The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness recently completed its final findings of the climate survey conducted in the fall of 2015. The survey was commissioned at the request of the Inclusive Excellence Council which wanted to assess where CCA was as a campus.
The climate survey asked CCA students, faculty, and staff to rate the college in six categories: Welcoming, Belonging, Safety, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. More than 900 students, 103 faculty/instructors, and 140 staff completed the survey.
The final findings of the climate survey are available on the CCA website but some of the highlights are:
There were both negative and positive takeaways from the survey, said Quill Phillips, special assistant to the President for Inclusive Excellence.
A large number of students responded that they felt CCA was a welcoming and inclusive place which was a positive, she said. At the same time, there was a disparity in the responses between faculty and staff of color or faculty and staff with disabilities versus white staff, she said.
“We want to understand why do those populations feel less welcome and not as included and what is it we can do?” Phillip said. “When we do the survey again, it will be a good measurement to see if that gap has closed.”
The survey results will help CCA’s Inclusive Excellence Council create a strategic plan for its goals. The Inclusive Excellence Council will also start creating focus groups with faculty, staff, and students to gauge why some of these groups might have some of the feelings and responses they did, Phillips said.
There is still time to donate to the CCA Gives Hope campaign. Since October, the Community College of Aurora Foundation CCA Gives Hope campaign has raised nearly $15,000 in donations from more than 70 staff, faculty, and instructors. Last year, CCA raised $10,200 from 33 individual donors from the college. CCA is still a little more than $5,000 away from the campaign's goal of $20,000 and with every pledge or one-time gift CCA gets closer.
Making a pledge is easy to do – complete the Employee Pledge Form and return it Debbie Irvine in the Human Resources Office. Payroll deductions will start in January 2017.
Choose from any one of the six gift designations detailed on the pledge form:
The CCA Gives Campaign is a great way to give back to CCA students by showing them that staff, faculty, and instructors care.
Joshua Ryines, development associate for the Community College of Aurora Foundation, prepares to launch a pumpkin during Punkin’ Chunkin’ outside of the CentreTech campus on Oct. 27.
Cubs Win! Red Foxes Win!
CCA President (and Cubs fan) Betsy Oudenhoven delivered pizza to the CCA community on Nov. 3 to celebrate the Cubs’ World Series win!
Safe is Sexy
Kori Wilford from the BeforePlay website speaks about contraception and birth-control techniques during “Safe is Sexy” on Nov. 3 in the Student Centre Building on the CentreTech campus. “Safe is Sexy” is a dialogue intended to provide tools and information about safe sex and safe relationships.
The Collective Heart Project
CCA student Colton Lee reads his presentation during “The Collective Heart Project” on Nov. 11 in the Larry D. Carter Theater. The show was an original collaborative performance and dialogue that asked students to contribute their thoughts regarding political tensions, questions about race and identity, violence, and other issues during the election season.
Communications Class Celebrates Snowfall
Members of Vicki Graham’s Communications 217: Group Communications class went outside for the first snowfall of the season on Nov. 17. Many of the students are also members of the newly formed Communications Club at CCA.
Caption: Front left: Destiny Haupt; middle row: Montserrat Sanabria Medina, Jesus Lara, and Stephanie Sinclair; back row: Paul Drake, Dominick Vasquez, Manuel Robles Zapien, Vicki Graham, and Jesus Calderon.
Halloween Costume Contest
The Office of Student Affairs held a staff party on Oct. 31; different departments dressed up in themes and were judged by President Betsy Oudenhoven and Vice President of Student Affairs Elena Sandoval-Lucero. The Office of Student Life received first place for its portrayal of the Super Mario Bros. characters; the Student Success Center received second place for its portrayal of the movie Inside Out; and the Office of Disability and Equity received third place for its Star Wars video. Congratulations to all who participated!
Caption: (above left) Members of the Office of Financial Aid perform “Thriller” in the Rotunda in the Student Centre Building as part of their zombie-themed performance during the costume contest.
Caption: (above right) Members of the Student Success Center portray characters from the Pixar movie Inside Out.
