Yavapai College providing free tuition to those with GEDs

YC board approves $7 million resolution for additional capital investments/improvements

Yavapai College’s Prescott campus. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Yavapai College’s Prescott campus. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

For Arizona residents who earned a GED diploma in 2016 or 2017, Yavapai College is offering free tuition for the upcoming spring semester.

The announcement was made by Yavapai College President Penny Wills during Yavapai College District Governing Board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

“So many of the students see the GED as an end and not a means,” Wills said. “We needed to change that from an end to a means.”

Offered through the college’s Adult Basic Education program, the new initiative is called YC Promise.

YC Promise will cover the cost of tuition and fees, and YC staff will help those who qualify to find scholarships and grants. Other college expenses, such as books, supplies and testing fees, are the responsibility of the student. Those who are interested may apply today by submitting the online form at www.yc.edu/promiseform.

“YC’s GED program channels the untapped potential of high-school dropouts into pathways of well-honed skills, engaged talents, and a marked increase in quality of life,” said YC Transitions Coordinator and Instructional Specialist Mark Frederick. “The YC Promise program provides a financial safety net for a particular set of students who now have access to expanded educational horizons, quite possibly for the first time in their lives.”

So far, the college has enrolled six students into the program.

“They hadn’t planned to go to school,” Wills said. “They saw [YC Promise] as an incentive. We know after 12 credits of higher education they are more likely to vote, they are less likely -- markedly -- to be incarcerated, and they will be much more involved with their communities. That’s the type of person that I want in our society.”

Other board news

Vice President for Community Relations Rodney Jenkins updated the board on the community meetings he’s taken since joining the College in July. Jenkins reported, “In discussions with business leaders, Chambers of Commerce, community stakeholders and elected officials, we asked them: ‘what three things can we do together?’ All those groups were consistent in their answers: transportation, workforce and housing.”

Jenkins noted that the discussions are ongoing in all three cases, but a theme of open communication and collaboration, involving the exploration of public and private partnerships, are critical to each topic moving forward.

“Instead of talking at them, we listened to them,” Jenkins said. In each case, the question is, “how do we meet your needs in the long term?”

Board Actions

The Board considered a resolution to establish a Capital Accumulation account of $7 million specifically for the purpose of purchasing land and buildings, or constructing buildings and making improvements. The Board approved the resolution by a 4-1 margin.

The next regular DGB meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. in the Rock House on Yavapai College’s Prescott Campus, 1100 E. Sheldon St., in Prescott.

The full agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at http://www.yc.edu/v5content/district-governing-board/minutes.htm.    

Yavapai Broadcasting records all regular board meetings for subsequent broadcast. The broadcast schedule is available on the Prescott Media Center website at http://prescottmediacenter.org/.