Associate's Degrees & Certificates

Overview:

As in-demand careers continue to evolve and require additional skills, community colleges provide opportunities for Arizona students to earn college credit and certifications, obtain technical skills, and seek the training needed to make career changes. By 2018, almost two-thirds of jobs in Arizona will require some post-secondary education or training.

Focused on creating a brighter future for our students, Arizona has implemented measurable goals that hold our students, teachers, administrators, and schools accountable to higher standards in order to achieve improved results. As part of its education reform plan, Arizona has set the goal of increasing the number of community college students earning associate degrees and/or certificates to 44,000 by 2020. Additionally, Arizona has set the goal of increasing the number of in-state university transfers to 12,500 by 2020.

Actions at the State and Local Levels:

At the local level, a number of programs exist to increase the college-going rate of Arizona’s high school graduates. These programs have made strides in assisting high school students with the college application and financial aid process.

Efforts have also been made to raise the number of high school students taking college entrance examinations. In addition, Arizona’s community colleges have expanded pathways programs across Arizona, paving the way for students to seamlessly transfer from a community college to a university without losing credits or time.

At the state level, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards in 2010 in order to ensure that Arizona K-12 students are prepared to succeed beyond high school. The goal of these standards is to ensure that students graduating from high school do not require remediation in order to take entry-level classes in higher education. Starting in 2014, new assessments will indicate student readiness for entry-level, post-secondary courses.

Additional Actions to Consider:

In order to enable continued growth in the number of community college degrees and certificates awarded, Arizona can focus improvement efforts on the following fronts: recruitment, remediation, retention, and re-entry. Recruitment efforts can focus on increasing the number of students completing financial aid applications, applying to higher education institutions, and taking the ACT or SAT examinations. These improvements will break down many of the psychological barriers students face when considering post-secondary education. To improve remediation and retention rates, community colleges can consider changing student requirements to lessen the barriers students encounter when looking to take college-credit bearing courses. Finally, the state can increase re-entry rates by incentivizing and rewarding colleges who have a proven track record of successful student outcomes, especially among adults who have some college education but do not yet have a degree or credential.

Our Goals

3rd Grade Reading
8th Grade Mathematics
High School Graduation
Associate's Degrees & Certificates
Bachelor's Degrees