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Honoring transfer student success through ASU and Arizona Western College partnership

40 students graduate with bachelor’s and master's degrees on May 17

May 23, 2024

In celebration of Arizona State University’s partnership with Arizona Western College (AWC), ASU was honored to participate in a special commencement ceremony on May 17 during AWC’s 60th anniversary and to confer degrees for ASU’s Class of 2024.

As part of the nearly decadelong partnership, ASU expanded opportunities for AWC students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees while remaining in Yuma with the establishment of ASU at Yuma, and more recently ASU Local in Yuma. Originally designed to offer degree programs serving the economic and workforce needs of the community, the collaboration between institutions evolved to support the growing student population through innovative on-campus and online programmatic initiatives.

Delivering a hybrid experience for students, ASU Local enables participants to attend ASU directly on AWC’s Yuma campus. Bringing ASU’s top-ranked undergraduate degree programs to Yuma at a cost-effective price, ASU Local bridges the online experience with in-person services, helping to provide a sense of community to enhance the student experience — right in the student’s hometown. 

"ASU Local is critically important to Yuma County. It provides the opportunity for AWC graduates to complete their baccalaureate degree in the community they call home. AWC is proud to partner with ASU to improve degree attainment,” said Daniel Corr, president of AWC.

And through the benefits of MyPath2ASU, AWC students have the ability to map their transfer to ASU with a personalized course-by-course plan. By eliminating the guesswork of selecting the correct community college courses for their ASU bachelor’s degrees, students save time and money while minimizing loss of credit during their transfer journey. Since the 2020–21 academic year, AWC has had more than 800 students enroll at ASU.

Three women in graduation regalia.
ASU graduates participate in the 2024 commencement ceremony at Arizona Western College in Yuma. Courtesy photo

“There are many great opportunities afforded to students who transfer to ASU from community colleges in Arizona,” said Kurt Palmer, program manager for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU. “One of these great partnerships is with Arizona Western College in Yuma. Students at AWC benefit from many great transfer opportunities and resources. One of these is MyPath2ASU. 

“The transfer process can be daunting and confusing for many who have not navigated the process before, and even for some who have. MyPath2ASU is an amazing tool that helps all students to demystify, simplify and create their transfer pathway.”

Palmer said the tool levels the playing field for students who may not have family or friends  who can help them navigate the complicated process of transferring to a university. MyPath2ASU helps students answer the three big questions of transfer success, he said:

“First, students need to be able to figure out exactly where they are. This means knowing how classes they have taken will transfer to ASU. Second, they need to know exactly what to do. This is the planning part of picking out what classes they need to take. ... Third, they need to know exactly how to get started. This means they know what classes to sign up for, when they have taken their critical prerequisites, and when to start their application to ASU.

“... MyPath2ASU makes AWC transfer students experts in their pathway to success.”

With the support of ASU’s transfer resources and presence on campus, 40 students graduated with their bachelor’s and master's degrees on May 17. The graduating class, many of whom transferred from Arizona Western College, earned their bachelor’s degrees in education and master’s degrees in social work, and they made up the inaugural cohort of ASU Local in Yuma.

To further honor ASU’s graduates, ASU's Academic Alliances and ASU Local in Yuma hosted a graduation celebration prior to the evening’s commencement. A special investiture ceremony for social work master’s degree students, all of whom were first-generation, was also held during the celebration.

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