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Academic Affairs

College Support Programs

The Learning Commons

Funded in part by a U.S. Department of Education Title III, Part F STEM grant, the Otero College Learning Commons is home to Wheeler Library, the Venom Pit Coffee Shop, TRiO Student Support Services, and the Academic Success Center. The state-of-the-art facility features updated technology and equipment to facilitate greater learning and collaboration in the STEM fields as well as all areas of academic study.

Wheeler Library

Wheeler Library provides a variety of services including research assistance and technical support. The library offers a large collection of print resources including reference, non-fiction, and fiction books, as well as a wide-range of newspapers, magazines and professional journals and DVDs. Reference titles and several full-text databases are available digitally through the library’s website, which is accessible either in-house or remotely. Library instruction and research support are available to orient students to library services including searching online catalog, accessing research databases, basic internet searching techniques, and website evaluation.

The Internet, including the Otero computer network, is available through a wireless connection so that students can use their own devices. Learning Commons staff can assist students with course reserves, interlibrary loan, holds, finding and checking-out resources, database login issues, and equipment.

Desktop computers are available for student use, laptops are available for on-campus and overnight use, iPads and Apple Pencils can be checked out for three days, and graphing calculators can be checked out for an entire semester. Students also have access to video cameras, video editing software, virtual reality headsets and the Virtual Reality Lab, athletic equipment, games and puzzles, musical instruments (piano keyboards, an acoustic guitar, and ukulele), headphones, school supply kits, rolling white boards, and study rooms.

Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center (ASC) is adjacent to Wheeler Library in the Learning Commons. The ASC provides students with additional areas to study independently and in group settings. Students who visit the Academic Success Center can make appointments with  of our Professional Academic Support Specialist (PASS) Team for business, math, science, or writing assistance, or with members of our Student Engagement and Educational Development (SEED) Team who serve as course navigators and provide assistance in a variety of courses. All assistance provide through the PASS Team and SEED Team is free of charge.

Group tutoring and interactive experiences that supplement classroom lectures and labs are held daily in the Academic Success Center. Commonly referred to as the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Sessions, students can attend these sessions free of charge to gain the additional support and understanding they need or success in their math and science courses. Anatomy and Physiology models, Apple TVs, games and other assistive learning devices are available for student use.

TRiO Student Support Services

TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program is a federally-funded TRiO Program under the U.S. Department of Education. This program focuses on students who are first-generation, low-income, and/or students who have a documented disability. The goal of the program is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from one level of higher education to the next. All services are provided free of charge to TRiO Student Support Services participants. Services provided by TRiO include:

  • Academic Advising
  • Career Exploration
  • Personal Counseling
  • Community Referrals
  • Financial aid assistance and resources
  • Tutorial services – individual, group, or drop-in tutoring
  • Workshops and cultural events – skills, budgeting, and museum tours, etc.
  • Transfer assistance to four-year colleges and universities including tours, applications, financial aid and scholarship searches
  • Textbook assistance program

The Center is located in Wheeler Hall, Learning Commons/Academic Success Center. For further information call 719-384-6835.

Services for Students with Disabilities

Students with documented disabilities should contact the Disability Services Specialist located in Learning Commons, Room 118, or call 719-384-6862 about free services to assist them. Services include: tutoring, note takers, readers/writers for tests, time for in-class reading/writing, in-class aide for reading/writing, accommodation of physical setting in classroom, tape recorded lectures, enlarged print on handouts/tests, sign language and oral interpreting, adaptive equipment, alternative testing, software/hardware accommodations and other specialized academic procedures.

Procedures for Documentation of Disability

Students with a disability are required to contact the Disability Services Specialist at 719-384-6862, if they need assistance. The specialist will evaluate the documentation of disability, facilitate reasonable and appropriate accommodations, and monitor academic progress. It is the responsibility of the student to supply adequate documentation of disability and bear the cost of provision of such documentation. When documentation is received, the student and the specialist determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations and details for permission to conference. Instructors in each of the student’s classes are then notified of necessary accommodations. For more information, call: 719-384-6862.


Tutoring Support

Students have numerous options to find additional academic support through group and individual tutoring sessions.

Writing Center for English, Reading, Writing

Students enrolled in Developmental Education English courses, as well as all students enrolled in English and writing courses, can access free tutorial services in the Writing Center, located in the Academic Success Center/Learning Commons. The Writing lab is staffed by English faculty and peer tutors who work individually with students as well as in group sessions. Drop-in’s are welcome as well as by appointment. For more information call 719-384-6849.

Math Center

The Math Center is located in McBride Hall, Room 129. The Math Center is open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The College’s full-time math faculty are officed in this area as well as two full-time math tutors. Students can drop in or make appointments to work individually or in groups for specific math courses. For more information call 719-384-6862.

Nursing Tutoring

Nursing students can access tutoring support through faculty and peer tutoring sessions as well as organized group study sessions. For more information call 719-384-6878.

Science Tutoring

Students enrolled in many of the science courses at Otero can attend daily and weekly Science PLUS Sessions. PLUS Sessions are supplemental instruction sessions that provide hands-on group tutoring for specific courses. Students have access to hands-on learning resources such as Anatomy and Physiology models, Apple TVs and other assistive learning devices. PLUS Sessions are held in the Academic Success Center Collaboration Room. For more information call 719-384-6860.

TRiO Tutoring

Students who are participants in the TRiO Student Support Services program have access to free tutoring either on a drop-in basis, by appointment, or though organized group study sessions. TRiO tutoring is offered in the Academic Success Center. For more information call 719-384-6835.

Other Tutoring

Staff tutors offer other tutoring support to students in the Student Success Center, usually by appointment. Peer tutors are also available in the Academic Success Center during the day and into the evenings on a drop-in basis. For more information call 719-384-6835.

Hybrid Courses & Desire to Learn

Otero Hybrid Courses

Otero College’s hybrid courses provide students some flexibility in how their courses are delivered. Students will have scheduled face-to-face meetings with Otero instructors and through the use of the Internet will utilize a Learning Management System (LMS) to access course materials, complete reading and writing assignments, take exams, and communicate with the instructor and other students.

Otero hybrid courses are not independent study or self-paced, they are instructor-paced. Students may contact their instructor via phone, email, or personal visits. Each course is a normal one-semester Otero course. Courses offered as hybrid courses may vary each semester.

Students will need to be proficient with computers to access the Internet, reply to emails, and send attachments. Students also need to assume responsibility as a full partner in their Otero hybrid learning process.


Hybrid Courses Tips for Success

• Attend the on-campus orientation/tutorial session offered each semester.
• Read your course syllabus carefully. This has all the information regarding your responsibilities as well as add/drop and withdraw dates.
• Log into your class right away and often to view new postings, assignments and tests.
• Communicate with your instructors often; they are your contact for the course.
• Expect to commit as much time to a hybrid class as would be required for a traditional class.

Students who do not have access to a computer may find computers available in the Learning Commons.

Desire2Learn (D2L)

Otero uses a learning management program called Desire2Learn (D2L) that uses the Internet for course content delivery for both traditional classes and those that are taught as hybrids (online). The web-based platform allows students to access and submit assignments, take exams, and communicate with the instructor and other students. Instructors can add to their (D2L) courses additional tools such as discussion boards along with content such as documents, video and web pages. (D2L) is endorsed as the web platform for all colleges in the Colorado Community College System.

Desire2Learn (D2L) Support

Support for D2L is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For assistance log onto: Self-help Searches: Search this website for solutions to the most common problems. Support over the Phone: Call toll-free any time (888) 800-9198. Support via Chat: Chat with an analyst to ask questions in real time. Submit a Problem: Don’t have time to troubleshoot now? Send a help request and the staff will contact you.

High School Equivalency

(formerly known as General Education Development-GED)

Earning a High School Equivalency Certificate is an alternative to earning a High School Diploma and is granted by the Department of Education for the State of Colorado upon successful completion of one of the three testing programs, GED, TASC or HiSET. The HSE program is open to persons 17 and older who are no longer attending High School.

BUENO HEP/HSE, sponsored by the University of Colorado’s BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, is a High School Equivalency Program (HEP) that offers instruction in the subject and skill areas necessary to help students with job-entry level studies. Actual length of study varies with the individual’s educational abilities. In addition, simulated tests are administered to determine readiness for appropriate college-level classes and for the official HSE tests. At that time, the student and instructor evaluate the student’s progress.

The BUENO HEP/HSE Center is located in Humanities Center, Room 130. For additional information, interested students should contact the BUENO HEP office 719-384-6848.

Developmental Education

The Pathways

Developmental Education – Math Pathways

Otero College offers pathways to 100-level Math courses based on the student’s career or major area of interest. Students receive advising to help them choose the appropriate path and determine readiness for the initial math course for their career and/or transfer goals. Quantitative Literacy includes only content necessary for success in Non-STEM and Non-Transfer Math courses. STEM Prep includes content necessary for success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Learning support co-requisites provide additional structured support to students who are close to the placement score and would like to enroll in the next course in their chosen sequence.

Developmental Education – English/Reading Pathways

Otero College offers an accelerated model that provides students with the opportunity to enter a 100-level class no later than their second term of enrollment. After preliminary assessment, students will be placed in courses that offer supplemental instruction to encourage success. These include a non-credit option for placement tutoring; co-requisite, credit-based lab support for College Reading and Composition coursework; integrated reading and writing linked to 100-level courses; and co-requisite integrated reading and writing paired with transfer level college composition courses.

Special Programs

Special and Affiliated College Programs

Colorado Community College Online (CCCOnline)

Associate degrees and certificates through Colorado Community College Online (CCCOnline) offers opportunities to take traditional and specialized classes over the Internet. Students register at Otero College and receive training from a system online instructor. For further details, go to: or

Technical Requirements
CCCOnline delivers its courses on the D2L course management platform. In order for you to get the most out of the courses, the browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) you are using needs to be configured to be compatible with the D2L system. Click on the Browser Diagnostics page to run a quick check of your D2L browser to make sure it works optimally with D2L.


Child Development Services

Child Development Services (CDS) has been a sponsored agency of Otero College since 1974. It is the mission of Otero College Child Development Services to provide high quality, comprehensive early childhood education programs for children from birth through 6 years old; to provide parent education programs that strengthen the family, develop basic literacy, encourage job training and personal development; and to develop community partnerships and coordination of community based services.

CDS administers three federally funded early childhood programs – Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and Early Head Start. These nation-wide, federally funded programs help low-income children, their families, and communities overcome the effects of poverty and help prepare children to start school.

In addition to Head Start programs, CDS administers the Colorado Preschool Program for East Otero School District. CDS provides services to over 900 children annually throughout a nine county area in southern Colorado. CDS can be contacted at: 719-384-3100.

Community Involvement Opportunities

Chinook – Chinook is a publication of writing and art. Otero students, faculty, staff, and community members can contribute original art, poetry, and prose ranging from personal essays to short stories. The magazine is compiled, coordinated, laid out, and printed under the direction of an appointed student editor. Chinook is published during spring semester.

Otero Dance Program – The Otero Dance Program is dedicated to the principle that those who have the desire to dance should have an opportunity to do so. Movement education is the central focus for the youngest dancers; however, older students may choose from the more traditional disciplines of ballet, tap, modern, and jazz. The program also offers specialized movement classes. Students can register before the beginning of each semester by calling 719-384-6812.

Otero Arts Festival – Each year, junior high and high school students are invited to participate in juried art and writing competition. The Otero Arts Festival, organized by college personnel, is held on the campus and is open to the public. Scholarships, cash, and ribbon awards are presented to the winners.

Theatre Productions – The public is invited to attend and participate in the theatre performances staged by the college and community. The Otero Players present quality productions fall and spring semesters in the Ed Stafford Theatre, located in the Humanities Center.

Degree Partnerships

Special and Affiliated College Programs

Statewide Articulation Agreements

As a member of the Colorado Community College System, Otero College can provide our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees, transfer agreements with four-year institutions. To review a full list of transfer agreements, go to:

Students may transfer 31 credits of completed general education course work (with a grade of “C” or better in each course) to most public colleges in Colorado. Students who complete an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree are guaranteed to transfer 60 credit hours of courses required for those degrees to a four-year school, once they have been accepted for admission. Students who follow this plan should be able to finish a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree within another 60 credit hours.
Some degrees may exceed the typical 120 credit hours required to successfully graduate. Statewide articulation agreements for the following professional degree programs prescribe specific general education courses and degree requirements: Business; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Engineering; and Nursing.

Otero College works closely with the following 4-year colleges and universities

Adams State University 
Students can take their first two years of course work at Otero College, then complete their final two years with ASC, either online or on the Adams State University campus in Alamosa.

Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christian University and the Community College System (CCCS) have worked together to create helpful transfer guides for students who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree at CCU. The transfer guides show students which courses at their Colorado community college will transfer to a specific CCU degree program. Otero students who earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree are guaranteed admission to CCU’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies for up to 12 months after graduation with a degree or program certificate.

Colorado State University-Pueblo  Students can take their first two years of course work at Otero College in all of Otero’s recognized Programs of Study (see Degree Programs section of this catalog), then complete their final two years with CSU-Pueblo.

Colorado State University-Fort Collins 
Otero College, in cooperation with Colorado State University – Fort Collins, has developed a two-year Associate of Science degree track with an emphasis in Agriculture in three different areas: Agriculture Business, Animal Science, and Soil and Crop Science. Upon successful completion, the degree, and all classes associated with the degree, will transfer seamlessly into the CSU-Fort Collins College of Agricultural Science where a student can earn a bachelor’s degree with an additional 60 hours of credit.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 
Otero is working closely with UCCS to develop several programs of study that will result in seamless transfer, including pre-engineering and nursing

Colorado Mesa University
After Otero students complete the Law Enforcement Training Certificate program at Otero they have the option to continue their education and earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement at Otero.

A transfer agreement with Colorado Mesa University allows Otero students who have completed the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement to continue their career advancement by earning a Bachelor of Science degree at CMU in Public Administration/ Public Safety through an online distance education learning format.

Fort Hays State University
Otero College and Fort Hays State University have developed a transfer and articulation agreement to facilitate the transition of students with academic credit or Associate Degrees from Otero to FHSU. This agreement is specific for students who wish to transfer into the Bachelor’s of Science Information Systems Engineering program.

University of Colorado Denver
Otero College and the University of Colorado Denver, have developed an innovative partnership to offer a bachelor’s degree in elementary education that can be completed in its entirety at Otero.  After successful completion of the four-year program, participants will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Human Development with elementary licensure from CU Denver.

Special Articulation Agreements in Agriculture

Otero College has developed special articulation agreements in agriculture with the following 4-year colleges and universities

New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science 
The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University has signed a 2 + 2 agreement with Otero College that allows students with an Associate of Science degree in Agriculture Business, Animal Science or Soil and Crop Science to transfer seamlessly and complete a Bachelor of Science degree.

West Texas A & M University 
Otero College, in cooperation with West Texas A & M University, has developed a two-year Associate of Science degree track in agriculture with areas of emphasis in Agriculture Business, Animal Science, and Soil and Crop Science. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements, students can transfer seamlessly to WTAMU to complete a Bachelor of Science degree.

Oklahoma Panhandle State University 
Otero in cooperation with Oklahoma Panhandle State University, has developed an articulation agreement for an Associate of Science degree in Agriculture Business, Animal Science and Soil and Crop Science to a Bachelor of Science degree as OPSU. The intent of the agreement will be seamless transfer in those emphasis areas.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Otero in cooperation with Northwestern Oklahoma State University, has developed an articulation agreement for an Associate of Science degree in Animal Science and Soil and Crop Science to a Bachelor of Science degree as NWOSU. The intent of the agreement will be seamless transfer in those emphasis areas. 

Affiliated Programs

Special and Affiliated College Programs

President’s Leadership Program (PLP)

Sponsored by the Otero College Foundation

An academic certificate in Leadership at Otero College requires 12-credit hours of study and is limited to scholars who are accepted into the President’s Leadership Program. The mission of the President’s Leadership Program (PLP) is to develop and train emerging leaders at Otero College through a one- or two-year academic leadership program. The objective of PLP is to provide academic, experiential and service learning programs designed to foster and cultivate leaders who are: Ethical, visionary, critical and innovative thinkers, committed to action, empowering of others, rational and intuitive, open to possibilities and servants of the broader good. The program serves as a bridge between Otero College and the greater community by continually developing partnerships with area leaders, businesses and community service organizations.

The program requires two core leadership courses and additional elective courses from a wide-variety of academic programs on campus. Students must complete the 6-credit hour leadership core plus an additional 6-credits of electives with a grade of “B” or higher to receive the certificate.

Service Learning

PLP places an emphasis on community service and civic engagement in order to help scholars develop a social awareness, civic responsibility and interconnectedness. A total of 120 service learning hours will be required over the course of the program.

Experiential Learning

PLP scholars will be given opportunities to learn about leadership through numerous hands-on experiences throughout their one or two years in the program. This will be provided, but not limited to, annual leadership workshops and conferences, lectures from recognized leaders and opportunities for leadership positions on campus and in the community. As part of this experience, students will become an active member of Phi Theta Kappa or other approved organization.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on leadership potential, intellectual curiosity and commitment to something outside one’s self. Scholars will be chosen based on:
– A minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average is required to apply.
– Completed written application that includes an essay question and examples of leadership and service experiences
– Two letters of recommendation
– High School or college transcripts
– Personal interview

For more information about the President’s Leadership Program, contact Program Director Samme Ormiston at 719-384- 6850 or

Southeast Colorado Resource Enterprise Center (SCORE)

The economic development programs that were housed on campus at the SCORE Center have now relocated. Please see the appropriate program manager contact information listed below.

The Grant Resource Office provides Otero College with grant research, exploration and writing services to help provide additional scholarships, support and programming for Otero students. 

The Small Business Development Center works with future and existing small businesses in Otero, Bent,
Crowley, Prowers, Baca and Kiowa counties to develop business plans and create successful enterprises.

La Junta Economic Development facilitates business retention, expansion and attraction in the region through the
formation of partnerships.

Otero County Economic Development works toward the expansion and attraction of business and industry to the

 Direct lines to each office are:
• Otero Grant Resource Office: 719-241-4992
• Small Business Development Center:
• Otero County Economic Development: 719-241-4992
• La Junta Economic Development: 719-671-9499


Southern Colorado Educational Opportunity Center

The Southern Colorado Educational Opportunity Center (SCEOC) is a federally sponsored satellite program that assists low-income and first generation individuals to pursue post-secondary educational goals. Admission application procedures, financial aid preparation, career, and educational planning are some of the services offered through the SCEOC. Call 719-384-6852 for more information or visit the Otero office in McBride Hall, Room 150.

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