PPCC Partnering with Woodland Park School District for Courses in Teller County.
Colorado Springs. Colo. - December 2, 2014 - Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) is partnering with Woodland Park School District (WPSD) and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to offer college courses in Teller County. The collaboration began recently with limited courses being offered at the Woodland Park High School with the ultimate goal of growing the offerings to better serve the western portion of PPCC’s service area.
According to Dr. Jed Bowman, Superintendent of Woodland Park Schools, efforts to offer classes in Teller County have been on-going for years.
"We tried a few different approaches in the past, but nothing had enough momentum to sustain," he explains. However, last year, Eric Cefus, Director of Philanthropic Services with Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF) and a WPSD parent, connected Dr. Lance Bolton, President of PPCC, and Dr. Bowman, with PPCF’s Aspen Valley Ranch, a location providing innovative educational experiences that include workshops and events focused on arts, music, culture and sustainable living skills. A conversation ensued about needed environmental education studies.
"This effort allows students interested in outdoor career fields the ability to fully utilize first-class learning environments, and it gives them an edge for successful career opportunities. "- Dr. Lance Bolton
Currently, PPCC offers instruction for several Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Technology courses at WPHS with field trips to Aspen Valley Ranch and other surrounding areas. Additional courses will be offered in the spring and summer of 2015 and PPCC continues to work with Aspen Valley Ranch to utilize its 180 acres as an outdoor classroom.
"Now we are offering a long-term relationship that we hope will grow for our high school students, college students and hopefully develop into evening classes to meet our community needs," Bowman said. The ongoing partnership between WPSD and PPCC is not completely new. They already work together in offering concurrent enrollment at the high school to include English and Spanish classes.
According to Linda Murray, WPSD Assistant Superintendent, students earn high school as well as PPCC college credit that can be transferable to colleges and universities throughout Colorado.
"Our staff teaches the courses after being approved as an adjunct professor through PPCC," she explains.
"We use PPCC textbooks and syllabus to teach at no cost to the student. It’s a win/win program!" Students from WPHS also participate in PPCC’s Area Vocational Program which provides career training in key areas such as Health, Criminal Justice, and Welding & Machining.
Another opportunity is Ascent, which is run through the state. This is when a WPHS student, who completes 12 college credits by the end of the senior year and meet college entrance requirements, is considered a 5th year senior but is a full-time student at PPCC. Students pay for their own fees and text books while WPSD covers tuition for a full year at PPCC.
“We are so excited to have these partnerships with PPCC,” Murray said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for our students and our community. We hope to offer more in the future.”
"We are so excited to have these partnerships with PPCC, it is a wonderful opportunity for our students and our community. We hope to offer more in the future."-Linda Murray
About Woodland Park School District
Woodland Park School District includes the cities of Divide, Florissant, and Woodland Park. Offering preschool through grade 12, WPSD is made up of five schools: three elementary schools (Columbine, Gateway, and Summit), Woodland Park Middle School, and Woodland Park High School. With students competing every year at the state and national levels in sports, academic competitions, and other activities, WPSD is large enough to offer comprehensive programs at all levels yet small enough for the personal attention and comforts of a caring community.
About Pikes Peak Community College
Pikes Peak Community College, in its 46th year of operation, is a two-year college offering 175 associate degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With four campuses and two military education centers in El Paso County, PPCC serves approximately 22,000 students annually.