Success Tips

Nereida Arroyo-Ramirez studying

My name is Nereida Arroyo-Ramirez and I’m a recent graduate of the Community College of Aurora. At CCA, I earned an associate of science (AS) degree in biology.

I started at CCA as a concurrent enrollment student during my senior year at Gateway High School and quickly moved into the Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT) program. I began taking CCA classes regularly after I left the ASCENT program. 

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A desk containing materials at a CCA Transfer FairIf you are looking to transfer to a four year undergraduate institution to complete your degree, many factors come into play when choosing where to continue your education. Picking one school to meet all your needs can be a messy process! Fortunately, CCA has many resources to help you understand your priorities, research and reach your goals, including two Transfer Fairs held this fall. The first CCA Transfer Fair is on October 18 on the CentreTech campus in the Student Centre Building in the Rotunda. The second CCA Transfer Fair is on November 2 on the Lowry campus in the West Quad Building in the Todd Bergren Room. Not sure what a transfer fair can do for you? Check out these five tips to discover how CCA's Transfer Fairs can help you forge a path that fits your unique interests and values.

Students throwing their caps in their air In a few days, I will be the first person in my family to hold a college degree. While my time at the Community College of Aurora may be finished, I feel like my academic journey is just beginning. I think about where I will be next year, as I begin my final year of undergraduate studies, and I wonder what I will be doing. I think about the year afterwards, when I will be able to truly call myself an anthropologist, and I think about the kind of work I might find. As I think of the journey ahead of me, my thoughts turn to where I have been. I chose the Community College of Aurora for a silly reason. It was equidistant from my home with Arapahoe Community College, but I could take the interstate to CCA. I laugh now, that such a small thing shaped so much of my life. Choosing CCA has utterly changed me. I chose an academic discipline - Anthropology. In my studies of Anthropology, I have examined culture and social norms, and had my eyes opened to how different we all are, yet how those differences, oddly, unite us.

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Woman with illustrated question marks over her headSo you think you're ready to transfer after graduation? Are you sure? Take a moment to think about which four-year college you want to attend because you need to consider some important things such as finances, schedules, and what you plan to study. We can help. The Community College of Aurora has resources and information ready to help you make your transfer decision easier. Check out the Transfer Fair on Nov. 2 at the CentreTech campus so you can meet with a representative from more than 20 four-year colleges and universities in Colorado and outside of the state. It's a great way to get to know the college before you transfer! Before you plan your transfer, think about these seven questions:

Students on a campus tour at University of DenverCharlyne Brown is planning to transfer from CCA to a four-year college in fall 2017. But like many CCA students she is asking, “where do I go?” She recently visited the University of Denver in September as part of the CCA Student Success Center's Transfer Success Program, which sets up campus visits for CCA students at four-year colleges within Colorado. While visiting DU, Charlyne discovered there is a foreign-language requirement that she was not aware of that could delay her pursuit of a business degree. Although Charlyne has not ruled out DU, the information she discovered during her campus visit was helpful. “There is a comforting factor to know whether I want to be there or not,” Charlyne said. “I could see if it was a fit for me.” Azalia Munoz was on the same University of Denver tour and she appreciated being able to ask questions. “I think it did help a little,” Azalia said.

Students looking at the cameraIs this your first week at CCA? Feeling overwhelmed? Unsure about where to go or who to talk to? You're not alone; many of your CCA peers have been where you are before. Fortunately, they are willing to help you figure out what to do and where to go. Read below for 20 tips and tricks veteran CCA students suggest for new students on how to navigate your way around and how to succeed and realize your potential here:

Jonski Ortiz has attended CCA since 2014 and is a work-study student in the Financial Aid Office. What's her advice? “Try to meet people. Try to sit in the front of the class." "Definitely use your resources; try to be involved in campus.”        

Josh Morgan has attended CCA since spring 2014. What's his advice? “Talk to your professors to see what you can do to improve your work." "Carpool if needed and also take public transportation; it can be hectic to get to school on time." "I would recommend going to the tutoring lab.”    

Brother2Brother484X252Nila Niroula graduated from CCA in May – but if it weren't for a program called Brother 2 Brother, he might have had to wait even longer.

Nila is a first-generation college student from Nepal and had attended CCA since summer 2012. He had taken numerous classes at CCA but wasn't sure how close he was to graduating.

With the help of Brother 2 Brother Advisor Daniel Haupt, Nila discovered that he only needed one more class to graduate.

“A program like this should be in colleges,” Nila said. “This is the program that ultimately helped me; otherwise, I would still be waiting to get my degree in fall 2016.”

Nila is one of more than 75 graduates of CCA's Brother 2 Brother, a program that is offered nationally at colleges and universities across the United States but has only been offered for two years at CCA.

destress-blogIt's that time of year again, the one that promises looming deadlines, research papers and finals just around the corner. Along with the close of the semester comes an undesirable, yet expected companion: stress. Though stress can act as a motivator to get everything done in a limited time, it also wreaks havoc on your body and mind. Luckily, there are many activities that can be done right on campus to help ease stress. Rather than carving out time to de-stress, work it into your study agenda.

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The semester has kicked off and you're no doubt starting to feel a little more comfortable with your schedule and are easing into your new class curriculum. Attending class each day is vital in learning the material, but you need to also pay attention. At this point, it's common knowledge that if you write something down, you're more likely to remember it. This works in several ways when you're a student. First, if you're taking notes during a lecture, you're more engaged in the material, second, by writing it down you're more likely to remember it, and third, because you wrote it down you now have reference material to use later for studying. Taking good notes doesn't start in the classroom, instead, you should get primed before you get there.

Be prepared: Do your homework and reading before you get to class so you're familiar with the content.

Pick a good seat: For some, this will be near the front of the room so the material can be better heard and seen. For those that thrive on distraction, sometimes off to the side works better. Know yourself and pick wisely.

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Looking into a hand held mirror As January rolls around people get enthusiastic with their resolutions, but many of those same people let them fall to the wayside because there is no plan in place to achieve their ambitious goals. This is where proper goal setting comes in. When you set reasonable goals in varying stages, allow for adjustment, and track your progress you are much more likely to follow through. If you set your goals using the following suggestions you may just be exactly where you hoped to be by 2016 and beyond.

Write it out Now that you're ready to plan for the next year, five years and fifty years, it's time to write it down. When you're writing your goals, ensure that they are written as positive statements, rather than negative. For example, write "I want to be healthy and lose 10 pounds by January 2016" rather than "I want to not be fat." Time to bust out your pen and pad and get to writing.

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