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Bruce Battle

Dr. Jerome Garrison Sr.

Posted by on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Dr. Jerome Garrison Sr.

Honored at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

Dr. Jerome Garrison Honored at MLK BreakfastPHOENIX, Ariz.– On January 15, South Mountain Community College (SMCC) faculty member and Division Chair of Communication, Fine Arts & Social Sciences, Dr. Jerome Garrison, Sr., received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award at the 30th annual MLK Awards Breakfast “Celebrating the Dream”.

Dr. Garrison is a lifelong educator and learner with a sincere passion for the community. He has played an intricate role in building SMCC’s Music and Fine Arts programs in an environment that provides opportunity and fosters student success.

Dr. Garrison has been instrumental in helping build the arts community: he started the annual Messiah performance in 1987 and led the SMCC design team to build the Performing Arts Center in 2003. In 2008, Dr. Garrison was given the South Mountain/Laveen Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Service Award for his involvement and commitment to the community.

Additionally, Dr. Garrison has helped raise over $300,000 for the SMCC Students Achieving Radiant Success (STARS) Foundation Scholarship. He continues his dedication and passion for providing college opportunities to students by recently organizing a community board of directors to plan and implement fundraising for STARS.

Dr. Garrison’s personal quote – “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.” -Tom Peters, Business Writer.

Aspen Institute College Excellence Program

Posted by on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Aspen Institute College Excellence Program

South Mountain Community College named as one of the
top 150 community colleges in the nation

January 26, 2016 – Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today named SMCC as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships.

The Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students.

Nearly half of America’s college students attend community college, with more than seven million students – youth and adult learners – working towards certificates and degrees in these institutions across the country.

“Community colleges have tremendous power to change lives, and their success will increasingly define our nation’s economic strength and the potential for social mobility in our country,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “This competition is designed to spotlight the excellent work being done in the most effective community colleges, those that best help students obtain meaningful, high-quality education and training for competitive-wage jobs after college. We hope it will raise the bar and provide a roadmap to better student outcomes for community colleges nationwide.”

A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at

Scholarship Opportunities

For the first time, the 150 Prize-eligible institutions are also invited to nominate exceptional students enrolled in their best middle-skill STEM programs for scholarships. Up to 50 Siemens Technical Scholars will be selected from programs that provide outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology. A partnership between the Siemens Foundation and the Aspen Institute, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program intends to help our nation’s community colleges and their business partners bridge the gap between projected shortages of skilled workers and the millions of high-demand jobs in these STEM industries. Scholarship winners and the programs that deliver rigorous training enabling their success will be announced in fall 2016. For more information and to view video profiles of 2015 Siemens Technical Scholars, go to:

SMCC and 149 other community colleges announced today were selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes in three areas:

  • Performance (retention, graduation rates including transfers, and degrees and certificates per 100 full-time equivalent students)
  • Improvement (awarded for steady improvement in each performance metric over time)
  • Equity (evidence of strong completion outcomes for minority and low-income students)

SMCC has been invited to submit an application to the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence containing detailed data on degree and certificate completion (including progress and transfer rates), labor market outcomes (employment and earnings), and student learning outcomes.

Ten finalists will be named in fall 2016. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2017.

The Aspen Prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation, the Siemens Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.

The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the New College Leadership Project, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

South Mountain Community College offers transfer-ready academic courses and job-specific occupational training. The main campus is located on Baseline Rd. and 24th St. in Phoenix. There are two satellite locations, the Guadalupe Center, and Laveen site. South Mountain Community College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation.

Bilingual Nurses Wanted

Posted by on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Bilingual Nurses Wanted

Information Session Starting Soon

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January 26, 2016 – South Mountain Community College will be accepting applications to its award-winning Bilingual Nursing Fellowship Program (BNFP). The program is designed to increase the number of nursing graduates who speak, read and write English and Spanish fluently.

BNFP is a collaboration between South Mountain Community College, Phoenix College and ASU.

It is anticipated that each Fellow will complete an AAS in nursing and obtain a nursing license within three years after acceptance into the program. A BSN option is also available with ASU.

To qualify for the program and receive an application, students must speak, read, and write English and Spanish proficiently, have a high school diploma or GED, be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States with a valid social security number, and place in or is prepared to take ENG 101, CRE 101, and MAT 140.

Information sessions at South Mountain Community Main Campus, Student Union
Thursday, Feb. 11 | 5 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 5 | 10 a.m.
Thursday, Apr. 7 | 5 p.m.

For more information call 602.243.8256 or email

Healthcare Career

Posted by on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Healthcare Career

Get Your Healthcare Career Started in One Semester!

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January 15, 2016 – Learn how to get your healthcare career as a Pharmacy Technician in one semester. South Mountain Community College Pharmacy Customer Service Technician program trains and prepares students for a career as a qualified professional. The median pay for Pharmacy Technicians in Arizona is approximately $31,656 annually and projected job growth is faster than average.

The Certificate of Completion in the Pharmacy Customer Service program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the retail pharmacy environment. Courses will cover federal and state pharmacy regulations and pharmacy services, including prescription dispensing and drug distribution and control. Emphasis will be on providing quality customer service and using effective communications and interpersonal skills when dealing with pharmacy customers and personnel.

