Transforming Communities, Family By Family

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Transforming Communities, Family By Family

Transcript Of Transforming Communities, Family By Family



Transforming Communities, Family by Family

When I addressed our Arizona Western College graduating class last May, I was struck by how moving the celebration was to me. I told the students that I was humbled by their tenacity, their courage, their perseverance, and their talent. I’m humbled by their desire to follow their dreams, and improve their lives. And for nearly 70% of our students who are the first in their family to attend college, I’m moved by their dreams for their families – the parents and siblings and spouses and children whose futures are made better by their monumental effort to push on to reach the American Dream.
We know that education changes lives. More than that, education transforms communities, by creating economic opportunity, an educated workforce, a growing tax base, and empowered parents, voters, and citizens. We know that a journey that includes community college means an equitable chance at prosperity for all people, and we are committed to making sure that AWC remains an institution where the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity are celebrated.

Thank you for the trust you place in Arizona Western College. We are here to make sure your investment in a college education – for your family, your neighbors, or your future employees – is a sound one. I love interacting with community partners, at a local event, during a town hall, or during these recent efforts towards a strategic vision for AWC 2025. If you have feedback for me, please send it my way.
Because our mission is student-centered, and I work with the greatest faculty and staff a college president has ever had, it’s easy for me to finish with this: It’s a Great Day to be a Matador!
Dr. Daniel P. Corr President, Arizona Western College


Here’s how AWC is changing the region for the better:
•  AWC changes lives, family by family. • AWC is a pipeline to bachelor degrees. •  AWC keeps higher education affordable. •  AWC strengthens the regional economy. •  AWC enhances the regional quality of life. • AWC provides career and technical training in 21 programs which drive the local economy. • AWC leads the state in creating educational equity for low-income, first-generation students. • AWC creates powerful partnerships across the region. • AWC is a critical partner with regional K-12 education. • AWC attracts significant federal funding to the region.

Jacqueline Farley u Graduate
I was looking for a place that would allow me more time to figure out what I wanted to do with my future. I was able to retain information more effectively in classes where there was a strong connection between professors and students. The faculty at AWC are exceptionally engaging and strive to prepare their students for the world after graduation, whether that involves transferring to a four-year institution or working within the local community. I have been accepted by the Honors College at the University of Arizona, where I plan to complete my bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

t General Motors Community Partner
The partnership between the GM Desert Proving Ground and AWC helps local students by providing internships and career opportunities with a major global company, including personal advancement and growth. GM thinks AWC first because the college provides graduates that are well-educated and technically competent with the ability to make significant contributions to our business in short order. What has pleased GM the most is that the faculty is genuinely dedicated to educating the students and assisting them with career placement in their field of interest. That translates into excellent employees for General Motors. The synergy of the relationship means that the AWC graduates can remain in the Yuma area to raise their families and contribute to the local community, while having a challenging and rewarding career working for a great company.
STEDY Yuma u Educational Partner
When educational institutions like Southwest Technical Education District (STEDY) and AWC agree upon shared goals, everyone benefits. This powerful force of collective energy helps align resources and contributes to a single purpose. Working with an interdependency on each other, STEDY and AWC can help students and parents navigate the educational system and utilize support systems that enable them to become successful. AWC is a “community institution.” It is a community of educators, local business, health agencies, and local government partners working toward a common goal of increasing the skills and intellectual capacity of students.

More than
people have contributed to date, including 400 students.


Nurturing the Growth of our Strategic Plan
As part of our new president’s vision for the college, AWC embarked on a Strategic Planning journey in January 2017. With the help of faculty, staff, students, and our community partners, the college charted a bold path for the next 7 years: to transform lives, to cultivate generations who value knowledge, to foster independence, and to eliminate poverty.
Since March of 2018, over 100 employees have been part of our Implementation Teams, working on our 19 objectives nested under one of four strategic directions. As Dr. Corr likes to say, the strategic plan isn’t extra; it’s the work of the college. All decisions we make, all plans we create, all budgeting decisions must serve our students through the AWC Strategic Plan 2025.

Progress to date of the four Strategic Directions

Agility Working on an equitable model of Shared Governance, to be ready to pilot in Fall 2019.
Technology Writing a charter for a new cross-functional technology advisory council; creating plans for increased automation in Student Services.
Accessibility Piloting standardized scheduling in Summer 2019 to make room for a centralized scheduling module; seeking partnerships at regional high schools to develop and deliver developmental curriculum to reduce barriers to college-level courses; adopting a model for Guided Pathways and initiating three work teams to bring the plan to life.
Prosperity Adopted a shared set of Guiding Principles for Learning (formerly Institutional Learning Outcomes) and initiating plans to embed these principles in classroom and extracurricular activities; researching Prior Learning models from the state and across the nation; creating a joint work group to address workforce gaps for regional economic growth.

Innovation Fund Awards In 2017, employees and students submitted 23 projects linked to our Strategic Plan requesting more than $500,000 to fund innovative ideas across the district. Twelve creative projects were funded, for a total of $183,000, which included a student engagement project in Parker, to a student ambassador project in San Luis, to a Welcome Center in Yuma.
In our second year, 15 projects linked to our new Student Experience Statement were submitted and 10 were funded, for a total of $86,000. Projects included a participative art experience in San Luis, a food pantry in Yuma, and peer mentoring for Secondary Education.



First Generation
Dr. Daniel P Corr, President, AWC
I grew up the middle of five children in a working class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. My father graduated from high school on a Friday and reported to the Marines the following Monday. Dad worked for 33 years in trucking and Mom was a homemaker.
My sister paid for me to attend St. Laurence high school in the suburbs and I realized that I could hang academically with my wealthier peers for whom college was inevitable. By the time I graduated high school, I knew college was for me.
Dylan Ramirez
I am glad I chose to go to college. Being involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Activities Board (SAB) has made me more social because I’m around some amazing new people. I’m beyond thankful for the “pressure” from my mom and brothers. They have inspired me.

Makaylla Reveles
Nothing will stop me from getting my education. Getting my education and going to college is all I’m about right now. I want my younger brothers to know that they can follow in my footsteps and make something of themselves.
Davis Ebohon
I am privileged to have parents who really want the best for me. I have the chance to be the first in my family working towards getting a Bachelor’s degree. I am majoring in Nursing and look forward to promoting health care in every possible way

Gabe Tovar
As a first generation college student, I am proud to have the chance to fulfill my Mother’s dreams for her children. If my life inspires people it is a byproduct of trying to live a good life. As a Veteran Services Specialist, I support faculty that are part of a team dedicated to enriching people’s lives.


t Dylan Ramirez

Gabe Tovar q


are first generation
(first in family to attend college)

q Makaylla Reveles

t Dr. Daniel P. Corr

Davis Ebohon u

Edgar Melendrez, studied full-time at AWC while attending Cibola High School u