Receive a $500 grant for your summer and/or fall education. CCA has $1.75 million in federal tuition and emergency grants available for summer and fall. Everyone, regardless of immigration status, is eligible to apply for these grants. Learn more about financial assistance.
Get ready – the latest version of MyCCA launches on February 19!
The new portal will be more streamlined, easier to navigate, and simpler to use – for students and staff. More relevant information and links will be placed front and center and the site will have a cleaner, more simplified look.
MyCCA, like all Colorado Community College System portal sites, is being rebuilt because the previous software will no longer be supported by the developer. CCA, and the other colleges, is using this site redesign to focus on usability and on what students and staff want.
Simple Design with Icons Emphasized
The redesigned MyCCA has been simplified and is more straightforward. When students log in, they will be instantly greeted by a Dashboard containing a series of icons that will direct them to important resources such as Grades, Holds, and Steps to Graduate. See the screenshot below. There will be similar Dashboards for faculty and employees with links to relevant information such as Time and Leave, and Personal Information.
New dashboard (clicking on the image will take you to a larger version):
The new version of MyCCA also eliminates duplicated and outdated information to make navigation easier. In the current version of MyCCA, users might encounter the same link again and again or have to scroll down the page to find what they are looking for. The new version of MyCCA will eliminate much of the scrolling to ensure that users find what they need more quickly.
The new version of MyCCA is more modular and compact; many of the resources you already use in MyCCA will be found in the new version in containers called portlets. These portlets help to eliminate the clutter and can be moved around and adjusted when necessary. To see an example, preview the Student Finance section of the old version of MyCCA versus the new version of MyCCA.
Current version (clicking on the image will take you to a larger version):
New version (clicking on the image will take you to a larger version):
Easier to Update
CCA departments will have more control over making updates to their content within MyCCA. In many cases, departments will be able to update their content the way they already do within the CCA website and those changes will then show up in MyCCA.
The new version of MyCCA will allow greater flexibility in how content is presented. Staff can adjust the layouts or add new content when necessary; if a page layout isn’t working or new content needs to be emphasized, the modular layout of the portlets can be adjusted easily.
Same Banner System
The way staff and students access information and links in MyCCA is changing but that’s about it. Staff and students will continue to use Banner the way they always have but the links to Banner content are being made more accessible and easier to find. For example, when clicked, the Add/Drop icon on the Dashboard will take students to the self-service Banner content that they are already using.
The new MyCCA will be unveiled on February 19 so please alert your students and staff. Note, the new MyCCA is not final. If you notice any issues when the new version of MyCCA is released, contact Joe Florkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community College of Aurora Foundation asked CCA employees to give – and you responded. The “CCA Gives Hope” campaign raised $15,825 for scholarships – an increase of 54 percent from the 2015 campaign. Additionally, the number of CCA employees giving more than doubled – 87 CCA staff members gave in 2016 compared to 33 in 2015, an increase of 164 percent.
The funds raised will support these scholarships:
Give yourself a hand, CCA staff and faculty. You deserve it!
I love the beginning of a new year and a new semester. There really is a sense of excitement, hope, and optimism. Many of you told me that your time off was great but that you were ready to come back. I was happy to come back, too. Break was a good reminder for me of the other parts of who I am that have nothing to do with work – and that I need to try to do a better job of giving those parts of my life some time and attention. But I do appreciate the structure and meaning that my work here provides.
A couple of hundred CCA employees attended the college kickoff meeting, on January 11, to celebrate their colleagues who were receiving service and employee of the year awards. We also got to welcome a number of new employees to the college, including our new Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Tricia Johnson (who officially starts on February 6).
We’re publishing the list of service award winners in this newsletter, and I would also like to congratulate our four employees of the year. They were all nominated and selected by their peers, and it’s always a hard decision for the committees – given how many wonderful folks are nominated. The winners this year were: Faculty of the Year, Dr. Barbara Francis; Instructor of the Year, Kate Yonce; Professional-Technical Employee of the Year, Victor Vialpando; and Classified Staff Member of the Year, Mary Westendorf.
It’s great to start the semester off with so much enthusiasm and positive energy (as well as loud rock music). It always feels good when we are celebrating each other. But since not all of you were able to attend, I want to share just a few thoughts from the meeting. Like every other year, 2017 will have 525,600 minutes. Fans of the musical Rent will recognize that data point. The song Seasons of Love asks how we measure a year, and answers “in daylights and sunsets, midnights and cups of coffee, inches and miles, laughter and strife.” And before we know it, it will be 2018. What will we look back on, both personally and professionally, as our measures of the year? What do we want included in the annual accounting of our lives?
