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:
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- Advisors in the LDC provide information and resources to assist students in knowing their degree requirements and meeting their specific educational goals in the time frame the student sets. This includes access to online degree plans, course planning, rotations and prerequisites to meet the general education and specific degree requirements for graduation. Advisors are available to guide students’ course selections each semester to help students take the courses in the correct sequencing for their academic programs.
- Students are responsible for their degree progression and completion. Students should check their planned sequencing of courses on a semester or annual basis to ensure they are meeting all degree requirements and prerequisites. It is also the responsibility of students 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 students 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 review in their sophomore year. This needs to be completed prior to spring semester registration. In the senior year, a graduation application is due by registration the semester before a student plans to graduate.
Students are expected to be aware of their academic performance in their courses. Students can determine this by tracking their completed assignments and grades from the syllabus requirements. Many faculty also post grades within Blackboard, which can calculate current grade; although students need to be careful to check if all their grades have posted as that can raise or lower a course grade.
To assist students in succeeding academically, CCU also runs a 4 week and 8 week formal academic alert process each semester in which faculty are invited to review course grades within their classes and identify students who are passing or struggling in their course. CCU identifies course grades below a C- as indicating a possible academic struggle. The LDC Student Success Coordinator and advisors reach out to these students to offer support, encouragement and resources. Because a student’s grade can change very rapidly, depending on completion and grading of assignments and various other factors, these processes will not identify every struggling student. The responsibility remains on the student to know their academic performance and reach out to faculty or their LDC advisor if he or she is struggling; however, our academic alert process is designed to reach out when we are aware of potential struggles.
Student Success Services
The LDC provides a variety of services to promote the development of new skills or the improvement of current abilities. These services include a Student Success course for conditionally admitted students, workshops offered by expert faculty and staff, and individual appointments with LDC advisors. The LDC staff has information and resources on time management, test taking skills, study habits, and other issues that impact students’ success in college. (Many of these resources are also available online on the LDC tab of my.ccu.edu.) Each student has different strengths, weaknesses, and needs, and the LDC staff encourage students to try and adopt methods that work for their unique personality and learning style. Students who are on probation or are conditionally admitted to the University also benefit from many of these services. Specific, additional information is available for probation or conditionally admitted students in the Academic Policies section.
The LDC also partners with faculty to provide assistance to students who show an academic struggle throughout a semester. Student success services are available for all students.
Peer Tutors are available to provide free tutoring for enrolled CUS students in a select number of classes. Students can request individual tutoring by e-mailing 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.edu student portal under the Life Directions Center link or by speaking with their LDC Advisor.
College-Level Examinations Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) Testing Policy
Colorado Christian University will accept applicable credits for students who score at or above CCU established levels on specified CLEP and DSST tests. Scores for granting credit are determined by the CCU Dean’s Council, with consideration given to the recommended scores by the American Council on Education (ACE). Credit received will be treated as transfer credit and will count toward graduation as applicable. For CUS students, please contact the LDC for information about specific CLEP and DSST equivalency information and restrictions. For CAGS students, please contact your SSA for your program’s equivalency and restriction information.
CCU does not provide CLEP/DSST testing on campus but can provide information on local testing centers. Official CLEP or DSST transcripts must be received by CCU for transfer credits to apply.
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, WF, 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 the test in Beginning Spanish Level I. In other words, 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.
Undeclared Major Program
Approximately 25% of incoming students begin their CCU experience undecided about their major. The LDC advisor for undeclared students coordinates an Undeclared Major Program that has a variety of resources to assist students in selecting and confirming the right major for them. This program assists students in exploring their areas of interest, gifting and abilities. It is strongly recommended that students declare a major before completing 60 credits of coursework.
The LDC is available to assist all students with prayerfully discerning how calling can be connected to their college experience and their future plans. Students are encouraged to pursue academic, ministry, job and leadership opportunities to identify their God given talents and interests and how those can be used for God’s kingdom purposes. LDC advisors can help students learn more about their interests, talents, skills, spiritual gifts, and personality and how those may interact with vocation, ministry, and hobbies. The LDC offers several assessments such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, and StrengthsQuest that are some tangible tools to explore and confirm some elements of calling. Students are also encouraged to try new things and to reflect and learn from both their successes and challenges, recognizing that sometimes God puts us in places that greatly use our God given talents and abilities, but we also can fulfill our callings even in places where our weaknesses show his strength. We want students to build a foundation of calling that is about who they are in Christ and how that interacts with vocation, ministry and hobbies. The LDC can assist or refer students to CCU staff organizing service learning opportunities (LDC), ministry placements (LDC), and jobs (EMS) within the Denver community to explore and confirm calling.
Ministry Hours Requirements
A distinctive example of CCU’s commitment to preparing graduates for Christian leadership and service is the ministry hours requirement. In order to graduate from the CUS program, every student must complete a ministry hours requirement. Total hours required are based on the number of semesters a student attends CCU (22.5 hrs/semester). For a traditional four year student, that will be 180 hours of service. Students pursuing an Associate degree must also complete 22.5 ministry hours for each semester they attend CCU. Because of the structure of ministry hours and ease of accomplishing these hours in the years that students are enrolled at CCU, waivers for these hours or the ministry hours requirement will not be granted. The Weekend of Welcome is the first opportunity for new students to obtain ministry hours.
