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JUly 2007 Highlights at a Glance

 

Project SETIS Changes How Science is Taught in Local Schools

 

 

Local elementary and middle school teachers work in groups to try and identify sedimentary rocks in Professor Croxen's workshop.

Through two grants totaling more than $671,000 from the Arizona Department of Education, Project Science-Equipping Teachers, Inspiring Students (SETIS) is changing how science is taught in Yuma and Somerton elementary and middle schools. A far-reaching group of individuals, school districts, college and university professors have come together to help teachers inspire tomorrow’s scientists and give them the knowledge they need to excel.

Elementary and middle school teachers are learning to think like scientists as they delve deeply into the content of life, physical, and earth science. This allows them to show their students how scientists really work, incorporating both observations and tools to explore their worlds. Students’ backyards are no longer merely places to play, but also become places to learn. The exciting part of SETIS is that teachers use strategies to extend science beyond classroom subjects, causing students to want to inquire and enjoy the process of learning. NAU-Yuma Professors Vicki Ardisana and Susan Stutler, along with local teacher educator Janet Hoy, partner with science professors from Arizona Western College to present the workshops. Science professors from AWC include Cecilia Vigil, Mike Mooney, Maureen Garrett, Fred Croxen, Jim Williams, and Tony Bottone. This close partnership enables teachers to first learn content and then immediately consider how they might teach it most effectively.

Professor Vigil is teaching about DNA in her biology workshop.

Project SETIS 2007 workshops were held at AWC and NAU-Yuma for 200 teachers that took place on July 2nd through July 27th. Workshops first began in the summer of 2006, funded by the first grant. Based on their success, the partners applied for a second grant, allowing both the workshops and school-year follow-up classes to continue through the summer of 2008. Teachers participated in activities that centered around an intensive two-week summer workshop, followed by on-line or in-person extensions during the school year

Project SETIS partners include Yuma Elementary School District One, Somerton School District, Arizona Western College, Northern Arizona University-Yuma, and the Yuma Education Service Agency.

 

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AWC Awarded $1,231,591 to Expand Community College Nursing Program 

 

 

 

Arizona Western College has just received notice from the Arizona Department of Commerce that they have been awarded $1,231,591 over three years through the Community College Grant for Nursing Programs.

This grant will progressively increase program capacity. By spring 2010, a total of 96 additional nursing students will have been admitted. By the third year of the grant, AWC will be enrolling 64 new nursing students each fall and 64 more, each spring semester.

In order to support this growth, the grant provides for additional nursing faculty (3 FT, 7 PT) and one full-time Clinical Facilitator. It will also allow for the addition of new web-hybrid didactic and virtual clinical training components for nursing students, training for new nursing faculty, nursing skills lab supplies, and related program expenses. Yuma Regional Medical Center will provide the setting for most students’ clinical experiences, through a strong partnership with Arizona Western College.

Dr. Beatriz Espinoza, Vice President for Learning Services at the College, stated: “AWC is aware of the need for additional skilled health care workers in our region. This initiative is only one example of how we are responding to address this critical need. We are pleased to be in partnership with health care facilities in Yuma and La Paz Counties in order to bring new nurses to our community.”

Mary Schaal, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants, was primary writer of the grant, which was developed in collaboration with Mary Rhona Francoeur, AWC Director of Nursing and Allied Health, and the AWC Business Office.

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AWC and Yuma Catholic High School will Offer Dual Credit Courses to Students

 

 Yuma Catholic High School

 

As a result of the collaborative educational partnership between Yuma Catholic High School and Arizona Western College, high school students will soon be able to enroll in high school courses this fall and earn both high school and community college credits, getting a jump start on their higher education. Yuma Catholic High School and AWC have been working on the process and articulation of these courses since April. Courses that will be offered this fall for Yuma Catholic High School students are English, Psychology, American/US History, and Art History.

Full-time high school juniors and seniors are eligible. The classes will physically take place at the high school, during high school hours. The teachers who will teach dual enrollment courses meet the qualifications to teach both at the high school and community college level in the state of Arizona. The curriculum taught in these classes is consistent with the written curriculum specified by both the high school and the community college courses. Students who enroll in the dual credit courses will be responsible for the 2007-2008 tuition rates.

