Fall Classes: The majority of fall 2020 classes will be offered online/remote. Learn more about the fall 2020 semester.
CCA’s marketing campaign, “Potential Realized,” is about helping our students reach their potential by providing quality education and removing barriers to graduation and beyond. As a follow-up to this message, the Community College of Aurora Foundation (CCAF) has launched CCA Gives Hope, the college’s new employee-giving campaign.
“Helping students reach their potential is what we do best,” said Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven, CCA’s president. “We believe our greatest investment is our students, and this campaign helps us support them.”
“Giving is easy and the benefits to our students are tremendous,” saId John Wolfkill, executive director of the Community College of Aurora Foundation (CCAF). “By giving to the CCA Gives Hope campaign, you are helping to close the achievement gap. Supporting students with an unexpected emergency, helping them buy books or a bus pass – these are things that can help them stay in school and graduate.”
The goal for the campaign is to raise $20,000 in one-time gifts and pledges with 80 percent participation among full- and part-time staff, faculty, and instructors. CCAF scholarships have already made a difference in our students’ lives.
Jesús Calderon, a graduate of Aurora Central High School, never imagined that college was an option for him. During his first year at CCA, Jesús earned a 3.21 grade point average, participated with the college’s Model UN team (which he will lead this year), attended the Hispanics in Higher Education Conference, and was elected secretary of the college’s Student Government Association. Jesús received the Aurora Gives scholarship from CCAF. After earning his associate of arts degree, Jesús plans to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver to major in communications and political science. “This scholarship is everything to me," he said. “It saved my dreams and has allowed me to become what I want to be.”
As a homeless runaway at age 13, Tiffany Christian spent her teenage years moving in and out of foster homes, group homes, and juvenile centers. As a 30-year-old single mother, she sought a better life for herself and her daughter. With the support of several CCAF scholarships and the constant guidance of CCA’s academic advisors, Tiffany became the first in her family to earn a college degree. And she has not completed her academic journey. She is a junior at the University of Denver studying sociology and urban studies. “I’m able to continue on my path of getting out of poverty because of CCAF’s scholarships and academic support, and one day will be a part of showing the same support to another person,” she said.
During the campaign, which began Oct. 10 and runs through Nov. 18, full- and part-time staff, regular faculty, and adjunct instructors can make a minimum monthly payroll contribution of $1 per pay period and choose one of six giving areas to support with their gift:
Staff, faculty, and instructors can also choose from several giving levels:
The Foundation will match the first $10,000 of staff/faculty gifts and payroll contribution pledges. That means a $60 gift becomes $120, or a $1,000 pledge becomes $2,000. Anyone who completes a pledge form and makes any level of gift will be entered into the President’s Society raffle. One name will be drawn from Lowry and one from CentreTech to become an honorary member of the President’s Society.
The campus (Lowry or CentreTech) that raises the most money during the campaign will win the coveted CCA Gives Hope trophy!
If you would like more information about the CCA Gives Hope campaign, contact John Wolfkill at 303-360-4833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of CCAF scholarships, visit the CCAF Scholarships page.
Special thanks to the CCA Gives Hope campaign committee: Nicole Banks, Traci Fielden, Deborah Hoefler, Debbie Irvine, Martha Jackson-Carter, Phebe Lassiter, Scott Reichel, Joshua Ryines, and Valerie Sangiuliano.
On Monday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 25, CCA is hosting a visit by a peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation that is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which encompasses 19 states including Colorado. The mission of the HLC is to serve the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning. HLC conducts comprehensive evaluations to confirm that colleges and universities meet their “Criteria for Accreditation,” are pursuing institutional improvement, and comply with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education. The HLC also assures quality for students who benefit from federal financial aid.
CCA is on the “Standard Pathway” for accreditation. We hosted a ten-year visit in the spring of 2013, and while our accreditation was renewed at that time, we were also directed to demonstrate improvement in our institutional planning (we needed a new strategic plan) and program/course-level assessment (we were focusing more on lifelong skills at the time). This fall, we will be hosting an Assurance Review as part of our accreditation pathway and to show progress on our two identified areas for improvement.
