About Community College of Aurora
Founded in 1983
Community College of Aurora takes education to a whole new level of solid theory and practical training. With this approach, CCA equips students with relevant learning for life that goes beyond the book. Students graduate from the college’s cutting-edge programs ready to move to the next step in their lives, whether they transfer to a four-year institution or begin a new career.
CCA’s two campuses, CentreTech and Lowry, are home to more than 15,500 students annually. Both facilities are equipped with the latest technologies, allowing students to study new and traditional programs.
CCA, founded in 1983, attracts a diverse population of students of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicities reflecting the surrounding communities. In the last decade, CCA’s focus to serve the diverse population has resulted in double the number of students of color, student representation of five continents and more than 100 countries, and the provision of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for both community and pre-collegiate programs.
CCA has a vibrant veterans and military community, and the college is committed to helping students with a military connection reach their educational goals. A neighbor to Buckley Air Force Base, CCA nurtures an ongoing collaboration whereby military members, as well as their spouses and dependents, are offered educational opportunities at the college.
CCA’s growing partnership with Aurora Public Schools (APS) and Cherry Creek districts has exceeded expectations for concurrent enrollment. Students receive both high school and college credit for successful completion of these courses. This rigorous program not only increases college awareness but college participation. Twenty-five percent of CCA students are concurrent enrollment. Classes are held on CCA’s campuses and in the high schools.
Located in Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city, CCA serves more than 425,000 residents in a 350-square-mile service area that spans portions of three counties (Arapahoe, Adams, and Denver). The service area includes Aurora, eastern Denver, some southern suburban communities, and part of the eastern plains.
PRESIDENT: Alton D. Scales
The fourth full-time president in CCA’s history, Alton D. Scales’ background encompasses 30 years experience in higher education. He most recently served as CEO of Colorado Mountain College’s Breckenridge and Dillon campuses, where, since 2007, he led a one-year, $1.8 million capital campaign; established a Small Business Development Center; managed construction of a $14 million academic building; and expanded advanced math and science course offerings by 35% over a four-year period, among other accomplishments. His overarching duties as CEO encapsulated academic programs, student services, continuing education, business services, facilities, and oversight of a leadership summit. Scales served in a variety of executive functions prior to his Colorado Mountain College experience. He held vice president’s roles involving student services and multicultural programs at Edinboro (Pa.) University. Scales served as dean, department manager and VP of academic affairs at Neosho County (Kansas) Community College, and was a director of multicultural affairs at the University of Kansas. A native of Amarillo, Texas, Scales holds numerous degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton, including a master’s in Manufacturing Engineering with minors in HR Management and Organizational Communication and a bachelor’s in Industrial Technology with a minor in Interpersonal Communication.
The Community College of Aurora operates under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System.
The college is one of 28 public institutions of higher education in Colorado. There are thirteen four-year public institutions and fifteen two-year public institutions governed by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) provides access to high-quality, affordable education for all Colorado residents that is student-centered, quality driven and performance-based. CCHE’s primary "customers" are Colorado students and citizens. CCHE is committed to providing the best quality education at the best price with the best possible service for its customers.
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is the administrative arm of the Colorado State Board of Education. CDE serves Colorado's 178 local school districts, providing them with leadership, consultation and administrative services on a statewide and regional basis.
Established in 1985, the Community College of Aurora Foundation is governed by a voluntary board of directors. The Foundation’s stated mission is to “build financial and public support for the Community College of Aurora” and its stated goals are to provide financial support to the college and its students through effective fundraising; build public and business awareness of the college and the benefits it provides the community; provide community input and counsel to the college; and effectively discharge its responsibilities of property holder and administrator.
CCA has launched the Lowry Phase II Expansion Project. The CCA Foundation capital campaign titled “Transforming Lowry, Transforming Lives” to raise funds for expansion and remodel of the facilities on the Lowry campus is underway.
FALL 2011 HEADCOUNT ENROLLMENT: 7,842
Part-time = 76% Minority = 53% Female = 58%
FALL 2011-12 FULL-TIME FACULTY: 47 STUDENT TO FACULTY RATIO: 19:1
Community College of Aurora in Colorado is a unique global community with more than 100 countries represented in the student population. The community of students draws on the wealth of experience of fellow students who come from a variety of backgrounds and ages.
