Today I had the honor of signing an agreement to enhance existing initiatives with a valued community partner, Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona (GISA). The five-year Memorandum of Understanding will help further realize an important aspect of our organizations’ missions: to provide people with the skills to find meaningful employment and move our community forward.
In signing the agreement, PCC becomes part of the nationwide Community College Career Collaboration (C4). Since 2009, Goodwill and the nation’s community colleges, through the American Association of Community Colleges, have been partnering to improve college- and career-readiness among Goodwill employees and the community.
It’s a natural fit. Goodwill, through its retail stores and Job Connection Centers, is a community magnet for people who are seeking to restart their education after what might be years out of school. PCC has the expertise to guide non-traditional students through the re-entry process.
One such student is Monica Terrill (pictured above), who took a College Readiness class at Goodwill. Monica is a non-traditional student who had been out high school for a while. At first the idea of college was scary. But now she is taking seven credits at PCC in Writing and Psychology. She wants to get an Associate Degree for transfer in Liberal Arts and eventually, a bachelor’s degree.
Monica’s success becomes possible when passionate, capable folks collaborate. GISA Interim President Liz Gulick and East Campus Vice President for Student Development Nancee Sorenson worked together to cement the PCC-GISA connection into a reality.
Adrian Smith, East Campus Student Service Advanced Specialist, deserves recognition for teaching the first College Readiness classes earlier this year to community members and Goodwill employees. Adrian had the answers regarding admission, registration, how credits work, placement, financial aid and other topics. We hope to expand the type of help Adrian provided students such as Monica so many more people in our community can take the first steps on a fruitful education journey.