NOTE: Tours at the CCIC are temporarily suspended in accordance to the Cherry Creek School District response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact the counseling department when school opens in August for more information.
Welcome to the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus Counseling web page. Counselors at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus guide all students in the areas of career/post-secondary planning, academic achievement, and personal/social development. The goal of the Counseling Department at the CCIC is to ensure that all students enter today’s workforce with the professional skills and technical skills needed to become contributing members to a global economy. At the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, it’s our goal to better align our innovative curriculum with current industry standards. By aligning our curriculum to what industry and business partners are seeking, we are confident that our students will develop the professional standards needed to compete and succeed as they enter the workforce, college, and/or military. In order to accomplish this, counselors at the CCIC assist students with the following:
Modern Youth Apprentice
At the CCIC, we recognize that today’s current education system should align with industry needs and competencies. Businesses from all over the state of Colorado have told us they are having difficulty finding employees with the appropriate competencies to effectively fill their positions. In order to address this misalignment, counselors at the CCIC are working in partnership with CareerWise Colorado to place students in modern youth apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are designed to combine theoretical learning with practical learning that focuses on professional skills, educational objectives, real world experiences, and allows businesses to train potential employees while they are still in high school.
Upon completion of an apprenticeship, students have the skills and professional competencies to step directly into a high-growth, high-wage career or apply the life experience and debt-free college credit to further their education. Regardless, an apprenticeship can provide a direct pathway to in demand 21st-century jobs in Business Operations, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services, Education, Hospitality and Visual & Design Arts.
For more information on Modern Youth Apprenticeship, please visit our partners at CareerWise.
At the CCIC, we recognize that today’s current education system should align with industry needs and competencies. Further, businesses are having difficulty finding employees with the appropriate competencies to effectively fill their positions. In order to address this industry need, counselors at the CCIC work with students to provide them internship experiences.
An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical, work related experience aligned to a student’s career interest. At the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, the Internship program provides students an experience in a career field they would like to pursue after graduation. This experience provides first-hand learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Typically, internships are limited to a semester of school, or the length of the summer.
Internships are different than modern youth apprentices in a few ways. First, internships are far more prevalent than apprenticeships, though apprenticeships opportunities are growing rapidly. Secondly, apprenticeships last significantly longer than internships, often several years. Lastly, internships are generally unpaid experiences where apprenticeships are paid. In short, internships are designed to give students a short term, hands on, learning experience while modern youth apprenticeships are designed to provide a student a long term, in depth, paid, hands on experience that will provide them a direct entry into the work force upon completion.
Entrance into the Workforce
CCIC industry partners unanimously agree that students lack the necessary skills needed to enter the workforce. Most high school students today study academic core subject. But they aren’t gaining the knowledge they need to seamlessly integrate into the work force and college. Too often, high school students do not demonstrate workplace habits that employers prioritize. Professionalism, reliability/dependability, collaboration, respectfulness/consideration, communication, and growth mindset. Counselors at the CCIC work in partnership with instructors to support and drive a unique grading policy that incorporates the importance of professional skills across all seven of our pathways. At the CCIC, students have the opportunity to develop the necessary technical skills needed to compete in their selected career fields, while at the same time developing the professional skills that will allow success in any work or college environment. In addition to prioritizing professional skills, counselors also partner with Arapahoe/Douglas Works to help students develop resumes, one on one employment counseling, and interviewing skills.
Learn more about Arapahoe/Douglas Works.
Whether you are considering the military out of a sense of patriotism or duty, for action or adventure, or for a stable job in an evolving economy, the military can offer amazing career opportunities. Students who attend the CCIC will learn valuable technical skills and professional skills that can easily be transferred to a career within the United States Military. Counselors at the CCIC work closely with recruiters from all branches of the Military to ensure students are getting proper support and accurate information as they determine if the Military is the right career choice to for them.
To learn more about the enlistment process and the many benefits within the Military, please visit www.usa.gov/join-military.