Colorado Film School Student Show – Dec. 8, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Harkins Theatres, 8300 E. Northfield Blvd., Denver
This public event presents the best student films from the past semester. If you are interested in attending, RSVP on the Colorado Film School Facebook page.
CCA Annual Holiday Celebration – Dec. 12, 5:30 to 8 p.m., CentreTech campus, Student Centre Building, Room 100 (The Rotunda)
Staff, faculty, and adjuncts are invited to celebrate the holidays. Food and beverages will be served and there will be plenty of time for everyone to catch up with their colleagues. Families are welcome and there will be fun activities for children.
FAFSA Rush – Dec. 13, 4 to 7 p.m., CentreTech Campus, Classroom Building, Room 105
High-school students are encouraged to come to CCA with their parents to fill out the FAFSA application. CCA staff will be available to answer any questions families might have.
CCA Student Presentation Receives American Physical Society Award
Students Thomas Horning and Jamie Principato received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the fall 2016 meeting of the American Physical Society Four Corners and Texas sections.
Thomas received the award for work he did while studying at the Community College of Aurora, while Jamie received the award for the work she did while at Arapahoe Community College.
Jamie and Thomas received the award for their presentation “Prototyping of a Durable and Inexpensive RICH Detector,” which detailed the results of the experiment that flew into space on a NASA rocket that they and their team built in 2015.
The students and faculty who spoke at the APS Four Corners meeting represent some of the top research universities in the region; about 10 percent of the students who present are awarded the Outstanding Student Presentation Award. Both Jamie and Thomas are now studying physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“Thomas and Jamie did a fantastic job with their talk, said Victor Andersen, faculty member of the Science Department at CCA. Once again, our students were swimming with the ‘big fish’ and showing that they belong there. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of them!”
Chris Tombari Receives Gladys Doty Award
On November 5, Chris Tombari, associate dean in the School of Liberal Arts, received the Gladys Doty Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession. He received the award from Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CoTESOL). The award honors a member of the profession who has made a significant contribution through research, publication, professional presentations, leadership, or public service, or by assuming an active role in educational advocacy.
Numerous CCA instructors, School of Liberal Arts Dean Ted Snow, as well as seven of Chris’s family members attended the event.
Maria Halloran, retired ESL instructor and founding department chair, was a previous CCA recipient of the Award, and Ruby Eichenour, a CCA adjunct, was awarded CoTESOL’s Virginia French Allen Teaching Award a few years ago.
Mary Hilken Wins “Best of CoTESOL”
Mary Hilken, ESL adjunct instructor, won “Best of CoTESOL” for her presentation “Vibrant Colorful Writing.” CoTESOL is the state affiliate of the International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and this past annual fall convention was attended by teachers from all over Colorado who work with non-native English speakers in every capacity. The award is a validation by her colleagues, and Mary will receive a paid trip to the International TESOL convention in the spring.
“I was at her presentation and it was amazing,” said Kate Noon-Ulvila, ESL faculty member. “Mary is an incredible teacher and very passionate about what she does. I shared this news with my students, and they were so excited for her. This is a huge accomplishment!”
O’Donnell, Clark Win Art Awards at the CCCS Employee Art Show
CCA’s Sandra Clark, an adjunct instructor in the Art Department, won first place at the Colorado Community College System Employee Art Show held at the CCCS Campus on Nov. 11. She received the award for her work on "Icarus" (above left). Kate O’Donnell, faculty member in the Art Department, won honorable mention at the same show for her work, "Cherry on Top."
CCA Achieves Hispanic Serving Institution Status
Community College of Aurora achieved Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status in October. The HSI designation is awarded to institutions that have at least a 25 percent Hispanic-student enrollment. As of fall 2016, the enrollment summary prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness after census each term lists CCA’s Hispanic enrollment at 26.8 percent. This represents an increase of almost 10 percent since 2011, when CCA’s Hispanic student enrollment was at 17 percent and the college began plans to achieve HSI status.
In addition to the fact that CCA's college student population now better represents the demographics of the college's service area, HSI status makes CCA eligible to apply for Title V funding through the U.S. Department of Education. This funding may be used for many purposes to serve all students at CCA, including support for curricular and co-curricular student success and completion initiatives.
