Emilie Rusch

Mines, Community College of Aurora launch new partnership for engineering students

Mines Academy at CCA provides an opportunity to earn guaranteed admission to any four-year degree program at Mines
President Johnson and President Brownlee posing with t-shirts

Mines President Paul C. Johnson and CCA President Mordecai Brownlee swap t-shirts during a signing ceremony May 30 to officially create the Mines Academy at CCA. (Photo courtesy of CCA)

Colorado School of Mines and the Community College of Aurora (CCA) are partnering for a new program that puts engineering students on a direct pathway to a bachelor’s degree from Mines after completing a two-year degree at CCA. 

Community college students in the Mines Academy at CCA will have the opportunity to earn guaranteed admission into any four-year degree program at Mines. Participating students will begin the program by pursuing an Associate of Engineering Science (AES) degree at CCA. Those credits will directly transfer toward a bachelor’s degree at Mines, paving the way for a smooth transition between the two schools. 

CCA President Dr. Mordecai Brownlee celebrated the partnership as another win for the college’s effort to find effective pathways for students to move on to complete their four year degrees. He said, “Embracing innovation and collaboration, the Community College of Aurora, in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines, propels into the future with an expanded integrated model of engineering education, igniting passion and potential in our students to engineer solutions for a changing world. CCA is grateful for the leadership of educators like Dr. Susan Young, Dean of Academic Success in STEM at CCA, for leading the development of this historic pathway for our students.”

“Mines is excited to launch a new Mines Academy with CCA as it provides a direct path for their students to gain admission to and earn a Mines degree” said Dr. Paul C. Johnson, president of Colorado School of Mines. “One of Mines’ core goals as we celebrate our 150th anniversary this year is to increase access to a Mines education for qualified students of all backgrounds. Through the Mines Academy model, students develop confidence in their academic readiness, receive assurance that their courses will seamlessly transfer to Mines and feel part of the Mines community while they are at CCA. All of this should ultimately lead to academic success, graduation and great professional career opportunities.”

Students accepted into the Mines Academy at CCA will receive additional academic support to ensure their success at CCA and Mines. Advisors will work with students to identify which coursework they should take to make a seamless transition to Mines once they finish their time at CCA. Students will be expected to meet regularly with these advisors, as well as maintain a certain GPA. Mines Academy students will also engage with Mines’ student success offices early and often and gain access to resources and events at Mines such as sporting events, career and professional speakers and presentations. 

Dr. Susan Young, CCA’s Dean of Academic Success, expressed her excitement for the partnership, emphasizing the way in which it will provide CCA students with access to specialized programming, customized support and communications, and a seamless transfer experience to the Colorado School of Mines to complete an engineering degree. She said most importantly, this partnership will enhance access to career opportunities in STEM for members of the diverse community that we serve at CCA.

This partnership is just one way CCA is taking steps to ensure it continues to be a leader in STEM education. Construction on the new Center for STEM, Power Mechanics and Applied Technologies is expected to be completed in the fall of 2025. The center will be the home to CCA’s technical and career programs which are designed to get students from the classroom into jobs, addressing Colorado’s workforce needs in these vital and in-demand fields. 

For Mines, the partnership with CCA marks the third Mines Academy launched in Colorado, joining Red Rocks Community College and Front Range Community College. Learn more about Mines Academy on the Mines Admissions website.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.