We know that one measure of a year is what has changed. Some changes are within our control, and others are not. Some changes feel positive, but others don’t – and it can be hard, if not impossible, to know how any particular change will play out over time. I suggested in my remarks that while there is little certainty about what this coming year will bring, we can decide to make it the kind of year we want it to be in our circles of influence. We can make CCA the kind of educational community we want it to be – and we can approach the year with hope and determination.
A new year is our chance to put our best foot forward, and if we mess up, we get to try again (like our students do). And when we mess up (because we will sometimes) we have to find ways to be gentle with ourselves and each other. It doesn’t mean lowering our expectations for who we can be and what we can individually and collectively accomplish, but it does mean recognizing our humanity and fallibility. My new Zen calendar started the year with this quote from Dele Olanubi, “I am alive. I am here. I am trying. That is enough.”
We’ve already used up over 30,000 minutes. Let’s make the most of what’s left by staying positive, passionate and committed – and let’s keep trying. Have a wonderful semester.
Erick Chavez, academic advisor in the Student Success Center, and Jennifer Dale, chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department, enjoyed the festivities during the CCA holiday party on Dec. 12 in the Rotunda.
Week of Welcome
Brandy Monckton, academic advisor in the School of Liberal Arts, helped bake and serve cookies to students for the “You Deserve a Cookie” event as part of Week of Welcome on Jan. 18 in the Student Centre Building.
CCA student Dana Bergren (left) speaks during the Ghostlight Project event on Jan. 19 inside the Fine Arts Building on the CentreTech campus. CCA’s Theatre Department was one of many theater departments and groups across the country that participated in the event to show their solidarity to pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Film School Student Show
From left to right, Colorado Film School students Sterling Miller and Tyler Scheddel are interviewed by Riley Ann Martin and Ryan Arnold, who also attend the Colorado Film School, during the Colorado Film School Student Show on Dec. 8. The show presents the best student films from the past semester.
Game On! A Night of Fantastic Fun and P“Art”Y Games! – Feb. 2, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100, (The Rotunda)
Join the Arts and Communication Department for a night of fantastic fun and P"ART"Y games! Compete for prizes in games like Giant Pictionary, Speed Scrabble, Name that Tune!, Improv Games, and more! Make new friends and get to know the Arts and Communication faculty on a whole new level. Can you beat them at their own game?
The Social Science of Cocoa – Feb. 6, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100, (The Rotunda)
The Social Sciences Department will explore the concept of cocoa production from the perspective of its disciplines--the history, ethics, anthropology, geography, and politics of cocoa. Faculty members will give a 10-minute discussion on the underlying perspectives of cocoa from each of their respective disciplines, while everyone shares in cups of hot chocolate.
Leveraging Our Strengths for Interfaith Service Conference – Feb. 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Student Centre Building, Room 100, (The Rotunda)
Regis University, the University of Denver, and the Community College of Aurora are hosting a student leadership conference on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.
This two-day conference will equip undergraduate students and their staff, faculty, and community advisors with the skills to engage diverse religious and nonreligious identities to build the interfaith movement on their campuses.
Healthcare Lunch and Learn Series: Phlebotomy, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Patient Care Technician – Feb. 1, noon to 1 p.m., Lowry Campus - West Quad Building 112 (Todd Bergren Room)
Are you interested in learning more about CCA healthcare certificate programs? Join the Allied Health Department and Career Services on Wednesday, February 1 from noon to 1 p.m. to discuss Phlebotomy, CNA, and Patient Care academic programs, as well as learn about career opportunities in these fields. DaVita Dialysis staff will attend and explain how these healthcare careers apply to their profession.
Nathan Molai, son of Patti Molai, director of the Academic Learning Center, graduated from Fort Lewis College in December 2016 with a degree in environmental studies and a minor in political science. He received his associate’s degree from CCA. Patti would like to say, “Thanks to all his CCA instructors!”
Dr. NaiKwang Chang, the first president of the Community College of Aurora, has passed away.
Dr. Chang established the Aurora Education Center, which eventually became CCA.
Following the establishment of the Community College of Aurora in 1983, Dr. Chang became the college's first president. Read a brief background of Dr. Chang from CCA’s President Betsy Oudenhoven.
“I hope that those of you who knew or worked with Dr. Chang – and those of you who have benefited in any way from your involvement with the Community College of Aurora – will take a minute to remember one of the pioneers who made it possible.
After a career at the Community College of Denver, Dr. Chang became the executive director of the Aurora Education Center but with the intent of building an independent college in Aurora. The battle for a college had raged for decades, and Dr. Chang was one of the right people in the right place at the right time. With unwavering determination and the assistance of many passionate (and sometimes well-placed) individuals, Dr. Chang continued to advocate for a community college for Aurora. He and many other local educators, citizens, city officials, and legislators prevailed when legislation was signed in 1983 to create CCA.
