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 Staff Spotlight: Tim Eberly

ACC IT Technician Tim EberlyTim came to school here in 2010 after losing his job. He wanted to learn something that could translate into a new career, with a new direction. His first stop, an ACC internship, then non-student hourly employee, next contract work, and finally transitioned into fulltime employment. He has been full-time now for 3 years as an Information technology Technician.

When asked about what he liked best about being a part of the ACC community, Tim replied, “It is my Community College in that I live in this community, I went to school here and I am now a part of the “community” as a whole.” He believes we are here to serve, all that choose to come here, a quality education or a quality place to work. ACC is Tim’s community.

Three most valuable benefits Tim has received from ACC: an education, a career, and a group of new friends to work with. He would highly recommend ACC if someone is in need and looking for the offerings that ACC can provide. Adding that it may not be for everyone but for those that choose ACC and take advantage of what is offered, there can be a world of opportunity.

Tim Eberly was voted as ACC’s 2016-17 Classified Employee of the Year. He will continue to Move Mountains each and every day!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

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.

ACC Instructor Spotlight: Laura Kjosen

Laura KjosenLaura has been teaching at ACC for eighteen years. Her discipline is in English composition and literature, while also tutoring at the ACC Writing Center. The main reasons she has taught at ACC for so long are the rewarding professional relationships with colleagues and our fantastic, inspiring students.

She observes how important it is that different services of the college all work together to help students succeed. As an instructor, Laura can count on the many college services that ACC offers, such as the librarians, tutoring, advisors, Veterans Services, and Student Life to help her students achieve their goals.

The opportunity to work with a diverse body of students, is just one of the many benefits Laura has experienced here at ACC. The availability of professional development opportunities offered by the college and the opportunity to work a flexible schedule that has allowed Laura to raise her two sons while working at ACC are the reasons why she values ACC. “It has been my privilege over these past several years to work with the professional staff and faculty at ACC, and it has been a joy to see so many students grow as learners and progress in their career goals,” said Laura.

To fellow professionals, she would say that ACC is a rewarding environment in which to teach. To parents and students, she would say that ACC is a great place to explore different interests and possible career paths. ACC is a place for students to gain confidence and work towards goals in a supportive environment. Laura is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

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

How to Understand and Use Your Financial Aid at ACC

Student getting assistance from ACC's Financial Aid officeWe all know Financial Aid can be a little tricky to navigate sometimes, but we’re here to help take some of the mystery out of it for you and guide you through the basic steps to applying for aid, finding out what aid you’ve been awarded and accepting and using your awarded aid.

You can also download our Financial Aid Application Checklist.

Applying

If you haven’t already, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your tax documentation from the past two years and ACC’s school code: 001346. You (and/or your parent(s)) will also need to create a FSA ID if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve turned in all necessary documentation, it can take up to 2 weeks to verify everything and send you your award offer.

Want some extra tips? View ACC’s Applying for Financial Aid page or come to one of our FAFSA Labs and get help from our experts.

Scholarships

Looking for more opportunities to find help with college tuition? Head over to arapahoe.edu/scholarships to view our ACC scholarships and some private scholarships that might fit your needs. You can also search online, but remember, you should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship and check that it is a reputable site.

Financial Aid Awards – viewing and accepting

We’ll send an award offer to your student email (your @student.cccs.edu). You can (and absolutely should) check your myACC account (sometimes referred to as the portal or student portal) to view your awards as well.

Login to myACC. If you haven’t before and need help, view our how-to guide. Next, go to the Student Finance page. On the right side of the page, you’ll be able to view what you have been awarded, including scholarships, work study aid, grants, veteran’s benefits, and loans. You can view your award status, current and past aid awards, aid requirements, holds, and payment schedules.

You’ll also find additional information, like forms you may need, scholarship websites, types of financial aid, and the federal shopping sheet.

*Remember, to use your financial aid, your classes must be required or an approved elective for your declared major.

Once you have reviewed your rewards, we recommend (strongly) that you take a look at your tuition bill (on the left side of the page) and do some quick math to see what portion of your bill your awards will cover. (Don’t forget to include book cost estimates in this calculation.) This is a good way to know if you should look into accepting loans or can cover the remainder without them.

Now that you have an idea what the cost will be to you and what aid you need, you can accept the awards you want within the same Student Finance page on myACC under “My Financial Aid Information”.

Still need help?

We’ve got you covered. We have financial aid advisors that can help you with any additional questions you might have. Call us, email us or come in and see us at:

Financial Aid Office
Room M2330 (Littleton campus)
303.797.5661
finaid@arapahoe.edu

Our regular hours (excluding holidays and breaks) are:

Monday – Tuesday:
8am – 6pm
(located at Information Central from 5-6pm)

Wednesday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm

Friday:
10am – 5pm

Fall Semester Special Schedule (August 14-18 and August 21-25) – 2nd Floor Student Lounge

Monday – Thursday:
9am – noon and 1-6pm

Friday:
9am – noon and 1-5pm

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!