Educating Arizona

Catholic University of America partners with Pima Community College to bring a bachelor’s program to working adults.

THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY of America (CatholicU), based in Washington, D.C., is collaborating with Pima Community College (PCC), a designated Hispanic-serving institution based in Tucson, Arizona, to launch a collaborative bachelor’s program in business management. The program has been created to address the fact that less than half of working adults in Arizona hold college certificates or degrees, according to school officials. The new program will support the state government’s goal of raising that number to 60 percent by 2030. Experts project that to meet this goal, the state’s educational institutions will need to issue an additional 1 million college credentials over the next ten years.

Courses will be administered at the Catholic University of America’s Tucson campus by the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies. The program will be delivered in a hybrid format that integrates interactive online modules developed by faculty members in the university’s Busch School of Business with small group discussions moderated by on-site instructors and facilitators. Students also have opportunities to participate in a series of experiential learning opportunities and apprenticeships.

This fall, the partners will enroll 20 students in the program’s first cohort, with plans to expand enrollment to 100 per cohort within three years. Students will enter as first-year students at PCC and engage in a blend of PCC and Catholic University courses, including foundational classes in theology and philosophy typical for a CatholicU student on campus.

After completing the four-year program, students will earn an associate’s degree from PCC and a BA from CatholicU. With the help of donor support, tuition for the program will cost less than annual in-state tuition at many public universities in Arizona, to better serve lower-income students.