Dr. Chang then became CCA’s first president and served from 1984-86. He has been described as a problem-solver, demanding, gracious, brilliant, charming, relentless, results-oriented, a hard worker – and successful. There is no question that he cared deeply about education and the college that he helped to found.”
Above: Linda Bowman, former CCA president, and Dr. NaiKwang Chang at a CCA celebration event in 2003.
Student Success Awards
Community College of Aurora held its annual Student Success Awards on Dec. 2. More than 20 students were recognized during the ceremony with their family, friends, and CCA staff.
From left to right, CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven, Vice President of Student Affairs Elena Sandoval-Lucero, Student Success Award winner Aneyka Reyna, Director of the Office of Student Life Kathryn Sturtevant-James, and President of the Community College of Aurora Foundation Board of Directors Arthur McFarlane.
Judy Steele Named to NAVPA Board
Judy Steele, assistant director, Military & Veterans Services, was elected to the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators Board of Directors as a Region VI delegate.
Vice President of Student Affairs Completes Leadership Fellows Program
Elena Lucero-Sandoval, vice president of Student Affairs, has completed the National Community College Hispanic Council’s Leadership Fellows Program. Twenty-two Hispanic community college administrators from around the country recently completed the program, hosted by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences. The program is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinas/Latinos whose career interests focus on assuming increasingly responsible administrative positions, with the ultimate goal of becoming a community college president.
Mary Meeks Promoted to Director of Communications and Marketing
Mary Meeks was promoted to Director of Communications and Marketing. She joined CCA in January 2016.
Sarah Jiter Promoted to Assistant Director of Recruitment and Orientation
Sarah Jiter was promoted to Assistant Director of Recruitment and Orientation. She has successfully managed the Orientation program since November and has done an excellent job! – Submitted by Kyla Antony, director, Center for Recruitment & Orientation
CCA’s English Department Honored by CCCS
The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education honored CCA’s English department as an “outstanding program” in December. English Department Chair Scott Reichel and School of Liberal Arts Achievement Coach Ray Keith lauded the instructional design and delivery of the department’s faculty and instructors who ensure that College Composition and Reading 092 and Advanced Academic Achievement 109 students enter their college-level course work with the skills and habits needed to be successful. Those faculty and instructors are Susan Achziger, Racheal Aragon, Rachel Blue, Patrick Clark, Brandon Feres, Martha Hernandez de la Garza, Melissa Kitterman, Dustin Lewis, Candace McClelland-Fieler, Joseph Navarro, Cynthia Villegas, Robley Welliver, and Kristofer Whited.
Bobby Pace to Present at Countering Violent Extremism Workshop
Dr. Bobby Pace, chair for the Social Sciences Department, will present and be a panelist at the “Countering Violent Extremism: Narratives and Counternarratives” workshop on Feb. 2 and 3, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The workshop, hosted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, will convene a panel of experts who will discuss how to counter violent extremism, messaging, social influence, and more.
Community College Journal of Research and Practice Publishes Hyekyung Lee Article
Hyekyung Lee, assistant director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at CCA, had an article – “ Does Posttransfer Involvement Matter for Persistence of Community College Transfer Students?” – published in the November 23, 2016 edition of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. In the study, Lee and her co-author, Tetyana Schneider, examine how the academic and social involvement of community college transfer students differs by the type of receiving institution, and how strongly their post-transferinvolvement is associated with persistence.
James Gray to Join USC Center for Urban Education as Visiting Scholar
James Gray, chair of the Math Department, will begin a yearlong leave of absence from CCA in the fall of 2017 to join the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California as a visiting scholar.
He will continue to provide mentorship and leadership to community colleges in order to achieve equitable outcomes for students. He will work with mentors who have influenced his work at CCA and plans to return to Colorado and CCA when he finishes his work with the Center. Congratulations James!
Community College of Aurora recognized its Employees of the Year for 2016 at the spring semester kickoff on January 11.
Dr. Barbara Francis was named Faculty of the Year; Administrative Assistant Mary Westendorf received the Classified Employee of the Year; Victor Vialpando, dean of the School of Professional Studies and Sciences, was named the Exempt/Administrative Employee of the Year; and Kate Yonce received the Tom Brosh Faculty Endowment Award.
Dr. Barbara “Barb” Francis started at CCA as an adjunct instructor in 2010 and became a full-time faculty member two years later. She teaches anatomy and physiology in CCA’s Science Department and incorporates a variety of teaching methods to assist and inspire her students.
