Arapahoe Community College: Collaborative Educational Campus in Castle Rock

Jeff Duggan
Member Spotlight

Arapahoe Community College (ACC) has accepted from the Castle Rock Town Council the investment of $3 million in infrastructure reimbursement to construct a Collaboration Campus. The campus will bring together education, business, and the community to create a unique resource for delivering seamless education and workforce training to Castle Rock. Educational partners Colorado State University (CSU) and Douglas County School District (DCSD) will articulate with ACC to create a smooth pathway from high school diploma to associate degree to bachelor’s degree.

ACC will continue its commitment to education in the Castle Rock community by building a $40 million campus on a 14-acre site in the Meadows. This two-phase project will consist of two buildings of 54,000 sq. ft. each, with an estimated opening of phase one in the fall of 2019. ACC’s, CSU’s and DCSD’s joint engagement with Castle Rock businesses and focus groups have determined the initial educational offerings will be in the areas of business and entrepreneurship, health care, information technology and programming, general education, and workforce training.

“ACC is very excited to expand our presence in Castle Rock to serve the community through this very unique educational partnership,” announces Diana Doyle, President of Arapahoe Community College. “The Collaboration Campus will be a dynamic model for progressive educational delivery at all levels. We greatly appreciate the town’s commitment and look forward to playing an integral role in the community’s continued development.”

“I want to thank the Castle Rock Town Council’s commitment to providing higher education opportunities to students from the south metro area. This significant investment is an endorsement of the work of Arapahoe Community College and our partner school, CSU,” expresses President of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), Nancy McCallin. “We look forward to continuing to serve the Castle Rock community with high quality, affordable education and the continued partnership with Castle Rock."

ACC will provide the collaborative educational infrastructure by leasing space to partners CSU and DCSD. Together the campus will offer a world-class education, close to home, and at an affordable price point. The Castle Rock Collaboration Campus will provide local business with expertise, resources, and skilled workers through training, hands-on project work, internships, mentorship, and clinical activities.

“We are pleased to join with Arapahoe Community College, Douglas County Schools, and the Town of Castle Rock on the Collaboration Campus,” says Colorado State University President and CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank. “True to its name, the campus will provide students with the opportunity to move from high school, to the community college level, and, then, facilitates attendance at our Fort Collins campus, CSU-Pueblo, or other four-year universities without ever leaving the region. As a CSU System initiative, this represents the best of what a 21st century land-grant university should be doing—building shared solutions through education, research, and leadership—as we connect the resources and assets of our university to this innovative learning concept.”

“This partnership demonstrates Colorado State’s commitment to providing added value across the state with our engagement, research, and instructional programs,” says Provost Rick Miranda. “We have been very impressed with the enthusiasm of all of the local partners there and their willingness to invite us to participate in this exciting project. We can accomplish a lot for our students and for our community together.”

This linking of high school to community college to university all in one location is also groundbreaking.

“ACC’s strong concurrent enrollment partnership with Douglas County School District allows us to continue providing multiple entry points for career and transfer college-level certificate and degree programs,” explains Diane Hegeman, ACC Vice President of Instruction and Provost. “Our expanded partnership with Colorado State University creates opportunities for new, continuing or returning students to complete their bachelor’s degree while remaining in the Castle Rock community. Employers in the area will benefit from customized training to meet the growing workforce needs in the area.”

The $3 million of infrastructure reimbursement from the Castle Rock Town Council will assist ACC with building permits and fees, and land site improvements. Leased space on campus to Arapahoe/Douglas Works, ConneXion Spot, and 3-D Printing will create an interactive community hub that will engage students, citizens, businesses, and community agencies.

“This is big for our sustainable future as a stand-alone community,” states Castle Rock Economic Development CEO Frank Gray. “This educational infrastructure is another step in our strategic plan to create a great environment and workforce pipeline for the attraction and retention of primary employers. We believe it will have significant impact as companies make location decisions. We know that access to an educated workforce and ongoing training are critical to a long-term sustainable and vibrant community.”

For more information about the Castle Rock Collaboration Campus, please contact Tina Griesheimer.

Jeff Duggan is the Communications Coordinator at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.

Opinions expressed in Member Spotlight are those of the author(s) and/or submitting college and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.