Message from CCA President, Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee

Greetings, Community College of Aurora. 

One of the strategic charges of my presidency has been to strengthen and unify our institution’s brand in the marketplace. Since assuming the role of president I’ve continued to say that “higher education as we know it is changing.” We maintain our relevance in several ways, particularly by the way in which we steward our resources and the type of programming we offer to prospective students. CCA is committed to offering programming that propels students from the classroom into the workforce; and provides an education and skills that will be life-altering to a student’s social and economic well-being.

Several months ago, in preparation for our visit from the Higher Learning Commission, I charged my Executive Leadership team to think innovatively on the way we do this, to challenge the status quo. In doing this work we uncovered several areas as an organization we could improve upon to address financial loss, ensure industry relevant programing, and comply with all HLC Accreditation Criteria. 

Today, I’d like to officially announce the transition of what was formerly known as the Colorado Film School (CFS) to the Cinematic Arts Department. This brand reimagining embraces the unique programs that have historically been housed within our film programming and adds in coursework in alignment with current business and industry needs. This shift also allows CCA to maintain its HLC accreditation and more equitably deliver Title IV funds (financial aid) to the entirety of our student body. Furthermore, CCA has a fiduciary responsibility to address the more than two-million-dollar operational loss experienced over the past five years of CFS operation. The entirety of these actions taken in the operational restructure of this academic discipline are also in alignment with best practices in education.

For many years, the Colorado Film School was designed to operate very independently as its own entity, and this had to be reexamined and altered for a variety of reasons. Primarily, CFS cannot award degrees without the HLC accreditation held by CCA, requiring CFS to be part of CCA and not operate as a separate school.   

The Community College of Aurora is proud of the academic excellence and the quality of programming that has and will continue to come from the newly reimagined, Cinematic Arts Department.  We are thankful for the expertise and industry experience of the faculty, instructors and staff who have dedicated themselves to this program over the many years of its operation.  Over the past months, we have engaged with our employees as well as an independent consultant to identify the strengths and challenges within the department and make the necessary changes to align this signature program with the college’s mission and vision to ensure student success. 

We look forward to the growth and excellence to come for this academic division as a result of the changes being implemented. By making these shifts as quickly as possible where opportunities were identified, CCA ensures we can:

Together, we will ensure CCA remains the college “where every student succeeds” for years to come.