Accelerating into the new decade
We’re tailoring courses to fit your needs, and building spaces to propel the economic recovery
The start of a new school year is a time for optimism at Pima Community College, especially in 2021. Over the past 18 months, the College has learned much about the needs of the community. Buoyed by that knowledge, we are accelerating from the pandemic into a new era of opportunity for the community.
During COVID-19, teaching and learning never stopped at Pima, though it did change, as we prioritized health and safety. In March 2020, we quickly pivoted to deliver instruction and services online. Since then, we have learned that many students – particularly those older than 25 who balance work and family – prefer to learn and interact with us virtually, as it better fits their multifaceted lives.
We are finding that many other learners, such as recent high school graduates or those new to higher education, benefit most from face-to-face instruction. That is why we are offering academic programs in multiple ways – online, hybrid, and I am happy to report, in-person – to provide the flexibility our diverse learners expect.
In addition to instruction, construction continued, too. On our East Campus, we opened our first Center of Excellence, in Cybersecurity/Information Technology. Centers of Excellence are state-of-the-art facilities and programming that provide the latest employer-driven instruction in economic sectors projected to grow throughout the decade. There are thousands of job openings in Cybersecurity in Arizona, and one need only scan the headlines to understand the importance of keeping our data and systems safe and secure. At Downtown Campus, we opened the Automotive Technology and Innovation Center, which will teach aspiring diesel, electric and eventually autonomous-vehicle technicians. Also at Downtown, construction progresses on the Advanced Manufacturing Building, where industry-approved instruction in fields such as robotics, 3-D fabrication and optics will take place.
These facilities will provide learners with skills that lead to jobs paying a family-sustaining wage, and that keep our region competitive in an era of economic and technological change.
A vote for economic revitalization
I want to thank the voters of Pima County. On Election Day 2020, nearly 70% of you approved Proposition 481, which enables Pima to spend revenue it already has collected, so that we can offer the best possible services to the community. By unlocking fiscal constraints, Proposition 481 allows us to invest in necessary infrastructure and operations, such as the sophisticated equipment to train learners at our Centers of Excellence.
It allows us to support our learners in other important ways. We are closing the digital divide by supplying laptops and mobile Internet access. For the second straight year, we have frozen tuition. We are offering free courses for community members looking to investigate new careers. And we are exploring offering childcare at our facilities.
We are grateful for your support, and pledge to live up to our goal of being a premier community college.
Lee D. Lambert, J.D., Chancellor
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