Return to accessibility navigation at the top of the page.

PCC to Explore Expansion into Center of Downtown

February 28, 2013

New presence would enhance workforce training, services for students

Tucson, AZ – Pima Community College will explore expansion into the center of downtown Tucson in order to enhance workforce training and better serve current and prospective students.

At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the PCC Governing Board unanimously voted for the College to identify areas in the center of downtown that would be appropriate for a new presence. PCC has six campuses, including Downtown Campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave., and Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave.

Board Chair Dr. Brenda B. Even noted that the College’s customized workforce education programs at Community Campus are at maximum capacity, and that Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s Education Task Force as well as the Workforce Investment Board have requested that the College offer more workforce education opportunities.

“The center of downtown is an ideal location for College expansion because it would be accessible to many workers,” Dr. Even said. “A new presence in the heart of Tucson would allow us to improve training for employees of the region’s businesses and contribute to the economic development of Southern Arizona.”

Also, Dr. Even said the new location would extend the College’s ability to offer help regarding registration, placement, advising, financial aid and other student services.

In addition, the Board received a report from the College on registration and placement pathways and the PCC Prep Academy. New registration and placement standards have been in place since March 2012. The Prep Academy offers a student-centered approach to developmental instruction in Mathematics, Reading and Writing.

Students quickly pinpoint and correct learning deficiencies through small-group study sessions, tutoring and computerized learning modules that allow them to work at their own pace, as well as outreach, advising, encouragement and exposure to learning resources.

Early data are encouraging. Prep Academy students have retaken placement tests and scored high enough to place into higher-level developmental education classes or college-level classes 170 times. (Some students have retested in more than one subject.)

Students have emerged from the Prep Academy in a relatively short time, especially in comparison to the traditional approach to the lowest level of developmental education, 16-week lecture classes.

Also, through the Academy, students are directed to other programs and services, such as Adult Education, English as a Second Language courses or PCC’s Center for Training and Development, which will best help them reach their individual education goals.

The Prep Academy is just one of several innovative approaches to best serving students who need developmental education, said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Jerry Migler. The College has Writing labs with low teacher-to-student ratios; Mathematics “emporiums” that combine tutoring, hands-on faculty instruction and self-paced learning in a dedicated computer lab; and intensive classes that compress two semesters of developmental Mathematics.

In other action, the Board approved:

  • Resident tuition rates for eligible students in the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Beginning in Fall 2013, students are eligible for PCC’s resident tuition rates if they present Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and provide documentation that they have established a permanent residency in Arizona for at least one year.
  • A one-year contract with Arizonashuttle.com to provide shuttle transport service at no charge to PCC students. The shuttle will run twice a day during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters and will connect Downtown Campus, West Campus, Desert Vista Campus and The University of Arizona. PCC students have voiced a need for such a service.
  • Partnering with Amphitheater Public Schools to “adopt” elementary schools in the district. PCC will make a multiyear commitment to provide tutoring, career counseling and mentoring to students, as well as campus tours, occupational program assistance and other services. Last year, the College adopted Oyama Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District.

CONTACT:
C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850
ckaramargin@pima.edu