Community College of Denver Launches More Affordable Pathway to College for Students Who Stopped Out

CCD Academy taps StraighterLine, pioneering developer of low-cost, online courses, to reach Denver residents with some college but no degree

Community College of Denver (CCD) announced the launch of CCD Academy to help students who are no longer enrolled in college return and earn their degree. The new initiative is powered by StraighterLine, a developer of low-cost, competency-based courses to help students earn credits toward their degree.  

"A college degree can offer an economic lifeline for displaced workers. But for a growing number of laid-off and furloughed workers, life’s circumstances -- not a lack of aspiration -- got in the way of completing a degree," said Ruthanne K. Orihuela, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at CCD. "This new initiative will help students access low-cost, flexible and high-quality online courses that count fully for credit and give them a flexible option to return to their degree program — even if they have been away for a couple of years.”  

In addition to associate degrees, community colleges offer short term certificates that lead to higher-wage jobs. With the economic impacts of COVID-19, these short certificates in high need industries can provide a much-needed opportunity to displaced workers. At Community College of Denver, short term certificates stack into longer certificates and associate degrees, allowing students to enter the workforce and continue learning to earn higher wages with each additional credential earned. A study earlier this year by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that specialized associate’s degrees and certificates can often lead to higher-paying jobs than bachelor’s degrees.

CCD Academy is priced at $150 per month and delivered through StraighterLine’s pathway platform, which has demonstrated increased persistence and success rates for partner institutions. In addition to convenient access to online courses, the subscription price includes e-textbooks, online tutoring and access to support services seven days a week. CCD Academy is open for enrollment.

"Too often, students may just need a short break from higher education but lack the ability to take it,” said Burck Smith, StraighterLine’s founder and CEO. "CCD has recognized that by providing flexible, self-paced online courses, CCD Academy can offer stop-outs a way to start, pause as needed, and continue their education, helping students balance their lives while progressing toward their degree."  

Students interested in learning more about CCD Academy can call 888.970.9316 or visit academy.ccd.edu

About Community College of Denver 

CCD's educational programs are designed to enrich the social, civic and economic fabric of our community, nation and world. Through innovation, open exploration of ideas and preparation of a well-trained workforce, CCD enriches our democracy and supports a vibrant local economy. Programs and strategies that promote access — as well as the academic and personal success for underserved students — are the foundation of CCD operations. Visit ccd.edu

About StraighterLine 

StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 35,000 new students a year, including directly through the straighterline.com website as well as through the company’s growing network of university and employer relationships. Visit https://www.straighterline.com or https://partners.straighterline.com for more information.