Julie Johnson, a part-time advisor at the CentreTech campus, gave birth to a son, Nicholas Erik Davis Johnson, on Oct. 1. Nicholas joins older sisters Elise and Corinne, and their father, Kevin.
In October, Community College of Aurora’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy (BLETA) Arrest Control program, under the guidance of master instructors Steve Norton, Don Black, and Don James—along with their many skilled assistant instructors—was reviewed and recertified by subject-matter experts from the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board, which governs and certifies all statewide law-enforcement training academies. In an era of extreme focus on policing and the performance of officers, CCA’s Police Academy teaches the most professional and legally defensible system of arrest control in the nation. Known as “The Koga Method,” this internationally highly regarded form of arrest control focuses on appropriately controlling the subject and on helping to prevent an altercation before it starts to prevent it from deteriorating into a dangerous situation. The review stated that CCA’s arrest-control program not only met but exceeded all Colorado POST requirements. The review group mentioned that CCA’s academy had, in its opinion, the top arrest-control program in Colorado with the most expertise of any trainers in the state.
CCA’s law-enforcement training academy program started in the fall of 1993. Director Michael Carter and Administrative Assistant Stephanie Agner give credit and thanks to the academy’s outstanding group of instructors, many of them teaching since the academy’s inception. CCA’s police academy instructors have extensive backgrounds in local law enforcement. They are highly skilled in patrol, response tactics, investigations, pursuit driving, and firearms training. The CCA academy instructors also spend an extensive amount of time reviewing high-profile officer-involved shootings that have occurred, providing insight to the cadets on how some of these incidents could be prevented by utilizing superior tactics and decision-making skills.
Due to the outstanding work of the instructors and their passion to pass on their knowledge and skills to the cadets, CCA’s program has become a highly respected academy within Colorado and regional law-enforcement groups. As a result, CCA has police academy graduates who have worked or are working in almost every agency in the state, including cadets who have become police chiefs and federal agents. Many Colorado law-enforcement agencies, as well as surrounding state agencies, actively seek out these cadets due to the known quality of CCA’s training academy.
Allied Health Attends EMS State Conference
The Allied Health Department attended the 2016 Colorado EMS State Conference in Keystone from Nov. 3 to 5 and exhibited at the trade show. The conference is a great way to connect with government agencies and EMS departments, to hear about their needs, and to have person-to-person discussions about the Community College of Aurora’s opportunities. It’s a great way to showcase the talented staff and faculty at CCA and to begin conversations with local and statewide partners.
Caption: From left to right, Beth Lattone (Allied Health Department director); Joe Lattone (Beth’s husband); Drew Baske (Allied Health Department assistant director); Cindy Smith (Allied Health Department program assistant); and Travis Graves (Allied Health Department clinical faculty and resource manager).
National Day on Writing
Fantasy author T.A. Barron spoke with students at the CentreTech campus on Oct. 20 as part of the “National Day on Writing” celebration. Barron is the author of the Merlin Saga, a series of books that The Walt Disney Studios is planning to adapt into a film.
Safe Trick or Treat
A member of the Aurora Police Department hands out candy to Spider-Man during the Safe Trick or Treat event held at CCA’s CentreTech campus on Oct. 28.
If you could close your eyes and be anywhere on Earth when you opened them, where would you be?
Michael Carter, director, CCA POST Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy - “With my wife and boys, on our dive boat off the Koko Head cliffs on my home island of Oahu in Hawaii, SCUBA-diving.”
Anna Jansen, academic advisor – “I would definitely want to be with my daughter, whether we were in Denver or Houston, it wouldn't matter! Her birthday is this week, the holidays are almost here, and we will be a thousand miles apart for all of it. I guess it’s true that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’!”
Cynthia Osborn, FLAC data specialist – “Snorkeling in the Bahamas.”
Chris Tombari, associate dean, School of Liberal Arts – “On a snowy day like today? At home in front of the TV watching The Godfather (parts 1, 2, and 3).”
Tamara White, dean of students – “I would be in Costa Rica at Playa Jaco. It is the most beautiful beach to me. When I studied abroad in college in Costa Rica, I wanted to go to this beach but wasn’t able. It is my biggest vacation dream now, to return to Costa Rica and go to this beach.”