ACC Distinguished Faculty 2018-2019 Profile: Doc Viola

Doc Viola, ACC Automotive Service Technology facultyDepartment
Automotive Service Technology

Years teaching at ACC
10

Total number of years teaching
10

Undergraduate degree (please list school)
AAS in Automotive Service Technology – ACC

Professional honors & credentials
ASE Master Certified (A1-A8), ASE Advanced Level Specialist in Engine Performance (L1), General Motors Master Certified in Electrical/Electronics, Mechanical/Body Systems, Automatic Transmissions, Manual Transmissions and Engine Performance. SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year (2012-13).

Fun fact about me
I love to golf.

My most memorable moment at ACC
One of my first years at ACC, our Auto Tech students had a competition with the high school classes to see who could collect the most for the Thanksgiving canned food drive. It got very competitive and borderline out of hand. The college students ended up losing, but between the two groups, we donated numerous pallets of food to the Littleton food pantry. We donated so much food that Littleton could not house all of it at their pantry and had to re-donate some to other local food pantries.

Congratulations, Doc Viola, one of ACC’s Distinguished Faculty for 2018-2019!

Astronomical Events 2018-2019

Astronomy cameraAs the 2018-2019 school year begins, here is an overview of a few astronomical events to keep an eye out for:

September 22: The September Equinox is at 7:54pm MDT. On this day, the Sun crosses the celestial equator. In Denver, it is our Autumnal Equinox and is our first day of Fall. This day will have equal amounts of day and night.

October 8: The Draconids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 10 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet 21 Giacobini-Zinner. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Draco.

October 21 & 22: The Orionids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 20 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet Halley. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Orion.

November 5 & 6: The Taurids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 10 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet 2P Encke and asteroid 2004 TG10. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Taurus.

November 17 & 18: The Leonids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 15 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Leo.

December 13 & 14: The Geminids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 120 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Gemini.

December 21: The December solstice is at 3:23pm MDT. In Denver on this day the Sun reaches the lowest daily maximum in the sky and has the least hours of sunlight. In Denver, is is our Winter Solstice and is our first day of winter.

December 21 & 22: The Ursids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 10 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet Tuttle. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Ursa Minor.

January 3 & 4: The Quadrantids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 40 meteors per hour. This meteoroid particles come from the comet 2003 EH1. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Bootes, meaning that the meteors appear to originate in that constellation. This is due to the Earth’s path through comet 2003 EH1’s debris cloud.

January 20: A Total Lunar Eclipse peaking at 10:15pm MST. A lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow during a Full Moon. This Full Moon is also a supermoon, meaning the Moon is a bit closer to Earth due to its elliptical orbit. The eclipse will start at 7:30pm MST and continue until 12:45am MST.

March 20: The March equinox is at #:58pm MDT. On this day, the Sun crosses the celestial equator. In Denver, it is our Vernal Equinox and is our first day of spring. This day will have equal amounts of day and night.

April 22 & 23: The Lyrids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 20 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Lyra.

May 6 & 7: The Eta Aquarius Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 30 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet Halley. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation Aquarius.

June 21: The June solstice is at 9:54am MDT. In Denver on this day the Sun reaches the highest daily maximum in the sky and has the most hours of sunlight. In Denver, is is our Summer Solstice and is our first day of summer.

July 28 & 29: The Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 20 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comets Marsden and Kracht. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation Aquarius.

August 12 & 13: The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks during this time maxing at about 60 meteors per hour. The meteoroid particles come from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The radiant of this shower is in the constellation of Perseus.

Earth's moonEnjoy Observing the Sky in this school year! Come to our Astronomy Star Parties at the Littleton and Parker campuses each semester. Anyone can join us at these free events. We’ll provide the telescope and refreshments. You just need to dress for the weather as we’ll be outside.

If you’re a student, become a member of Astronomy Club or take one of our classes. They are guaranteed to transfer.

Please join the ACC Astronomy Department on twitter by following @AstronomyatACC to learn of interesting astronomy news as well as events around campus.

