ACC’s Parker Campus Makes Me Excited to be a College Student Again

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Like for many others, graduating high school and entering the ‘real world’ is quite the wake-up call.

In 2015, I graduated with the intent of attending the University of Colorado Denver.  After a summer filled with parties and fun, reality hit hard when many of my friends went off to their respective schools and I began to take classes at UCD.  Quickly stressed out by a full schedule, a straining ninety-minute commute, and overwhelming uncertainty, I decided that UCD, and maybe college in general, wasn’t for me.

I took a year off to work and to explore my options.  Spending time to put some cushion in my savings account and gain a better sense of self, I finally decided it was time to go back to school.  I weighed my options and decided that Arapahoe Community College was the best fit for me.  I learned that there was a campus in my hometown of Parker, just a fifteen-minute drive away from my house, and after registering for a couple classes for the summer, I was ready to start.

ACC-Parker Campus

Ready?  Maybe; but nonetheless apprehensive.

With my first experience of college being less than encouraging, I was extremely surprised by my first day.  The Parker Campus is a small building with two stories and a limited number of classrooms, and is operated by a small staff of kind employees who you can tell genuinely care.

I was greeted my first day by Gwen Young, the Parker Campus Manager, who was kind and helpful.  She showed me how to get my Student ID and then led me to my first class.

Left: Rae Brendecke (ACC Career Counselor); Right: Gwen Young (ACC Parker Campus Manager)

Left: Rae Brendecke (ACC Career Counselor); Right: Gwen Young (ACC Parker Campus Manager)

I was astounded by the small size of my first class: only 12 students, allowing friendships to be built and conversations to be had.  My professor, Andrea Mason, was more than helpful and patient, teaching me how to log in to Desire2Learn and use the Wi-Fi.  My second class was taught by the warm-hearted Kristine Reyes.  By the end of the day I was actually excited to officially be a college student.

I’m currently in my first, full-time, fall semester at ACC, with the majority of my classes being attended in Parker.  I’m enrolled in a class in Castle Rock, and an online class as well.

If you had talked to me six months ago, you would have seen how hesitant I was to start college, but the Parker Campus let me build confidence in myself as a student.  Even though the classes available are limited, I believe the Parker campus to be a great place to get started with your college education, even if you’re not local.

The small class sizes and caring staff and instructors allow students to ease their way into a college routine and if you’re a person like me, there’s no better place to begin.