|Alton D. Scales
The fourth full-time president in CCA’s history, 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.
Vice President, Instruction
CCA’s curriculum – spanning the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of instructional services – is the core of Woodley’s position as Vice President for Instruction. “Higher education gives people access to new possibilities and it can transform their lives,” she states. “It is a source of inspiration, liberation, and social justice.” Woodley began her career at a Women’s Studies faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She moved into community college administration at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) in Albuquerque, NM. While at CNM, she held positions as an interim Associate Dean; Distance Learning Director; Executive Director for Academic Affairs; and interim Library Director. Woodley was serving concurrently as CNM’s Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences when she accepted her current position at CCA. She is in the final stages of completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Education at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. “Going to college is a wonderful opportunity for all students but graduating from college makes the biggest difference. In partnership with Administrative Services and Student Affairs, we work diligently in Instruction to ensure that students get access to an education that makes a difference for them to reach their educational goals.”
Vice President, Student Services
Supporting student success lies at the core of Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven’s position as Vice President of Student Services at CCA. But it’s the community college’s collective mindset that permeates that work, a facet of the school that struck her immediately after coming here from Joliet (Ill.) Junior College in August. “This institution gets it right by talking about what matters,” she said. “The right conversations are being had about teaching, learning and student success.” Student Services works closely with Instruction to support CCA’s academic mission and explore creative ways to foster student achievement. But that process is far-sighted, too, as Oudenhoven’s staff encourages students to complete their certificates or degrees in preparation for their lives after CCA. Supporting students’ development and learning both in and out of the classroom is important to Oudenhoven and her staff. At the same time, her job also entails planning for institutional growth while maintaining the best aspects of a small campus culture.
Vice President, Administrative Services & CFO
Compliance, budgeting and accounting are at the heart of Richard Maestas’ financial duties at CCA, an institution he joined in July 2009. In short, Maestas’ main charge is protecting the assets of the college. He does so by ensuring that local, state and federal rules and State of Colorado fiscal and purchasing regulations are followed. He also makes certain that financial reporting accurately reflects the operations of the college by employing generally accepted accounting principles to withstand any auditing processes. Maestas oversees the administrative services, too, an area that encompasses information technology, facilities, security, grants, financial reporting, accounts payable, purchasing, payroll, cashiering and student accounts. Prior to his appointment to CCA, Maestas was controller for the Community College of Denver. He brings extensive experience in higher education, including serving as field controller for the Colorado Community College System, controller and director of fiscal and purchasing services for Pikes Peak Community College and associate controller for Colorado College. Additionally, he has extensive experience in business and in the military. He holds an MBA and a BS in business administration with an emphasis in accounting.
Associate Vice President, Instruction
It may be the Rubik’s Cube of job descriptions, given all the seemingly disparate elements Brandau is charged with transforming into a seamless batch of projects with the help of her staff. With the help of the deans and chairs, she writes and then administers the Perkins grant to secure funds for career and technical programs at CCA. She is the credentialing officer for the school, ensuring that all faculty meet the academic and experience criteria set by the state’s community-college governing body. Brandau handles all academic dishonesty cases, coordinating with faculty, informing the students of alleged missteps and aiding in any due process and/or appeals. All of CCA’s course schedules for fall, spring and summer, as well as the yearly academic catalog, come through her office, then are transferred into print and electronic catalogs and schedules. Each of those classes must be confirmed as academically sound and meet process and protocol; while, at the same time, co-requisites and pre-requisites need to be properly aligned within the degree and certificate stepladder. The academic catalog is also produced each year as an electric document. Brandau also has her hand in concurrent enrollment, tasked with making sure that program details align with Higher Learning Commission guidelines. She began this busy process of assimilation upon her hire at CCA in May 2008. She came to the school after a tenure as director of testing and assessment at Johnson County (Kansas) Community College.
Dean, Liberal Arts
Numerous areas of study fall under Snow’s purview, including Academic Enrichment, Education and Early Childhood, English, Performing Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences. His primary role as dean is to provide faculty resources while lowering administrative barriers and providing faculty support in to maximize the teaching and learning experience. Snow currently is playing a key role, along with the Liberal Arts Division department chairs, in the implementation of statewide transfer degrees approved by the state legislature in 2011. His focus is to ensure that the programs offered at CCA prepare students effectively for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Snow also has been instrumental the last several years, in lockstep with faculty and staff, in the development of an innovative Academic Enrichment program. That laser focus on improving student achievement has contributed to success rates in pre-collegiate academic preparation that matches those at the most successful community college programs nationwide.
Dean, Art and Design, School of Business, Computer Science, Diesel Mechanics, Mathematics, Colorado Film School
Combining possible connective areas between departments, identifying collaborative projects and morphing them into a streamlined vision has been one of Victor Vialpando¹s primary goals since joining CCA in August 2009. Under his organizational leadership, his division has managed to better integrate between departments through identification of crossover areas, then streamlined the coursework to better suit student needs. Narrower course offerings and a focus on a stair-step system that imbeds certificates throughout the degree process has allowed for programs to align more successfully with industry demand while also increasing graduation rates and retention. Computer Science, Mathematics and School of Business are more synchronized through that cross-collaborative process by targeting the development of core skill sets housed in those separate areas. Vialpando and staff are now intent on better assimilating the multimedia curriculum in the Art and Design department. Business applications are interspersed liberally throughout the programs in which he has oversight, as well. Attempting to build from solid foundational ground is familiar to Vialpando, given his undergraduate background in civil engineering. His career path eventually led to the higher-education route after earning his master's degree in business from the University of Colorado in 2005.