Jennifer Jones 
ACC Astronomy Faculty 

9 Reasons You Should Get Involved On Campus

ACC students and Student Life Director Dan Balski at the Student Engagement FairGoing to college is about so much more than just going to class (but please make sure you are doing that). It is also about gaining experience and perspective to help you in your future. Getting involved on campus can help you succeed in numerous ways…here are 9:

  1. Build Your Community / Find Your People
    Joining a club or organization, going to an on-campus event, or working on campus can help you find your people (those people that get you and you get them) and build your community. You’ll meet people who share your interests and passions. Having that community helps you stay engaged with your education and with your college. You’ll gain the sense that you belong right where you are and have the support to help you Move Mountains toward your degree/certificate.
  2. Networking
    Getting involved on campus gives you a chance to network with not only your peers, but faculty, staff, transfer college reps, and potential employers. At ACC, we offer career fairs/visits, transfer fairs/visits, clubs, organizations like NSLS and PTK, and a variety of activities where you can practice your networking skills.
  3. Get Different Perspectives
    When you get involved, you will get to meet people with different perspectives and life experiences. As you share your perspectives and experiences and learn about other viewpoints, your perspective will expand. Having an open mind and seeing another person’s point of view will help in future jobs and socially.
  4. It Helps You Reach Your Goals / Succeed
    Studies show that students who get involved on-campus tend to perform better in the classroom. This may be because these students find study groups, take classes with their new community of peers, and overall just feel more supported and ready to tackle each challenge they face. (Read more about the research by Alexander Astin and Vincent Tinto.)
  5. Snacks!Students at Student Life BBQ
    Attending an on-campus activity is a great way to feed your mind and your body. We know our students have more commitments than just college, so we provide you with snacks, coffee, pizza, soup, salad, and candy (for that burst of sugar) to keep you going from one activity to the next. Enjoy an activity and a snack between classes.
  6. It’s Good for Your Mental Health / Well-Being
    Taking time to enjoy an activity or join a club for a hobby you enjoy can do wonders for your mental health. It gives you a chance to focus on something you enjoy and de-stress. It helps you relax, but can also help you prepare for tasks and homework that lie ahead.
  7. It’s a Resume Booster
    Being involved on campus looks great on your resume. When you join a club, organization, or academic experience (Pinnacle, Progenitor, Great Books, Writers Studio) you are showing that you are well-rounded to potential employers. You are also learning skills that you may not be in class, such as: social, leadership, and organizational skills. Clubs and organizations are a great way to practice those “soft skills” employers are seeking. You may also be eligible for a work study job on campus as a component of your financial aid package. Work on campus and build your job skills.
  8. Develop Leadership Skills
    Speaking of building your skills, colleges have organizations to help provide you with leadership skills. At ACC, we offer: Student Government, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and National Society of Leadership Success (NSLS). These organizations provide you with the opportunity to take part in competitions, activities, and events that will give you the chance to grow as a leader.
  9. It’s fun!
    Getting involved on campus is fun! These activities, clubs, and organizations are designed to help you relax, build skills, and interact with your peers and the college community. So take a break from your studies (but please still make time to study) and join the shenanigans!

You might be asking yourself how you can get involved at ACC now? It’s easy.

There are a ton of ways to get involved whatever your interests may be. We want ACC to be your home away from home while you are getting your degree or certificate. Our faculty and staff are here to help you along your educational journey and beyond. After all, college is a time for studying (we didn’t forget), discovery, and planning for and beginning your future. Let’s Move Mountains together!

For more information about how you can get involved on campus, contact the ACC Student Life Office at 303.797.5668, student.life@arapahoe.edu, or visit M2820 on the Littleton Campus.

Join the Early Childhood Education community TODAY!

Teacher with students doing a craft Arapahoe Community College (ACC) is looking for:

  • Assistant Classroom Teachers for full-time employment at our Child Development Center
  • Current ACC students for work study jobs at the CDC while going to school
  • New students excited to join this profession and enroll in our Early Childhood Education program

Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a rewarding and challenging career. Research continually demonstrates the importance of high quality early childhood programs which support children’s growth and development in all areas of life in the first 8 years. During these years the foundation is set for future social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. One of the most important influences in these early years is the child’s teacher.

Currently there is a shortage of well-prepared early childhood professionals in the U.S. according to the U.S. Labor Statistics. Colorado predicts an increase between 33-43% through 2025* – you can enter a highly sought after career!

