Four-year degree a reality at Scottsdale Community College

College students in Scottsdale can earn a four-year degree close to home at Scottsdale Community College through Northern Arizona University’s statewide program.

From Tempe to Mesa to Downtown Phoenix, Valley residents have a number of options when it comes time to pursue a university education, but few Scottsdalians know they can earn a four-year degree closer to home at Scottsdale Community College.

For 20 years, SCC has partnered with Northern Arizona University to provide a number of bachelor’s degree programs on-site at the Scottsdale campus.

Through the partnership under NAU’s statewide program, students complete their first two years of study through SCC and then take their upper division courses through NAU.

“It is the same program that is in Flagstaff,” said Katherine Yeager, NAU’s associate vice president in the Office of Educational Partnerships. “It’s taught by NAU faculty members and everything is on site (in Scottsdale).”

“The students are completing their bachelor’s degree right here,” Yeager said.

The statewide program also offers some cost savings for students, Yeager said.

NAU has three basic tuition tiers for students in Flagstaff, online or in the statewide program.

The statewide program is the lowest tuition of the three, Yeager said.

For instance, students enrolled in seven credits or more at the NAU Flagstaff campus will pay approximately $6,000 per semester for tuition in fees. 

Students in the statewide program will pay approximately $4,100 per semester for the same number of credits.

The degree offerings at SCC coincide with some of Scottsdale’s largest industries and biggest needs.

Students in NAU’s statewide program at the SCC campus can tap into Scottsdale’s thriving tourism industry with a degree in hotel restaurant management.

Ceoworld Magazine recently named NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management the seventh best hospitality program in the world and the sixth best in the U.S.

“That’s huge,” Yeager said.

Other students can help meet the statewide need for teachers by earning a degree elementary education.

NAU also recently received word from the state that its Arizona Teachers Academy program will be expanded to all statewide locations, including the SCC campus.

The Arizona Teachers Academy is a program spearheaded by Governor Doug Ducey’s office to incentivize students to enter teaching programs in an effort to combat the statewide teacher’s shortage.

Through the Academy, qualified elementary education students at the NAU/SCC campus are eligible to have tuition and fees waived in exchange for committing to teach in Arizona schools. 

Students in the statewide program at SCC can also earn bachelor’s degree in interior design and undergrad certificates for hospitality event management and interior design event management.

The NAU statewide program at SCC will also begin offering a Bachelor of Science in biology degree program starting in fall of 2020.

SCC is also one of several Maricopa County Community College campuses throughout the Valley that participates in the Concurrent Enrollment Program.

The program allows students to earn an associates degree in nursing from the community college while simultaneously pursuing a bachelor’s degree from a participating university, including NAU.

Enrollment in NAU’s statewide program has been down in recent years due to the increasing popularity of online programs.

Still, those online-only programs are not for everyone.

Yeager said that NAU President Rita Cheng has “renewed the commitment to statewide programs because, although online is fantastic as far as convenience for a lot of students, it’s not for every student.”

The university has recently revamped its statewide program, which now includes a combination of in-class and online learning.

Yeager said students will meet in class with instructors every week but each course also includes an online component.

“So it’s kind of the best of both worlds,” she said.