Military Academy Appointments
The service academies are federal institutions that provide an undergraduate education and train future commissioned officers for service in the United States Armed Forces. Applying to a Military Service Academy is a rigorous, highly-competitive, and lengthy process only for the most determined and qualified candidates.
Listed below are the five federal United States service academies:
o The United States Military Academy (USMA) located in West Point, NY
o The United States Naval Academy (USNA) located in Annapolis, MD
o The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) located in New London, CT
o The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) located in Kings Point, NY
o The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) located in Colorado Springs, CO
When applying for an academy, it is best to start applying early during your junior year in high school. All academy appointments must obtain a congressional nomination from your local congressman or congresswoman, your two State Senators, or the Vice President of the United States. All candidates are eligible to apply for nominations from any of these four sources. To apply for a congressional nomination, contact your local congressional representative and both of your senators’ offices for information on their application process. The Vice President can nominate candidates without geographical restriction within the United States. To apply for a nomination from the Vice President, you can find information on the White House webpage.
You only need one nomination from any of these sources to be included in a pool of candidates before a service academy will even look at your potential candidate’s application file. Thus, it’s important to apply through all applicable sources.
Candidates are required to have letters of recommendations, strong transcripts, strong SAT or ACT scores, pass a Department of Defense Military Examination Review Board (DODMERB) physical examination, and pass a fitness test. Candidates are expected to be scholars, leaders, and athletes within their schools or communities.
If applying to a service academy is your goal, counselors at the CCIC will partner with your home high school counselor to help guide and connect you with the proper academy liaisons that will work directly with you.
For more information on service academy appointments, please visit www.militarybenefits.info
Technical colleges are sometimes grouped with community colleges and four year universities; however, they are very different. Rather than receiving a general education that community colleges and four year universities offer, technical colleges provide students specialized training that prepares them for a specific trade or profession.
At a technical college, you only take classes geared towards one specific career, rather than taking a wide range of general education classes. In addition, most technical college programs can be completed in two years. This means you won’t have extra expenses for books, labs, facilities, and other miscellaneous fees.
Community college, sometimes called a junior college, offers students a two-year degree known as an associate degree. Some degrees/certifications are designed to be transferred to a four year institution, while others are more career specific and meant to prepare you for employment shortly after you obtain your degree. There are many benefits to attending a community college. First and foremost, no matter which college you attend or major you choose, your first two years will mainly consist of the same set of courses. By attending a community college for your first two years, you are able to complete your basic classes while saving a significant amount of money. This could, in turn, reduce the amount of money you’ll pay or borrow when/if you transfer to a four-year college.
In addition, many community colleges don’t have residential housing, which means you might be able to save money by living at home for the first two years. Also, a community college offers students more flexibility at a lower cost as they explore which career path they want to pursue. It is not uncommon for students to pay a hefty price tag at a private/public university, only to realize that the major they declared isn’t really what they want to do. While you can change your major at a college/university, many students are surprised to learn that most of the classes they already took don’t count towards the new major they are interested into changing into. This often results in lost money, time, and opportunity. In other words, community college gives you a chance to “test the waters” at a much lower cost than a four-year university.
Lastly, community college offers students the opportunity to attend class while maintaining a healthy work schedule. According to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, 69% of community college students work while they attend school. Of those 69%, 33% work more than 35 hours a week. Community colleges understand students need flexibility, which is why more night and weekend classes are offered than at a traditional four year university/college. The ability to work work while going to school, can help reduce the cost of college and untimely reducing the possibility of accumulating unneeded debt.
At the CCIC, counselors can work with your student to help determine if attending a community college is right for them. In addition, counselors can help students who have taken courses at the CCIC with concurrent enrollment credit, navigate the community college system.
4 Year Colleges & Universities
Public universities and private universities offering bachelor degrees both fall into the category of four year college and universities. At these institutions, a bachelor’s degree is one of the most common degree options and is available in a variety of fields. On average, a bachelor degree is earned within four years and can lead to entrance into the workforce or to a more advanced degree program. Typically, 120 credit hours of coursework, including general education classes, electives, and major requirements are needed to fulfill the requirement of a bachelor’s. General education classes account for about one-third of all classes within four year college programs, and include subjects such as English, Math, Science, Humanities, and Foreign Language.
