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Jan 19 16

Healthcare Career

Get Your Healthcare Career Started in One Semester!

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January 15, 2016 – Learn how to get your healthcare career as a Pharmacy Technician in one semester. South Mountain Community College Pharmacy Customer Service Technician program trains and prepares students for a career as a qualified professional. The median pay for Pharmacy Technicians in Arizona is approximately $31,656 annually and projected job growth is faster than average.

The Certificate of Completion in the Pharmacy Customer Service program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the retail pharmacy environment. Courses will cover federal and state pharmacy regulations and pharmacy services, including prescription dispensing and drug distribution and control. Emphasis will be on providing quality customer service and using effective communications and interpersonal skills when dealing with pharmacy customers and personnel.

Day and evening tracks are available. The day track is a full-time, one semester (16 weeks) track. The evening program is 24 weeks to completion. Classes will be held at the Guadalupe Center located at 9233 S. Avenida del Yaqui (Priest Dr.) in Guadalupe.

To qualify students must have a High School diploma or GED, apply to the program, and attend one of the information sessions to receive an application.

Information sessions at South Mountain Community College Guadalupe Center
TUESDAY, FEB. 2 | 5:30 PM
TUESDAY, FEB. 16 | 5:30 PM
TUESDAY, FEB. 23 | 5:30 PM

For more information call 602-243-8217 or email

Jan 15 16

The Dream.US Scholarship

Three Maricopa Community Colleges Selected as Partner Colleges to Offer The Dream.US Scholarship

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January 13, 2016 – GateWay Community College, Phoenix College, and South Mountain Community College have partnered with The Dream.US, an organization that provides scholarships for first-time college students and community college graduates.

The Dream.US is a multimillion-dollar National Scholarship Fund for DREAMers, created to help immigrant youth who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status achieve their American dream of completing a college education.

Information sessions will be hosted at GateWay Community College and Phoenix College to cover eligibility requirements, the application process and provide additional information about this unique opportunity.

These sessions are free and will be held on the following days:

GateWay Community College
Monday, Jan. 25, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5 p.m.
Information sessions at GateWay Community College will be held in the Career Center (IE1234).

Phoenix College
Saturday, Jan. 18, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 26, 6 – 8 p.m.
Information sessions at Phoenix College will be held in the Hacienda Room.

South Mountain Community College
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5 – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5 – 6 p.m.
All information sessions will be held at South Mountain Community College in the Library Community Room (L162/163)
For additional information, contact Rosa Cota at

The deadline to apply for this scholarship is Feb. 15, 2016.

For information regarding eligibility for first-time college students and community college graduates, visit:

Dec 22 15

$2,000 Awarded to 2015 Venture Pitch Winners

Venture Pitch Winners
On December 8, South Mountain community College (SMCC) hosted its biggest Student Venture Pitch competition yet! More than 100 people attended and 15 student entrepreneurs pitched for the opportunity to win funds to help with their businesses and innovations.

Winning pitches ranged from a sustainability company for recycling glass to an inspirational vision that would bring art to local youth. In all, five student entrepreneurs received funding to help with patents, research and development, marketing and materials.

“This program provides students with the confidence they need to promote their business ideas,” said Community Entrepreneurship Center Director Bruce McHenry. “By developing a powerful pitch, they can ask for funds for additional funding sources and develop businesses that will transform the community.”

Fall 2015 winners:

  • First Place $500 Richard Newsome
  • Second Place $400 Brandon Catour
  • Third Place $300 Kent Kramer
  • Fourth Place $200 Louis Allen
  • Fifth Place $100 Ryan Lindale
  • Social Innovation $250 Brandon Catour
  • Audience Choice was a tie awarding $125 each to Richard Newsome and Ryan Lindale

Thank you to Marisol Federal Credit Union for funding the 2015 Student Venture Pitch Competitions and to the judges – Chuck Newton from SCORE, Robin Romano, MariSol Federal Credit Union CEO, and LaTrica Woods, Mahogany Xan Consulting.

Dec 17 15

South Mountain Community College Selected as a Top School in Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities

SMCC Selected as a Top School in MilitaryMilitary Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has awarded South Mountain Community College the designation of a Top School in its 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education.  The Guide was released late this December, and is available online at

The Guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to our men and women in uniform.

Now in its ninth year of publishing the Guide, MAE&T was the first publication to launch a reference tool of this type. This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services. Each school’s performance rating by category is represented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard. This enables prospective students to quickly target schools that follow best practices in military education, and then put these in context with other academic or career considerations.

