Home Articles A new way to fast-track students to bachelor's degrees

A new way to fast-track students to bachelor’s degrees

West-MEC, CTE, career and technical education, dual enrollment, Maricopa Community College, ASU
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/westmec

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), a public school district dedicated to career and technical education programs, is partnering with Arizona State University to create a new program to fast-truck students on their way to a bachelor’s degree.

Working in collaboration with the Maricopa County Community College District, the partnership will help high school students at West-MEC work toward a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. West-MEC’s career and technical education (CTE) students learn industry-standard skills in programs such as veterinary science, automotive technology, fire science, and welding. The students have the opportunity to earn dual enrollment high school and college credit from the Maricopa Community Colleges in tandem with earning their industry certifications at West-MEC.

The new partnership will allow students who have completed an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree from a Maricopa Community College to transfer and apply 60-75 credits toward their 120-credit Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree at ASU.

“Until now, the students who completed our CTE program did not have a clear path to transfer seamlessly to ASU. Now they do, and this is a game-changer,” said Speranta Klees, post-secondary partnerships manager at West-MEC, in a statement. “Through this program, our students who complete the CTE program will know they are valued, welcomed and wanted by ASU.”

Along the way, students will continue to build skills as they progress toward each credential, making them increasingly qualified for jobs in their chosen fields.

The need for skilled workers is high, especially in the growing West Valley. The partnership is intended to provide a local talent pipeline into high-paying employment.

“ASU is committed to the success of our students,” said Cheryl Hyman, Vice Provost of Academic Alliances at ASU, in a statement. “We understand transfer students all have unique learning journeys and through our transfer tools and partnerships we enable all transfer students to have a connected pathway experience that will enable academic preparedness, college completion and career readiness.”

West-MEC serves more than 37,000 students from 48 high schools across 3,600 square miles in the northern and western cities of the metropolitan Phoenix area. West-MEC now also offers adult education programs. Learn more at west-mec.edu

The Maricopa County Community College District includes 10 regionally-accredited colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, and South Mountain – and the Maricopa Corporate College, serving more than 200,000 students with two-year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs.

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