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Public-Private Partnership Establishes Arizona Center for Student Success

Author: Arizona Center for Student Success

Posted on: June 7, 2019

Helios Education Foundation is proud to partner with Governor Ducey’s office, Pima Community College Foundation, and the Arizona Community Foundation to establish the Arizona Center for Student Success.  This newly created center will assist traditionally underserved  students complete certificate and associate degree programs at the state’s 10 community college districts and help move them directly into high-demand jobs or transfer programs into the university system.

The Center is part of an emerging trend in the national college completion movement in states traditionally void of a strong centralized tradition of community college governance. Its role is to organize Arizona’s 10 community college districts around the common goal of improving student persistence and completion.

“My administration has worked extensively with business and education leaders to advance the Achieve60AZ initiative to increase postsecondary attainment rates in the state,” stated Governor Doug Ducey. “The Arizona Center for Student Success will enhance this initiative by boosting community college completion rates and, by extension, will lead to a more robust and effective workforce.”

Arizona’s community colleges provide the most efficient pathways to a four-year college or university. More than 78 percent of students who transfer from an Arizona community college to a public university with an associate’s degree go on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years. Arizona’s community colleges are also the recognized leader for regional workforce development, serving nearly twice as many students as Arizona public universities and offering hundreds of career-ready certificates and associate degree programs.

“The Arizona Center for Student Success will be instrumental in helping reach Arizona’s postsecondary attainment goal. It directly aligns with the vision of Achieve60AZ, which is to have a diverse, well-educated, highly-skilled workforce in our state,” said Vince Yanez, senior vice president, Arizona Community Engagement. “Helios is pleased to help support the efforts to identify and implement proven strategies to increase student success and degree completion.”

The Arizona Center for Student Success will focus on helping Arizona’s community colleges fundamentally redesign the way students chose, enter, navigate, and complete programs that prepare them for further education and careers. This will entail a guided pathway approach that replaces the cafeteria model that most colleges use for students to choose from a broad range of disconnected courses, programs, and support services.

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