Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Northern Arizona University awarded for innovative degree pathways

Northern Arizona University awarded for innovative degree pathways

(Flagstaff, Ariz.) Nov. 7, 2011-- Northern Arizona University’s 2NAU joint admission program with community colleges has won a statewide award for helping students earn college degrees.

The Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN), a program of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, will present a 2011 Pathways to Postsecondary Education Award to NAU during a breakfast ceremony to be held in Tempe on Nov.18.

“Our 2NAU partnerships encourage community college students to complete both their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees,” says Brenda Sutton, associate dean, NAU-Extended Campuses. “The program emphasizes the importance of earning a bachelor’s degree in order to be competitive in the workforce.”

2NAU students are jointly admitted to a community college and NAU. Students receive intensive guidance from both institutions in exploring and preparing for career options while completing their community college curriculum. Students save money by completing their first two years at the community college tuition rate.

Sutton says the joint admission program also helps students begin to think early on in their postsecondary education about earning a four-year degree.

“Not only is the 2NAU program designed to help students ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree, it is designed to remove obstacles students often experience when transitioning from a community college to a university,” Sutton says. “Students meet regularly with advisors from both institutions to monitor their steady progress, offer motivation and support, and to provide a pathway to the university that is as seamless as possible.”

Since the university launched the 2NAU program four years ago, more than 1,500 students have signed up for the program throughout eight community college districts.

“Our enrollment numbers are already significant and we expect them to grow,” Sutton says. “This program helps community college students set their sights beyond earning a certificate or an associate’s degree and continue toward earning a bachelor’s degree.”

2NAU students also receive a waived NAU application fee, an NAU ID card, e-mail address, Cline Library privileges and more. Students who complete their associate’s degree with a 3.5 GPA or better qualify for an NAU scholarship for up to $4,000.

NAU has coordinators located on most Arizona community college campuses. Students can transition into an NAU degree program offered locally, online or in Flagstaff.

For information go to http://extended.nau.edu/2NAU/PhoenixCollege.aspx, or contact the NAU Phoenix College representative at PC2NAU@nau.edu.

The Pathways to Postsecondary Education Awards are being celebrated during the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education annual conference designed to reinforce relationships among leaders in postsecondary education, policy and business. This year’s conference is “Developing Human Capital: Arizona’s Race to Good Jobs.” For information, go to http://www.azhumancapital.com/.

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