HOSA International Leadership Conference

Two concurrently enrolled students from Colorado Early Colleges Parker (CECP) have qualified to represent our schools and Colorado at the HOSA International Leadership Conference this June in Orlando, Florida. Kimberlee Butts and Alex Silverhart, along with five of their CECP classmates, competed in the HOSA State Leadership Conference on February 14-16, where they tested their knowledge on a range of healthcare subjects that included clinical nursing, human growth and development, medical law and ethics, and medical math. Four of these students, including Kimberlee and Alex, went on to place in the top ten in the state for their selected categories; Kimberlee placed second for clinical nursing, and Alex placed third for medical math.

Kimberlee chose to compete in the Clinical Nursing competition at the State Leadership Conference because she would like to work as a family practitioner in the future, while Alex’s love of math led him to participate in the Medical Math competition. Kimberlee found the conference to be a great bonding experience with her peers and others who shared similar life goals. She is most looking forward to getting to meet people from around the country and bonding with the other members of her HOSA chapter at the International Leadership Conference. Alex is excited about attending the conference because he’ll have the opportunity to travel and see Disney World, where the conference will take place, and looks forward to hearing from the conference’s guest medical speakers, who in the past have included the Surgeon General.

Kimberlee’s interest in the healthcare field stems from her parents: Her father is a battalion chief with Castle Rock’s Fire and Rescue Department who has a paramedic background, and her mother runs the pediatric department at Sky Ridge Medical Center. “Seeing the way they helped people and brought people joy by saving lives inspired me to want to do something just like them to make a difference in people’s lives,” she says. She is already making a difference in people’s lives as a lifeguard, and plans to join the Navy as a medical officer. She is working on her Associate of Science degree in Biology, and hopes to attend Harvard or Johns Hopkins University. Once she has attained her medical degree and completed her military service, she wants to open up her own medical practice. She says that attending ACC has opened many doors for her and has jump-started her medical career. Her favorite part of ACC has been “The great professors and exceptional staff”.

Alex has loved the idea of helping people since he was young. “Being a part of the healthcare field gives you the skills that one needs to help improve and save the lives of those around you,” he says. After he earns his Associate of Science degree, he wants to transfer to a four-year university before enrolling at Johns Hopkins University’s medical school to become a surgeon. Since coming to ACC, Alex has enjoyed the many different math courses he’s taken, and feels that the teachers are really nice, intelligent, and understanding. “Even though I am a high school student, I am treated with respect and integrity,” he says, “I feel that I belong as much as every other student.”

This is the first year that CECP has participated in HOSA, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, thanks to a student-led effort that included the support of CECP Instructor Uma Venkitanarayanan, and school psychologist Dr. Betsy Basch. HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE). HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.

by Martin Strom, ACC Copywriter

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 acc.ce@arapahoe.edu.

by ACC Marketing Department

What is Concurrent Enrollment

(And why should I participate?)

Move Mountains with the Concurrent Enrollment Program!

Move Mountains with the Concurrent Enrollment Program!

Have you heard your colleagues or friends talk about concurrent enrollment but wondered what it really is?  Concurrent Enrollment (CE) is a nationwide trend in higher education to offer high school students the option of participating in college-credit courses taught by college-approved high school teachers on their high school campuses. Sometimes called “dual credit” or “dual enrollment” or “college in the high school,” students enrolled in these classes earn credit towards both high school graduation and college completion.

Here at ACC, we offer students a couple different options.  One option is for students to take classes in their high school.  Check with your counselor for courses available at your school. Our Concurrent Enrollment Office works with over 30 high schools across 8 school districts enrolling over 2400 students per semester.  If a high school student discovers that the CE options on his/her high school campus don’t align with future career goals, a student may choose to take courses on our campus, with permission from their high school counselor, working with our Student Recruitment and Outreach Office.

So, why would a student want to participate in concurrent enrollment classes at their high school?  One great reason is cost: they’re free!  When taken at their high school, the cost of tuition for these classes is paid through the student’s home school district and the College Opportunity Fund (COF).  With the sky-rocketing costs of higher education and the continuing need for employees with degrees, students have the opportunity to lower their overall cost of college tuition, potentially reducing any future debt.

Another reason for students to take advantage of concurrent enrollment is the advantage of experience.  To enroll in a CE course, students apply for admission to the community college and begin their journey of higher education.  As CE students in the high school, they learn key skills that prepare them to transition smoothly into a post-secondary institution.

For students who’ve long known about (and perhaps dreaded) those AP or IB courses, a CE student has the advantage of earning the credit immediately on successful course completion with a “C” or higher with no exit exam or post-test required.  The credit appears on an ACC transcript as if the student had taken the course on our campus, and it can potentially apply directly towards a degree.  If a student takes a CE course designated as a “guaranteed transfer,” the course will transfer to any Colorado public institution.

If we want to create better futures for our secondary students with clearer pathways to post-secondary degrees and sustainable careers, perhaps we should look closer at encouraging them to consider their concurrent enrollment options!

To learn more about ACC’s Concurrent Enrollment Program, visit our website.

by Shari Culver, ACC Concurrent Enrollment Specialist