Dr. Chris Ward has led this effort, working over the past year with a core team of faculty and staff (Lisa LeFevre, Tracy Mendoza, David Spiegel, Margaret Uchner, Tamara White, Andrea Flynn, Jennifer Bird, Tami Morrissey, and others) to prepare for this review. These folks documented the good work that you do every day on behalf of our students so that we can effectively tell our story. Components of this preparation have included submitting an assurance argument that explains how we comply with the criteria required for accreditation: creating an electronic evidence file of documents that support our arguments, addressing our improvement efforts in the areas of assessment and planning, submitting a federal compliance filing that demonstrates that we are complying with Department of Education and Title IV (federal financial aid) requirements, and conducting a student-opinion survey provided by the HLC. All of this has already occurred, and we are now preparing for the two-day on-site peer review visit.
The Commission relies on experienced volunteers from within higher education who serve as peer reviewers. The peer review team that is coming to CCA is composed of seven current and former professionals in higher education, including representatives from student affairs, assessment, planning and institutional effectiveness, academic affairs, online learning, and the president’s office. These individuals are all from community colleges. The peer review team has provided us with an agenda for their visit and we will be pinning down the details of time and location soon. There will be many opportunities for different individuals to participate, and we will make sure we get that information to you.
Many of you are new to CCA or have not participated in an accreditation visit, and I wanted you all to have some context for this process, as I know that you have been hearing about it for some period of time. It is a big deal, and we have worked hard to prepare. What I want you to know prepare to participate is that these folks are coming here to learn about us and to help us improve. We do many things well and we also know that there are things we could do better. And that’s okay – they don’t expect us to be perfect. They are interested in hearing our perspectives about the work we do as well as the ways in which we can improve.
Our accreditation was renewed in 2013, affirming that we have a strong institutional track record. In the three years since then we have continued to have thoughtful conversations and to take positive actions toward change. While we need to recognize the importance of this visit, we can also embrace it from a place of confidence. If you have the opportunity for input, just be honest and discuss what you know and what you do. We can all look forward to sharing with our visitors the passion, dedication, and good work of CCA’s faculty, staff, and students.
Parents face many financial burdens when raising a child – none more challenging perhaps than the high cost of child care.
A White House report found that in 2013, the average cost for day care for an infant was about $10,000 a year. That cost can prohibit parents from enrolling in college and keep them in low-paying careers for years, unable to find the time and money for educational opportunities and career growth.
CCA received a grant in July that will make it easier for students who are parents to attend college. The grant will offer academic, childcare, and career support, allowing students to earn a certificate in a high-demand career.
CCA is seeking applicants for the Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI) grant program. CCA staff, faculty, and instructors are encouraged to let students – or anyone in the community – know about how to apply for the grant.
The SWFI program is open to CCA students who fit the following criteria:
• parents age 17 and older with children 13 and younger;
• students who have a high school diploma or GED (or are able to complete before enrollment);
• eligible to work in the United States;
• have an interest in earning a certificate in IT, healthcare, or advanced manufacturing.
It is anticipated that students can earn a certificate in these program areas in one to two semesters.
The Strengthening Working Families Initiative provides support to working parents as they pursue an academic certificate. That support includes academic support, such as directing students to tutoring help or other academic resources at CCA; childcare support, such as helping students find quality childcare and helping with childcare costs; and career placement support, which can include help with resume writing, interviewing, and more.
SWFI Grant team members are:
Tamara Conley, project manager
Vanessa Vazquez, academic advisor/achievement coach
Ann Martens (Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County), child care navigator
Byron O’Bayley, career advisor
Victor Vialpando, principal investigator, dean of the School of Professional Studies and Sciences
It is anticipated that SWFI will serve 178 students a year during the course of the four-year grant. CCA staff can help promote the program by telling students who they think might be a good candidate for the SWFI grant to apply. For more information about the grant, contact Tamara Conley, project manager, at 303-340-7201.