|Renie Del Ponte
Dean, Health Sciences, Public Safety, Lowry Campus
Del Ponte joined CCA in August 2012 after serving about five years as Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest district in Colorado. At CCA, she is responsible for providing organizational leadership and management in the development and maintenance of all assigned programs housed on the Lowry campus, including Criminal Justice, Diesel Mechanics, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Health Wellness Education, Law Enforcement Academy, Paralegal, Public Security Management and the Nursing Pathway Program. She also serves as Lowry Campus dean. It¹s Del Ponte¹s third major position within the Colorado Community College System. She worked from 1997 until 2007 in Lakewood at Red Rocks Community College, first as its Health Careers Programs Coordinator, and then as Dean of Instruction. Among her primary areas of expertise have been the creation and implementation of innovative CTE programs; building strategic community and industry partnerships; and executing budget planning and fiscal accountability for multiple academic units and a branch campus. Del Ponte has master's degrees in Education Leadership and Administration from Jones International University in Centennial and Exercise Science from Slippery Rock (Pa.) University. She also has a doctorate in Public Health/Preventative Care from Loma Linda (Calif.) University. She studied at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins as an Undergraduate.
Dean, Student Success
A large array of student services offices report to Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero, all with the overriding mission of helping students enroll and successfully graduate. Coordination between the Center for Outreach and Recruitment and the student success offices, including first year experience and transition; scholar support and programming; TRiO student support services; and accessibility services all focus on strategies related to student enrollment, retention, success, and completion. Elena joined CCA in January 2011 but has worked in higher education for over 20 years in several student service areas including recruitment, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, continuing education, and TRiO SSS. She has also been a faculty member in education. Elena came to CCA from the Auraria campus where she worked for 18 years at both Metropolitan State College of Denver and University of Colorado-Denver. Elena is a Colorado native but also has lived in Oregon, Michigan, and Virginia.
Associate Dean, Online Learning
A CCA employee since January 2010, Burkhart oversees the online learning program, which supports the college’s learning management system, works with faculty on instructional design and includes supervision of instructional designers and technologists. Her department also trains and supports faculty on instructional technologies used both in the classroom and online. Currently, she’s managing two grants on immersive learning and blended learning. Burkhart regularly contributes to the instructional technology community by presenting at conferences and participation in professional groups. Prior to joining the college, Burkhart spent nine years as a professor of Graphic Design and a Faculty Development Specialist at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College. She spent nearly three years as manager of information systems at a corporation that owns numerous Midwest car dealerships and for many years was a small business owner. Her educational background includes three degrees from Fort Hays State in Hays, Kan. – bachelor’s and masters degrees in Business Administration and a second masters in Instructional Technology.
Executive Director, Grants and Planning
Since arriving at CCA in 2000 as director of grants and adjunct instructor of cultural anthropology, Chris Ward has worn many hats. He calls himself ‘a micro-dean’ given his oversight responsibilities for the ESL department. But his reach is on a more macro level. His burgeoning responsibilities mirror the growth of the college itself. He’s worked to bridge any gaps between CCA and the community by overseeing the workforce development staff while establishing strategic partnerships through his grants and resource development work with various community and state organizations. Ward’s also maintained a passion for the globalization of CCA and its curriculum that best serve the diverse community it serves, including providing entry and support for immigrants and refugees. He’s served on the globalization committee and the self-study group, chaired the emergency plan steering committee and assessment-working group, been the school’s Higher Learning Commission liaison and taken on various other tasks. Prior to coming to CCA, Ward earned his PhD in International and Development Education from the University of Pittsburgh and in 1985, did field work in China. He’s also authored several books and taught previously at Community College of Denver, the University of Pittsburgh, LaRoche College (Pittsburgh), Portland State University and National Taiwan University.
Director, Human Resources
Hesse has been integral in numerous recruitment and hiring processes tied to presidential searches within the Colorado Community College System. Her part in facilitating those hires speaks to her deep roots within the statewide system, beginning in 1994 at Northeastern Junior College, continuing for a decade with the CCCS and, now, with CCA. Hesse and her staff currently handle thousands of applications annually for open positions. Her CCA tenure has involved the hiring of vice presidents, deans and a plethora of faculty to fill what has been an increase in hiring allowances. But Hesse not only has been deeply involved in finding and placing talent over the years but participated in duties that run the gamut of HR responsibilities. Those tasks have included benefits and employee relations, training, payroll support, and policy and compliance. Her overriding goal is to create a beneficial working culture while supplying managers, directors and deans with the necessary resources to efficiently handle their jobs. To that end, Hesse also gets directly involved in mediation when problems arise and regularly consults with staff to discuss personnel issues. Consulting and listening to people’s concerns and fixing pressing issues are arguably the most fundamental facets of her position.
Director, College Communications
Inspired to improve her life at age 35, VanLandingham attended Front Range Community College, where she explored her options until her future became etched in journalism. She earned an A.A. degree at FRCC, a B.S. in journalism from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from Naropa University. Her tenacity for education landed her a job teaching English Composition, Journalism, Literature, and as faculty advisor for the Front Page, the newspaper that started her career. She’s taught online for FRCC and CCCOnline. In 1999, VanLandingham began at CCA in College Communications, where she became director. She soon transformed CCA’s television station; launched a successful strategic marketing and brand awareness campaign; and gained media coverage for CCA. Next, she supervised the restructure and redesign of CCA’s website and, with it, introduced social media to the wide array of communications methods employed by CCA, taking it fully into the 21st Century. From a staff of one, she grew the department to include a public relations coordinator, digital media and marketing expert, and a videographer. The staff under her leadership produces all marketing and print publications and college promotional videos and blogs, reigns in social media and digital marketing, and has unprecedented media coverage. The sum total has meant an integrated communications division that supports CCA’s programs and services.