Special for Wrangler News
Seventeen Mesa Community College dual enrollment students studying early childhood education at the East Valley Institute of Technology are recipients of over $8,000 in First Things First college scholarships to help pay for their first- and second-year collegiate education at MCC following EVIT graduation in May 2020.
Tempe Union High School District is one of the sources providing students with access to EVIT with no tuition charge, primarily via the district’s Career and Technical Education initiatives.
EVIT staff members say the scholarships are well received—and needed.
“Many of my students cannot afford the tuition and the fees to take the Dual Enrollment classes,” said Paula Corbin, EVIT instructor. “The students were so excited to tell me when they received their congratulations email.”
Over 54 percent of Corbin’s first year students took advantage of the First Things First scholarship this year. This funding, along with the Dual Enrollment credit earned from MCC, will help push these students one step closer to completing their prospective early childhood Certificates of Completion or Associates in Applied Science Degree during the 2019-2020 school year.
“I can’t wait for future years to see the scholarship recipients grow,” said Corbin. “For most of these students, my Dual Enrollment classes are their first experience with college. For them to receive this scholarship through First Things First, only makes them more excited for their future and education.”
EVIT students who are pursuing Dual Enrollment credit through MCC are already a step ahead with their college education.
“These students are completing coursework that counts towards the Early Childhood Certificates of Completion and the Associate in Applied Sciences degrees offered at MCC,” said Annapurna Ganesh, Ph.D., program director for MCC Early Childhood Education.
“During their two years at EVIT they can earn 10 credits of college coursework and additional general education credits. This scholarship will help them reach their goal without incurring additional educational debt.”
Gordon Freeman Brown, regional coordinator for the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry, which administers the First Things First Scholarship, said:
“Membership in the registry not only connects these EVIT students to an amazing scholarship that pays up to 100% of books, fees and tuition, but also provides them with the minimum entry level credential for anyone who wants to work in the field of early childhood in Arizona.
“Most early childhood employers now require their staff to be members.
MCC facilitates credit transfers through online resources and their Early College Program.