The purpose of the ministry hours requirement is to encourage students to develop a lifestyle of service to others and have the opportunity to explore different areas of service and vocational calling. The heart of the ministry hours requirement is to encourage students to branch out of their comfort zone and explore ways to serve people outside of their immediate circle. For this reason, a maximum of 25% of a student’s ministry hours can be service to those within the CCU community (On Campus Hours). Ministry hours may be completed at church, para-church or non church-related organizations and businesses.
Students cannot accept payment for hours they wish to submit for ministry hours. 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. Because CCU has several courses and internships where a student can earn academic credit for serving people and organizations, students can submit up to 25% of their ministry hours requirement from those courses. If the internship is paid, it does not qualify for ministry hours.
Examples of “Off Campus” ministry hours:
- Mission Trips (Hours of actual service: typically 8 hrs/day, 40 hrs/wk) Student leaders for trips are eligible to count up to 10 additional hours.
- Camp Counselor (Typically 8 hrs/day, 40 hrs/wk of unpaid service)
- Worship Team or Leader (Up to 1 hr/wk for rehearsal and 1 hr per church 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, Westside Ministry, Freedom Ministry, SFC, Sojourners, etc.)
- Volunteer organizations, churches, para-church ministries, etc.
- Help for families in a local community such as childcare, yard work, house cleaning, visits with the elderly, etc. (Please serve those outside your immediate family.
- Internships, Student Teaching, Music Ensembles (Band/Choir Tours), etc. (up to 25% of requirement). It is your responsibility to submit these hours; they are not submitted automatically.
The University recognizes that many campus programs rely on volunteer service and that students would like this service to count for ministry hours. This category of service is termed “On Campus Hours”, and a student may submit 25% of their total ministry hours from service to the CCU corporate community. Students are not required to submit “On Campus Hours” and can choose to do all their ministry hours through “Off Campus Hours”.
The following service activities to the CCU community qualify as “On Campus” ministry hours:
- 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 (up to 30 hours per year for D-group)
- Host a prospective student (5 hours per Preview. An extra 2 hrs can be added per additional students or nights)
- Band/Choir Events for the CCU community (up to 20 hours for traditional 8 semester students; transfers can count 5 hours per year)
- Admissions Ambassador Program (tour guide) (up to 1 hour per tour)
- Coaching/assisting with on-campus clinics/camps
- President’s Circle Dinner
The Ministry Hours Coordinator reserves the right to determine whether hours count as on campus or off campus.
All ministry hours must be submitted within one year of completion to count towards the graduation requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to submit their hours to the LDC. Please see the LDC website on my.ccu.edu for instructions on how to submit ministry hours or talk to your LDC advisor. Even when students are told by University staff that they will get hours for service, they must personally submit their hours to the LDC.
Please note that any hours performed for the following do not count towards the ministry hours requirement:
- Participation in CCU clubs or organizations
- Participation in CCU athletic team fundraisers (such as volunteering at a Broncos game)
- Hours performed as a consequence of an infraction (whether through the CCU discipline process or a local, state or federal process)
Because ministry hours are a graduation requirement, 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. Because a student could reasonably complete their ministry hours requirement in 3 years, no ministry hours are waived for Study Abroad or Student Teaching semesters.
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 do not graduate from CCU until all hours are fulfilled, submitted and approved. (Students may be allowed to participate in Commencement, but degrees are not conferred, and diplomas are not delivered, until the ministry hours requirement and chapel requirement are completed and approved.)
The LDC has further information about ministry hours as well as potential service sites here in the Denver area on the LDC website within my.ccu.edu.
Study Abroad and Off-Campus Programs
CCU students have the opportunity to participate in study abroad or off campus programs through BestSemster, a program sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Additionally, CCU has affiliation agreements with American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), CIS Abroad, International Studies Abroad (ISA), Study Abroad Lithuania at LCC International University, the King’s College NYC Semester, Veritas Christian Study Abroad, and Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI). Affiliation agreements with these providers ensure that CCU students receive discounts on their application and/or program fees.
Students interested in studying abroad or off campus can work with their LDC advisor and the LDC Study Abroad Coordinator to research and apply for a study abroad or off campus program. For CCCU programs or other off campus programs, advisors will help the student to determine 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 to study off campus at least a month before the program’s application deadline. Students will also need to work with the Study Abroad Representative in Service Central to determine the cost of studying abroad or off campus, as well as available financial aid. CCU students cannot apply their CCU Institutional aid toward an off campus program, though federal aid, state aid, and some private scholarships may be applicable.
International Student Services
In collaboration with the Department of Undergraduate Admission, the LDC administrates appropriate government paperwork such as a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status for American and Language Students (Form I-20) for international students studying at CCU. The LDC International Student Services Coordinator is also available to assist international students with their adjustment to life in the United States. Students desiring more information are encouraged to contact the LDC.
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 curriculum, 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 time frame in which to review the documentation and create a Certificate of Accommodations as well as provide the approved accommodation.
Students with disabilities seeking a Certificate of Accommodations can contact the Life Direction Center or access the information online at the Disability Services website in order to receive the Accommodations packet which details the process to request accommodations and the documentation required. Once the Accommodations Application is complete, including the requested documentation/verification of the disability, 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 and the specific program. 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 process for appealing accommodation-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 Life Directions Center Director.
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.