Thank you for choosing Pikes Peak Community College!
We are glad to have you as a new student, whether you will be attending classes at one of our campuses or taking online classes. Orientation will introduce you to Pikes Peak Community College and the services that are provided to assist you with your educational goals. It is broken down into the following eight sections that should be completed sequentially.
A short history of PPCC
Pikes Peak Community College was established as El Paso Community College by a legislative act in 1968. When the college opened its doors in September 1969, more than 800 students attended classes in rented buildings in Old Colorado City on the west side of town. Enrollment grew rapidly, and the need for permanent facilities soon became apparent. The full-service Centennial Campus was built at the south end of Colorado Springs in 1978. In that same year, the name of the college was officially changed to Pikes Peak Community College.
To accommodate continued enrollment growth, PPCC opened the Downtown Studio Campus in 1986 and the Rampart Range Campus in northern El Paso County in 1998. It also offers classes at several military sites. Today, PPCC is the largest post-secondary educational institution in Colorado Springs. PPCC offers more than 150 programs of study in transfer liberal arts and sciences areas and in career and technical training. Currently, Pikes Peak Community College helps more than 20,000 people each year begin their education, advance their careers, and enrich their lives.
Whether you are completing a degree, a certificate, or just taking a few classes for personal enrichment, PPCC wants you to be successful in achieving your goals. Listed below are steps that can be very helpful as you work through your program of study
Set goals for yourself.
Goals provide us with motivation and direction and require us to do advance planning. Set small goals for yourself that work together to achieve the larger goal. As you work toward your goal, be flexible and realize that as you learn more your goals may change and may need to be reevaluated.
Manage your time wisely.
As you work through your class schedule, set priorities for yourself. Schedule time for school, study, work, family, fun, and free time. It is recommended that for every hour you are in class, you should plan for three hours of study time outside of class.
Get involved with your college.
Studies have shown that the most successful students are those who are involved in school activities outside of the classroom. Getting involved with Student Life and campus activities allows you time to get to know other students, faculty and staff members who share similar interests while giving you the opportunity to have fun and relieve stress.
Many colleges use terminology that may or may not be familiar to you as a new college student. The following terms are some that may help you as you begin your college experience.
- 60 + 60 Bachelor’s Degree Transfer Program
- This program guarantees that students who complete an AA or AS degree with grades of C or better in each class will be able to transfer as a junior to public four year colleges and universities in Colorado. Students beginning classes in the fall of 2003 or later are eligible for the program. Click on the 60 + 60 link at the end of orientation for more information.
- Associates of Arts degree (AA)
- This degree is designed for students who want a traditional liberal arts education and who intend to transfer to a four year college or university.
- Associate of Science degree (AS)
- This degree is designed for students who want an emphasis in natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, pre-engineering, or allied health and who intend to transfer to a four year college or university.
- Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS)
- This degree provides career skills to enable students to enter the job market after graduation, retrain in a new career, or upgrade employment skills.
- Associate of General Studies degree (AGS)
- This degree allows students to blend career and technical courses with transfer courses without the constraint of a major area of study.
- Credit hour
- A credit hour is the approximate amount of time students spend in class. A three-hour course meets approximately three hours per week. It is also the unit by which colleges and universities determine graduation requirements. Most two-year degrees require that students earn about sixty credit hours.
- A syllabus is a document that the instructor gives to students at the beginning of the semester. The syllabus contains expected course outcomes, important dates, requirements and other guidelines pertaining to the class.
- Course Load
- A full-time load is twelve or more credit hours per semester. A part-time load is anything less than twelve credit hours. Students wishing to take more than eighteen credit hours must have approval from the Instructional Division Dean.
- Course and Section Numbers
- The course number identifies the class: For instance, HIS 101 is the course number for Western Civilization 1 at most community colleges in Colorado. The section number follows the course number and identifies the specific section students will attend. Section numbers also tell students where classes are held. For example, HIS 101-101 will meet on Centennial Campus; HIS 101-125 will meet on Rampart Range, and HIS 101-1N1 is an online class.
- ppccConnect (D2L)
- The software that PPCC uses for fully online classes, for hybrid classes, and for online components of traditional classes.
- Hybrid Classes
- Hybrid classes are courses that include a planned reduction in seat time that is made up by web-based activities. These classes are identified by an H in the section number (1H1, for instance).
- A prerequisite is a class or other requirement that must be completed or met before taking a particular course.
- A corequisite is a course that must be taken at the same time as another course. Audit – To audit a course is to sit in class and not earn credit. Audit courses require the same payment as credit courses and require a hard copy registration from.
- WebCT is the software that CCC Online classes use.
Whether you recently graduated from high school or have been away from school for awhile, it is good to have some idea of what to expect in the college classroom. The following are some things to know before you step into your first college class.
