Plans are moving forward for a concurrent enrollment program that would allow Douglas County high school students to expedite a college degree or receive workforce training without leaving Castle …
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Plans are moving forward for a concurrent enrollment program that would allow Douglas County high school students to expedite a college degree or receive workforce training without leaving Castle Rock.
At a Douglas County School Board meeting on Nov. 27, six board members — Anthony Graziano was absent — unanimously approved three pathways in the areas of business administration, health and exercise science and computer science at the future Collaboration Campus, a partnership between Arapahoe Community College, Colorado State University and Douglas County School District.
Owned by Arapahoe Community College, the campus broke ground May 21 on a plot of land behind Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, near Castle Rock Middle School. The two-phase project will consist of two buildings up to 54,000 square feet. Phase one is expected to open for students in fall 2019.
ACC President Diana Doyle said the campus is the first collaboration of its kind in the state. A student enrolled in a program at the Collaboration Campus will have the opportunity to move directly through high school, to the community college level and then eventually graduate with a degree from CSU without ever leaving Douglas County.
The campus will also provide workforce training for local employers and students.
“It's not all just going to be theoretical. We will have opportunities for them for job shadowing, for internships — the real-life projects,” Doyle said. “It gives them the opportunity to get into the workforce a lot faster than they normally would.”
In the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year, more than 2,000 Douglas County students were enrolled in concurrent classes at ACC. The first phase of the new campus will accommodate between 700 and 800 students from ACC and Douglas County's nine high schools.
Matt Reynolds, the school district's chief assessment and data officer, expects the majority of participants from Douglas County schools to be juniors and seniors.
“We want to provide clear pathways for our students as they matriculate through our system,” Reynolds said during a presentation at the school board meeting. “Thanks to the Collaboration Campus we can make these pathways a reality.”
Cost savings will be significant, Doyle pointed out. The school district covers the cost of concurrent classes, and tuition at a community college is much less than a four-year university. ACC's tuition for in-state students is roughly $2,405 for 15 credits, or a typical semester, compared to the University of Colorado Boulder, which is upwards of $14,000 per semester.
Collaboration Campus students enrolled in classes through CSU will pay the university's tuition, which is about $5,900 for 15 credit hours for in-state students.
“Financially,” Doyle said, “(families) will save quite a bit of money.”
After meeting with DCSD's Student Advisory Group — which provides a student voice to the school board — school board president David Ray said the Collaboration Campus is exactly what students are asking for.
“They want real-life learning experiences,” Ray said.
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