* Colorado Workforce Development Council, colorado.gov/pacific/cwdc/colorado-talent-pipeline-report

Our Child Development Center (CDC) is a NAEYC accredited, high quality preschool and child care center that offers an affordable, safe, and stimulating environment for young children. We accept children 18 months to 6 years of age. Parents are ACC students, staff, faculty, and community members. Our philosophy is hands-on learning with positive interactions, accepting that children are at different developmental stages and have unique talents, needs and capabilities. We provide an inclusive environment that offers opportunities for individualized learning through a variety of developmentally appropriate and enticing activities that stimulate curiosity and exploration. The goal of the ACC CDC is to provide children with a nurturing environment where they have the opportunity to develop their problem solving skills, learn to interact with their peers, and develop a strong educational base that gives them a solid foundation for lifelong learning and success. ACC offers high pay, competitive benefits, top-rated facilities, and a convenient location.

Our ECE Program partners with the CDC to allow ECE students to observe the program and practices. The program provides a strong foundation for students entering early care and education, as well as other careers. ACC offers:

  • Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Teacher Education
  • Certificate in Early Childhood Teacher
  • Certificate in Early Childhood Director
  • Certificate in Infant/Toddler Nursery Supervisor
  • As well as ongoing professional development for those currently in the ECE field

To learn more about CDC job opportunities visit arapahoe.edu/jobs or talk with Pam Didusch, CDC Director at pamela.didusch@arapahoe.edu.

To learn more about enrolling in our ECE program, visit arapahoe.edu/ece or talk with Kristin Habicht, ECE Department Chair at kristin.habicht@arapahoe.edu.

Join one of the most rewarding professions and start Moving Mountains!

by Pam Didusch and Kristin Habicht

ACC Staff Spotlight: Tia Le

ACC IT Technician Tia LeIn the mid 1990s Tia and her family migrated here from Vietnam. She had the opportunity to take classes at ACC and graduated with an associate’s degree in computer information systems.  Tia has enjoyed this profession so much that she has already completed 15 years of service.

The best things about being a part of the ACC community is helping students, instructors, and staff, said Tia. “I love assisting them with their technology needs!” Tia prides herself in helping her colleagues find efficient solutions to their work requests, and she enjoys the wide array of destinations – and challenges – that any given day may bring.

Tia lets others know that ACC is a place that allows you to begin your college adventures that would help you to be successful in life. “I feel honored to have been a student and very happy to be an employee at ACC. I feel my contribution is well received,” said Tia.

Coming from a different culture, ACC gave her the opportunity to improve upon her communication skills. ACC also helped with education costs through the grant program. She values ACC as a place to develop relationships with students, colleagues, and the community to make this her new home. Tia is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Student Spotlight: Nate Bertz

ACC student Nate BertzLeadership, confidence, and lifetime friends are just some of the things that Nate has gained as an ACC student and work study employee. His favorite part about being in the ACC community is the amount of resources the school provides for student success. He always tell students, “The key to great grades is time. If you have the time to dedicate to your education, and utilize ACC’s resources, you’re guaranteed to get A’s in your classes.” And he continues to recommend ACC to anyone and everyone because if ACC can make a leader out of Nate, they can make a leader out of anyone.

From the words of Nate, “before I was at ACC, I had zero leadership skills, professional experience, and a limited number of distant friends. When I came to ACC, I thought I was going to fail out like I did in high school. However, on my first day of class, my teacher told us all, “Each one of you can get an A in my class. All you have to do is show up to class, complete your assignments, and learn for your experiences.” I didn’t believe her at first, but when she handed me my first assignment, and I saw that “A” on my paper, it proved that my past experiences don’t have to define me, and that I make my own future through hard work, and dedication. Over the last 3 years, the staff at ACC have transformed me into the student leader I am today.” Keep Moving Mountains Nate!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Faculty Spotlight: Danielle Staples

ACC Math faculty Danielle StaplesIn June 2011, Danielle started teaching at ACC as an adjunct math instructor, which was the perfect introduction to the college. The students were so welcoming and so excited to learn – she was hooked! Then in January 2013, she was hired on full-time and accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. She enjoyed seeing all of the exciting behind the scenes work that make our courses great. After five years of being at ACC, Danielle stepped into the role of Math Department Chair and this has been the most exciting job so far for her. When asked why, she replied, “I get to hear from students daily on what they love and what change they hope to see.  It is great to get that feedback and the math department always does a great job responding to student requests.”

The best part of ACC by far are the students and the staff. Danielle loves sitting one-on-one with students, listening to their dreams, goals, and helping them make a plan. Her colleagues are always looking for a way to improve instruction, stay on top of technology, and they truly care about the students that walk through these doors. Our diverse population has made her a better teacher and a more compassionate person. “I am so happy that each day I get the opportunity to interacting, teach, and work with such a great group of people – ones that care.”