- Attend the first class. Even if you are waiting for financial aid confirmation, it is better to register early and attend the first class. You can drop before Census Date if you don’t receive financial aid.
- Arrive to class on time and be prepared.
- Expect to begin work on the first day of class. Log into online classes on the first day, read everything carefully, and start participating.
- Learn each instructor’s attendance policy and abide by it.
- Know that messages are delivered to class only in case of emergency.
- Check local news stations (including PPCC’s TV and radio stations) for class cancellation information in case of bad weather.
- Get to know your instructor.
- Plan for 2-3 hours of study time for every hour you are in class.
- When in doubt, ask questions.
- Expect to use a computer and D2L software in most PPCC classes.
Pikes Peak Community College offers a wide variety of classes at a distance through Interactive Television (ITV) and two Internet-based programs: PPCC Connect online and CCC Online. To access televised courses, you must have Comcast cable in Colorado Springs or Charter Communications on Fort Carson. For both Internet-based programs, you need only a computer and an Internet connection, and those without a home computer can use equipment in any PPCC instructional computer labs as long as classes are in session. Click on the eLearning link at the end of this orientation for more information, including a link to the D2L software manual.
Admissions & Records
The goal of the Enrollment Services Center at PPCC is to be a central location where you can receive answers to a multitude of questions. Please keep in mind that no question is a bad question if it is important to you. There will be links at the end of the orientation to each part of the Enrollment Services Center.
The Office of Admissions and Records maintains student records for all PPCC locations. The following is a list of some other services that the office provides:
- Processing many of the forms required of students, including the application for admission or readmission, transcripts request, and enrollment verification.
- Evaluating transcripts
- Evaluating students’ files for graduation
- Assisting international students who wish to enroll at Pikes Peak Community College
The staff in the Enrollment Services Center can help you with questions related to Financial Aid. For more information, contact (719) 502-3000.
Financial Assistance can be divided into two major categories – Federal/State Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Federal/State Financial Aid includes grants, loans, and student work programs. To apply for any of these you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. The link to more information and the FAFSA form is at the end of the orientation. Federal financial aid is awarded based on financial need. As you complete the FAFSA, you will be asked questions related to your current completed federal income tax forms.
Pikes Peak Community College is approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veterans Education. Our degree and certificate programs are approved for payment of educational benefits to those veterans and dependents that are determined eligible by the Veterans Administration. The Enrollment Service Centers at Centennial Campus and at Rampart Range Campus have staff that can provide assistance with the necessary VA forms to apply for payment of benefits. Look for the link at the end of orientation.
Veterans Upward Bound is a program funded by the Department of Education to provide preparatory courses for veterans beginning or returning to college.
The assessment and advising process is an essential step for success here at Pikes Peak Community College.
- The Testing Centers at all three campuses offer a variety of services. The Accuplacer Assessment Test is an adaptive computer placement tool that will help you to increase your chances for success. It will determine your skill levels in mathematics, reading, and writing and direct you to courses where you can brush up your skills before tackling college algebra or freshman comp or any course that requires heavy amounts of reading and writing. It is required for first time college students and students who plan to earn a degree. Students with degrees, prior college credit or high ACT or SAT scores may be exempted from the test. Ability to Benefit (ATB) testing and placement testing for English as a Second Language (ESL) students are also available.
- Students at a distance who are new to PPCC may have to take placement tests before enrolling in classes. Testing can be completed at community colleges and other educational institutions around the country. You can also go to the National College Testing Association’s web site. See the Testing Center link at the end of this orientation for more information.
Career Planning and Advising
The Career Planning and Advising Center is available to assist first time students in the registration process. You should go to the Center if
- You are a new degree- or certificate-seeking student. The Center will help you to choose your first semester classes and assign you an academic advisor from your chosen field of study.
- You are a former student returning after an absence of two or more semesters (and in need of a new faculty advisor.
- You are a student who wants to change a major.
- You are a continuing student, and you don’t know who your advisor is.
After meeting with a New Student advisor and selecting a schedule of classes, the next step is to register for them. You may register through the Internet at http://www.ppcc.edu/, in person, or the telephone. To plan your schedule, print the scheduling grid available in Additional Resources at the end of this orientation. Then go through online registration as a guest to find available days and times for the classes you want. Finally, log back into web registration with your student ID and PIN number or use the phone to register. The course registration link is at the end of the online orientation.
In the Career Planning and Advising Center, you will also be assigned an academic advisor from your chosen area of study. You will be given your faculty advisors name, phone number, and e-mail address. The new student advisor will also tell you when to make first contact with your faculty advisor. This faculty member will assist you with long-range planning and help you find answers to any questions you have about your chosen area of study. Remember, though, that choosing specific courses each semester is your responsibility, not your advisor’s.
Class registration ends on the Friday before classes begin every semester. You must register in person, on the phone, or on the web by 5 PM.
