On January 2008, Chancellor Rufus Glasper introduced his new vision of “One Maricopa” for the Maricopa Community College District, wherein he enlisted everyone’s commitment to the concept of creating an even better Maricopa. He asked that all employees agree as members of the Maricopa family to rededicate themselves to
- First, helping students succeed…
- Second, using public resources entrusted to us efficiently and effectively
- And, finally, working together as “One Maricopa.”
Here is some of what Dr. Glasper has in mind when he talks about One Maricopa:
Our history at Maricopa is a rich one, beginning with Phoenix College in 1963 . . . and expanding to today’s system of ten colleges. Each of our colleges has a unique history and characteristics that makes it special. Over time, they were encouraged to compete among themselves for students. But more recently, we’ve come to realize that the old competitive model won’t work any more. What’s more important is that each of our colleges is part of one great system, and that together we can be more effective and efficient in serving our communities.
When a student comes to the Maricopa Community Colleges, he or she comes seeking an educational opportunity. Often, students walk through the doors of the college closest to their home or work. But increasingly, students seek out their education at several colleges – near home, or near work, or online – wherever they can get the courses and programs they need to achieve their goals.
And that’s why One Maricopa is a philosophy that’s tailored to the needs of the students in Maricopa County today. Our goal should be to make sure all students receive an education they expect and that addresses their needs, no matter what those needs are. A good example of a program that exemplifies “One Maricopa” is the Maricopa Community Colleges Health Care Education Program. More than ten years ago, Maricopa began to develop a program to effectively educate a workforce to respond to the always-changing employment needs in the health care industry.
This program, called the Maricopa Community College District Nursing Program, began with 214 students. Notice, it’s the Maricopa Community College District Nursing Program, not the program of an individual college. Students in this integrated healthcare program can transfer between colleges because of common program pre-requisites and and shared curricula. It is one nursing program offered at nine colleges, a program that leverages scarce resources and provides the economies and efficiencies that come with a shared effort.
Our Student Information System (SIS) is a massive project designed to integrate our colleges in ways that will improve the Maricopa experience for students, faculty and staff. Swirling students, who enroll in more than one of our colleges will have access to registration and records in one place through one portal. On-line tools will improve and increase student and faculty self-service. Course management systems will help faculty function more efficiently. And business practices will be streamlined to assist with data-driven decisions.
Another area where One Maricopa is becoming the governing philosophy is collective efforts to promote our programs to high school students. A great example is the Career Expo held in Glendale this Fall. This event brought 10,000 potential students and their families to one place, where they could learn about career and educational opportunities. All our colleges, as well as the District Office and a number of individual programs, were actively engaged in demonstrations and providing literature and advice. In a world where we have to compete for students with other institutions, this was a clear win.
There are other examples that illustrate the philosophy of One Maricopa, but we need to work together to make sure that there are even more. The challenges of providing service in an increasingly competitive world cannot be met by 10 colleges that are not willing to collaborate. You are urged to think differently and creatively. Go outside the proverbial box. We don’t have to do things the way we have done them in the past. We can move into a new, better tomorrow.