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!

Arapahoe Community College will host Start Now! enrollment expo on July 22

Start Now Orientation 2017Arapahoe Community College will offer an opportunity for anyone to begin the process of enrolling in Fall 2017 classes with its Start Now! orientation and registration event on Saturday, July 22, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Littleton and Parker campuses.

Start Now! will provide all students who have applied to ACC – but are not yet registered – with the opportunity to complete new student orientation and free English/math assessment testing while receiving assistance with career/academic advising, financial aid and registration during this one-day session. Refreshments will be available.

The event will include tours of the College, and staff will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about ACC’s programs, beginning your college career, and paying for college. Please bring your 2015 tax forms if you are interested in free assistance with completing the FAFSA.

Nursing simulation activityAttendees at the Parker campus – where students can now complete their Associate of Arts / Associate of Science degrees in their entirety – can tour the newly-remodeled science labs and classrooms designed to maximize experiential and collaborative learning. Parker-area students can now study natural sciences, math, health, and computer science closer to home.

At ACC, we offer both quality and value. ACC has nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, and credits are guaranteed to transfer into Colorado’s four-year public institutions. Our instructors are experts in their field, and classes are available both online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock.

RSVP now for Start Now! at Littleton or Parker. Don’t forget to have test scores and/or high school transcripts ready when you RSVP. For more information about Start Now!, or to apply for admission to ACC, please contact Student Recruitment and Outreach at acc.info@arapahoe.edu or 303.797.5637.

Construction on the ACC Littleton Campus

You may have noticed that it is a little noisy on ACC’s Littleton campus this summer. That’s because we’re making tons of improvements to enhance your education. Our 3rd floor is under construction and they are making a ton of progress!

Remember the science labs…

Science Labs before 1Science Labs before 2Science Labs before 3Or the student spaces on the 3rd floor…

3rd floor main building - student space 1 3rd floor main building - student space 2 3rd floor main building - student space 3These areas are being remodeled. We’re building brand new science labs for biology, chemistry, microbiology, mortuary science, medical laboratory technology, phlebotomy, anatomy and physiology, astronomy and more. These labs will include modern facilities and work spaces for students, not to mention nearby prep space, storage and more collaborative student work areas.

We will also be updating restrooms, a few offices and our student spaces. Here’s a look at the scope of the work area for this remodel.

ACC Littleton - main building - 3rd floor scope of workTo make all of this happen we need to make some noise and a bit of a mess. Check out our progress during the demolition phase of our remodel.

science lab - pre-demo - plastic wallsscience lab - pre-demo - hallwayscience lab - pre-demo - 1science lab - pre-demo - 2science lab - pre-demo - 3science lab - pre-demo - 4science lab - pre-demo - 5greenhouse demoScience labs - June demo - 1Science labs - June demo - 2Science labs - June demo - 3Science labs - June demo - 4Science labs - June demo - 5Science labs - June demo - 6As you can see, the crews are hard at work helping us Move Mountains to make sure you get the most out of your education here at ACC. If you need a break from the noise, pick up ear plugs at any student service desk on campus or visit the Library & Learning Commons (it is very quiet there). Thank you for your patience as we make these improvements.

Parker Campus Construction – Final Update

If you haven’t been to our Parker campus lately, you are in for a surprise. The 2nd floor remodel is complete and we now have cutting edge science labs, lab prep space and a new student space. This will allow us to offer more courses and programs in Parker. Check out photos of the new labs and student area below.

Science Labs and Equipment

ACC Parker campus new science lab ACC Parker campus new science lab ACC Parker campus new science lab ACC Parker campus new science lab ACC Parker campus new science lab Anatomy modelAnatomy models in cabinetsbeakers and glasswareStudent Space

Parker Student LoungeParker student spaceParker Student lounge - tablesParker student spaceThank you to everyone who worked and went to class at the ACC Parker campus during the construction phase. We hope you’ll enjoy the new classrooms and student area as much as we do.

Get Your AAS Degree in Commercial Photography at ACC

Here is some exciting news-ACC will be offering an AAS degree in Commercial Photography starting Fall of 2017. This program is designed for creative individuals who want to learn the skills necessary to have a rewarding career as a commercial photographer. If you love taking pictures but want to go further, this is your chance to learn to make photographs. We want you to tap into your artistic self, but we are not about cranking out starving artists. Our curriculum has the courses that will enable you to learn the skills necessary to have a long and satisfying career as a working commercial photographer.