Danielle said that the students keep her grounded. “There are days I think to myself, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.’ These days I look to my students.” So many are working full-time, going to school full-time, and raising a family or taking care of loved ones in need. Knowing that our students can balance all of these responsibilities really helps her believe she can too.

“This job makes me want to learn more.” Every day Danielle reflects about the students she was able to reach with her lesson and the student she wasn’t able to. She strives to find new ways to reach everyone. The challenges of the classroom cause her to read, research, reflect, and even write in hopes of helping other instructors. Danielle is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

Move Mountains with the First-Year Experience Program at ACC

Arapahoe Community College is the perfect place to begin moving mountains with your academic and career goals. The ACC First-Year Experience program (FYE at ACC) is designed to help new students – those attending college for the first time – succeed with their higher education aspirations.

FYE at ACC is comprised of the Summer Bridge program, New Student Orientation, academic planning & career assessment, our AAA 101 Student Experience course, and attendance at a student engagement series event.

Summer Bridge is ACC’s way to connect future ACC students to campus resources. Targeted at recently-graduated high school students, this program includes a week of activities, instruction and information critical to college success. Summer Bridge is free of charge and includes lunch each day.

New student orientation will speed the transition to college by providing the information and resources needed to begin classes at ACC. Students learn how to be successful while setting long-term college goals and structuring their class schedule with our academic advisors.

AAA 101 introduces students to college culture and success strategies through a series of interactive classes. The course covers soft and hard skills necessary for students to be successful during their college career.

“It is amazing to see the growth of students from day one, to the last day of class,” said Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager and AAA 101 instructor. “They come away from the course with tools and knowledge that will last a lifetime.”

We recognize that everything college-related won’t be covered in a classroom. That’s where the student engagement series comes in. These face-to-face activities are designed to help students get on track and stay on track, while making college connections. Events range from financial aid workshops to academic planning to personal budgeting.

“The First-Year Experience program is very helpful,” stated ACC student Briana Pham. “Especially for students who may be undecided about what they want to do.”

ACC provides an affordable education (lowest tuition among state-funded schools) with instructors who are experts in their field. We offer seven degree and certificate pathways, and over 200 online classes. Small class sizes at ACC allow students to receive individual attention, and we’re close to home with campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock.

Connect with ACC and begin your journey today. Stop by the Littleton campus Welcome Center or contact our enrollment specialists at acc.info@arapahoe.edu / 303.797.5637.

 by Jeff Duggan (ACC Communications Coordinator), Stuart Boyd (ACC Student Engagement Coordinator) and Karen Browning (ACC Marketing Project Manager)

Prior Learning Assessment – How to get college credit for your experience

ACC student in 2nd floor student loungeWhen it comes to college, I think we can all agree that we just want our school studies to be over and done with ASAP so that we can move on with our lives and start making an honest living. So, you may be wondering, “Is there a way that I can maybe speed things up a bit?” Maybe you have some experience that could trim some time off of your time in college…if so, wouldn’t you want to know about it??

I’m Allison Lemmertz, the Graduation & Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator here at ACC. While I’m not the ultimate authority in granting you these potential college credit short-cuts, I am certainly here to help get you the information you need to see if your prior learning experiences are worth something!

What is “Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)”?

The formal definition of prior learning assessment, according to the American Council on Education, is “learning gained outside the college classroom in a variety of settings and through formal and non-formal means…”. Here at ACC we recognize 3 main formats of PLA:

  1. Prior learning through examination
  2. Prior learning through industry certification or licensure
  3. Prior learning through portfolio

If you completed any AP coursework in high school, don’t underestimate those! Students in the past have earned up to half of their associate’s degree from AP scores!

Exams that you can take for college credit include: CLEP, DSST, AP, IB, and UExcel, which are standardized tests. Other exams that you can take are done through different ACC departments (based on subject area). These are our challenge exams. We currently offer challenge exams for:

  • Mathematics
  • Health Information Technology
  • Medical Office Technology
  • Graphic Design
  • Computer-Aided Drafting
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Networking

If you’re interested in testing from one of the subject areas listed above, please get in contact with me, and I’ll provide you with the necessary paperwork to get started as well as get you in contact with the appropriate program/department chair.

