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The mission of the Life Directions Center (LDC) is to equip authentic disciples of Christ to discern their life calling, achieve academic success and engage in meaningful service. The LDC provides a four year connection for students in their pursuit of spiritual, academic, and career directions by providing resources, guidance, and counsel to help students realize and move towards their God-given calling.
The Life Directions Center manages the following student services:
- Advisors in the LDC provide information that assists students in planning their four year degree plan and meeting their specific educational goals. This includes access to course rotations and course recommendations to meet the general education and specific degree requirements for graduation.
- Students are responsible for their degree progression and completion. Advisors are available to guide students’ course selections each semester to help ensure that the courses being taken are a part of the four year degree plan for their major. It is the responsibility of the student to notify their advisor of any changes they make to the course selections their advisor recommends. Failure to do so may result in students taking additional time to complete their Colorado Christian University degree.
- Students should talk with their advisor when considering any changes to their major, minor or course selections. The process of changing majors, adding or dropping a minor, adding or dropping a class or requesting a course substitution are all initiated at the LDC so a student must talk with their advisor before any of these actions can be taken.
- To assist in a check of academic progress, students are required to complete a sophomore audit by registration of the fall semester their sophomore year. In the senior year, a graduation application is due by registration the semester before a student plans to graduate.
Student Success Services
The LDC provides a variety of services to promote Student Success so students have opportunities to develop new skills or further develop current abilities. These services include Student Success Workshops offered by expert faculty and staff as well as individual student appointments with students. Sample topics include, but are not limited to, note-taking strategies, study skills, time management, and test taking strategies. Each student has different strengths, weaknesses, and needs. LDC staff encourage students to try and adopt methods that work for their unique personality and learning style. The LDC also partners with faculty to provide early intervention assistance to students who show an academic struggle throughout a semester. Students who are on probation or are conditionally admitted to the University benefit from many of these services. Specific additional information is available for probation or conditionally admitted students in the Academic Policies section.
Peer Tutors are available to provide tutoring for enrolled CUS students in a select number of classes. Students can visit the Tutoring Lab during walk-in hours or request individual tutoring by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can find current listings of courses tutored and walk-in hour times and locations by visiting the Tutoring Services page on the My CCU student portal under the Life Directions Center link or by speaking with their LDC Advisor.
College-Level Examinations Program (CLEP) and DSST Subject Standardized Testing Policy
Colorado Christian University will accept credits as applicable in any program for students who score at or above established levels on many CLEP and DSST tests. Cut-off scores for granting credit are those scores recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) and/or the CCU Dean’s Council. Credit received will be treated as transfer credit and will count toward graduation as applicable. Information about specific CLEP and DSST tests, equivalent courses, and scores may be obtained from the LDC.
The following conditions apply for CLEP/DSST tests:
1. A student may not receive credit by examination for a course in which he or she has been registered at CCU and received a D, F, ND, W, or Incomplete.
2. A student may earn a maximum of 45 credit hours by examination.
3. Exam credits will not apply to the residency requirements for graduation.
4. A College of Undergraduate Studies (CUS) student may not receive credit by examination for a subject in which the student is currently attending or has already successfully completed a higher-level course or test. For example, a student may not receive credit for Beginning Spanish level II, and then receive credit for a subsequently taken test in Beginning Spanish level I. There must be an upward educational progression in courses that are considered sequential in nature.
5. A student may not receive credit for an examination after already receiving credit for completion of an equivalent course or test. For example, a student may not receive credit for a standard, classroom-type English Composition course and then receive credit for a CLEP test for English Composition. This policy is intended to prevent duplicate credit for specific courses, not general areas of study.
6. A student must pay any special exam fees prior to taking the exam.
The LDC can administer COMPASS tests when requested. Prospective freshman and transfer students with freshman standing who do not have a satisfactory ACT or SAT score may be required by the CUS Admissions Office to take the COMPASS exam before an admission decision is made by the University. Additionally, Education students must obtain specified scores on the COMPASS examination to be fully admitted to the Education program. Please check with the LDC for the current COMPASS costs.
Undeclared Major Advising
Approximately 25% of incoming students begin their CCU experience undecided about their major. The LDC has a variety of resources to assist students in selecting and confirming the right major for them. The LDC also refers students to programming that showcases major options. Students should work with their LDC Advisor to explore their areas of interest, gifting and abilities. It is strongly recommended that students declare a major before completing 60 credits of coursework.
The LDC assists students with planning for their future career goals through the provision of career development resources, individual advising sessions and seminars. Topics include exploring options, clarifying career interests and goals, career confirmation by job shadowing, informational interviewing, and internships. The LDC also provides job search skills such as résumé writing, interviewing, networking skills, and graduate school preparation. There are also opportunities for service learning and ministry placements for students seeking opportunities within the Denver community.
