Founded with an enrollment of 550 students in 1965, Arapahoe Junior College was the first community college to open in the Denver area. Now known by its current name, Arapahoe Community College (ACC) is comprised of a main campus in Littleton and two satellite campuses located in Parker and Castle Rock. The school serves over 21,000 credit and non-credit students each year.
The college prides itself on providing flexible options for different types of students — working students, typical undergraduates, adult students, and others. ACC offers more than 100 degrees and certificate programs, day and evening classes on campus, and more than 300 online classes. The average traditional class size is just 16 students, making it an ideal environment for learning.
There are 14 types of degrees available within the Associate in Arts program, including the General degree, Education, and Political Science. Students enrolled in the Associate of Science program can obtain a General degree or pursue Mathematics or Psychology. The Associate of Applied Science degree is offered in 28 different disciplines ranging from accounting to telecommunications technology.
The college also offers many occupational certificate programs, which are meant to prepare students for employment after graduation. These programs consist of a combination of both career-specific and general education courses. The certificate programs are not designed as transfer courses to four-year institutions, although some might be accepted by other colleges and universities. Students in these programs receive certificates upon completion. Highlights include green training, a registered nursing refresher program, a broadband technology certificate, and even a search engine marketing professional certificate.
The Desire2Learn program offers a large menu of online and hybrid classes for students who prefer to learn online. The program includes extensive support and online tutorials.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Applications for admission are available online. In some instances, students may be able to apply previous classwork for credit, depending on courses they’ve taken and previous colleges or schools attended. Some students may also be able to receive credit for life experiences.
Prospective students are advised to schedule a campus visit before applying. Visits include campus tours and enrollment presentations and and take about one hour. A full tour and session calendar is available on the school’s website. High school guidance counselors are also welcome to schedule group tours of the campus.
Grants available to students who attend ACC include the Colorado State Grant, available to Colorado students with financial need and can reach a maximum of $5,000 per year; the Leverage Education Assistance Program for Colorado students with exceptional financial need; the Federal Pell Grant; and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant for students with great financial need.
Scholarships offered include the Accounting Scholarship, the Connect Scholarship, the Foundation Board of Directors Scholarship, the STEM Scholarship for biology, chemistry, math, and physics students, the Writers Studio Scholarship, the Art Faculty Scholarship, the Campus Police Scholarship, the College Launch Scholarship, the Computer Network Technology Scholarship, the Dr. Karen ClineLane Memorial Scholarship, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, the Ellie and Manny Greenberg Scholarship, the Energy Technology Scholarship funded by Xcel Energy, the Mark J Smith Scholarship, the President’s Scholarship, and more. Some scholarships are based on financial need, although most are based on academic merit and special talents in specific study areas.
Student Financial Aid Details
To encourage students to become involved on campus outside of the classroom setting, 26 student clubs and organizations are recognized by the school. These include the Alchemy Society, an Art Club, a Disc Golf Club, the Diversity Student Union, an Equality Club, Writers Studio club, and a Spanish Club. Students in good standing can run for Student Government, which is responsible for activities and events planning, and is represented on the ACC Parking Committee, the President’s Advisory Council, the Student Affairs Committee, and the Marketing Steering Committee.
There is an active chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honors organization for associate degree students. To be eligible for Phi Theta Kappa, students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, have completed at least 12 credit hours, and obtain a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
The school is proud of its Colorado Gallery of the Arts, located at the Littleton Campus’ Annex building, which holds regular exhibitions of local, regional and national artists and mounts about 10 shows a year. Art students attending the college are also able to participate in Fine Art, Multimedia Graphic Design and Illustration, Interior Design and Architecture, and Clay and Jewelry exhibitions.
The bookstore supplies students with textbooks, software, ACC apparel, study supplies and gifts. There is also a textbook buyback program, and students can shop online at the bookstore. The cafeteria, bookstore and library are all centrally located in the campus’s four-floor main building.
Many students enjoy serving as a Student Ambassador, working at front desks, answering phones, conducting campus tours, promoting student activities, following up with prospective students, and other responsibilities designed to promote the public image of the college. Ambassadors go through an interview process and are paid with work-study funds.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletics program is somewhat limited, but the ACC Coyotes do have two intercollegiate sports programs: men’s baseball and women’s softball. Intramural sports include men’s and women’s cross-country skiiing, men’s and women’s downhill skiing, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s volleyball.
Additional School Information
The campus library houses more than 43,000 print books and periodicals, 10,000 electronic books, and collections of audio books, music CDs, videos and DVDs. More than 200 books in the library are available on Amazon Kindles, and students can check out the library’s collection of iPads and laptops for two weeks. Library assistance and resources are also available online, on Twitter, and by email. The campus library offers wireless Internet access.
There is wireless Internet access throughout the campus, and an open computer lab with more than 60 desktop computers for use by students. Courses using cutting-edge technology include AutoCad, Multimedia/Graphic Design, and Illustration.
The Student Success Center provides free academic support in the form of peer mentoring/tutoring, a one-on-one Writing Center, and math support from faculty. The Office of Academic Advising helps students plot out their academic progress and degree requirements, and provides weekly and semester planning guides.
From May through August, an extensive Community Education Program for the community-at-large is opened, including classes in business, computer applications, dance, drawing, painting, GED test preparation, language and culture, music and theater, personal finance, photography, and writing. Additional classes are made available to senior citizens and youngsters in grades three through 12.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.