Local representative from Central Arizona College, San Tan Center.
The San Tan Center, located in The Shops at Copper Basin, has nine classrooms including a computer lab, science lab, a testing center, and offices for faculty and staff. The center offers university transfer courses to accommodate new, continuing, and transfer students.
Students at the San Tan Center can apply for admission, meet with an advisor regarding academic goals, and register for classes. Learning resources, including tutoring, are available at the center as well. Workshops are scheduled for career and student employment services and
Website URL: http://www.centralaz.edu
Address2474 E. Hunt Highway, Suite 100
CitySan Tan Valley
State or ProvinceAZ
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – For the second consecutive year, Poston Butte High School has won the Pinal County High School Culinary Arts Competition hosted by Central Arizona College. The competition’s trophy, which has been in the school’s possession for the last year, will return for another 12-month stay.
A total of five high schools competed and were judged on production in the kitchen, plate presentation, and taste of their food. All teams were required to make a meal consisting of pork schnitzel, braised red cabbage, potato pancakes and apple strudel.
“All of the students on all of the teams did well,” Chef Carol Bennett, CAC’s culinary arts coordinator, said. “The competition gave them a taste of what it’s like to prepare a meal in a pressure environment. Even with that, the food still tasted great and was well-presented.”
Each team had 90 minutes to complete two sets of the meal, one for plate presentation and the other for tasting. Maricopa, Santa Cruz, Casa Grande Union and Vista Grande high schools all participated along with Poston Butte.
-- www.centralaz.edu --
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Central Arizona College’s Communication Division has seen its student enrollment increase for the fourth consecutive year.
Valerie Jensen, chair of the division, illustrated the growth during a presentation given to CAC’s Governing Board during its monthly meeting on Oct. 18 at the Signal Peak Campus.
As the college’s enrollment has grown, so has the number of students who are required to take the division’s courses. Students need these skills to be competitive in the workplace, earn their associate degrees, or transfer to a state university.
“We’ve had these requirements for quite some time, so that hasn’t changed,” Jensen said, also proud of the fact that CAC has led the charge among two-year colleges by requiring students to take speech communication courses.
The division offers numerous classes that students can apply to the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC), including those in written and oral communication, the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, intensive writing and critical inquiry and cultural awareness.
The division also offers courses in four languages, including Spanish, French, American Sign Language and even Chinese.
“Given the economic climate of the world, and the fact that Chinese is the most widely-spoken language in the world natively, I think it’s important that we follow the recent trend in higher education and offer it among our other foreign language courses.”
This year, CAC’s Communication Division guarantees that its courses will transfer into three degrees at Arizona State University, with more on the way next year. CAC students can seamlessly transfer into bachelor of art degrees in Spanish, English and communication through the college.
The division, which boasts 83 faculty members, also participates in an exchange program with Northeastern University in China. Four professors from the university have taught at CAC since 2005 with Yujie Zhao instructing this semester. Conversely, CAC Communication Division faculty have taught at the university with speech communication professor Debbie Foster getting the honor in the fall of 2010. In addition, Felipe Ramos from Universidad Federal de Bahia in Salvador, Brazil, taught at CAC in the spring of 2011.
The Communication Division is offering dual enrollment for its English 101 and 102 courses this semester through three Pinal County high schools: Coolidge, J.O. Combs (San Tan Valley) and Apache Junction.
Orientation to College provides new and returning students and their families the opportunity to connect with other students, faculty and staff. One-day orientations include topics ranging from how to get connected to student activities, locate academic resources and be successful at Central Arizona College...just to name a few.
Don't miss out on this great opportunity! Hope to see you there.
To register for Orientation to College, please visit the link below:
By Ashton Graham
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Kady Bryant, 19, has been a performer her whole life.
“My entire high school career was nothing but plays and flag line,” Bryant, who attended Apache Junction High School, said.
After high school, Bryant became a Promise for the Future scholar at CAC’s Superstition Mountain Campus. At SMC she was able to explore the field of science by taking chemistry and biology courses, but something was still missing.
While browsing Facebook, Bryant came upon a link posted by a friend that sparked her interest. That click ultimately led her to interviews, applications, callbacks, and to where she is today - a contestant in the running for Miss Arizona in the Miss USA pageant.
“I’ve been going through withdrawals,” Bryant joked. “When you’re passionate about something, you miss it. This beauty pageant is different from my past experiences, but it’s another chance for me to perform.”
Bryant is among the 80 percent of approximately 70-80 Miss Arizona contestants who will be entering a pageant for the first time, according to the pageant directors.
“My parents were skeptical at first, but I researched the pageant and made sure it wasn’t a scam.”
Bryant said her friends are really excited for her. She also receives emotional support from the director, Britt Boyse, who gives her ideas on how to the raise money to be eligible to compete.