The evening program is 24 weeks to completion. Classes will be held at the Guadalupe Center located at 9233 S. Avenida del Yaqui (Priest Dr.) in Guadalupe.

To qualify students must have a High School diploma or GED, apply to the program, and attend one of the information sessions to receive an application.

Information sessions at South Mountain Community College Guadalupe Center
TUESDAY, FEB. 2 | 5:30 PM
TUESDAY, FEB. 16 | 5:30 PM
TUESDAY, FEB. 23 | 5:30 PM

Information sessions at South Mountain Community Main Campus, Student Union

For more information call 602-243-8217 or email

The Dream.US Scholarship

Posted by on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on The Dream.US Scholarship

Three Maricopa Community Colleges Selected as Partner Colleges to Offer The Dream.US Scholarship

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January 13, 2016 – GateWay Community College, Phoenix College, and South Mountain Community College have partnered with The Dream.US, an organization that provides scholarships for first-time college students and community college graduates.

The Dream.US is a multimillion-dollar National Scholarship Fund for DREAMers, created to help immigrant youth who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status achieve their American dream of completing a college education.

Information sessions will be hosted at GateWay Community College and Phoenix College to cover eligibility requirements, the application process and provide additional information about this unique opportunity.

These sessions are free and will be held on the following days:

GateWay Community College
Monday, Jan. 25, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5 p.m.
Information sessions at GateWay Community College will be held in the Career Center (IE1234).

Phoenix College
Saturday, Jan. 18, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 26, 6 – 8 p.m.
Information sessions at Phoenix College will be held in the Hacienda Room.

South Mountain Community College
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5 – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5 – 6 p.m.
All information sessions will be held at South Mountain Community College in the Library Community Room (L162/163)
For additional information, contact Rosa Cota at

The deadline to apply for this scholarship is Feb. 15, 2016.

For information regarding eligibility for first-time college students and community college graduates, visit:

Venture Pitch Winners

Posted by on Friday, January 1st, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Venture Pitch Winners

$2,000 Awarded to 2015 Venture Pitch Winners

Venture Pitch Winners
On December 8, South Mountain community College (SMCC) hosted its biggest Student Venture Pitch competition yet! More than 100 people attended and 15 student entrepreneurs pitched for the opportunity to win funds to help with their businesses and innovations.

Winning pitches ranged from a sustainability company for recycling glass to an inspirational vision that would bring art to local youth. In all, five student entrepreneurs received funding to help with patents, research and development, marketing and materials.

“This program provides students with the confidence they need to promote their business ideas,” said Community Entrepreneurship Center Director Bruce McHenry. “By developing a powerful pitch, they can ask for funds for additional funding sources and develop businesses that will transform the community.”

Fall 2015 winners:

  • First Place $500 Richard Newsome
  • Second Place $400 Brandon Catour
  • Third Place $300 Kent Kramer
  • Fourth Place $200 Louis Allen
  • Fifth Place $100 Ryan Lindale
  • Social Innovation $250 Brandon Catour
  • Audience Choice was a tie awarding $125 each to Richard Newsome and Ryan Lindale

Thank you to Marisol Federal Credit Union for funding the 2015 Student Venture Pitch Competitions and to the judges – Chuck Newton from SCORE, Robin Romano, MariSol Federal Credit Union CEO, and LaTrica Woods, Mahogany Xan Consulting.

Military Advanced Education & Transition

Posted by on Thursday, December 17th, 2015 in News Releases | Comments Off on Military Advanced Education & Transition

South Mountain Community College Selected as a Top School in Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities

SMCC Selected as a Top School in MilitaryMilitary Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has awarded South Mountain Community College the designation of a Top School in its 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education. The Guide was released late this December, and is available online at

The Guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to our men and women in uniform.

Now in its ninth year of publishing the Guide, MAE&T was the first publication to launch a reference tool of this type. This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services. Each school’s performance rating by category is represented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard. This enables prospective students to quickly target schools that follow best practices in military education, and then put these in context with other academic or career considerations.

With input from an advisory board of educational and government experts, and criteria based on recommendations from the VA and military services, MAE&T’s Guide to Colleges and Universities provides the foundational information a prospective student would use in framing his or her educational needs.

“Our goal is to be a dynamic resource for active service members and those who have moved from the military to their civilian careers, helping them find the school that best fits their plans for the future,” said Kelly Fodel, Military Advanced Education & Transition’s editor. “We think this year’s Guide is our most comprehensive to date, thanks to our newly established advisory board. The board evaluated the drafts of the questionnaire, made pages of notes and suggestions and helped to redefine questions for clarity. We thank them for their thoughtful edits and additions to our process.”

Not only is the 2016 Guide printed in the December issue of Military Advanced Education &Transition, but also published in a searchable database online. Students will have access to all the survey questions and answers provided by the schools, as well as explanations about critical issues like activation and deployment policies, withdrawal policies, scholarship and financial aid information and important support information.

“While we realize that all schools are unique, we focus our annual survey on the best practices that make a true difference to service members and student veterans,” said Fodel. “These best practices have been asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups, and we consider our survey to be the most detailed and informative in the industry.”

Visit for online access to MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities, or pick up a copy of the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition.

About Military Advanced Education & Transition:

Military Advanced Education & Transition ( is the journal of higher education for service members and veterans making the transition from military to the civilian sector.

Covering issues and hot topics in higher education, career trends, transition assistance, innovative programs, and schools of special interest to the military, MAE&T focuses on news and resources that will empower a military student to pursue a quality education and rewarding career. MAE&T serves education services officers (ESOs) and transition officers (TOs) at every U.S. military installation, along with the service members they counsel. Published 10 times yearly, MAE&T’s editorial coverage includes exclusive interviews with military executive leadership, educators, and members of Congress; best practices; career and transition spotlights, service member, school, and program profiles, and periodic special reports.

Explore Your Future

Posted by on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 in News Releases | Comments Off on Explore Your Future

College Preview Day for High School Students

Are you a high school student thinking about going to South Mountain Community College? Would you like to learn more about SMCC’s academic programs and career pathways? Do you have questions about how to fulfill your future college and career goals? Then SMCC Cougar Day is for you!

South Mountain Community College will be opening its doors to high school students on Friday, February 12 to come and participate in a half-day introduction to our programs and services.

During Cougar Day you will:

  • Get valuable information on how to get ready to attend SMCC
  • Go on a campus tour
  • Spend time interacting with SMCC faculty and staff
  • Get answers to your questions regarding coming to SMCC
  • Have fun!

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is included. Registration is required.

Event details:

Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center,
7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix
Register: Christopher Erran, 602.243.8346 or

All-Arizona Academic Team

Posted by on Monday, December 14th, 2015 in News Releases | Comments Off on All-Arizona Academic Team

Two SMCC College Students Selected for Prestigious All-Arizona Academic Team

Mickey Diamond Diaz

Mickey Diamond Diaz

Ronald Turner

Ronald Turner

Outstanding South Mountain Community College (SMCC) students Mickey Diamond Diaz and Ronald Turner have been nominated to the prestigious 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team by SMCC President, Dr. Shari Olson. By being nominated, both students are automatically placed on the All-Arizona Academic Team, which awards them with four semesters of tuition waivers to any one of the three Arizona public universities.

Mickey Diamond Diaz was inducted into the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society during the Spring 2015 semester. Soon after, he was elected as Alpha Eta Delta’s Vice-President of Service, where he presided over swearing in new members for the fall Induction Ceremony. In addition to his work in Phi Theta Kappa, Diaz was selected as South Mountain Community College’s Chancellor’s Scholar for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Diaz plans to transfer to Grand Canyon University Honors College this fall, and earn a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He aspires to become an automotive journalist.

Ronald Turner is a member of the SMCC Honors Program, a Foundation Scholarship award winner, and a member of the SMCC Alpha Eta Delta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Turner is majoring in Sustainability at SMCC and plans to transfer to Arizona State University to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability while continuing to work in the behavioral health field with at-risk youth.

Both students will be honored, along with fellow All-Arizona candidates, at the annual luncheon to be held April 2016.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually

For more information about the Alpha Eta Delta, the South Mountain Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, visit

Carbon Footprint

Posted by on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 in News Releases | Comments Off on Carbon Footprint

South Mountain Community College Engages in an Effort to Reduce its Carbon Footprint

Look behind the athletic fields. South Mountain Community College has started construction on a 180,000 square-foot solar array that covers just over 4 acres.

These 2,812 ground-mounted PV modules are expected to produce approximately 1.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation – enough to fulfill the electrical needs of 160* average sized homes per year – and nearly 35.5 million kilowatt hours over the next 20 years, which is an anticipated savings between $750,000 to $1.7 million** for the College.

Installing the 858-kilowatt array is one way to decrease our reliance on non-renewable forms of energy. The college, like the rest of the surrounding community, still relies on non-renewable sources of energy like coal, natural gas and oil for most of our electricity. This is why it is so important to reduce our energy use through efficiency upgrades and conservation practices by faculty, staff and students.

“The ongoing sustainability efforts of the College will provide value to the community for years to come,” said SMCC President Dr. Shari Olson. “The solar array is just one of several sustainability initiatives that SMCC has undertaken to not only off-set energy use and costs, but to help move forward the thinking and development of green technologies and jobs.”

The electricity produced by this array will ensure the College’s access to low cost energy over the next 20 to 30 years. The array will be owned, operated and maintained by SolarCity.

This installation will also enhance existing SMCC academic programs focused on green jobs, innovations and sustainability. Students in these programs will be able to track in real time the energy production of the array and the benefits of harnessing a renewable resource.

“Not only is the array a highly visible product that connects students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and land use, it is tangible evidence of our commitment to sustainability,” stated Dr. Olson. “We are looking forward to the Go Live date for the array and reducing our carbon footprint.”

The array is expected to go live in early 2016.

*Typical home with an average annual electric use of 12,000 kWh.
**Based on historical 30 year SRP escalation data (0.5%-4.0%).