Probation, MCC set up online program for juveniles

KINGMAN - Juveniles housed at the local Detention Center will now have the opportunity to take college classes at no cost.

In what's being called the first of its kind in the state, the Mohave County Probation Department partnered with Mohave Community College for the program, which will be covered by scholarships through the Early Start Program.

The scholarships, available to high school students, home-schooled students and GED graduates, cover the cost of tuition for seven college credit hours.

"The challenge was that our detainees, obviously, could not attend the classes on campus; so Chuck Spotts (vice president of instruction and student services at MCC) asked his Distance Education team to develop an online course for our prospective students," said Friend Walker, chief probation officer.

Spotts said Ana Masterson, director of student services for distance education, ended up creating an open entry/open exit course and adapted it for the online delivery format.

"(She) made it fit the needs of the Probation Department while dovetailing with the college's available online classes and processes," Spotts said.

The development and participating in the program didn't cost the Probation Department anything financially.

The Probation Department has helped 45 juvenile detainees obtain their GED diplomas. Walker said this new opportunity would make it easier for students to continue their education once they leave the Detention Center.

"The MCC distance education staff, in partnership with the juvenile detention education staff, is making this opportunity a reality. We anticipate our first students will be registered and online this fall," Walker said.