Barb uses group quizzes, student-developed quizzes for classmates to take, presentations, and more in her classes as well as posting a great deal of material on Desire 2 Learn. She spends time – even weekends – tutoring students and working with them one-on-one or in groups to help them master the material. Adjunct instructors value Barb’s support and appreciate her leadership; she shares her classroom materials with colleagues and seeks out course-improvement ideas and feedback.
CCA colleagues recommended Mary Westendorf for the Classified Employee of the Year award because she makes CCA a better place and has changed the culture in the departments she has worked with – first the Math Department and now the Facilities Department. Everyone matters to Mary, and she shows it through her words, body language, and actions – when you visit her office, you will be greeted by a smile and a positive attitude.
Mary often takes the initiative to make things better when she sees that something can be improved. She has assisted in faculty-run events, including Arts Weekend, plays, and the Student Success Awards. For the Student Success Awards, she calls each student to let them know about the photo sessions; and on event day, manages the needs of the recipients and their families.
Since joining CCA in August 2009, Victor Vialpando has provided the leadership, vision, and support for the School of Professional Studies and Sciences.
Known for his innovation, teamwork, and communication skills, and for his focus on student success, Victor is dedicated to equity and closing the achievement gap for CCA students. He understands the challenges that CCA students face, and he assists faculty and staff to develop ways to help students succeed, even sitting in on student-faculty meetings.
Victor supports faculty efforts to create programs or fund ideas – such as CCA’s pre-engineering pipeline, a STEM grant, an entrepreneurship program, and many other programs. He is known for encouraging new ideas and for sitting down to brainstorm with staff and faculty.
Kate Yonce has been an adjunct instructor in the Mathematics Department since January 2004. She teaches quantitative literacy and algebraic literacy classes, which are pre-college math classes and prerequisites for the first level of college math classes such as college algebra. Kate is quite active in the department, providing services to students in the tutoring lab. She also assisted with the redesign of the developmental math course sequence and has been a key player in creating assessments for her own classes. Kate was also one of the instructors involved in the equity mentoring program for math instructors.
Above left: Kate Yonce received the Tom Brosh Faculty Endowment Award during the same Campus Kickoff meeting that her mother, Betty Yonce, was recognized for her 15 years of teaching at Community College of Aurora.
Dante Bills, assistant director, Student Success Center
Lauryn Gangle-Wythe, academic program support specialist
Karen Sadowski, academic program support specialist
Ellen Slavitz, instructional designer/technologist
Chris Weiss, administrative assistant
Nicole Cozzi, college recruiter
Noel Chavez Guizar, college recruiter
Xochil Herrera, controller
Michael McArthur, academic advisor
David Murphy, client testing specialist
Jo O'Brien, director of Industry Relations
Richard Thiem, administrative assistant
Daisy Alarcon, administrative assistant
LeeDel Cohenour, director of Career Services
William (Bill) Collins, accounting technician
Jessica McDermott, coordinator of Academic Learning Center
Carolina Mello, accounting technician
Darlene Miller, research analyst
Arturo Jaime Morales, limited nine-month faculty
Elizabeth (Summer) Wimberly, concurrent enrollment and academic program coordinator
James Tharp, assistant director of Colorado Film School
Janet Brandau retired as the vice president of Academic Affairs in December 2016. She has been an integral part of CCA since 2008, originally starting as the associate dean of Instruction.
Janet brought more than 30 years of teaching and instructional administration experience and expertise from secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. In April 2012, Janet was promoted to associate vice president for instruction; in July of 2013, she was named interim vice president of Academic Affairs; and in January 2014, she was named vice president of Academic Affairs.
More than 100 CCA staff and faculty attended her farewell celebration on Dec. 8 in the Rotunda to honor and celebrate Janet’s work at CCA and to say goodbye.
From left to right, Scott Wakefield, Stacey D’Angelo, Kate O’Donnell, Janet Brandau, Ted Snow, Michael Pickering, Lynette Jachowicz, and Victor Vialpando with a gift from the Arts and Communication Department.
Brother 2 Brother Program Receives Suit Donation
CCA student Noah Kallon holds a suit donated by the Men’s Wearhouse, working in conjunction with the Families Forward Resource Center, a non-profit that supports families in Aurora and Denver. Men’s Wearhouse donated 50 suits to students who participated in the program. The students will use the suits for job interviews and also wore the suits during a Suit and Tie Networking Event held on Dec. 14 at Mimi’s Café in Aurora.
Women in Social Action Class Food Drive
The Women in Social Action class received more than 750 cans of food along with clothing and a car seat that helped 75 families from Servicios de la Raza, a non-profit group that helps low-income members in the Denver area. The donations were made during the month of November. The class also gathered items such as gloves, socks, soap, toothbrushes, combs and brushes, and other items to make 50 bags that were given to the homeless.