Real Talk: The Implications of Making Black Lives Matter
Quill Phillips, special assistant to the president for Inclusive Excellence, speaks with students during “Real Talk: The Implications of Making Black Lives Matter,” an event designed to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement. Students shared their feelings about recent events in America, being African-American in America, and reflected on other issues in an open dialogue on Oct. 4 in the Rotunda in the Student Centre Building.
Certified Nursing Assistant Class
CNA students at the Center for Simulation at the Lowry campus learned how to transfer a patient mannequin from the bed to a wheelchair on Sept. 27.
Caption: From left to right: Faith Lindquist, Mark Lindquist, Jennifer McGinn (instructor), and Ramona Cooper.
Pizza with the President
On Sept. 22, CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven chatted with students over pizza in the Rotunda in the Student Centre Building. A similar event was held in the Todd Bergren Room in the West Quad Building on the Lowry campus.
Caption: CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven stops to take a photo with CCA student Lisa Collazo.
National Coming Out Day
The LGBTQA Student Alliance at CCA and the Office of Student Life celebrated National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 in the Rotunda in the Student Centre Building. Students and staff took part in games, food, and more to celebrate the LGBTQA community at the college.
Caption: From left to right, Tatyana Mosley, CCA student and president of the LGBTQA Student Alliance; CCA Faculty Jennifer Dale; Jorge Velasquez, assistant director, Office of Student Life; CCA Faculty Rachel Blue; CCA Faculty Kate Noon-Ulvila; and CCA Faculty Cynthia Villegas.
Diesel Power Mechanics Open House
The Diesel Power Mechanics Program held two open houses on Sept. 22 and 23 in the Diesel Power Mechanics Building on the Lowry campus. The open houses were intended to bring more students into the program and set them on the path to a high-demand career.
Caption: CCA Faculty Greg Atencio (left) speaks to prospective student Peter Whitney at the open house on Sept. 22.
CCA Red Fox Collage
CCA students and staff contributed their artwork and designs to fill in the squares on the CCA Red Fox collage located in the Admissions, Registration, and Records office at CentreTech campus. The final artwork is now on display in the office. Congratulations to all who worked on the project! It looks great!
CCA Students Recreate Gustave Caillebotte Work
Students in Kate O’Donnell’s drawing class recreated the Gustave Caillebotte work “Paris Street, Rainy Day” for a class assignment. Each student was asked to copy a portion of the work to find the true proportion and value of the piece. Each student’s piece of the artwork was then put together to recreate the masterpiece. The student work can be found in the Fine Arts Building, hanging on the wall near the Forum.
During the summer, a new academic department was formed from the prehospital-based EMT, Paramedic, and Fire programs, along with the in-hospital certified nursing assistant, integrated nursing pathway, and phlebotomy programs. This new department is now known as the Allied Health Department.
Beth Lattone is the director for Allied Health and oversees the department with the invaluable assistance of Drew Baske, assistant director; Cindy Smith, program assistant; Gina Iannelli, program advisor; and many qualified, talented, and hardworking faculty and staff. Travis Graves serves as clinical faculty, and Mark Stephenson continues as fire science coordinator.
The decision to move the programs under one department was made for several reasons: The programs are housed in the same building – the Center for Simulation; the students and faculty use many of the same materials and facilities; and this model is being used at other colleges across the United States. Combining these programs into one department also creates better communication with the community. It also gives students who are studying these occupations the chance to communicate with one another. For instance, EMTs and CNAs are two professions where interpersonal communication skills are highly valued.
If you know a student or someone who wants to pursue a rewarding career providing medical assistance or life-safety protection to their community, send them to the Allied Health Department or contact Beth Lattone at 303-340-7075.
Safe Trick or Treat – Oct. 28, 3 to 6 p.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100 (The Rotunda)
Community College of Aurora will host its second annual Safe Trick or Treat. This free event will provide children in the Aurora community with a safe place to celebrate Halloween.
Fall 2016 Transfer Fair – Nov. 2, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100 (The Rotunda)
Representatives from four-year colleges will be on hand to answer questions for CCA students interested in transferring.