With input from an advisory board of educational and government experts, and criteria based on recommendations from the VA and military services, MAE&T’s Guide to Colleges and Universities provides the foundational information a prospective student would use in framing his or her educational needs.

“Our goal is to be a dynamic resource for active service members and those who have moved from the military to their civilian careers, helping them find the school that best fits their plans for the future,” said Kelly Fodel, Military Advanced Education & Transition’s editor. “We think this year’s Guide is our most comprehensive to date, thanks to our newly established advisory board. The board evaluated the drafts of the questionnaire, made pages of notes and suggestions and helped to redefine questions for clarity. We thank them for their thoughtful edits and additions to our process.”

Not only is the 2016 Guide printed in the December issue of Military Advanced Education &Transition, but also published in a searchable database online. Students will have access to all the survey questions and answers provided by the schools, as well as explanations about critical issues like activation and deployment policies, withdrawal policies, scholarship and financial aid information and important support information.

“While we realize that all schools are unique, we focus our annual survey on the best practices that make a true difference to service members and student veterans,” said Fodel. “These best practices have been asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups, and we consider our survey to be the most detailed and informative in the industry.”

Visit for online access to MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities, or pick up a copy of the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition.

About Military Advanced Education & Transition:

Military Advanced Education & Transition ( is the journal of higher education for service members and veterans making the transition from military to the civilian sector.

Covering issues and hot topics in higher education, career trends, transition assistance, innovative programs, and schools of special interest to the military, MAE&T focuses on news and resources that will empower a military student to pursue a quality education and rewarding career. MAE&T serves education services officers (ESOs) and transition officers (TOs) at every U.S. military installation, along with the service members they counsel. Published 10 times yearly, MAE&T’s editorial coverage includes exclusive interviews with military executive leadership, educators, and members of Congress; best practices; career and transition spotlights, service member, school, and program profiles, and periodic special reports.

Dec 16 15

Explore Your Future at South Mountain Community College

College Preview Day for High School Students

Are you a high school student thinking about going to South Mountain Community College? Would you like to learn more about SMCC’s academic programs and career pathways? Do you have questions about how to fulfill your future college and career goals? Then SMCC Cougar Day is for you!

South Mountain Community College will be opening its doors to high school students on Friday, February 12 to come and participate in a half-day introduction to our programs and services.

During Cougar Day you will:

  • Get valuable information on how to get ready to attend SMCC
  • Go on a campus tour
  • Spend time interacting with SMCC faculty and staff
  • Get answers to your questions regarding coming to SMCC
  • Have fun!

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is included. Registration is required.

Event details:

Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center,
7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix
Register: Christopher Erran, 602.243.8346 or

Dec 14 15

Two SMCC College Students Selected for Prestigious All-Arizona Academic Team

Mickey Diamond Diaz Ronald Turner
Mickey Diamond Diaz Ronald Turner


Outstanding South Mountain Community College (SMCC) students Mickey Diamond Diaz and Ronald Turner have been nominated to the prestigious 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team by SMCC President, Dr. Shari Olson. By being nominated, both students are automatically placed on the All-Arizona Academic Team, which awards them with four semesters of tuition waivers to any one of the three Arizona public universities.

Mickey Diamond Diaz was inducted into the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society during the Spring 2015 semester. Soon after, he was elected as Alpha Eta Delta’s Vice-President of Service, where he presided over swearing in new members for the fall Induction Ceremony. In addition to his work in Phi Theta Kappa, Diaz was selected as South Mountain Community College’s Chancellor’s Scholar for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Diaz plans to transfer to Grand Canyon University Honors College this fall, and earn a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He aspires to become an automotive journalist.

Ronald Turner is a member of the SMCC Honors Program, a Foundation Scholarship award winner, and a member of the SMCC Alpha Eta Delta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Turner is majoring in Sustainability at SMCC and plans to transfer to Arizona State University to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability while continuing to work in the behavioral health field with at-risk youth.

Both students will be honored, along with fellow All-Arizona candidates, at the annual luncheon to be held April 2016.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually

For more information about the Alpha Eta Delta, the South Mountain Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, visit

Dec 9 15

South Mountain Community College Engages in an Effort to Reduce its Carbon Footprint

Look behind the athletic fields. South Mountain Community College has started construction on a 180,000 square-foot solar array that covers just over 4 acres.