Career service goals of the LDC include helping students identify their skills, interests, and abilities in order to set academic and career goals; teaching students the process of gathering, understanding, and using job market information; increasing students’ effectiveness in conducting a job search; and providing listings of current full- and part-time openings and internships to connect CCU students with local employers.
The LDC provides information and resources to students interested in participating in an internship as a part of their CCU experience. Internships can be done for academic credit, for ministry hours (if an unpaid position), or for personal career development. If pursuing an internship for academic credit, students are required to find out the specific requirements for an approved internship from the school that houses their major. LDC Advisors will work with the student and his/her academic department to ensure that the appropriate paperwork is done for course registration and that the student receives the correct credit for her/his internship experience. If students are paid for the internship, the hours are not eligible for ministry hours.
Ministry Hour Requirements
A distinctive example of CCU’s commitment to preparing graduates for Christian leadership and service is the ministry hour requirement. In order to graduate from the CUS program, every student must complete an average of 45 ministry hours per year for a total of 180 hours of service through a local or international ministry, non-profit organization or business during his or her college career. Transfer students entering CCU’s CUS program must complete 22.5 ministry hours each semester that they attend CCU. Students pursuing an Associate’s degree must also complete 22.5 ministry hours for each semester they attend CCU.
The purpose of the ministry hour requirement is to encourage students to be a light for Christ in the community while exploring different areas of service and vocational calling. Ministry hours are intended to encourage students to explore service opportunities outside the walls of the CCU campus. For this reason, a minimum of 75% of a student’s ministry hours must come from off campus service. Involvement for all students should average 2 to 3 hours a week, with a yearly total of at least 45 hours. Ministry hours may be completed at church, para-church or non church-related organizations. Students cannot accept payment for hours they wish to submit for ministry hour credit. Credit is given for hours of actual service, not for hours spent in preparation for service. For example, hours leading a group Bible Study count, not time spent preparing or traveling to and from the study. Hours that occur during a summer in between semesters that a student is enrolled at CCU can also be submitted.
Examples of experiences that will count towards the off campus ministry hour requirement:
- Mission Trips (40 hours per week of service on actual trip) Student leaders for trips are eligible to count up to 10 additional hours.
- Band/Choir Tours (30 hours per week, up to 90 hours for traditional 8 semester students; transfers can count up to half of their required hours)
- Camp Counselor (40 hours per week of unpaid service)
- Campus sponsored community events such as Harvest Carnival and the Easter Egg Hunt
- Serving with one of the many CCU off campus ministries (Snappers, Whiz Kids, SALT, Fat Boys, Young Life, etc.)
- Para-church ministries
- Non-profit organizations
- Volunteer coaching for an off campus program
- Local church service in a ministry capacity such as: children, youth, facilities, music, sound, etc.
- Field Experience and Student Teaching for Education majors (up to 50% of requirement)
The University recognizes that many campus programs rely on volunteer service. Because of this, a student may count 25% of their total hours needed from service performed on campus. The following activities qualify for these 25%:
- Weekend of Welcome volunteers (up to 20 hours)
- New Student Retreat work crew (up to 20 hours)
- Chapel Set Up/Tear Down
- Leading a Bible Study, D-Group or mentoring
- Host a prospective student (5 hours allowed per time)
- Band/Choir Events (up to 20 hours for traditional 8 semester students; transfer can count 5 hours per year)
- Drama/Dance Presentations
- Admissions Ambassador Program (tour guide)
- Coaching/assisting with on campus clinics/camps
- *Participation in CCU clubs or organizations is not counted towards ministry hours
Please note that any hours performed as a consequence of an infraction (whether through the CCU discipline process or a local, state or federal process) does not count towards the ministry hour requirement.
Because the ministry hour requirement is a key component to graduation, all CUS students, including part-time students, are required to fulfill it. Part-time students must discuss their specific requirements with the Ministry Hour Coordinator in the LDC. All ministry hours must be submitted within one year of completion to count towards the graduation requirement. It is also the responsibility of the student to see that the proper form is completed online and returned to the Life Directions Center. Even when students are told by University staff that they will get hours for service, they must personally log their hours online and turn in their own form to the LDC.
Students wishing to obtain ministry hours for an internship should see the Ministry Hour Coordinator in the LDC. Depending on how many credits they receive and whether or not they are paid, they may be eligible to receive ministry hours for the internship experience. In addition, when students participate in a Study Abroad or Off Campus Program, they should also see the Ministry Hour Coordinator in the LDC for their specific requirements for that semester. It is strongly advised to schedule that meeting prior to studying off campus.
