Chancellor’s Letter to the Community

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Pima_chancellors_letterDays of Challenge and Opportunity: PCC is working hard to create a college that puts students first

Great things are happening at Pima Community College. Over the past year we have worked with the community to redefine our mission so that we can meet the diverse needs of our students and better help them achieve success.

Our efforts to better connect with and serve students have not gone unnoticed. Thousands of Tucson parents and high school students had a chance to preview Pima at its best at PCC4Me, held Sept. 29 in conjunction with the Tucson Unified School District’s annual College Night at the Tucson Convention Center. More than 140 PCC faculty, staff, administrators and Board of Governors members reached out to potential students with information about PCC’s exceptional programs and services.

In spite of Arizona budget cuts that eliminated PCC’s state funding, PCC has worked hard to find external sources to help fund programs benefitting students. For example, PCC recently was notified that it is the recipient of the first year of a five-year Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) for $15 million. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the new Health Career Opportunities with Personalized Educational Support (HOPES) will serve 1,500 low-income people and build on the success of Pima’s earlier HPOG program Pathways to Healthcare.

PCC also has been awarded a federal grant to help students complete science, technology, engineering and math degrees. With $220,000 annually for the next five years ($1.1 million total) from the U.S. Department of Education, PCC’s Desert Vista Campus will implement Project BLAST (Bridge, Launch, Academic Success and Transition). BLAST will help 120 first-generation-college or low-income students with such support as intensive tutoring, career advising, exploration and mentoring, and a dedicated computer-equipped study space.

In addition to focusing on accessibility, Pima works to achieve a culture of excellence. PCC’s literary and art magazine, SandScript, won first place in the national Community College Humanities Association’s Literary Magazine Competition. SandScript also won the CCHS Southwest Regional Award for the fourth consecutive year.

Pima’s music faculty also is nationally recognized. For example, Mark Nelson, PCC Wind Ensemble director and full-time faculty, is an internationally recognized tubist who performs on bass trombone as a member of Big Band Express in Tucson and performs regularly on tuba with the Tucson Symphony and Tucson Pops Orchestra. Another full-time faculty member, Jonathan Ng, Chorale and College Singers director, is a professional lyric tenor who has appeared in oratorios and operas throughout the U.S., Europe and Hong Kong. He also is the founder and conductor of the Arizona Choral Society.

Whether students are interested in one of our top-ranked career and technical programs or plan to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree, I am confident that Pima will be able to meet their needs. PCC is transforming itself into a leading social justice institution that helps our students achieve their academic goals while leading our community to greater prosperity.

- Chancellor Lee Lambert

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