Archive for New Courses


New program allows classes with small enrollment to continue because of additional senior revenue; seniors may register only if seats available and only two weeks before registration closes

Ron Liss, Vice President of Instruction and Student Development, explained to the Governing Board at its September 12 meeting in Sedona that a new senior “enrichment” program was now in place.  About 30 seniors took advantage of the program this fall. Enrollment was kept small so the College could work out any bugs in the new program.

Liss said that the College can offer seats to seniors in classes that are being taken for credit by traditional students but only if seats are available.  A senior pays tuition for only half of the semester and may continue to complete the course (his or her option)  by paying the remainder of tuition.  

Seniors enrolled in these classes do not take tests and do not have to fill any prerequisites before they are admitted.  Seniors have the last couple of weeks before registration closes to sign up for the courses.

There are advantages to the College by allowing seniors to take these enrichment courses with traditional students.  It allows some courses to be held that would have been cancelled because of low traditional student enrollment.   It also allows more classes with smaller numbers for traditional students to be offered because the senior enrichment students bring in additional revenue to support the expenses related to the courses.

You may view Dr. Liss’s explanation to the Governing Board in the 3.5 minute video below.



College says digital film, media and art classes soon on the Verde Campus

One-year program with 25 elective credit certificate to open on Verde Campus

A one-year film, media and arts program is scheduled to open sometime next year on the Verde Campus, according to a story in the Verde Independent. (The newspaper story can be accessed by clicking here.) 

The program will offer screenwriting, video editing, YouTube storytelling and monetization, production, editing and writing for film.  Students will receive a certificate after completing the one-year program. The certificate is equivalent to 25 elective college credits. The College says that it is “trying to get the film culture going around here.”  

New coursesIn the newspaper story, the College justified closing the nationally recognized Film School at the Sedona Center  because Sedona “didn’t have a lot of students.”  This explanation is  political tripe generated by the College to provide a smoke screen over its real intentions.  After all, the Center didn’t have a lot of students because the College announced a year before closing the program it wasn’t accepting any new students.  

Also in the newspaper  account, the College uses as an excuse to not put the program in Sedona, where it belongs,  that if it did so, the “OLLI program  . . .  would have to be cut to make way for the film program if it stayed at the Sedona Center.”  This is more political tripe.  For those who have paid any attention at all to the Sedona Center, they know as a fact that  both OLLI and the Film School co-existed in the Center for several years before the College decided to close out the Film school over a year ago.  The College never used as a political excuse when it announced the closing that space at the Center was an issue. Rather, it claimed low enrollment (that it created) and a huge subsidy (which, when requested to provide in detail, it could not).  The reason the College was so anxious to get rid of the Film School  was to make way for the possible sale of the Center and its land to supply large amounts of cash to finance the College’s ever-hungry multi-million dollar renovation and expansion projects on the West side of the County.

Music, theatre and dance curriculem

Dean Ralston explains Music, Theatre, and  Dance Performing Arts Track to Governing Board

Dean Craig Ralston made a four minute presentation to the Governing Board February meeting about the College plans for its Performing Arts track. He said it will include music, theatre and dance. Ralston indicated that Mingus Union High School students and Prescott High School students had shown an enthusiastic interest in these courses. Although he had not contacted Sedona Red Rock High School, he promised to do so.

New coursesHe anticipates four concerts in the spring on the East side of the County. He also noted that the College had purchased a Steinway piano from the Verde Valley Concert Association; that there was a music appreciation class on the East side of the County; and some private lessons were now possible.

He did not mention the fact that more than 100 music courses are offered on the Prescott campus. A video record of his remarks to the Board of about four minutes can be accessed by clicking here.

Spinach growing in Chino Valley

The University of Arizona has selected the Community College Chino Valley Center as the venue for an agricultural trial involving spinach

SpinachThe Community College has announced that the University of Arizona has selected the Chino Valley Center as the venue for an agricultural trial to see if this is a good area for summer spinach growing. Chino Valley Farms is also participating in the project, which is part of the largest spinach-growing trial in Arizona.

