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For all media information requests concerning South Mountain Community College and affiliated activities, please contact:
Bruce Battle

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%).