Safe is Sexy – Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100 (The Rotunda)
A program for students to gain insight on sexual health, consent, assault prevention, healthy and responsible relationships, and safe aspects of sexuality.
The Collective Heart Project – Collaborative Performance – Nov. 5, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; Nov. 10, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; Nov. 11, 1:30 to 4 p.m.; and Nov. 12, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Fine Arts Building, Larry D. Carter Theater, F110
An original collaborative performance and dialogue intended to get to the heart of what CCA students have on their minds regarding political tensions, questions about race and identity, violence, and other issues that the people of our country and community face during the election season. The performances will be comprised of students from various academic areas who will provide spoken-word performances, monologues, and many more presentations.
Open Mic Night – Nov. 16, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Student Centre Building, Room 100 (The Rotunda)
Join the Office of Student Life for an evening of laughter, music, mocktails, and artistic expression! This event is free and open to the public, and all types of performances are welcome. This includes drama, singing, creative writing, poetry, instrumental performances, film production, and more.
Veterans Day Event – Nov. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., West Quad Building, Room 112 (Todd Bergren Room)
Join us as CCA comes together to celebrate and commemorate our nation’s veterans.
Congratulations to Christine Karry, graduation processor in the Admissions, Records, and Registration Department, who married Curtis Oliver in Santa Barbara, California, on September 3! The couple honeymooned in Thailand.
Congratulations to Kathryn Sturtevant-James, director of the Office of Student Life, who married Eric James in Littleton on September 24!
Michelle “Shell” Samuel, Library Services coordinator, celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary with her husband, Dustin, in Hawaii in September.
Toyota Commercial Shot by Colorado Film School
Colorado Film School students, working in conjunction with instructor Greg Stouffer, shot footage for a Toyota commercial in Steamboat Springs in spring 2016. The commercial was produced in collaboration with regional Toyota dealers and New York City-based ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Watch the commercial now.
Health Fair Coordinators
Debbie Irvine and Staci Shulman, from the Human Resources Department, work diligently every year to make sure our employees have access to a wonderful health fair on campus. Employees can get access to free blood tests and flu shots, have other basic health screenings completed without copays, enjoy a chair massage, conveniently visit in one location with our valuable and informative health and retirement benefit vendors, win great giveaways or door prizes and leave with a healthy breakfast! Coordinating and setting up the event is a big job. Thanks to Debbie and Staci for this great work that benefits us all!
(Submitted by Cindy Hesse, human resources director.)
Our amazing Celebrations Committee hosted a variety of events throughout the year, from the creative and energizing semester kickoff meetings to the annual holiday party and an end-of-the-year Fun Day! The small but mighty committee consists of several dedicated, fun-loving, and creative people. They volunteer their time, resources, and energy after work hours and on weekends to make these events happen. Thanks to Tami Morrissey, Debbie Irvine, Staci Shulman, Cindy Hesse, Charles Robinson, Stephanie Agner, Sheryl Broadnax, Michele Samuel, and Michelle Duran for everything you do to make sure that while we are all working very hard, we can also have some fun and play here at CCA!
(Submitted by Cindy Hesse, human resources director.)
Office of Student Life
Kathryn Sturtevant, Jorge Velasquez, and Traci Fielden have helped students become more successful by providing co-curricular opportunities to become more engaged with their communities. (Submitted by Gabe Conley, graduate assistant in the Office of Student Life.)
Gabe Conley also graduated from Colorado State University in May 2016. Congratulations Gabe!
Providing professional development and an inclusive and safe workplace to our employees is a priority at the Community College of Aurora. For the third consecutive year, our college and all colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) have partnered with one of the leaders in the risk management industry, Workplace Answers, to meet federal standards by providing online training courses to meet all of our compliance requirements and to help toward accomplishing these very important goals and objectives related to our work environment and a healthy and safe organizational culture.
An email was sent on Oct. 11 to CCA employees for the following training courses:
The email you received from Workplace Answers contains your unique, personal quick link to access your training. Please save this email or copy the link to your favorites! This link will give you access to your web-based training, which you can complete on any computer with an internet connection. Also, the trainings will be accessible to you through a link on the college portal, MyCCA, located on the Employee Tab.
