Keeping Our “Eyes on the Prize”

Greetings All,

As you are aware, PVCC was recently named by the Aspen Institute as one of the Top 150 community colleges in the nation. As I shared in a previous update, this distinction is driven by a quantitative review on a number of student success metrics. We are in the process of reviewing how PVCC compared to the Top 150 on these measures. Below is the first analysis.

First Year Retention Rates 3-Year Graduation Rates 3-Year Graduation Rates with Equity
National Community College Rate 54.7% 45.2% 39.6%
PVCC Rate 59.7% 56.3% 50.5%
Aspen Top 150 Median 61.5% 53% 45.2%

I share this information to give you a sense where we fall compared to over 1,000 community colleges nationally and how we rank against the Top 150 community colleges. This also serves as a reminder that these metrics are linked directly to our strategic priorities. Additionally, these measures tie directly to our Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Quality Initiative where our focus is on closing equity achievement gaps in gateway courses in English, science and math. 

As you are also aware, all of our student success targets include equity outcomes. The Postsecondary Value Commission recently released a study that looks at the impact of a number of socioeconomic factors on access and completion. Please set aside time to review. I am confident that your commitment to our equity agenda will be intensified when you see the persisting inequalities.

It is critically important that we constantly refresh with our “eyes on the prize” of PVCC being the college with a focus on active and engaged learning – the single biggest predictor of ultimate student success and completion. Your continued commitment to engaging, supporting and challenging students is greatly appreciated.

Watch for further narrative on our status as an Aspen Institute Top 150 Community College.


PVCC’s Proposed Bachelor’s Degree Moves Forward

I am pleased to announce that PVCC’s proposal to offer the BA, Education, Dual Certification in Elementary/Special Education has been approved by the Chancellor’s Executive Council (CEC) and supported by the Governing Board as one of MCCCD’s first bachelor’s degrees for development. The intent is to seek approval from the Governing Board and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to offer this award for student enrollment in Fall 2023. 

To meet the requirements of the S.B.1453 legislation and the HLC’s recommendations and guidelines, colleges were asked to be strategic and focused in their proposals for Fall 2023 with an eye to adding programs in the future once the college and MCCCD demonstrate student success in our initial offerings.  

The college decision to advance the BA, Education, Dual Certification in Elementary/Special Education for consideration was made by our college team and included input from faculty, staff, and administration. We believe this choice is right for our college because of the strength of our current education program, the need for K-12 teachers in Arizona with special education certification, and the strong support from our feeder school districts.

The next step for us in this historic journey for our college and District is the development of the curriculum through our established, collaborative, and cross-college curricular processes.  In addition, cross-college work teams made up of faculty, staff, and administrators have been and will continue to be formed to help ready our systems, processes, structures, and policies for our adoption and implementation of bachelor’s degrees.  

Our plan is to also develop local teams to address college readiness and implementation.  Look for more information to come to get involved in this critical work. 

The following one-sheet of talking points, which includes a link to the guidelines for communication has been created to assist you in conversations with students who may reach out to you about the new bachelor’s opportunities.

Finally, a set of guiding principles and a road map for the development of future bachelor’s degree programs is being created based on our lessons learned from this first cycle.  Additional information about the bachelor’s degree process, including timelines and FAQs, can be found on the internal MCCCD Bachelor’s Degree Website.

I’d like to thank the team that worked through this initial process and submitted the application that was ultimately approved by the District Team. Michelle Carter, Lori Espinoza, Jay Franzen, Sandra Hinski, Huu Hoang, Meggin Kirk, Jamie Martin, Lynn McClelland, Loretta Mondragon, Sean Petty, David Rubi, Abby Rusu, Jana Schwartz, Corey Weidner, and Doug Berry. The team worked quickly and collaboratively to draft a competitive application as well as met with teams from Rio and GCC to take a systems approach to constructing the proposal. 

We will continue to inform the college of the progress we make towards developing the budget proposal, curriculum mapping, and Arizona Department of Education and HLC accreditation.