Programs and degrees
Students may choose from more than 40 degrees and certificates in transfer and occupational education. CCA’s core classes are guaranteed to transfer to Colorado public colleges and universities. The Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of General Studies degree programs are transferable to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions. The Associate of Applied Science degree programs and related certificate programs provide occupational education for students who seek job preparation, career mobility, or job retraining. The college also offers on-site workforce development and customized training for business and industry.
Additionally, CCA provides certificate programs in response to current workforce demands. Certificates are available in health care, sustainable energy technology, essential business skills, multimedia and web design, translation and interpretation, advanced computer technology, and more. eXpressEd 10-week certificate programs are designed to retool employee skills or launch new careers quickly.
The college offers classes at convenient times and locations to meet students’ demanding schedules. Community College of Aurora has traditional classroom, online, hybrid, and evening/weekend classes, as well as “open entry” classes that start every week. Small class sizes, labs, and free tutoring support and enhance student learning. CCA’s Career Center guides and prepares students for successful employment.
CCA is small enough to get to know students, and big enough to offer numerous courses of study to meet educational goals. CCA signature programs include:
Colorado Film School
CCA’s Community Colorado Film School (CFS), which is listed as one of the “25 Best Film Schools in the World” by The Hollywood Reporter, offers students real world experience in film video. This year the film school won a pair of bronze Telly Awards, which honors the finest film and video produc¬tions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs. The Department of Motor Vehicles public service announcement starring Gov. John Hickenlooper titled “Guy Vroom,” and the “Choices” video for the Center for Workforce Development were the winning submissions. The CFS students have the unique opportunity to gain experience on the industries most advance cameras early in their programs. Many students opt to take advantage of the School’s partnership with Regis University, in which they can seamlessly transfer to the four-year institution for a bachelor of fine arts degree.
Center for Simulation
CCA’s Disaster Management Institute (DMI) of Colorado features a fully functional Emergency Operations Center to train CCA students and working professionals alike to manage simulated disasters of all types and sizes. The Institute serves as a model for interagency collaboration and workforce training and development, and is key to CCA’s Emergency Medical Provider and Public Service programs. The DMI was the main site for the Colorado first responder terrorist exercise Operation Mountain Guardian. In the summer of 2012, the DMI hosted, for the second year, the American Medical Re¬sponse Company’s National Clinical and Safety Championships that tests the best two-man emergency response team in the nation. The facility employs some of the most advanced technology available offering realistic environments to train first responders, on-scene commanders, and incident command teams.
Integrated Nursing Pathways
CCA and the University of Colorado College of Nursing offer a unique, integrated pathway to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Students will also earn an Associate of General Studies from Community College of Aurora within the program. Students admitted into the Integrated Nursing Pathway will receive the best education from nationally recognized institutions. CCA is noted for its innovative programs in science and support services for its exceptionally diverse community. University of Colorado’s College of Nursing is ranked 15th among nearly 100 programs in the country.
Opportunity of a lifetime
CCA 2012 spring graduate, Jamie Corchado, was chosen to be an intern for the national aeronautical agency. Corchado had participated in NASA’s zero-gravity experiment in Houston in summer 2011 along with five other CCA students. His position begins in September 2012 and will postpone his first semester at Colorado School of Mines. Corchado will be a part of an application software team working on the Spaceport Com¬mand and Control System at Kennedy Space Cen¬ter in Florida. The 15-week opportunity is expected to cul¬minate with Corchado contributing to the envelopment of a fully tested software utility, while improving processes in concert with application developers.
A wide-ranging study on the fiscal influence of the state’s community colleges released in May 2012 by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. revealed that CCA’s annual financial impact in its service community amounted to $187.487 million.
Regional income attributable to the accumulation of CCA skills over the past 28 years amounts to $170.185 million annually, due to the higher earnings of students and increased output of businesses.
For every dollar students invest in CCA, they receive a cumulative $3.70 in higher future income over the course of their working careers. On an annual basis, after adjusting for inflation, students receive a rate of return of 13.3% on the money they invested in their community college education.
Taxpayers see a rate of return of 9.1 percent on their CCA investment.
Companies/Organizations that Community College of Aurora provides workforce development training for or has affiliation with include:
CCA's official mascot is the Red Fox.