

Build Your Future – Transfer Tips and Resources

Have you considered where you will transfer?

It is never too early to start researching 4-year universities! Exploring your options earlier will help you make educated choices about your classes here at ACC. Take time to consider what you are looking for in a 4-year institution. Check out the list below to help determine what factors are important to you when it comes to picking the right university for you!

Examples of Factors to Consider When Researching Schools

  • Program of Study – Consider if the college offers programs that will help you achieve your career goals.
  • School Size – Would you prefer a large or small school?
  • Class Size – How large do you like your classes to be?
  • Support Programs – Does the college offer programs to help you stay in school?
  • Transfer of Credit – How will my community college credits transfer?
  • City and Neighborhood – Do you prefer a city or a small town?
  • Campus Culture – When visiting each college, get a feel for its personality?  Does it match yours?
  • Distance from Home – How close would you like to live to your family?
  • Extracurricular Activities – Do you have activities in your life that you can’t live without?
  • Religious Affiliation – Depending on your religious beliefs, you may be interested in looking at a college affiliated with your religious background.
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) – While a college may appear more expensive, what will the final cost be after receiving financial aid and scholarships?
  • Financial Aid Options – Does the college have special financial aid options to help you pay for college?  Payment plans? Guaranteed COA?
  • Outside Learning Opportunities – Does the college offer internships, externships, study abroad opportunities or service learning opportunities?

Things to Consider When Transferring to a 4 Year School

  • Understand all applicable dates and deadlines.
  • Transferring mid-year can result in less financial aid and fewer course choices.
  • Completing your associates degree has benefits:
  • ACC may have a guaranteed transfer degree or a transfer agreement in your area of study.
  • Less expensive in the long run to finish your associates degree before transferring.
  • Credits completed at an institution of higher education in the state of Colorado are good for 10 years.
  • Students must earn a ‘C’ or better for courses to be accepted for transfer.

Are you ready to learn more about your transfer opportunities?

Join us for the Fall Transfer Fair on Tuesday, October 20, from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. Visit with over 35 local and national universities to learn more about their programs and how your credits may transfer.

Come get transfer information, free pizza, and try your luck at the prize wheel!

List of attending colleges
Transfer Fair flyer
Other upcoming Transfer events, sponsored by the Transfer Club:
MSU-Denver Lunch & Learn
Oct. 28, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
2nd Floor Lounge – Main Building, ACC-Littleton Campus
Join us for lunch and an information session about the transfer process.  Hear from a panel of students who transferred from ACC and other institutions to MSU Denver. (Lunch provided.)

Colorado School of Mines Campus Visit
Nov. 13, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tour Mines and listen to an advising information session. Meet at ACC at 9:45 a.m. to carpool. Advanced RSVP required.
Contact Rae Brendecke at rae.brendecke@arapahoe.edu, 303.797.5705 to RSVP by 11/10.

For more information on any of these events, or to request accommodations, contact Rae Brendecke at rae.brendecke@arapahoe.edu, 303.797.5705.

What does your social media say about you?

Have you ever stopped to ponder what your social media style actually says about you? Have you stopped to think about how each social media platform you use is a way to market yourself to the world? If not, it may be time to rethink how you use social media.

Social media is constantly growing and evolving, which means we have to take action to ensure we are presenting ourselves as authentically (and professionally) as possible. In a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 43% of employers are using social media to further research potential employees. 51% of those employers have not hired someone based on items they have posted on social media. (CareerBuilder)

With more employers turning to social media to research potential employees, it makes sense that we need to do more to market ourselves as we want future employers to see us. Make conscience efforts to:

  • Use appropriate spelling/grammar
  • Post about things that interest you
  • Be creative
  • Toot your own horn (talk about your accomplishments)
  • Acknowledge others’ accomplishments

Think twice before:

  • Posting about your weekend shenanigan’s (alcohol, drug-related)
  • Using poor grammar/spelling to save time
  • Bad-mouthing your current/past company/co-workers
  • Being too negative
  • Posting racy content

Think less of your social media as an online diary that the whole world can see and more as an opportunity to present yourself as you want future employers to see you. It sounds cheesy, but if you wouldn’t want your grandma/grandpa to see your posts, why are you posting them?

It’s time to step away from using social media as a place to vent about the trials and tribulations of your daily life and see it’s potential. Social media can help you:

  • Connect with other professionals
  • Showcase your creativity
  • Showcase your accomplishments
  • Market yourself to potential employers/clients
  • Let others see your personality

I’ve seen people get apartments, houses, jobs, significant others and more through their social connections. I love when my connections post articles, reviews, publications that let me know where their passions lie. I learn something new from social media everyday. I also tend to hide people whose grammar/spelling is consistently awful, people who are always negative, and those who constantly post things that I would get in trouble for viewing at work if people happened to walk by and see.

Take your social media to the next level and let people know who you are, what you are passionate about and why you are a rock star!