If you are looking for a traditional college experience, a four year university could be the place for you. Four year colleges and universities offer a well-rounded education. In fact, colleges and universities require students to take courses in a number of areas to help them determine what area of study is best for them while at the same time providing a well-rounded broad base of academic knowledge.
Research shows that many entry level positions require a bachelor’s degree. By completing a degree at a four year college or university, you will have the academic skills needed for the demands of your career choice. Further, research shows that employees who have graduated from a four year college or university tend to earn more money than students with associates degree of high school diplomas.
Counselors at the CCIC can assist you in the college application process if a four year college or university is a good fit for you.
Over the past decade, the cost of a university education has risen three times faster than other school related expenses. Most students finance at least some part of that cost by taking student loans. The goal is that an investment in college will produce a high paying job that allows students to pay off student loan debt. Currently, Americans owe more than 1.53 trillion in student loan debt. In fact, outstanding student loan debt is the second largest form of consumer debt trailing only mortgages. Also, students’ ability to repay their student loan debt after graduation is becoming more and more difficult. In other words, financial aid needs to be examined in depth if you are considering using it to fund your post-secondary plan. Financial aid can be a useful tool to fund higher education, but families should have a realistic plan to pay off the debt after graduation.
Counselors at the CCIC are skilled in guiding students through the financial aid process as well as scholarship opportunities. For more information on financial aid, please visit:
Concurrent enrollment is legally defined under state statute as, "the simultaneous enrollment of a qualified student in a local education provider and in one or more postsecondary courses, including academic or career and technical education courses, at an institution of higher education.
These tuition-free college courses are taught at the CCIC by teachers who have been approved as adjunct professors by an accredited local community college. Thus, students have the opportunity to earn and receive college credit while at the same time earning credit at the high school level towards graduation.
At the CCIC, counselors can help guide students as they navigate what concurrent enrollment classes are best for them, their future, and their career pathway.
Concurrent Enrollment Courses at the CCIC:
Automotive Technology MLR 1
- ASE 101-Auto Shop Orientation (2 Credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- ASE 103-Auto Maintenance (2 Credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- ASE 122-Auto Electrical Safety Systems (1 credit at Arapahoe Community College)
Automotive Technology MLR 2
- ASE 250-Auto Trans/Transaxle Service (1 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- ASE 264- Introduction to HVAC Systems (1 credit at Arapahoe Community College)
Introduction to Health and Wellness
- HRP 123- Introduction to Health Care (2 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- HPR 124- Health Care Practices (2 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- HRP 178- Medical Terminology (3 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
Project Management for Entrepreneurs 1
- ENP 105- Introduction to Entrepreneurship (3 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
- MAR 106-Marketing your Image (3 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
Project Management for Entrepreneurs 2
- MAR 155-Social Media for Business (3 credits at Arapahoe Community College)
Introduction to Behavioral Healthcare
- PTE 110-Introduction to Psychiatric Care (3 credits at Pueblo Community College
- PTE 120-Application of Behavioral Healthcare (5 credits at Pueblo Community College)
**Concurrent Enrollment college credit is subject to course and teacher approval and completion of all required registration steps by the majority of the class within the designated semester deadline. Courses may be subject to cancellation for Concurrent Enrollment college credit due to unforeseen changes**
An industry certification is a credential recognized by business and industry at the local, state or national level. Industry certificates measure competency in an occupation and they validate the knowledge base and skills need to demonstrate mastery in a particular industry.
Industry certifications are important in a number of ways. First and foremost, these certifications allow students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and/or skills that business and industry are seeking. This can lead to increased job prospects, marketability to employers, as well as an increase in post-secondary education options. In addition, industry certifications are important to employers as they provides evidence of proficiency, skills and abilities. In other words, industry certifications connect students possessing industry specific skill sets to the demands of the workforce. This intentional connection addresses the skills gap while increasing an individual’s earning power.
