To help its employees develop skills to succeed and ensure that the city of Phoenix has the workforce to meet its needs now and in the future, Phoenix College is bringing classes directly downtown to city workers.
This is possible through a partnership between the two organizations, called “Neighborhood College,” which provides direct access to instructors in Phoenix College’s business program. Students can work full-time and study evenings and weekends, taking classes in subjects such as accounting principles, web development, workplace communication and customer service. Courses can also be paid for through the city’s tuition reimbursement program, which has been provided to employees for almost 50 years.
So far, 110 employees have started taking courses towards an associate degree in business or to develop workplace skills. For the city of Phoenix educational opportunity is key to ensuring employees are engaged at work, and that the city is providing better service to customers.
“Our employees want to do the best job they can, and we want to do everything we can to help them succeed,” said City Manager Ed Zuercher. “For many years Phoenix has encouraged continuing education for employees, and our partnership with Phoenix College helps us make education available in a way that is flexible and accommodates a variety of work schedules.”
As part of this partnership, Phoenix College brings advisors to the city to enroll staff and answer questions for prospective students. Phoenix College then offers choices for onsite classes (starting immediately after work hours), or online classes. The next class session starts on August 7th.
“As a college in the Maricopa Community College District, Phoenix College has provided Phoenicians access to educational opportunities for almost 100 years. The college's faculty and staff are committed to exploring innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to addressing employer needs. This partnership exemplifies our dedication to student success and reinforces our motto: "Go Far Close to Home," said Dr. Larry Johnson, Jr., President of Phoenix College.
Erika Keenan, Phoenix College Marketing & PR Manager: Erika.Keenan@phoenixcollege.edu
Matthew Heil, City of Phoenix Communications Office: Matthew.Heil@phoenix.gov
Quotes from city of Phoenix employees:
“So far my experience with Phoenix College has been great! The tools they provide make it really easy to learn and retain the information provided. They have videos, learning tutorials, interactive reading material that makes you read a certain amount of a chapter, then asks you a few questions. It has worked wonders for me and motivates me to keep pushing when there are times I get frustrated if I don’t understand the problem. The professors are really nice and communicate really well what the expectations are, but also respond to emails/questions pretty fast. They are probably some of the more supportive professors I have ever come across. I always tell people about the program because the success I have had so far in it! And how easy it is to get started!”
“When I found out the city of Phoenix was bringing Phoenix College courses to the city, I thought to myself how much easier could it get, taking a college course that would only take an hour and a half of my time after work, in my own building, while earning college credits towards a degree? Also, I am able to do my homework on the computer at home at my own pace, as long as it is done by the due date. I passed my first Accounting Principles I class and will be taking the ACC112 next. This class has helped me a great deal in my job duties working with credits and debits. I am excited to see how far I am able to get taking courses before I retire from the city.”
Information Technology Services
“I’m very excited to take advantage of the opportunity this new program provides. I have been out of school for a few years now, since transitioning in my career and becoming a parent. I found that finding free time to go to a campus was an issue, and with this program the classes are conveniently coming downtown every week to me. I’m happy to be continuing my education, which will be helpful in my career advancement within the city of Phoenix. As long as this program is offered, I plan on being involved with it.”
Planning & Development Department
“For me, it has been a goal to go to college and earn a degree. I took a few classes through PC years back and life happened, I had children to focus on. Now they are grown, and I have no excuses. I was also inspired by my oldest son, who is a military veteran, a full-time student, and has two jobs and two children. If he could do it, so could I! When I received the announcement of the partnership, I was like ‘oh my god, if this is not a sign for me to enroll then I don’t know what is!’ I’m hoping to advance in my career from a Secretary III to an Administrative Assistant position or higher. I also have a younger son who I want to be an inspiration for as well.”
Community & Economic Development
Phoenix College, the flagship of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. The College will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary in 2020. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 17,000 students annually.
About the City of Phoenix
The city of Phoenix is the fifth-largest American city, home to 1.7 million people. As an organization, the city of Phoenix employs a workforce of over 14,000 people who provide services across 515-square-miles for everything from parks and recreation, library and senior services to public safety, water service sand recycling. For the third year in a row, Phoenix is America’s fastest-growing city, and was named the 2017 “Highest Performing City” by Governing Magazine.