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Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC)

Merging excellence in education with the innovation of industry.

We bring a widely diverse group of students together in courses like Aviation, Automotive, Business, Hospitality, IT, Manufacturing, Construction, and Healthcare. Our classrooms are the intersection of industry credentials, college credit, professional skills, and industry-grade equipment and standards. By doing this we connect student interests with labor needs to serve our community.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

Web presence






Target group
Students upper
December 2023
We hope that every student can engage in authentic, hands-on education that provides access to meaningful college AND career preparation. Students should have the opportunity to start a career debt-free, with real and meaningful industry certifications, and with the door to higher education propped wide open.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

To serve the 18,000 high school students from across our school district, especially those students who find traditional education methods disengaging. We also address the needs of our local, state, and regional labor needs while helping students in the process of identity assumption: the time when they adopt the persona of a successful adult.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Students come to us for approximately 25% of their high school year. We work with industry, community and higher education partners to best replicate authentic learning environments and challenges for students.

As just one example, one industry partner of our Advanced Manufacturing pathway came to us to make highly specific and technical parts for the cabling-switch boxes for satellite launches. Our students get to experience the authentic iterative conversation with a client resulting in a real product that is critical to get exactly right (and will be launched into space!)

We strive to provide as authentic an experience for student learning as possible, which is why, for example, our construction program builds five tiny homes each year that meet city/county code for a homeless community. Our Aviation program is the first high school program in the country offering FAA certifications to students in commercial drone piloting, private pilot ground school, and aviation mechanics.

How has it been spreading?

We host over 200 tours of our campus each year so that school district and educational institutions can see what we're doing and how we are meeting the needs of our students. While about half of these tours are educational partners, the other half are industries, community organizations, governmental figures, and community members interested in seeing what we are doing.

Additionally, we travel as we can to learn from our peer institutions across the country as we look to grow and expand our work.

Finally, as we can, we share our work and successes/challenges to date at conferences, meetings, etc.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Come visit! We host many tours where students are glad to share their learning and share how this model of education has enhanced their learning.

While many people assume they know what high schools look like, we often hear that they needed to see the CCIC to truly understand what we do here. Come visit and see for yourself!

Implementation steps

Community Need
Survey both student career interest as well as industry/community need. From there, determine which career paths can lead to a "stackable" certification, an industry-recognized certification that leads to a family-sustaining wage and is not a deadend. The certification students earn as an 18 year old should be something they can "stack" or build seamlessly onto as a part of successfully starting a career.

Spread of the innovation

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