These 2,812 ground-mounted PV modules are expected to produce approximately 1.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation – enough to fulfill the electrical needs of 160* average sized homes per year – and nearly 35.5 million kilowatt hours over the next 20 years, which is an anticipated savings between $750,000 to $1.7 million** for the College.

Installing the 858-kilowatt array is one way to decrease our reliance on non-renewable forms of energy. The college, like the rest of the surrounding community, still relies on non-renewable sources of energy like coal, natural gas and oil for most of our electricity. This is why it is so important to reduce our energy use through efficiency upgrades and conservation practices by faculty, staff and students.

“The ongoing sustainability efforts of the College will provide value to the community for years to come,” said SMCC President Dr. Shari Olson. “The solar array is just one of several sustainability initiatives that SMCC has undertaken to not only off-set energy use and costs, but to help move forward the thinking and development of green technologies and jobs.”

The electricity produced by this array will ensure the College’s access to low cost energy over the next 20 to 30 years. The array will be owned, operated and maintained by SolarCity.

This installation will also enhance existing SMCC academic programs focused on green jobs, innovations and sustainability. Students in these programs will be able to track in real time the energy production of the array and the benefits of harnessing a renewable resource.

“Not only is the array a highly visible product that connects students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and land use, it is tangible evidence of our commitment to sustainability,” stated Dr. Olson. “We are looking forward to the Go Live date for the array and reducing our carbon footprint.”

The array is expected to go live in early 2016.

*Typical home with an average annual electric use of 12,000 kWh.
**Based on historical 30 year SRP escalation data (0.5%-4.0%).

Dec 4 15

Paws 4 Study Break at South Mountain Community Library is Back!

Back by popular demand! Don’t stress about finals, join the Paws 2 Read canine study buddies in the South Mountain Community Library to relax and unwind before finals week.

De-stress and pet the pooches, enjoy healthy snacks, use computers, free printing, and get last minute research help. Join Maddy, Barney, and our newest therapy pup Posey! Dogs and their handlers/owners are courtesy of the Paws 2 Read Foundation and co-sponsored by Phoenix Public Library.

WHEN: Thurs. Dec. 10, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: South Mountain Community Library | 2nd Floor
7050 S. 24th Street | Phoenix, AZ 85042


Nov 30 15

With $2,000 in the Offing, Student Entrepreneurs Pitch Business Ideas

Are you interested in hearing how entrepreneurs grab attention and get funding for their start-up? Then, the Student Venture Pitch competition is a must-see business pitch throw down.

On December 8, students will have three minutes to compete for funding before a panel of successful inventors, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded practitioners in the business community. Presentations will include an overview of the business, who the customer or market is and how the business would benefit from the prize money.

“The pace will be lively, the pitches fascinating, and there is real cash at stake,” stated Community Entrepreneurship Director Bruce McHenry. “It is South Mountain Community College’s version of the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch and the Arizona Commerce Authority Venture Ready Pitch competition.”

Jenna DeCoite, an entrepreneurial student, and owner of Makawao Sausage Factory received crowd favorite at the spring 2015 venture pitch. “This win gave me the confidence to turn my dream into a reality,” she stated. “The prize money allowed me to purchase some much-needed equipment and perfect the heirloom recipe that is available today.”

Event details:

Tuesday, December 8
2-5 p.m.
South Mountain Community Library, Community Room

Nov 25 15

Performing 28 Years in The Annual Highlights from Handel’s Messiah

Year after year, the performance proves to be one of the most moving musical pieces of all time.  Lorraine Calbow, author, faculty emeritus and founder of the South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Storytelling Institute, has been performing in the choir for all 28 years. Calbow says “to sing every year with people to make beautiful music is indeed uplifting for me and to see familiar faces each season is like coming home to the SMCC family.”

The twenty-eigth annual performance of Highlights from Handel’s Messiah will be presented Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at SMCC.

Under the direction of Dr. Jerome K. Garrison, SR., SMCC Music Faculty Chair, more than 80 vocalists and instrumentalists will participate in this year’s performance, comprising the Community Concert Choir and Orchestra.

Experience the performance this year for yourself.

WHEN:    Saturday, December 5 | 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: South Mountain Community College Performance Hall
7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix 85042

TICKETS: $10 available on Eventbrite at

Visit or call 602.243.8382.

Nov 24 15

Design Team for Hope College & Career Readiness Academy in Place

As the Hope College and Career Readiness Academy makes plans to break ground in early 2016, a team was needed to work through the specific needs, challenges and design elements of the school.