Services for Students
PPCC provides a variety of services to help you reach your goals. Links to most of the programs below are at the end of the orientation.
Career Services Center is designed to help students with career planning and the job search process. The Career Services Center provides career planning and employment services.
PPCC Bookstore: buying your textbooks just got easier!
- With your class schedule in hand, come into the bookstore and browse through the largest and best selection of new and used textbooks.
- Buy them right then and there and take them with you…or
- If you like purchasing your textbooks and PPCC insignia on line, please visit http://www.ppccbookstore.com/
- The Centennial Campus bookstore stocks books and supplies for ALL campuses, even CCC Online.
- The Downtown Studio Campus and Rampart Range Campus stock only the books and supplies needed for the courses offered at that campus.
The Child Development Centers (CDC), located at the Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses, are licensed childcare facilities available to PPCC students, staff and faculty. They offer a comprehensive educational program for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. They are staffed by early Childhood Education Teachers assisted by work-study student staff. The CDC also serves as practicum site for Early Childhood Education students. Advance registration is required. There is a waiting list for all age groups. Please contact (719) 502-2323 or (719) 502-2424 for more information.
Information Technology Support Services (Computer Labs) provide networked computer services to the students, faculty, and staff at all three campuses. Services provided by the department include computer lab access, internet access, online support, Blackboard, computer accounts, personal e-mail accounts, and access to checking out equipment. For more information please contact (719) 502-2442, (719) 502-2408, or (719) 502-2443.
The Learning Assistance Center (LAC) includes organized learning clusters, individual tutoring, supplemental instruction review groups, tutor referrals, tutor training, individual success plans, in addition to student success and other specialized workshops.
The PPCC Library includes facilities at both Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses and online. It offers over 37,000 books, documents, and non-print materials, 300 magazines, journals, and newspapers. CDs and videos, leisure reading rooms, study carrels and quiet study rooms are also available, as well as the Children’s Library, color and black and white copiers, and Internet-access computers.
The Office of Accommodative Services and Instructional Support (OASIS) welcomes students with disabilities, and strives to create an accessible environment where individuals are viewed on the basis of ability, not disability. If a student has a learning disability, a physical, a sensory or temporary disability and can benefit from instruction in the mainstream college environment, OASIS can help.
Public Safety officers are responsible for the protection of students, staff, visitors, and property on the campuses. All officers are certified Level One Peace Officers in the State of Colorado. At least one officer is on duty at both the Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All criminal cases and traffic accidents will be handled by our officers.
The Southern Educational Opportunity Center (SCEOC) assists low-income or first generation college students with completion of financial and admissions applications. For more information, contact: (719) 502-3028.
Student Support Services (SSS) provides support to first generation, low income, and disabled students who plan to graduate from PPCC and/or transfer to a four year college or university. Support is offered through academic planning, workshops, referral services, tutoring, assistance in obtaining financial aid, college visitations, computer and textbook loaning services, and cultural/social events.
The Writing Centers, staffed by English faculty, offer free, one-on-one help for students with writing questions and trouble spots, big and small. An online writing center is currently under development. Please contact (719) 502-3510 for more information.
ID Cards – To obtain your student ID, please bring your class schedule and a photo ID, i.e., drivers license, or State ID to any of the three Campus Centers. A properly validated Student ID card enables you to use the Library, computer labs and to get free or reduced admission to student plays and some Fine Arts Center activities, movies and other activities.
Activities - Recognizing that much of the college experience takes place outside of the classroom, the Student Activities Office offers a variety of extracurricular events each year to enrich the lives of our students. Once again, a link to more information will be at the end of orientation.
Athletics - PPCC has both major and minor sports teams. The teams compete regionally in athletics. Men’s soccer and women’s volleyball represent PPCC as major athletic teams. Coed karate competes as a minor sport for the College. The Athletics program is housed at the Centennial Campus in the Recreation and Sports Programming Office. For information about athletic programs, team try-outs and a schedule of team events, call 502-3000.
Fitness Center - Stay fit, stay healthy and reduce stress! The Fitness Center is a state-of-the-art cardiovascular/weight training facility. It is in room A-262 on the Centennial Campus. For more information, contact the Fitness Center at (719) 502-2555.
Recreation/Sports Clubs - The Gymnasium at Centennial Campus is open for recreational use by students and staff. Open gym activities include basketball, volleyball and aerobics. The recreation program includes intramurals and recreational tournaments. It offers wellness events and outdoor equipment rentals.
Student Government – Participating in Student Government is a great way to strengthen your leadership skills.
Student Clubs and Organizations - Pikes Peak Community College has more than 20 clubs and organizations, from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to the Sliding Aardvarks Ski & Snowboarding Club. Other organizations are related to academic areas such as business, nursing, and interpreting for the deaf.