cac connect ribbon cutting

The CAC Connect ribbon cutting took place on Tuesday morning at MHS. 

MARICOPA — While being a high school student comes with its share of confusion, making decisions in pursing higher education can be an overwhelming step for many teenagers.

Maricopa High School and Central Arizona College have made the process easier and more convenient for MHS students by launching CAC Connect, a platform allowing students to discuss their future endeavors with representatives from the college.

The program started last Tuesday with a ribbon cutting at MHS.

MHS is the only high school in Pinal County to have the program, allowing the students to explore career options and applying and registering for classes. Representatives from CAC will come to the space provided by MHS every Tuesday in hopes of helping and educating students on what the college has to offer.

“Maricopa High School is the first high school in Pinal County to offer this type of innovative opportunity to its students,” MHS Principal Brian Winter said during the ribbon cutting. “We are proud to pioneer such a unique program, one that will bridge high school resources with college resources in one easy-to-access package for our Maricopa students.”

The event brought officials from Maricopa Unified School District and the high school, the Maricopa City Council and CAC, congratulating the Maricopa Educational Partnership.

“I think the most exciting part of CAC Connect is that high school students will have the opportunity to meet with local college representatives in an environment that they’re already comfortable with,” said Megan Purvis, director of student services at CAC’s Maricopa Campus. “Throughout CAC Connect, we will be able to build a more unified presence between the high school and CAC Maricopa Campus so that we’re giving the students all the tools they need to enroll in college and make the best and most informed decision in themselves regarding their higher educational goals.”

The idea of CAC Connect originated only about five months ago. The idea was to make the college transition process more convenient by placing it in the middle of where these students go every day.

“It eliminates the barrier of the students traveling,” Purvis said.

With representatives from various career fields, such as dean of nursing, academic advisers and advisers covering the skilled-trade programs going to the high school, there will be multiple opportunities for MHS students to learn about possible career paths.

“I look forward to seeing the progress CAC Connect makes within the program’s first academic year,” Winter said.