Mesa and Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and Mesa Community College (MCC) are two of 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community Colleges District. Together, CGCC and MCC serve nearly 60,000 students annually in the East Valley.
The colleges share a number of priorities. First is the emphasis on keeping college affordable. With tuition at $76 per credit hour for in-county students, full-time students pay just $2,280 a year. According to the Arizona Board of Regents, this is 25% of the average annual tuition for a full-time student attending a state university (based on 30 credit hours). On top of tuition savings, the colleges offer a number of free services to help students including free admission, testing, financial aid services, academic advising, career planning, tutoring, personal counseling and parking.
When it comes time to pay tuition, both colleges offer a wide variety of financial aid options to help students pay the bill. The programs range from Federal Financial Aid and grants to student loans and work study. High achievers might benefit from scholarships, honors achievement awards, and the Presidents’ Scholarship, a tuition waiver for in-state students.
Many parents and students are concerned about transferring from a community college to four-year universities. CGCC and MCC students can take advantage of more than 30 transfer partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the country, including the three state universities and the five new universities recently opened in Mesa.
The colleges share other similarities as well. Each focus on excellence in teaching and learning, student success and serving their respective communities. With a strong emphasis on active and engaged learning, small classes and hands-on experience, students can expect to acquire new knowledge in relevant contexts from expert faculty regularly recognized for scholarship in learning and teaching.
One example is their honors program. Students are challenged to reach their highest potential through a rigorous multi-disciplinary curriculum supported by related extra-curricular activities. MCC offers 25 Honors Only classes limited to 20 students per class, enabling class topics to be investigated more in-depth. CGCC boasts the second highest number of honor students in the district and a five-star Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter.
Both colleges emphasize service learning; a teaching and learning method that connects meaningful community service with academic instruction through guided reflection. MCC and CGCC both have been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past six and five years, respectively. Last year, more than 2,000 MCC students contributed nearly 125,000 community service hours to local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Each college has two state-of-the-art campuses and a learning center providing outstanding transfer, career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities. Students will discover unique learning environments and campus personalities at each college location to fit their individual learning style.
Located in the heart of Arizona’s technology corridor, CGCC has a strong emphasis on providing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. The school recently received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for STEM scholarships, and $2 million from a larger $13.5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to create programs that prepare students for high-wage, high-skill jobs in the energy field.
The CGCC Williams Campus at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport offers a wide array of general studies and university-transfer courses. The college is proud of new programs in engineering, teacher education, biotechnology, sustainability and ecological literacy, and dietetics and nutrition and as well as its expansion of existing programs in business, computers, humanities, arts and sciences. View a complete list of programs available. As a neighbor to Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, CGCC students benefit by completing their four-year degree in one convenient location.
MCC offers more than 150 Associate of Applied Science Degrees and Certificates of Completion, numerous transfer programs and over 500 online classes. In June 2012, Community College Week ranked Mesa Community College 55th among 1,200 community colleges in total associate’s degree production for the 2010-11 academic year.
The MCC Downtown Center offers services to meet the needs of the community by focusing on workforce development, education, community outreach and engagement. The Center for Workforce and Community Partnerships collaborates with career and technical education programs to create customized training resources for the business community. The Mesa Community Outreach Center is dedicated to providing college advisement and planning workshops, family literacy and community outreach services.
Unique Career Paths
Although the colleges offer students a wide array of general studies and university-transfer pathways, they each offer some areas of specialty serving high demand fields as well as unique niche sectors.
MCC’s Mortuary Science Associate’s of Applied Science degree is the only program of its kind in Arizona. Accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, graduates learn every aspect of the funeral business and are prepared to sit for a national board examination and begin state internship requirements whenthey complete their study.
The school’s Manufacturing Institute allows students to pursue a certificate or an associate’s degree in Manufacturing Technology or associate’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. The program includes specialized curriculum in manufacturing technology, with an emphasis on mathematical and scientific theory.
MCC’s Virtual Incident Command Center (VICC) is another unique program. It provides true-to-life emergency situation command training for police, firefighters, military, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and others.
Like MCC, CGCC is no stranger to specific niche programs. Its Law Enforcement Training Academy is an intense, highly accountable and challenging 800+-hour training program certified by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (Az POST). Upon successful completion of the program and Az POST comprehensive exam, students may become certified police officers.
CGCC’s Aviation and Applied Technologies Division offers FAA approved aviation maintenance and flight programs. An articulation agreement with the University of North Dakota (UND) gives students the opportunity to begin their aviation education at CGCC and then transfer to UND to complete a four-year degree in Aviation. These certificate/degree and university transfer programs meet the aviation industry’s need for well-prepared pilots and technicians. Technical specialties include professional pilot, aircraft maintenance, electronics/avionics and aircraft construction.
The college’s Electric Utility Technology (EUT) program provides students with basic preparation, knowledge and skill-sets in overhead and underground construction and maintenance procedures in this rapidly growing field. The program is designed to produce a highly skilled, well-informed entry-level (apprentice) worker familiar with the tools, materials, and equipment of the trade.