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Fri, Dec. 13

Column | MCC President Klippenstein committed to improving lives, community

Mohave Community College just began a new academic year with great anticipation and excitement and is in its 48th year of serving Mohave County and northwestern Arizona.

With more than 4,300 students attending classes on our four campuses, or learning online, our goal is to help each student reach their full potential, as we have done since 1971. Our mission states we are a college that is “inspiring excellence through innovation and empowering students to succeed.” It all starts with serving our students, and extends to serving our communities. We are here to help Improve Lives and Improve Communities.

During my first three months as President of Mohave Community College I have met with community, education and workforce development leaders in Kingman, and throughout the college district. It is clear we are all very committed to working together to strengthen our partnerships in a continuing effort to help students and our communities thrive and flourish. This includes our partnerships with the Kingman area K-12 schools. Together, we will continue to provide excellent dual enrollment classes that allow high school students to earn college credits with zero financial cost to their families. The college will also continue to offer affordable pathways to attain an associate and/or bachelor’s degree thanks in part to our partnerships with 20 universities including NAU, ASU, GCU and the University of Arizona.

Since 1971, more than 61,000 people have graduated from Mohave Community College and many stayed in Mohave County to help our communities in industries that include healthcare, skilled vocational, education, and business. The college alumni generate approximately $191 million dollars annually in Mohave County, which helps fuel the engine of our regional economy and reduce the social service burden on local taxpayers.

Students who graduate from MCC typically enter the workforce and earn between $42,640 and $65,000 per year, compared to those with only a high school diploma who earn $24,500. Over the course of their lives a person with a degree or certificate from Mohave Community College will earn approximately $725,600 more than those who only have a high school diploma. Education after high school truly is key to improving a person’s future financial situation, and helping people break out of the cycle of poverty and reduce their reliance on government assistance.

Like other community colleges in the nation, we face an increased demand to educate a skilled workforce in various industries. Mohave Community College not only offers our region certificates and associate degrees, we are also a center for workforce development, skills attainment and life-long learning activities. As the training and employment needs of Kingman and northwestern Arizona grow, we will grow with them, anticipate and assist, remain proactive in our focus, help predict future trends, and establish an infrastructure required to meet all workforce training demands.

We will continue to wisely invest resources to help provide students with the best community college services in the country. You have seen this in action over the past year in Kingman at the college’s Neal-Campus where we added an Electrical Training Center and a Veterans Center. Also, at the college Detroit Avenue Center in Kingman we added a new high-tech nursing lab. These investments will see returns in many forms, including a highly educated and skilled workforce which we will continue to help develop as we strengthen our relationships with local and regional workforce and economic development leaders.

The college has seen many great achievements thanks in large part to the guidance set in a strategic plan that was approved by the college Governing Board several years ago. That plan sunsets in the year 2020, and recently the Governing Board approved the development of a new strategic plan. The college is now working with a board-approved consulting firm to create a plan that includes input from residents and stakeholders in the MCC District. Membership of the Strategic Plan Committee already includes leading members of our local communities, such as Mohave County Economic Development Director Tami Ursenbach and Lake Havasu Chamber President Lisa Krueger.

Together, we will work to establish goals and strategies that ensure your community college continues providing excellent educational services in support of students and the needs of all Mohave Community College district communities.

I, and the entire college team, look forward to strengthening our community partnerships and continuing to provide unparalleled educational services and skills training to Improve Lives and Improve Communities in the college district we serve.

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