The team members meet weekly with the Maricopa Regional School District and Orcutt Winslow (architect) to discuss the following areas of the 50,000 square foot building:

  • Parking
  • Bus stops
  • Safety & security
  • Classrooms (18) and laboratories (1 chemistry and 1 biology)
  • Childcare area & playground
  • Gymnasium
  • Kitchen
  • Career and Technical Education Lab

I would like to recognize the following South Mountain team members for actively participating in this project:

  • Dolores Urbieta
  • Nancy Deegan
  • Janet Ortega
  • Mark Nielsen
  • Robert Holmes
  • Shari Olson
  • Tim Budworth
  • Yvette Espinosa

The Hope College and Career Readiness Academy will be located at 6900 South 24th Street, which is at the north end of the campus.

Oct 26 15

South Mountain Community College & City of Phoenix Host Geology Hike

South Mountain Community College and the City of Phoenix invite you to participate in a community hike on South Mountain where you will gain insight into the geology of the mountain.

On Saturday, November 7, students from Arizona State University and South Mountain Community College will join community members for a 2.2-mile hike led by professors and geologists, Ron Dorn (ASU) and Sian Proctor (SMCC). Participants will learn the basic geology of South Mountain while focusing on the debris fields from 2014 rainfall. More adventurous hikers will have the opportunity to hike up a debris field to see the source catchments – an area where water is collected by the natural landscape.

To register for the hike, visit and enter course code 7390. The hike is free and limited to 30 participants.

Date: November 7, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Location: Activity Complex, 10919 S. Central Avenue
Cost: Free

Oct 20 15

South Mountain Community College Theatre to Present an Original Adaptation of Six Characters in Search of an Author

South Mountain Community College Theatre is proud to present a new adaptation of the absurdist play “Six Characters in Search of an Author” October 29-30 and November 4-6 in the college’s Performing Arts Center.

“Six Characters in Search of an Author” is a comedic absurdist play exploring the relationship between playwrights, their characters, and theatre practitioners.

Local playwright, director and Maricopa Community College instructor, Laurelann Porter, introduces a new adaptation that highlights the clash between the deeply disturbing tragedy and irreverent comedy. As the play unfolds, you will learn what happens when an author abandons his characters before the play was finished and those characters return demanding their stories be told*.

Luigi Pirandello originally wrote the play, which premiered in Italy in 1921 and in America – on Broadway – in 1922.

Admission is free.

WHAT:        Six Characters in Search of an Author

WHO:          South Mountain Community College Theatre

WHEN:       Only five performances
Oct. 29 & 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 4, 5 & 6 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:      Performing Arts Center
South Mountain Community College Main Campus
7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ 85042

TICKETS:    Free

*This play contains mature language.

Oct 12 15

South Mountain Community College Partners with Si Se Puede Foundation to Offer STEM Programming to Area High School Students

On Wednesday, September 30, South Mountain Community College announced a partnership with the Si Se Puede Foundation to offer a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Robotics program to local high school students.

“STEM skills are becoming increasingly necessary to give youth a path to success,” said South Mountain President Shari Olson. “Through this partnership, we will be able to offer engaging, hands-on learning that will get them excited about STEM majors and careers.”

According to US2020, more than nine million STEM professionals will be needed by 2022. Providing opportunities like the STEM Robotics exposes today’s youth to engineering, physics and calculus so that they can learn skills needed to navigate an ever increasingly complicated and technology driven world.

The South Phoenix STEM Robotics program kickoff event will be held on November 6, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ninth graders can apply with their Counseling office.

For more information on the program, contact Alberto Esparza at (480) 310-2018 or To learn more about the Si Se Puede Foundation, visit

Oct 7 15

Community Entrepreneurship Director Speaks at Innovation Arizona

On Thursday, October 1, South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center Director Bruce McHenry participated in a panel discussion about incubators and co-working spaces.

“Business incubators are geared to help speed up the growth and success of startup and early-stage companies,” stated McHenry. ”The Community Entrepreneurship Center at South Mountain will provide students and community members with the mentoring, expertise, networking and potential capital investments to jumpstart their businesses.”

The Innovation Arizona Summit provides an opportunity for businesses and educators to strengthen their connections.

“We were excited that Bruce was invited to take part in this year’s Summit,” said South Mountain Community College President Dr. Shari Olson. “This event provided the college an opportunity to support the entrepreneurial community and showcase how we are working to expand resources for entrepreneurs in south Phoenix.”

