SubscribeAvailable Now
Photograph by Bob Wooley

This Innovative Campus Offers Hands-On Learning For Teens

Cherry Creek School District's career preparedness facility will help students earn trade certifications in fields like computer science and aviation.

|

Shakespeare performed magic with language, but teaching his literary pyrotechnics might not fill Colorado’s labor shortages: As of 2015, 50 percent of the state’s jobs required “middle skills”—i.e., technical education not necessarily part of typical college courses—and only 40 percent of workers possessed that specialized know-how. So, in late August, the Cherry Creek School District opened Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC), a 42-acre facility designed to help students earn certifications in industries like computer science and aviation. This year, around 1,800 high schoolers are expected to partake in one of the $60 million campus’ seven programs, with coursework like testing recipes in the commercial kitchen or fixing one of CCIC’s two airplanes. Such work-based learning is common in Europe, and Colorado has become a leader in the United States. In 2017, then Governor John Hickenlooper launched CareerWise, the nation’s first statewide apprenticeship program, in which teenagers earn credit by working in fields such as IT. CCIC is another bet that experience will be the best teacher.

Get Outside

Newsletter Signup

Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone. Sign Up