Industry Certification or Licensure is another key area where you may be eligible for college credit. At ACC, our most recognized industry certifications for credit are:

  • Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification
  • National Registry of EMT (NREMT) certification
  • AAPC Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) certification
  • AAPC Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification
  • AHIMA Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification
  • CompTIA A+ certification
  • CompTIA Network +
  • CompTIA Security +
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing & Switching (CCNA) Part 1
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing & Switching (CCNA) Part 2

Military training and service also falls under the realm of PLA, so if you have that experience, please have your joint services transcript sent to ACC for transcript evaluation.

How does Prior Learning Assessment work?

Prior learning Assessment is a team effort! As the student, it is up to you to initiate the communication to request college credit from your prior learning experience. You will communicate with your program chair as well as me (Allison Lemmertz- Allison.lemmertz@arapahoe.edu), the Graduation & Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator here at ACC to get the ball rolling.

As with any other college credits, please also keep in mind that we can only bring in college credits that apply to your major or program! So, for instance, if you have certification in Cisco Networking, but you’re enrolled in an English degree, then that certification doesn’t help your progress- sorry.

What kinds of experience can I get credit for?

Generally speaking, your best chance of receiving college credits is fairly limited to the exams and certifications mentioned previously. We do, however, also offer credit for portfolio on occasion, although it is rare. Please just note these are typically on a case-by-case basis, and it is up to the program chair to offer or accept credit by portfolio.

Instances of prior learning assessment via portfolio that I have seen be successful include art, communication, and early childhood education. This isn’t to say that no other portfolios will be considered, so when in doubt, please feel free to ask us!

Is there a cost for Prior Learning Assessment?

Unfortunately, nothing is free, and when it comes to PLA, the same applies. Our fees for PLA vary, depending on the format of PLA as well as the credits. Please see the cost breakdown below for our different formats of PLA.

PLA by Exam PLA by Certification/Licensure PLA by Portfolio
$45 per credit hour $75 (flat rate; credit hour total doesn’t affect fee) $65 per credit hour

How is this different from the Alternative Credit Project?

While prior learning assessment falls under the realm of ‘alternative credit’, the Alternative Credit Project (ACP) is its own beast. The ACP includes a specific pool of courses that ACC will accept, and this project was agreed upon by the American Council on Education (ACE) and grant-supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. Get specific information on the alternative credit project.

If you have any questions or want to see if your experience could lead to college credit, I am available to help. Contact me at allison.lemmertz@arapahoe.edu or call 303.797.5630. I’d be happy to discuss the possibility of getting you credit for your experience!

ACC Alumni Spotlight: John Libby

ACC Alum John LibbyIn the fall of 1981, John started out as an 18 year-old ACC student. He was in student council that year and wrote for the school newspaper. He attended school with his mother, who started out with a GED and now holds a Master’s degree. ACC gave a poor kid from Brooklyn access to a better life, which is why he is so passionate about participation in the college and the scholarship programs for students. Eventually, ACC would be the higher education launch point for his wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law.

John values ACC because it gives access to all people. The education he received was from real life business professionals. Eventually, he would go on to have a successful career in Marketing, including becoming Retail Ad Director for The Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post and Money Mailer. The training he received at ACC gave him the spring board to change his life and the lives of the numerous people he has trained in business and in the community. “Thank you ACC for the opportunities in my life and the opportunity to give back,” said John.

Additionally, he truly appreciates how ACC supports the community. Not only does it improve the quality of life for its students by giving them a place for affordable high quality training but it also supplies the nurses, accountants, auto mechanics and numerous other professionals that keep our society in Colorado a wonderful place to live. “I may sound like a commercial, but without ACC a huge void would be left in our community,” said John. He wishes we could introduce more students and involve more of the community in the gem of this institution – what it means and can mean.

Besides the valuable education you get at ACC, it is also a place to grow up and fit in. Yes, the Marine Corps Reserves helped John, as did his parents, but it was the bridge that he needed as a first generation college student before the university experience. Community is another huge benefit of ACC. John learned the value of society and ACC gave him the needed experience of giving back through donations as well as volunteer work. “I feel giving back is an important human need, ACC gives that opportunity to give back in a way that will help generations.”

Finally, John commented on how lifelong learning is an important part of experiencing all that life has to offer. He still continues to take 2 classes a year whether it’s Voice, Guitar, Spanish or a variety of other skills because it keeps his mind expanding. To quote Ray Kroc-“When you’re green, your growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.” ACC keeps your mind growing. John is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager