For those looking for secondary education in the health sciences, Pikes Peak Community College's Rampart Range Campus offers an affordable and convenient experience.

PPCC has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1975, and, at the Rampart campus, offers nursing, dental assisting and other advanced science courses. Graduates report high success rates, with a 98 percent pass rate on the national nursing exam and 98 percent job placement rates in the Culinary Arts program.

The college's foundation has doubled its fundraising size from $700,000 in 2015 to $1.4 million last year, most of which is funneled into scholarship funding. Forty-three percent of the students receive financial aid from grants or scholarships and 24 percent from federal student loans.

With an average class size of 16, PPCC strives to offer students individualized attention. Combined with PPCC's flexible class times and locations - including online and weekend classes - the class size is one of the reasons that PPCC awarded 3,761 degrees and certificates in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Rampart campus at 11195 Highway 83 is one of the college's three locations in Colorado Springs. The Centennial Campus at 5675 S. Academy Blvd., is the college's hub for career and technical degrees such as auto-tech, culinary arts and welding. For the career and technical students who graduated in 2016, 66 percent were placed in a job, and 95 percent are either employed or have continued their education.

The Downtown Studio Campus at 100 W. Pikes Peak Ave. emphasizes arts and other creative fields like dance, theatre, multimedia and graphic design. For more information, go to www.ppcc.edu.

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Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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