graduate hat and certificated in the garden

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), a public school district dedicated to career and technical education programs, is partnering with Arizona State University for a new program to help “fast-track” students to bachelor’s degrees.

Working with the Maricopa County Community College District, the partnership will help high school students at West-MEC work toward a degree. 

West-MEC’s career and technical education (CTE) students learn skills in programs such as veterinary science, automotive technology, fire science and welding. The students have the opportunity to earn dual enrollment high school and college credit from the Maricopa Community Colleges in tandem with earning their industry certifications at West-MEC.

Upon completion of an Associate of Applied Science degree from a Maricopa Community College, the new partnership will allow students to transfer and apply 60-75 credits toward a 120-credit Bachelor of Applied Science degree at ASU. 

“Until now, the students who completed our CTE program did not have a clear path to transfer seamlessly to ASU. Now they do, and this is a game-changer,” said Speranta Klees, post-secondary partnerships manager at West-MEC. “Through this program, our students who complete the CTE program will know they are valued, welcomed and wanted by ASU.”

As the West Valley economy grows, the need for skilled workers is high and partnerships like this provide an important local talent pipeline into high-paying employment.

Cheryl Hyman, vice provost of Academic Alliances at ASU, said, “ASU is committed to the success of our students. We understand transfer students all have unique learning journeys, and through our transfer tools and partnerships we enable all transfer students to have a connected pathway experience that will enable academic preparedness, college completion and career readiness.”

West-MEC serves more than 37,000 students from 48 high schools across 3,600 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Visit west-mec.edu for more information. 

The Maricopa County Community College District includes 10 regionally accredited colleges, including Estrella Mountain and Glendale.