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Two Students Place at the National SkillsUSA Competition

 

Nathan Lipp and Tristan McCollum at the National SkillsUSA Competition.

Professor Samuel Colton, AWC SkillsUSA student chapter advisor and a team from Arizona Western College attended the national SkillsUSA event after winning regional and state competitions. The event took place June 25-29th in Kansas City, MO. Competing at the national level was AWC welding student Nathan Lipp, who placed 8th in the two day competition for prepared speech. AWC student and 2007 welding alumni Tristan McCollum placed 9th in the extemporaneous speaking event.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industries working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The competition helps students prepare for careers in trade, technical and skilled occupations, including health occupations.

AWC has hosted the Regional Competition for more than 20 years with plans to compete in the 2008 competition. Parents and students with questions about the Arizona Western College SkillsUSA program or any of the construction and applied technology programs can contact Professor Colton. Professor Colton serves as the post secondary member of the Arizona SkillsUSA Board of Directors.

 

 

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 AWC Attends Phi Theta Kappa Conference in Illinois

 

Dr. Miller reads poetry at Kappa Klatch.

Dr. Michael Miller, Honors Director, along with AWC students Leanarda (Narda) Kinsler and Virginia Brindley attended the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Institute for a weeklong conference in Wheaton, IL that began June 18th and ran through June 23rd. The conference is known as the ultimate honors programming experience that brought nearly 400 Phi Theta Kappa students and advisors from around the country and US Territories to Wheaton College to gain an understanding of the current Honors Study Topic, “Gold, Gods, and Glory: The Global Dynamics of Power,” and to carry that understanding back to enhance the curriculum at their home colleges.

Over the six day period, the AWC group was treated to seven lectures by prominent figures on the world scene. After the lectures the group broke into seminar groups to discuss the lecture and its topic. Dr. Miller was one of 24 advisors chosen from around the country to be a Faculty Scholar to lead a seminar group.

On Thursday, students and advisors all went into town to experience the Chicago highlights such as its architecture, museums and performances. Friday evening everyone enjoyed a performance by the PTK Honors choir, which featured several solos by AWC’s own Narda Kinsler. Then there was Kappa Klatch, which featured poetry readings and dramatic performances, including one by Dr. Miller and one by Narda Kinsler.

Virginia and Narda, are both non-traditional, returning students with families and a lot of life experience. Both are part of the PTK Sigma Beta Chapter at AWC, and Virginia is the incoming president for this year.

 

 

Virginia at Kappa Klatch reading poetry to PTK students and advisors.

 

 

Virginia and Narda standing in front of the Chicago skyline.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Paralegal Studies Program Coming this Fall

Arizona Western College is now offering a new Paralegal Studies Program that begins this fall. Students will be able to receive an Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree or a certificate in the Paralegal Studies Program.

Graduates from this program will have basic knowledge in legal skills, which will prepare them to obtain an entry level position within a law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity. The program will provide students with practical legal skills enabling them to draft legal documents. Students will be familiarized with fundamental concepts of substantive areas such as torts and business law. Legal theory and related practical applications are also integrated throughout the program.

The Paralegal Studies Program came about from members of the legal community in Yuma requesting this program. They wanted to provide this training for their own people. The program will meet the requirements to apply for accreditation by the ABA (American Bar Association). The program must be in existence for two years before accreditation can be applied for. Many of the attorneys in town have agreed to teach the courses for AWC.

Deborah Bryant, Associate Faculty at AWC and retired lawyer, will be teaching LAS 100 Introduction to Paralegalism and LAS 101 Introduction to Law this fall. Bryant’s experience in law includes working for the United States Trustees Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

“I'm excited about the wonderful opportunity this new program provides for Yuma area residents seeking a new career or wanting to add to their legal education” said Bryant.

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Employee Kudos

 

 

Shanen Aranmor

 

Shanen Aranmor, Director of Physical and Wellness Education, presented three sessions on ecology and the environment at the National Wellness Conference that was held July 14-21 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Shanen has already been invited back to the conference next year to be a presenter!

 

 

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