In its announcement, the College said that “[t]his provides a viable research project for the spring/summer terms for the Chino Valley research garden, and it fits well with all the learning outcomes of our agriculture program.”

New courses leading to new Certificates

Certificates offered at College facilities on the West side of County

NEW courses 2Beginning in the fall of 2014,  the District began offering several new certificates including Athletic Coaching, Canine Care and Handling, Electric Utility Technology, Therapy and Service Dog Team Skills, Gas Medal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and a Pipe Welding. These new certificate programs are designed to prepare students for various careers in these industries through a combination of lecture, group discussion and hands on skill building experiences.  

The Blog is unable to identify any of these certificates as locating on the Verde campus.  (Pages 4-5 Annual financial report released in January, 2015, which you can read by clicking here).

Digital Film Institute may return to the Verde Valley

Community College President says she is planning to propose Digital Film Institute on Clarkdale campus

In a Community College news release of January 20, the President Dr. Penelope Wills said that the she is preparing to present a proposal for a Digital Media Institute to the Governing Board.  It  would be housed on the Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale.

NEW 2“We plan to present this to the District Governing Board in the next month or two,” Wills said. “We’re always looking for and evaluating programs that meet the educational, economic and cultural needs of the people of Yavapai County and can be offered at a justifiable cost to students and taxpayers. We believe these new programs meet those criteria, and we’re eager to welcome the new students that they’ll attract.”

The complete Community College news release can be accessed by clicking here.

Yavapai Community College to expand fine arts programs

How new Performing Arts emphasis will affect the Verde Valley unclear; New Dean of Arts and Humanities to offer courses for theatre majors 

NEW 2In an interview with the Prescott Daily Courier, Craig Ralston, the Community College’s recently-hired Dean of Arts and Humanities, said he is intending to make the fine arts program now in place more closely tied with community performances and continuing education. All current courses of study are remaining intact.  Ralston said that  a gap in the Community College’s current arts offerings overlooks strong performing arts programs at high schools that aren’t translating into degree-seeking students at Yavapai College.

To support the new programs, the Community College is adding an associate professor of musical theater and dance. (Last fall semester an associate professor of vocal music was eliminated.) 

Ralston told the reporter that for theater majors, he plans to add two or three theater acting classes per semester.

How the new theatre emphasis will affect the Verde Valley is not clear. Nothing was mentioned about these new courses at the January Governing Board meeting. Sedona Red Rock High School has shown a very strong interest in developing a dual enrollment performing arts program but so far has not received any official information about the new direction the Community College is taking in this area.  Mingus Union High School also has a very strong interest in theatre acting.

The complete interview carried in Sunday’s Prescott Courier can be accessed by clicking here.


Board to consider Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate

College proposes adding Hotel and Restaurant Management courses 

NEW 2The Yavapai College administration will propose adding Hotel and Restaurant Management courses to its curriculum at the January 13 Board meeting.   In support of the proposed courses, Dr. Stuart Blacklaw wrote:  “The Hotel and Restaurant Management Certificate program, with a mix of business and life skills, will prepare individuals for management careers in hotels and commercial food service. The program will require little to no capital infrastructure – utilizing existing classrooms and facilities – while supporting local economy, business and industry.”

Dean James Perey wrote in support of the program that “During the 2013-2014 I made three visits to culinary/hospitality programs/institutes throughout the united states. Based on my findings a program in hotel and restaurant management requires little to no capital infrastructure and can utilize existing classrooms and facilities. In addition it can support the local economy, business, and industry.”

The College did not indicate it would hire any additional faculty.  In its application, it noted it had consulted with an advisory committee consisting of  Steve Segner (president of Sedona Lodging Council and owner operator of El Portal), Jennifer Wesselhoff (CEO, Sedona Chamber of Commerce), Brian Rader (restaurant manager Cliff Castle Casino), and Nate Schriber (director of feed and beverage Cliff Castle Casino).

The application was sketchy on where the program would be housed and provided few details of how it would be developed. The complete application may be found in the January 13, 2015 Agenda online by clicking here.