For more information about the Community Entrepreneurship Center or entrepreneurship programs, visit

Oct 5 15

Public Invited to Grand Opening of South Mountain Community Entrepreneurship Center

The public is invited to tour the new South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Community Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) Thursday, November 12, 2015. The new CEC is a business incubator offering education, services, tools, and resources for start-up and existing businesses that includes dedicated workspace, office, conference room, ‘superman’ call booth, kitchen, and lounge space for student-entrepreneurs. The space offers computers as well as Wi-Fi for bring-your-own-devices.

The CEC environment creates connections to grow and sustain entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing a unique co-learning space where student entrepreneurs will be able to collaborate with faculty, staff, and community partners supporting entrepreneurship.

Community partners providing support include:

  • SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives)
  • SBDC (Maricopa Small Business Development Center)
  • AWEE (Arizona Women’s Education & Employment center)
  • ASU Skysong Office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation.

Start-up seed funding is available to student entrepreneurs through semi-annual venture pitch contests and Micro-finance program offered jointly with MariSol Federal Credit Union and small Matters.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony | Grand Opening Celebration
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
South Mountain Community College
7050 S. 24th Street | Phoenix, AZ 85042

Media tours are available Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, 9 – 11 a.m. To request a different time please call 602.243. 8169.

Sep 23 15

South Mountain Community Library Celebrates Your Right to Read

What do The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky have in common? They have all been challenged or banned from libraries.

Sponsored by the American Library Association and groups of authors, teachers, book sellers and publishers, Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3) honors and draws attention to the freedom to read and the freedom to seek and express ideas — even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.  Books recognized during this week have been challenged because of alleged racism, offensive language, sexual content and religious viewpoint.

South Mountain Community Library will celebrate Banned Books Week with a September 29 Read-A-Thon from 11AM-12PM in the Library Community Room. Everyone will have the opportunity to read or listen to short selections from a challenged or banned book.

Participants will enjoy desserts and drinks and have the opportunity to win a raffle prize as they hear Dr. Kimberly Pope point out the harms of censorship and share her personal experiences as a board member of the Chandler Public Library.

The South Mountain Community Library will have a display of banned books, which can be checked out. Stop by and pick up a banned book!

The late Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, a frequently challenged, classic novel about book burning in a future society, once said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get people to stop reading them.”

Celebrate your right to read Banned Books Week, September 27-October 3!

Banned Books Week event is sponsored by the South Mountain Community Library, South Mountain Community College Honors Program and South Mountain Community College Diversity Committee.

Sep 23 15

South Mountain Hosts Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which kicked off this week, South Mountain Community College District will offer a variety of free events, including a movie screening, speaker panel, live music and taco Tuesday at its main campus on 24th Street and Baseline.

On Wednesday, September 23, a screening of The Book of Life will take place at 11AM in the Student Union. This animated film by Mexican director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro was born out of Gutierrez’s deep connection with Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and much of the animation is stylized by the masks and figures that are synonymous with its celebration.

Next week, students and the community can learn more about the Hispanic culture and history from the speakers’ panel on Wednesday, September 30, from 11AM-1PM on the LRC Patio.

To finish out the celebration, enjoy the music of local disc jockey Manic Hispanic while dining from the food trucks and watching a capoeira demonstration on Tuesday, October 6, 11AM-1PM outside the Student Union.

Hispanic Heritage Month was expanded from a weeklong observation in 1988. It started September 15 in commemoration of the Independence Day anniversary of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, and runs through Oct. 15. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

Sep 18 15

Celebrating 20 Years of Storytelling: New Courses and a Year Filled With Anniversary Events

For 20 years, South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has made a name for itself in the ancient art of storytelling. Storytelling is more complex than simply memorizing a script; no two performances are the same. The oral art tradition is steeped in the humanities bringing about connections and community through stories.

The first storytelling festival was held October of 1995 and since has evolved into a mainstream art embraced by a large and expanding audience in Phoenix. So much that Phoenix is now known as the largest storytelling network in the nation.

Led by Director, Liz Warren, an internationally acclaimed storyteller, the institute is a great place to take a basic class or even study for an academic certificate. New 1-credit storytelling classes are being offered this fall that are conveniently offered on Saturdays, teaching how to use storytelling in various careers and settings of life.

