CCA Receives Accreditation Reaffirmation

Why We Serve

Through completing the Higher Learning Commission’s pathway for the Accreditation Reaffirmation, a review based on a thorough criteria for accreditation, CCA is proud to announce their Accreditation Reaffirmation for ten more years and highlight the phenomenal staff and instructors that made this achievement possible.

AURORA, Colo.The Community College of Aurora (CCA) has officially received its accreditation reaffirmation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This momentous announcement comes after several years of diligent work by college administrators, faculty, staff, instructors, and students to ensure that CCA lived up to its mission of being the college “where every student succeeds.”

A team of five HLC officials visited CCA’s campus in March, meticulously reviewing CCA’s operations from top to bottom, ensuring the institution met specific criteria set forth by the Commission. CCA was up for reaffirmation of its accreditation two years ago, but amidst many significant changes across the college, including its college leadership and structure, then newly appointed President, Dr. Mordecai Brownlee requested an extension. 

Dr. Brownlee is now thrilled to announce that the hard work of all college personnel paid off, and CCA has met its obligations as Aurora’s premier institute of higher education. 

Dr. Brownlee said, “We are thrilled to announce that the Community College of Aurora has been reaffirmed for accreditation for the next ten years, marking a testament to our unwavering commitment to our excellence in education. This achievement results from the dedication and hard work of our exceptional faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders who continually strive for greatness. Together, we celebrate this milestone and reaffirm our collective dedication to providing quality educational pathways, supporting our local workforce, and advancing economic mobility.”

CCA is one of 13 colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and is recognized as a leader by system leaders for its ambitious work in educating Aurora and surrounding communities and its commitment to building out the state’s workforce.

CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia emphasized the achievement saying, “Not only is the Community College of Aurora one of the most diverse institutions in the state, it’s also one of the most innovative and equity-minded. I am proud that CCA has received accreditation and know the college will continue its incredible progress to transform more lives, families, and communities in the years ahead.”

Accreditation gives colleges credibility as sustainable institutions that can offer comprehensive education to their students. But it also provides important distinctions from unaccredited institutions. 

First, accreditation allows CCA to receive Title IV funding, which is mandated by the Department of Education to offer students federal financial aid. Without these funds, colleges must operate as for-profit institutions, which raises costs for students and limits the transferability of their college credits. 

Secondly, as Colorado’s primary collegiate governing body, the HLC provides uniformity when students want to transfer to in-state universities. The Higher Learning Commission oversees four-year universities in Colorado, which makes that process much easier.  

Students can rest assured they receive a high-quality education with backing from a trustworthy entity. In preparation for the Commission’s visit and in keeping with its own standards, college officials run their own assessments on the preparedness and execution of instructors and classes. 

CCA programs are built with the expectation that students will walk away with certain skills and knowledge from their studies. These Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) set the bar for educational accountability.  

Many institutions do not have a dedicated person to oversee accreditation, but CCA leads the way in that regard, assigning the role to Dr. Kathryn Skulley. In addition to her title of Dean of Assessment, Strategy, and Performance Excellence, she also serves as the Accreditation Liaison Officer and Assurance System Coordinator. Her role is instrumental in keeping the institution on track. 

Dr. Skulley re-emphasizes what it means to be a trustworthy institution, saying, “Reaffirmation says we are an institution of excellence. We value our students, faculty, and staff, and we work to ensure we are transparent. We are ensuring a quality education for our students, as well as a quality community for our staff, faculty, and instructors.”

Accreditation is valid for 10 years before it needs to be reassessed. CCA earned the status of “Open Pathway” in its review. Unlike the “Standard Pathway” designation, CCA is given more freedom to choose its own projects without as much intervention from the HLC. 

CCA’s commitment to excellence is evident in the passion that instructors and others share for their work. The Division of Strategic Communication and Alumni Engagement spoke with CCA faculty and staff, who gave insight into why they serve. That video can be found HERE

Learn more about the Higher Learning Commission and its work HERE. If you are interested in learning more about CCA and its programs, visit and begin the enrollment process HERE

About the Community College of Aurora:

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. With a vision to aspire to be a college where every student succeeds, CCA is the most diverse college in the State of Colorado. Focused on creating social and economic mobility for its students, the college offers courses on two (2) campuses, online, and through its high school concurrent-enrollment programs. For more information, visit


Courtney Butler

Interim Strategic Communications Officer
Strategic Communications and Alumni Engagement

P: 303-340-7201   |  E: [email protected]