Yavapai College President Lisa Rhine holds the Bellwether Award the college received during the annual Community Colleges Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas, in March.
(Photo by Ray Newton)
by Ray Newton
YC Receives Award from Bellwether College Consortium
Yavapai College (YC) received a prestigious Bellwether Award at the annual Community Colleges Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas, March 1.
Only 30 institutions were selected from among 3,300 members nationally.
YC was cited for “its cutting-edge, trendsetting programs worthy of replication” following a thorough selection review process by judges and academicians.
YC President Lisa Rhine said the award solidifies “our college commitment to innovative programs that are accessible and affordable.”
Yavapai College Passes Budget without Tax Increase
The Yavapai College (YC) Governing Board approved a $91.1-million budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year in May 17.
YC President Lisa Rhine credited the District Governing Board and the college’s administrative team, faculty and staff with exceptional fiscal efficiency, creativity and prudent management.
“Led by Debbie McCasland, the board approved a strong budget and once again, we did not have a tax increase. In fact, our budget this year was 1.7% lower than last year,” she said.
It’s the fourth consecutive year that no tax increase has been requested.
Rodney Jenkins, YC vice president of community relations and student development, said a major reason for success in budget management is because the college reallocated existing resources to make programs and services even more accessible throughout the entire college community — two campuses and four centers.
“We also had access to CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act funds,” he said. “We used those funds judiciously.”
Rhine added “We’re one of the few community colleges nationally that’s growing in enrollment. We focus on giving students access to practical programs that lead to good-paying jobs in meaningful careers here in Yavapai County.
“For example, our nursing and health sciences program is viewed as one of the best in the state. So are construction, applied and career technology curricula.
“Because of efforts through our business and management program, often in cooperation with our Regional Economic Development Center (REDC), we’re able to develop strong partnerships and internships in the business community for students. Many don’t know it, but we’re the only community college with a REDC.”
Rhine cited a 58% increase in graduating students over the past three years. “The past spring commencement was the largest ever — 668 graduates. Add those to winter commencement. That’s 1,133 graduates just this year who can enter the job market,” she said.
Jenkins said the college has put more emphasis on marketing and recruiting that focuses on identifying student career interests.
“We’ve also increased our female enrollment substantially,” he said. “More than 60 % of our students are women. What we also find interesting — our Hispanic student population has increased from just 7% three years ago to 24% currently.”