June 22, 2021—Aurora, Colo.— The Community College of Aurora has received $30,000 from the Career and Technical Education CoLab to increase participation among underrepresented students in the college’s Early Childhood Education Director Certificate program.

Through the grant, which runs through April 2023, CCA will implement strategies and develop resources to make the ECE program more equitable for students of color, particularly those who identify as male, Hispanic or Latinx, and are English language learners. The grant will also enable the college’s Education and World Languages Department to break down student technology barriers, such as inadequate access to internet and equipment, by creating a learning space with new laptops, webcams, headsets and early childhood teaching supplies.

CCA was part of the initial selection of just 12 community and technical colleges across the nation to participate in the CTE CoLab program, called College Community of Practice. 

“We are excited because this grant recognizes that our students’ strengths enhance and enrich the childcare workforce, benefitting children and their communities,” said Ashley Simpson, chair of the Education and World Languages Department.

The grant continues CCA’s work to eliminate equity gaps and increase retention, completion and transfer outcomes for Hispanics and other students of color. In 2019, CCA received a $2.85 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education to address equity gaps. The college was also nationally recognized that year for its equity work.