This year Liz Warren and Storytelling faculty, Marilyn Torres will be conducting storytelling workshops with the bilingual nursing fellowship program mentors and early college education students.  The dynamic storytelling duo has also created new partnerships with Arizona Storytellers, Gila River Indian Community, and nationally recognized and renowned storytellers that will be featured in the institutes signature as well as new unique performances throughout the year.

For more information and performances scheduled during the 20th year anniversary celebration, visit

Sep 15 15

Public Invited to Grand Opening of New Veteran Center

The public is invited to tour the recently completed South Mountain Community College Veterans Center on Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Following the opening ceremony attendees may tour the center and enjoy refreshments. “SMCC is honored to offer the public an opportunity to view this enhancement to our campus,” said Dr. Shari Olson, SMCC President. “Our college has always strived to provide excellent services for our military students and their families. We are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of these veterans. ” The Veterans Center is here to connect veteran and military students with the resources they need – including tutoring, counseling, educational benefits and academic guidance. It is the goal of the center to be a place where these students can connect with one another and receive the assistance needed to achieve personal and academic goals. The new Veterans Center will be located in the Student Services building.

Sep 15 15

South Mountain Community College recognized by White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has recognized South Mountain Community College for the Bilingual Nursing Fellows Program (BNFP) as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.

This Initiative seeks to leverage Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

The BNFP program at South Mountain was created to meet the critical shortfall of Spanish speaking nurses in Arizona and to prepare students for employment as registered nurses. Through partnerships with Phoenix College and Arizona State University, students are able to transfer directly into the BSN program at ASU for reduced tuition rates.

This fall, through collaboration with the Arizona Action Coalition Diversity Council, a mentoring program has been implemented. The program is designed to have 20 BNFP student mentees pair with mentors from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Black Nurses Association of Greater Phoenix, and Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona to engage with underserved populations in community health settings. This group will also be working with the South Mountain Storytelling Institute to learn how the art of storytelling can assist them in their nursing careers.

Since the program began more than 15 years ago, over 300 students have become a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified nurse assistant. The BNFP program also has a 100 percent LCN NCLEX pass rate and 95 percent RN NCLEX pass rate. To date, 226 students have received their Associates in Applied Sciences with 108 additional students in the program this fall.

As a Bright Spot, the South Mountain BNFP program will be part of a national online catalog that includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.

“It is an honor to have the college recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education,” said Dr. Shari Olson, South Mountain President. “Not only is the BNFP program instrumental in meeting current workforce needs, it is an example of the college’s leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community.”

For more information on the BNFP program, visit

Sep 1 15

TRIO Programs at South Mountain

South Mountain Community College Receives Over $231,000 from U.S. Department of Education

As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program (a TRIO program), South Mountain Community College received $231,103 in order to continue providing students with the academic and support services they need to succeed in college. This award is renewable each year for five years totaling $1.15 million.

This grant is aimed at providing low-income, first generation, and disabled students the opportunity to attend college and complete a program of study. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

“At South Mountain, our TRIO programs strive to increase retention and graduation rates for students by providing services, opportunities and resources that enhance personal skills and academic excellence,” stated Dr. Shari Olson, president.

TRIO programs at South Mountain include Upward Bound and STEP. More information about these programs is available at

Aug 18 15

SMCC Mobile Pantry Distribution Begins Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

On September 4, South Mountain Community College employees and students will help their community by packing FREE boxes of food as volunteers for the St. Mary’s Food Bank Mobile Pantry Distribution. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be available for all families or individuals in need. The Mobile Pantry is open to the public and free of charge. No identification or qualifying is required. The Mobile Pantry takes place every two weeks from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center. Distribution dates for the semester are as follows: September 4 and 18 October 2 and 16 November 6 and 20, December 4 and 18 South Mountain Community College is located at 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, just north of Baseline Rd. For additional information, please call 602.243.8065.

Aug 5 15

Musicians and Vocalists Scholarships Available!

Students and community members that love to play an instrument or sing are invited to audition for South Mountain Community College’s choir and performance bands. Auditions begin August 13, 2015, and spots are available in the day community choir, evening community choir, day jazz band, evening community band and mariachi band. Auditions will continue until all positions are filled.

Performers selected also qualify to receive a scholarship to help cover college tuition.

Performances are held throughout the semester, and each group performs in at least one of the concerts on main

  • Community Chorus (Eve) meets Wednesdays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 26 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Community Chorus (Day) meets Mondays; 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., Aug. 24 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Community Band meets Mondays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 24 – