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Critical Components to the CCC Mission: Partnering, Lifelong Learning

Although the Arizona Legislature showed a commitment to education by supporting public community colleges with one-time funding in the 2019-20 state budget, there is still work for us to do. The temporary nature of that limited funding emphasizes the importance of creating new and expanding partnerships with individual volunteer supporters we call “champions,” businesses, non-profits and government organizations in the communities that Coconino Community College serves. Here at CCC, we’ve been working around the clock to establish those partnerships, and I’m excited to share a few of them with you.

Thanks to a partnership with Aspen Place at the Sawmill, the Comet Art Gallery opened. Navajo Generating Station workers in Page are retraining for the technology industry thanks to a partnership among the Northern Arizona College Connection Higher Education Consortium, SRP and the Apprenti program. CCC has entered a Mental Health Awareness partnership with the NARBHA Institute. The Lunar Legacy Lecture Series is made possible through a partnership with the Flagstaff Festival of Science. Expanded offerings in Early Childhood Education are now available because of a partnership with the Northern Arizona Council of Governments. And, the Regional Re-employment Team organized by the Coconino County Career Center includes partnerships with SRP, the City of Page, Coconino County and others, including all of the educational institutions in the region.

These partnerships and so many more are necessary to help CCC offer the workforce, academic and lifelong learning opportunities that our students have come to expect from us.

Continuing Education

Speaking of lifelong learning, this month, CCC is offering a Summer Learning Program, an enrichment series of noncredit presentations to support education and lifelong learning. In listening to what our communities have told us they want, CCC has begun setting the foundation for growing noncredit courses as part of our mission to foster lifelong learning.

In the past, CCC has offered a variety of noncredit courses as a way for Coconino County residents and visitors – young and older – to remain connected with learning. Budget constraints, which continue, put a temporary stop to noncredit offerings, and CCC is now working its way back into the field with the help of champions of the college and volunteers who donate their time, talent and personal finances to revitalize such an important mission.

The fee for the Summer Learning Program, which will be $300 for an individual supporter and $500 for a couple and cover all 24 sessions throughout the month of July and into August, will offer several benefits and will serve as a fundraiser for CCC’s Continuing Education program. Registration and attendance will support CCC programming in Career and Technical Education; enhance continuing education and workforce training; bring county residents together to learn about new topics; and promote lifelong learning and intellectual stimulation.

The presentations are broken into six topics: Creativity and the Arts; Northern Arizona History; Native American Art and Culture; Myths and Facts of Our Night Sky; Civics and Our Constitution; and Petroglyphs, Pictographs and People. The presentations, broken into two sessions a day to allow participants to attend as many as their schedules allow, will have morning sessions, 10-11:30 a.m. and afternoon sessions, 1:30-3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The Summer Learning Program builds on other noncredit presentations and topics that CCC has instituted in the last year and a half. Last year, CCC began offering summer camps for children and a free monthly Educational Talk, or ED Talk, that covers a wide range of topics – from outlaws of the Old West to the different types of volcanoes that are present in Northern Arizona. Also last year, CCC began offering noncredit Summer Art Workshops, and the Summer Art Workshops are continuing this year and are currently underway.

The Summer Learning Program presentations take place at CCC’s Lone Tree and Fourth Street campuses, and the Continental Country Club. To see the complete program descriptions and registration information, visit coconino.edu/community-education.

CCC is a great place to be. Come partner with us, and remember: Learning never stops! FBN

By Colleen A. Smith, Ph.D.

Colleen A. Smith, Ph.D., is the president of Coconino Community College.

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