At the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, it’s our goal to better align our innovative curriculum with current industry standards. By aligning our curriculum to what industry and business partners are seeking, we are confident that our students will develop the professional standards needed to compete and succeed as they enter the workforce, college, and/or military.
Industry Certifications available at the CCIC:
- National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS)
- Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM)
Health and Wellness
- American Red Cross CPR/AED
- Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)
- Behavioral Health Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
Hospitality and Tourism
- Hospitality & Tourism Management 1
- Hospitality & Tourism Management 2
- ServSafe Food Handler
- ServSafe Manager
- Lodging & Resort Management 1 Workforce Readiness
- Lodging & Resort Management 2 Workforce Readiness
- S.T.A.R.T. Guest Room Attendant
- S.T.A.R.T. Lodging Security Officer
- S.T.A.R.T. Restaurant Server and Kitchen Cook
- Gold Certified Guess Service Professional
- CHTMP (Certified Hospitality & Tourism Management Professional)
- ProStart National Certificate of Achievement
- OSHA-10 Construction
- HBI PACT (Pre Apprenticeship Certificate Training)
- NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research)
IT & STEAM
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- TestOut PC Pro
- TestOut Network Pro
- Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA)
- Certified Additive Manufacturing Associate (CSWA-AM)
- Snap-on Certifications
- Precision Measurement
- Scanner and Diagnostics
- Wheel Service & Alignment
- Advanced Scanner Diagnostics
- Pro-Cut on-car Rotor Machining
- Battery Starting and Charging
- ASE Student Automobile Certification
- Brake Systems
- Suspension & Steering Systems
- Electrical/Electronic Systems
- Engine Performance
- Snap on Multimeter
- Snap on Torque
- Snap on Precision Measurement
School counselors serve as a first line of defense in identifying and addressing student social/emotional needs within a school setting. Counselors at the CCIC have unique training in helping students with social/emotional issues that may become barriers to academic success. In partnership with our school social worker, counselors provide individual student support directed at improving students social/emotional wellbeing.
Due to the unique design of the CCIC, counselors work in tandem with home high school counselors to ensure all social/emotional needs are being met while students are at the innovation campus.
At the CCIC, counselors will help students’ social/emotional management in the following ways:
- Identify and employ appropriate methods for individual social/emotional support.
- Know and utilize counseling theories to inform direct and indirect services providing support to social/emotional development.
- Serve as a referral source for students when social/emotional issues become too great to be dealt with solely by the school counselor or social worker.
- Communicate essential information with all appropriate support structures at student’s home high school.
- Crisis interventions
Counselors at the CCIC are committed to supporting students’ social/emotional needs and provide the proper support when a student’s issue becomes too great to be dealt with solely by themselves.
How do you know where you are going if you have not first identified your destination? In order to achieve a goal, you must be serious and specific about what you want, where you want to go, what you want to achieve, and the targets you want to hit. Specific questions give you specific answers. Specific answers lead to specific behaviors that when put into motion, can lead to the achievement of meaningful goals. At the CCIC, counselors recognize that students need structure and support when identifying and pursuing their individual goals.
The formation and pursuit of goals can be a valuable tool for students. Researchers have found that the pursuit of goals, as well as their attainment, are associated with increased level of happiness and an increased levels in self-esteem. Why? Research shows that much of the positive emotion that human beings feel is the result of the neurotransmitter dopamine, in response to evidence that satisfactory progress has been made towards a desired goal. In addition to the emotional benefits of goal setting, research also suggests that it helps bolster understanding of an individual’s strategy to achieve their set goal. Lastly, the process of establishing specific goals can increase performance in other domains, such as overall academic achievement.
Counselors at the CCIC work in collaboration with teachers to help students develop realistic and meaningful goals.
Degrees and Certifications:
Laura Miller works with students from Cherry Creek Elevation, Cherry Creek, Cherokee Trail and Overland.
Degrees and Certifications:
Ryan Seely works with students from Eaglecrest, Endeavor, Grandview and Smoky Hill.
Degrees and Certifications:
Administrative Assistant to Counseling & SPED