Bryant must raise $1,100 to participate in the pageant and the first half of the payment is due Oct. 25. She has raised $350 so far from organizations and family donations.
Businesses that sponsor Bryant will receive advertisement in the form of their logo printed in the program books as well as displayed on the website for a year. As she searches for other sponsors, Bryant said she receives her fair share of “No’s.”
“It can be hard to stay up beat,” Bryant said, but she looks forward to the workshops that will train her in all the aspects of pageantry such as hair, makeup, wardrobe, interview skills, walking and poise.
“Theater teaches you how to get onto a stage and be someone else, and this will teach me how to get onto a stage and be myself.”
The Miss Arizona pageant will take place on Nov. 19-20 at the Mesa Arts Center, and Bryant seems excited and confident in almost all areas.
“I have to wear four-inch heels; I’m a little nervous about that,” she said.
Bryant plans on graduating from CAC in the spring with her associate of science degree and then hopes to transfer to the University of Arizona. She is majoring in biology and envisions working in a hospital lab someday.
-- www.centralaz.edu --
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Dora Tompkins has been coordinating educational and social events from an early age, and as the new Community Events Coordinator, she has big plans for Central Arizona College.
“Determined” and “organized” were a few of the words Tompkins used to describe herself; both characteristics that are imperative to execute the meticulous planning and direction of events at CAC.
Tompkins provided some sneak previews of the fall semester outside of the annual events including her support of Nev Kraguljevic, Director of Residence Life, to bring the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to CAC at the end of November, as well as her plan to bring back a CAC float entry for the Electric Light Parades in December.
“I wanted to continue reaching out to the community,” Tompkins explained. “I want to make a difference.”
Tompkins, who earned her master’s degree in education from Arizona State University, has extensive experience working with undergraduates.
During her senior year at ASU, Tompkins pulled together a state-wide student-led conference on volunteer and service planning, accomplishing one of her greatest milestones.
“We invited student leaders to come together from all over the state to learn and collaborate,” she said. “It made a lot of difference in a lot of lives.”
She since has developed further skills and understanding, spanning her professional abilities across leadership, event planning, marketing and project management - to list just a few.
“Most recently, I served on a team that opened the newest Arizona State University campus where I opened and managed the new Student Center,” Tompkins said.
On top of it all, Tompkins still manages to make time for her family.
“I enjoy spending time with my two-year-old daughter,” she said. “I also like to go to the movies and make dates with my husband.”
Tompkins has big aspirations for CAC and said she has had a great experience working here so far.
“CAC reaches out to the community and to Pinal County. I enjoy that and I appreciate them for doing that,” she said. “I like to do events for the community, both educational and entertaining; I enjoy being a part of that.”
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Pinal County high school students who dream of attending college don’t have to wait until they receive their diplomas to realize that dream.
Central Arizona College has opened registration for its spring 2012 offering of Early College, a program that provides high school students an opportunity to get a jump start toward earning credits while still enrolled in high school.
“This is a wonderful opportunity being given to the county’s high school students,” Luis Sanchez, the college’s director of admissions and recruitment, said. “Every year we have a large number of students who take advantage of this opportunity and we anticipate that number will increase this spring.”
Students accepted into the Early College program receive a tuition scholarship from Central Arizona College that covers regular, in-state tuition and fees. Students are responsible for the purchase of textbooks and class materials, as well as transportation to and from campus.
To be eligible for Early College, participants must be a Pinal County resident and current high school student who has completed their sophomore or junior year at a high school in Pinal County. In addition, students must receive authorization from their high school guidance counselors to attend Early College.
To remain in the program, students must maintain a 2.5 college grade point average. Students also must enroll in and complete the CPD 101 (Student Development Orientation) class, meet with an academic advisor every semester, and register for and attend a CAC orientation.
-- www.centralaz.edu --
MARICOPA, Ariz. - Central Arizona College is targeting mid-December for churning the first piles of dirt at its newest campus in the city of Maricopa.
The institution is tentatively planning a Dec. 16 groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the new campus location at White and Parker Road.
Early this year, CAC purchased 217 acres of land just east of the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and the Union Pacific rail line specifically to build a brand new campus.
The site sits adjacent to the future municipal complex location that will be built by the city of Maricopa.
"This is an exciting time for Central Arizona College," Dennis Jenkins, CAC's president/CEO, stated. "Constructing a new campus in the city of Maricopa gives CAC the ability to extend services into a growing community while at the same time becoming a key tenant in what is expected to become the city of Maricopa's government area."
The 25-year master plan for the campus will be able to accommodate more than 20,000 students on an annual basis with a gross square footage approaching 720,000 feet.
The orientation of the campus is toward the majestic Seven Mile Mountains and in the same direction where most of the residents of the community currently reside.
The facility will be far more than bricks and mortar configured into traditional rectangular buildings sectioned into classrooms. The architects have tapped into the rich history and culture of the area while enhancing the learning environment and ensuring accessibility.
Plans for the campus also promote community building among the student population as well as the residents of Maricopa. And, reducing CAC's carbon footprint on the community is a fundamental element in the design of the campus.
When construction commences in December on the initial building phase, students can expect to register for classes at the location beginning with the spring semester of 2013.
The first phase of the Maricopa campus will include three buildings totaling 76,837 gross square feet. It will feature classrooms, labs, an administration area, student services, offices for faculty, a learning center, common space, campus support and a library
At this time, the buildings have been designated A, B and C until future names have been decided.
Building A consists of 18,858 gross square feet and will house student services, administration and community rooms.
Building B is the largest of the first-phase construction and will be comprised of 26,174 gross square footage of space. The facility will feature a library, testing area, computer lab, learning center, ITV classrooms, faculty offices and the future dental hygiene program.
Building C has the second-most space of the initial construction project at 25,418 gross square feet. The building will house the culinary arts program with a kitchen and an adjacent cafeteria, as well as the bookstore, six 30-seat classrooms, and multiple teaching labs.
The Central Plant will be constructed first adjacent to the rest of the main campus buildings and will consist of 6,387 gross square feet.
To reduce the carbon footprint, CAC will harvest the natural light that will enable the institution to turn off lighting in buildings during the sunny midday hours.
The slanted direction of the roof and facing of the buildings will offer protection from the intense heat of the summer, while rammed earth technology used on the exterior walls will slow down the transfer of heat and cold from external sources to provide a more consistent temperature inside the buildings.
Although the location is generally referred to as the Maricopa campus, an official name has not been adopted at this time. CAC's three other campus locations are named after geographic formations relative to those regions - Aravaipa, Signal Peak and Superstition Mountain.
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - With demand increasing for trained public safety personnel, Central Arizona College is poised to capitalize on the surging growth industry following an extensive evaluation of its emergency services, fire science and law enforcement training programs.
In the spring the director positions for CARLOTA (Central Arizona Regional Law Officers Training Academy) and for CAC's fire science/emergency medical services program became vacant, creating a unique opportunity to do an internal study of the entire public safety program.
"We wanted to take advantage of this somewhat unique opportunity to review all of our public safety programs," Dennis Jenkins, CAC's president/CEO, explained. "We wanted to evaluate the programs, gather data on where the job growth opportunities are, and really see how best we can serve the community."
The result has been painstaking months of reviewing research and collecting information that will help point CAC in the best possible direction. Increased competition for students and the evolving needs of the emergency services field demanded the college to take strong stock in its programs.
"It is time for us to contemplate and innovate as we look to the future of CAC, Pinal County and Arizona in a global context," Dr. Georgia White, dean of professional and technical education, explained. "We needed to ask the hard questions - how do we best serve our constituents? How do we best use our resources? What is the best way to follow CAC's strategic plan?"
The future trends spotlighted by the U.S. Department of Labor for the next five years cast a bright light on occupations such as police and sheriff's patrol officers, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs; transportation security officers; loss prevention managers and specialists; and security guards, managers and management specialists.
In Arizona alone, a 10 percent growth in emergency management specialists, first-line supervisors of public safety professions, and firefighters, inspectors and investigators is being predicted.
Opportunities for correctional officers and jailers, detectives and criminal investigators, patrol officers, private detectives and investigators, security guards and protective service workers are also expected to jump by the same amount.
Demand also is being buoyed nationally by the need for post-secondary training, as well as the training of national security and disaster response team members. Locally, the business growth in Pinal County is spurring the need for more emergency management services.
CAC is looking at ways to enhance options for students desiring to enroll in these programs through tech prep and dual enrollment options, and by designing clear pathway for students to earn associate, and in many cases, four-year degrees.
"We also have taken stock of our inventory," White explained. "We want to enhance our program by maximizing the use of our public safety resources."
Central Arizona College's facilities allow trainees to utilize a burn building, Christmas Tree prop, vehicle extrication props, repelling tower, driving track, shooting range and a Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives (MILO) unit.
Participants in some programs can take the Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT). It is an AZPost requirement that graduates of CARLOTA must pass POPAT that includes scaling an eight-foot wall.
CAC also has an exclusive license that extends in a 250-mile radius from the Superstition Mountain Campus to offer the Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program that was developed by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Last year, CAC's fire science program offered 152 credit hours of class time. The program amassed 1368 student credit hours taken that yielded 45.6 FTSE. The national curriculum is integrated with National Incident Management Systems (NIMS). Physical training for firefighters is integrated with the academy, while the program is looking at expansion of the Wildlands and Special Operations certification.
CAC currently has partnerships with Northern Arizona University for students wanting to go from an A.A.S. to a B.A.S. in fire science administration. The partnerships also include county, state and national accreditation and affinity groups, as well as ties to the Ak-Chin and Gila River Indian communities. A program of study with CAVIT also exists.
CAC's emergency medical services program offers a total of 198 credit hours of class time. In 2010-11, students in the program collectively took 3,333 student credit hours yielding 111.10 FTSE. The program consists of Basic Life Saving (EMTs), Advanced Life Saving (Paramedics) that includes cardiac and hospital transfer training, and critical care for paramedics when dealing with adults and pediatrics.
Partnerships include Southwest Ambulance, Life Flight, Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian communities, and county, state and national organizations.
Founded in 1973, CARLOTA incorporates academics and officer preparation in the training of community police officers. The rigorous 18-week, 735-hour CARLOTA program (150 more than AZPOST requires) also allows students to use blocks of credits toward an associate of justice degree.
One option for Central Arizona College is to hire a public safety director to oversee the entire program as a way to build external relationships, recruit adjuncts and cadets, and maintain a nationally-accepted curriculum.
The public safety director also would serve as the Law Enforcement Academy director guiding the strategy and operations of CARLOTA. Coordinators of fire science and emergency medical services would be recruited as well.
Another option would be to hire a director for CARLOTA and full-time coordinators for the fire science and EMS programs.
A decision concerning the college's direction is expected the week of Oct. 3 with implementation of the direction along with the scheduling of appropriate classes beginning the week of Oct. 17.
ARAVAIPA, Ariz. - Central Arizona College is currently working with consultants to see how proposed redistricting plans for the Pinal County supervisors could impact the institution.
The process became necessary when Pinal County began formulating new supervisor districts after the final tallies of the 2010 census revealed what many expected - a tremendous jump in the number of residents calling Pinal County home.
"It is our responsibility as the leaders of higher education in Pinal County to make certain that our students and the members of our community have fair representation on the Pinal County Community College District Governing Board," Dennis Jenkins, CAC's president/CEO, stated. "We are reviewing all of the options at this time to see what works best for the CAC community."
The 2010 census showed an increase of almost 200,000 residents in Pinal County as the region's population exploded from 179,000 in 2000 to 375,000 last year. Because state statute demands counties with more than 200,000 residents must be served by five elected supervisors, Pinal County will need to add two supervisor positions.
The questions now being bandied about ask what, if any, correlation will take place between the new supervisor districts and Central Arizona College's Governing Board District.
While some community colleges align their districts with those established by local governmental entities, there is no mandate that Central Arizona College's Governing Board District must mirror the districts being discussed at the county level for supervisors.
"Central Arizona College has a progressive history of representation in Pinal County," Jenkins explained. "The Pinal County Community College District has always used representatives from five districts so that the community felt empowered to participate in the mission, planning and goals of the college."
The county has put forward three plans for five supervisory districts that include two options that would split the city of Maricopa into two separate districts, and the city of Casa Grande into a pair of separate districts. The Pinal County Board of Supervisors is expected to make its recommendation in early October.
"Our consultants are working with us to gather all of the facts and information so we can make the best decision possible for CAC," Jenkins said.
The current CAC Governing Board is comprised of five elected members who serve six-year terms. Members of the CAC Governing Board include Gladys Christensen, the current president (Coolidge, District 2), Linda Yarrington, the current secretary and vice president (Apache Junction, District 4), Gloria Ann Guzman (Dudleyville, District 5), Rita Nader (Casa Grande, District 3) and Rick Gibson (Casa Grande, District 1).
Yarrington and Gibson began their current terms in January of 2009, while Nader was re-elected for another term that started in January of 2011. The terms for Christensen and Guzman will expire in December of 2012.
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Twenty-two out of 24 spring 2011 Central Arizona College nursing graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on their first attempt.
The 91.6 percent pass rate represents a roughly four percent increase from the college's 87.4 percent pass rate in 2010.
Although the Arizona State Board of Nursing only announces passing rates for students who have taken the exam for the first time, CAC's students passed at a 95.8 percent clip after the second attempt.
"These are fantastic numbers," Cherrie Evans, director of the college's highly selective nursing program, explained. "We have exceeded Arizona's goal of reaching 90 percent."
The graduates received associate of applied science degrees in nursing upon completion of the college's four-semester program; however, a passing score on the NCLEX is necessary for a student to become a licensed registered nurse according to Evans.
"The passing rates reflect that the rigor of our program is adequate to produce new nurses who are capable of providing safe and efficient nursing care, that the students have adequately prepared themselves, and that the faculty has been successful in instilling knowledge to ensure that the next generation of nurses is successful."
CAC's nursing program is both approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The NLNAC is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.
"I believe the dedication of our faculty and the high standards set for admission into our program stand out from institutions I have seen in the past," Evans said. "This has translated into the passing rates we see today."