CCA Celebrates 25 Students Who Will Simultaneously Receive High School Diploma and College Degree

May 2, 2019 – AURORA, Colo. – The Community College of Aurora’s largest class of concurrent enrollment students, who are set to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from CCA in the coming weeks, were celebrated alongside their teachers, advisors, friends and family during a ceremony Wednesday night at the college.

The 25 students, representing seven local high schools — Aurora Central High School, Collegiate Prep Academy, Colorado Early Colleges Aurora, Colorado Early Colleges Parker, Hinkley High School, Northfield High School and Rangeview High School — will participate in their respective high school graduations as well as CCA’s commencement ceremony May 11 at the University of Denver. Several of the students will be the first in their families to graduate with a college degree.

“These 25 individuals truly embody CCA’s desire for students to realize their potential and it was wonderful to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family,” Bobby Pace, CCA’s dean of academic affairs for concurrent enrollment, said. “They’ve already accomplished so much and I know this is only the beginning for them.”

Shoshanna Howey, 18, started taking concurrent enrollment classes through CCA as a freshman at Colorado Early Colleges Parker. She will receive an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in Spanish from CCA — 13 days before she receives her high school diploma.

“I liked the practical aspect of concurrent enrollment because it allowed me to get my classes done early,” said Howey, who will transfer to Colorado Christian University to study elementary education. “I also liked the academic aspect of the program because it pushed me academically and challenged me.

“It’s super exciting to graduate with a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time,” Howey added. “My bank account is very grateful.”

Collegiate Prep Academy student David Ochoumare said he enjoyed the concurrent enrollment program because it prepared him for life as a college student. Ochoumare, 17, will graduate with an associate of arts degree from CCA and transfer to Colorado School of Mines, where he will study computer science. He said he would like to work in artificial intelligence one day.

“I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go through the concurrent enrollment program because it showed me what college is like,” Ochoumare said. “You don’t get nearly as much one-on-one help at a four-year university, so this program really helped get me ready for a bigger university.”

Maytham Alshadood, district director for Rep. Jason Crow, spoke to the students for about 10 minutes and applauded them for their accomplishments. “On behalf of the congressman, a job well done,” Alshadood told the students.

Added CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven: “These students never cease to amaze me. They are hard-working, goal-oriented, high-achievers who have made the most of the opportunity that concurrent enrollment provides for them and their families. We are all so proud of them.”

CCA’s concurrent enrollment program is a partnership between the college and Aurora Public Schools, Cherry Creek School District and Denver Public Schools high schools that allows eligible ninth-, 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to enroll in college-credit courses while in high school. The program currently has 4,011 students enrolled in it. Tuition for the college courses is paid by the students’ high school districts, which translates to a savings of at least $400 for each three-credit course taken through the program. The credits earned are transferable to any public college in Colorado.

About the Community College of Aurora (CCA)

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. The college offers courses on two campuses, online and through its high school concurrent-enrollment program, helping students prepare for employment or transfer to a four-year institution. For more information, visit www.ccaurora.edu.

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