Students who would like ideas or help selecting a service opportunity are encouraged to contact their LDC Advisor in order to discuss what options might be best for them. Students lacking their completed ministry hours will be held from graduation until all hours are fulfilled and approved by the LDC Ministry Hour Coordinator.
The LDC has further information about ministry hours with greater definition and examples of acceptable ministry hours as well as specific service hour opportunities and policies for Music and Education majors.
Study Abroad and Off-Campus Programs
CCU students have the opportunity to participate in study abroad or off campus programs through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), as well as some additional study abroad programs. Students interested in studying abroad may work with their LDC Advisor to research and apply for a study abroad or off campus program. In either CCCU programs or off campus programs, Advisors will help the student in determining if and how the academic credits earned while studying abroad will apply toward the student’s degree requirements before the student makes a decision to participate. This is contingent on the student discussing their interest in studying off campus at least a month before the program’s application deadline. Students will need to work with their Service Central Advisor to determine costs for studying abroad or off campus.
International Student Services
In collaboration with the Department of Undergraduate Admission, the LDC is available to assist international students with their adjustment to life in the United States. Students desiring a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status for American and Language Students (Form I-20) should contact the International Student Coordinator within the LDC for information.
Students with Disabilities and Special Needs
It is the policy of Colorado Christian University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local regulations regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Pursuant to these laws, no qualified individual with a disability shall unlawfully be denied access to or participation in services, programs, or activities at the University. Students with a grievance should consult the appropriate section of this catalog (below) for instructions about how to file a complaint.
In carrying out this policy, CCU recognizes that disabilities include mobility, sensory, health, psychological, and learning disabilities, and will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals, to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so. We are unable, however, to make accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service, or activity. Accommodations are granted when appropriate and relevant documentation is provided to the Life Directions Center. Requests need to be made in a reasonable timeframe in which to review the documentation and create a Letter of Accommodations as well as provide the approved accommodation.
Students with disabilities seeking a Certificate of Accommodations should contact the Life Direction Center in order to receive the Accommodations packet which details the process to request accommodations and the documentation required. Once the checklist in the Accommodations Application is complete, the Certificate of Accommodations will be produced for the student. Reviewing and granting accommodations can take up to eight weeks so students are strongly encouraged to consider that in determining when to begin the application process.
It is the responsibility of the student to provide to her/his professors with a Certificate of Accommodations received through the Life Directions Center. A Certificate of Accommodations must be produced before accommodations can be provided. Accommodations are not given retroactively.
The University makes admissions decisions using criteria that do not consider an individual’s disability. Thus, the University will not impose or apply admission or eligibility criteria that screen out or might screen out individuals based on their disability, unless such criteria are necessary for the provision of the program, service, or activity being offered. Students with disabilities desiring to enroll in any program, service, or activity at the University must be able to meet the minimum standards of the University. The University does not engage in any affirmative action programs for disabled students nor does it consider a student’s disability in evaluating admissions criteria. It is, of course, within the student’s discretion to inform the Admissions Office of a disability if they wish. If this choice is made, the University will not discriminate against the student on the basis of the disability and will make reasonable accommodations when necessary and appropriate.
The Procedure for Students to Dispute Reasonable Accommodation Decisions
Individuals with disabilities who have followed published procedures for requesting accommodations, and have done so in a timely manner, but who believe they have not received appropriate accommodations, may file an appeal.
The procedure for the appeal must be instituted within five days of the student’s written notice that an agreed upon accommodation is not being implemented. The appeals procedure is the sole proces for appealing acommodation-related decisions.
1a. If the dispute involves the failure to implement an accommodation approved by the Life Directions Center, the procedure is as follows: The individual discusses the situation with the professor s/he believes did not provide appropriate accommodation. The Disability Coordinator is available to serve as a consultant in this discussion if either party so requests. If the grievance cannot be settled through dialogue with the professor, the student has the option to immediately submit a written appeal to the Director of the Life Directions Center, providing details about the approved accommodation and how the accommodation has not been granted.
The Director will discuss the grievance with both the student and professor and with the Disability Coordinator if needed. If the grievance cannot be settled at that point, the appeal will be forwarded by the Life Directors Center Director to the appropriate School Dean.
1b. If the dispute involves a student’s concern that the Disability Coordinator has not provided reasonable accommodations, the student should attempt to resolve the matter with the Coordinator directly. If the matter is not settled through dialogue, the student can appeal directly to the Director of the Life Directions Center.
2a. If the grievance is still not settled through the procedure in step one, the student, within five days of being informed of the decision of the Dean, may appeal to the Grievance Committee, which consists of people who are informed on disability issues and the law including the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Development. This committee will review the case and make a final decision for the University on the matter.
The LDC is available to assist CUS Veterans and ROTC students with their unique needs. Students can speak with their LDC Advisor for more information about services provided.