For adjunct instructors: If you are employed at one of the other colleges within CCCS, you only need to take each training one time. If you have received links to the training from more than one college, please let Cindy Hesse know right away and the HR Department will work with you and the other college to insure you are only receiving one message and link to complete the trainings.
HR is requesting that employees do their best to complete the trainings by the end of the fall 2016 semester. Completion of the courses is mandatory and a condition of ongoing employment. This training is for all full-time regular faculty and staff, as well as adjunct instructors and other part-time employees, including student employees and other hourly staff.
You will receive friendly reminder emails approximately every 14 days until you have completed all three courses. The trainings are engaging and easily accessible; however, please feel free to contact Cindy Hesse directly with any concerns or questions. Thank you for your participation!
Jim Henderson, Security Director
Jim joins CCA after a long career in private security with Raytheon and spent many years at the Raytheon facility next door to the CCA campus. Recently, he was director of ethics at the Raytheon facility in Tucson, Arizona. He began his career in law enforcement as a police officer and detective in the San Diego area.
Dan Lawrence, Learning Resource Center Director
Dan has been involved with libraries since 1994 and has specialized in library instruction, distance education, and library resource sharing. Dan has worked at U.C. Berkeley and the University of Northern Colorado. More recently he was the director of the Health and Learning Resource Center at RMC Health in Lakewood.
Other New Welcomes
Drew Baske, assistant director, Allied Health Department
Kathleen Miller, administrative assistant, Admissions, Registrations, and Records
Women in Social Action Class Food Drive
This semester, the Women in Social Action class has been inspired to help give back to the community and is conducting a food drive to provide Thanksgiving meals for Servicios De la Raza. Servicios De la Raza assists low-income members of the community in overcoming the range of problems that result in a lack resources and contribute to the perpetuation of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Look for bright yellow boxes around both Lowry and CentreTech campuses where you can donate canned food items. The drive will go from October 18 through November 18.
The City of Aurora needs your input to help plan its future. The city is creating a new comprehensive plan that will represent a collective vision for Aurora’s future and help guide city leaders for another decade and beyond. The plan – Aurora Places – will serve as a foundation for decision-making in the city. It will establish policies and recommendations related to land use and development, neighborhood livability and housing, transportation and mobility, community health and sustainability, economic vitality, cultural diversity, and community life. Aurora Places will include detailed implementation strategies to ensure the plan’s success over time.
The city will build the plan based on a foundation of community participation and feedback. The Aurora Places Post-It note board is located in the lobby of the Administration Building, where you can respond immediately with your thoughts to three questions. In addition, the Aurora Places project website offers a more in-depth survey along with an interactive mapping tool for you to provide even more feedback.
Finally, the city is offering a Do It Yourself Workshop kit to anyone who might conduct a workshop with friends, a neighborhood group, a classroom, a multicultural group, or others. The kit is fun and easy to use, and includes materials and instructions to facilitate a workshop and gather input. To receive a kit, email email@example.com or call 303-739-7194. Translated materials are available on request.
CCA students often go on to great things after they leave CCA. Three former CCA students, from left to right – Gerardo Pulido, Thomas Horning, and Brett Baker – pose for a photograph at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where they are now physics and engineering students conducting research funded by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.
Office Moves for Institutional Research and the Community College of Aurora Foundation
During the month of October, you may have seen some old friends in new places. The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness has moved from the second floor of the Administration Building to the second floor of the Student Centre Building. You can find IR in office S205.
Meanwhile, the Community College of Aurora Foundation has moved from the North Quad Building at the Lowry campus into the office space formerly occupied by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. You can now find CCAF staff on the second floor of the Administration Building. It is anticipated that this move will make communication between the Foundation and CCA much easier and further the goals of both the college and the Foundation.
What is the most unusual Halloween costume you have ever worn?
Gabe Conley, graduate assistant with the Office of Student Life: "A lobster costume."