Central Arizona College

Central Ariozna College Monday Jan. 14, 2019 Signal Peak Campus. The new Student Union building is a 28,600-square-foot facility at the southern edge of campus and contains meeting rooms, a bookstore, a cafe, a cafeteria and a student lounge. It is designed to be a flexible space to host a myriad of events, like the annual Rocktacular and Culture Fair.

SIGNAL PEAK — Evelyn Casuga and Jerry Walker were sworn in as the newest members of the Central Arizona College Governing Board on Tuesday. Casuga was immediately elected to become vice president and David Odiorne president, taking over from board member Dan Miller.

During her presentation to the board, college President Jackie Elliott continued to praise the school’s handling of virtual learning during the pandemic and announced the school would be receiving another round of federal CARES funding. The school will receive $1.5 million for student aid and to offset operation costs, as well as $4.4 million for expenses related to the pandemic, some of which can go toward online learning.

Currently, only CAC athletes are living in residence halls under strict safety guidelines.

“I’m proud of staff and coaches following strict protocols to keep our students safe, healthy and engaged,” Elliott said.

The school is also taking part in the Caring Campus Initiative. As part of its participation, the school will be identifying four core classroom behaviors for the faculty members most successful with student completion and retention.

Mary Kay Gilliland and Jenni Cardenas gave reports on community enrichment programs and events, respectively. While many events were halted or postponed due to the pandemic, Gilliland said that some Lifelong Learning and continuing education courses, such as ceramics, had done well during the switch to a virtual platform.

The school is also offering a free one-hour sampler of courses for the spring, after which participants can sign up at a discount if they are interested. Gilliland said there is heavy future interest in yoga and conversational Spanish.

“We are really looking forward to seeing what happens with this,” Gilliland said. “There’s lots of unfortunate trends we are looking to turn around but we are on the right track.”

Elliott also announced completion of the on-campus Regional Workforce Training Center, which will open to business and industry later this month.

“We are excited we can help grow the workforce through this beautiful facility,” Elliott said. “We want to play an important role in the reskilling of America.”

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Aaron Dorman is a reporter covering Coolidge and the surrounding area. He can be reached at adorman@pinalcentral.com.