Governing Board to consider Culinary Arts Certificate

College Administration urges approval of culinary arts program to be located at Camp Verde High School

NEW 2The Community College administration will propose approval of a Culinary Arts Fundamentals Certificate at next Tuesday’s meeting (January 13, 1 p.m., the Rock House) on the Prescott Campus.  

In a statement urging the Governing Board to adopt the proposal, Vice President Stuart Blacklaw wrote:  “The Certificate in Culinary Arts Fundamentals is designed to equip students with basic skills in culinary arts including: culinary concepts and terminology, kitchen safety and sanitation, use of equipment, nutritional guidelines, measurements, food costing, and culinary theory and practice. To make a culinary arts program feasible, Yavapai College can lease a teaching kitchen with 6 separate units at Camp Verde High School. Currently there are over 200 students enrolled in secondary culinary programs in Yavapai County, however there is not yet a pathway to postsecondary certificates or credentials.”

According to Verde Executive Dean James Perey,  the “program provides instruction in culinary concepts and terminology, kitchen safety and sanitation, equipment usage, basic nutritional guidelines, standard and metric measurements, food costing, and theory and practice in the production of culinary products. Courses emphasize fundamental cooking techniques and preparation methods for hot foods, breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, dressings, breads and pastries.”

The College intends to lease space from Camp Verde High School for $5,000 a year to house the program.  It also intends to pay faculty in the program about $2,800 for teaching a four credit course.  

The recommendation comes from Dean Perey who wrote in the application to the Governing Board that “During the 2013-2014 I made three visits to culinary programs/institutes throughout the United States. Based on my findings it is not feasible to build new construction for a culinary arts program due to cost.”

The recommendation, which was not unexpected by those who carefully watch College activities,  will no doubt disappoint many in Sedona who were under the impression the College might seriously consider the Sedona Center for a culinary arts program. 

In describing the program in the January Agenda, the College states that once the program is set up, an advisory committee will meet up to twice a year.  The full agenda for the January 13 meeting where the proposal was made may be found by clicking here.  


U of A to start Vet program in Camp Verde

University of Arizona to develop future veterinary extension campus in Verde Valley adjacent Wildlife Park

NEW 2Yvonne Gonzales, of the Verde Independent, reported on December 2, 2014 that the University of Arizona is planning a future Arizona veterinary extension campus on a piece of land along SR 260 in Camp Verde. The College intends to locate the facility adjacent the wildlife animal park on land donated by Verde Valley rancher Andy Groseta.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Shane Burgess told Ms. Gonzales that the University needed “to work out curriculum details, but we absolutely know it’ll be a home base area for the medical education program in that part of the state.”

Facility a decade away:  Although the new facility is at least a decade down the road, Burgess said the program will be fully implemented by August 2016. Burgess also said that students can start looking into enrolling in January 2015 with the program operating out of existing facilities in the first year, with students likely be up at the Verde campus in August of 2018.

Burgess told Ms. Gonzales that the University will work with schools such as Yavapai Community College and, in Yuma, Arizona Western Community College to either directly offer programming, or share resources. Douglas, Yuma and Pinal County will also host extension programs. A class of about 100 students, will cycle through the facilities at the various locations during their course of study.

Community College role: Burgess also said that:  “We’ll work with the community college to help the state’s wine industry grow.” He wants to help winegrowers from soil to retail.  According to Burgess, Yavapai Community College could also provide the bridge for students to go from a two-year degree and into undergraduate programs that expand on their field of study.

Yavapai Community College Verde campus Dean James Perey told Ms. Gonzales that the college wants to align curriculum to whatever programming ends up coming from the University of Arizona. He said the university’s programming will also allow the college to work toward creating a pipeline from Mingus Union High Schools agriculture curriculum, which includes large animals, greenhouse and wine grape vineyard.

Perey also told Ms. Gonzales that “. . . as we look at high school curriculum, [we will look at] how that feeds into the agriculture curriculum here at the college, and ultimately what the University of Arizona wants to do.”  The complete article written by Ms. Gonzales may be accessed by clicking here.