Photographer with camera and computers

Students gain a strong foundation in all the technical aspects of photography including exposure, lighting, composition, color theory, printing, video, and more. This program is balanced between the technical and the aesthetic skills necessary to make compelling images. There is balance between traditional and digital image making and balance between the art and business of commercial photography. Our mission is to help students enter their photographic specialty with all the skills they will need to be successful.

Specialties in the industry include consumer wedding and portrait photography, commercial advertising, corporate/industrial, and editorial/stock photography, photojournalism, fashion, architecture, automotive, sports, and nature/wildlife photography to name a few. There are opportunities to be a freelance photographer running your own business or working as a staff photographer for a business or corporation. There are a myriad of choices and we will help you discover which one is right for you.

Female photographer taking a picture of sun setting on mountainsArt fashion studio photo of beautiful elegant woman in luxury evening dress. The instructors heading the Commercial Photography Program have over fifty years of teaching experience and as professional photographers. Your instructors will be working professionals at the top of their fields and they will be teaching what they know. They bring their expertise into the classroom and share what is currently happening in the industry.

photographer journalist camera photo dslr editing edit designer photography teamwork team memories lighting shooting commercial contemporary shoot objects objective concept - stock imageNow for the best news, this program doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars like the private college options available in the area. Imagine graduating with a manageable amount of student debt, or being able to pay as you go with the help of financial aid. Instead of writing a whopping check each month to pay off debt, you will be able to take that money and invest it into your business! If all of this sounds exciting, find out more about starting this fall by contacting us. We are happy to answer any questions you might have. Your opportunity to have a rewarding creative career as a commercial photographer is available at ACC.

by Brad Bartholomew, ACC Photography faculty

ACC 2016-17 Student of the Year – Leah Porter

Leah PorterEarlier this spring, Arapahoe Community College student Leah Porter was selected as one of 15 nationwide Guistwhite Scholars by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, leadership accomplishments and engagement in PTK programs. It proved to be just one of a multitude of accolades that the Malaysian native would garner during a decorated 2016-17 academic year at ACC.

Porter initially arrived in Colorado in 2001, but spent the majority of the ensuing six years traveling in and out of the country before returning to Denver as a permanent U.S. resident in 2007. She has lived in Israel, Singapore, Czech Republic (Prague) and Puerto Rico, and is fluent in five languages. However, when she enrolled at ACC in 2014, her written English and math (logarithms) competencies were not yet at the college level. Language barriers were frustrating and rendered prerequisite courses challenging. Porter, however, persevered through the adversity and was encouraged to apply for the ACC Sales Club Scholarship by Dr. Jim Boespflug while taking his Business Law class. Much to her surprise, she was selected as the recipient.

“Winning the scholarship really woke me up,” explained Porter. “It invigorated me, and I realized that I wanted more from my college experience. In fact, it motivated me to apply for an officer position in ACC’s Sigma Phi Chapter of PTK.”

She has become accustomed to overcoming obstacles, but none may be greater than the cultural adversity she has – and continues – to contend with. Porter, however, knew the path she wanted to travel, and began a new journey three years ago. Her goal: an associate degree and “cerebral” career.

“There is a socioeconomic demographic of women in Malaysia who are discouraged from advancing their intellect,” expressed Porter. “There is, unfortunately, a stigma that exists within my family because of the choices I’ve made to pursue my education.”

The President of Sigma Phi, Porter garnered Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar recognition earlier this spring. She is ACC Student Government’s representative on the State Student Advisory Committee (SSAC), as well as the student representative on the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Porter earned Distinguished Officer acclaim at this year’s PTK Colorado/Wyoming Spring Regional Convention and was named to the PTK All-Colorado Academic Team in March. In 2016, she attended the PTK Honors Institute, served as Sigma Phi Vice President (Honors in Action Project), attended the Emily Griffith Symposium and founded ACC’s first student book club. Porter has also served on the President’s Student Advisory Council and Diversity Committee.

“My experience at ACC has been so valuable. The integrated, institution-wide support at the College has enabled me to establish not just my educational pathway, but confidence in myself,” said Porter. “The faculty and staff, as well as the opportunities, at ACC are amazing. My educational journey extends beyond just my life. ACC has helped change the lives of my daughters, who now have college aspirations.”

Porter has moved mountains at ACC with great fervor, and she approaches each challenge as an opportunity to expand her horizons. Her global voyages have since subsided, but her academic endeavors are well underway. She has been named ACC’s 2016-17 Student of the Year and will serve as one of three student speakers at the College’s 50th commencement on May 10 when she graduates with her associate degree in Business Administration. Porter, who plans to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees, wants to attain a career in higher education, serving as an advocate for aspiring female students both locally and around the world.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator