Don't believe these Yavapai College rumors

By Ruth Wicks

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

Rumors abound in the Verde Valley about Yavapai College and its renewed commitment to.its citizens and communities: The $45 million directed to Prescott Valley for development of a Allied Health Campus will be diverted to the Verde Valley.

These funds will nourish the enfeebled and limited programs in the Verde Valley by re-establishing the 2003 programs of study which offered more than 550 classes. This means that additional faculty and staff will be hired along with the creation of a energetic and vibrant student services team in order to help with recruitment and retention of students.

Rumor has it the Camp Verde area, with groundbreaking of the new Northern Arizona Health Clinic, will be approached about the possibilities of working towards needed occupational training in the health areas with both Northern Arizona University and Yavapai College assisting. This clinic near 1-17 makes for close proximity to the large urban areas of Flagstaff and Phoenix, which will complement the enrollment of Verde students for these class offerings.

The Sedona campus will be refitted for a state-of-the-art culinary program with three professional kitchens added and will seek advice and guidance from Scottsdale Community College, which has a successful program in this area for the last 30 years.

On top of that, the Sedona campus will reintroduce the acclaimed film program and obtain or build a critically needed sound stage. Fine arts, including both performing and visual arts, will be developed on this campus. The faculty and staff will work closely with the three public high schools programs.

The 80 acres of undeveloped lands at the Verde campus will be looked at as an area for 50 small, flexible casitas to be used by students or/and participants of workshops in the future rumor has it. Remaining property will be looked at to generate monies for the college.

Centers of learning will be established in areas which have restricted transportation such as Beaver Creek and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Distance learning opportunities will be increased throughout the valley.

As these rumors grow, it has been hinted that the college is seeking a centralized campus for technology education, which is non-existent in the Verde Valley. Property along State Route 260 looks promising. A strong alliance is growing with the Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education and the college's leadership in their shared goal of training citizens for careers in technology.

A college-level language school will be developed in conjunction with the new Mandarin Chinese courses offered at Mingus along with the other established languages courses throughout the valley i.e. German, French and Spanish.

Well, hold on!

These are only rumors and most of them are not true because we have no post-secondary educational leadership in this valley. All management positions and leadership positions are held by those who live outside our valley. Continually, we are reminded by the college's leadership and management that we have failed the college. The college has yet to see our worth or value. But they do need and want our tax dollars.

As is seen in reality there is a strong need for our own post-secondary educational leaders. Yavapai College District Governing Board members: Give us our own president of the Verde Valley Community College and all the above rumors would have a chance to grow into reality.

Ruth Wicks is a retired educator and member of the Verde Valley Community College Citizen Advocates who lives in Clarkdale.

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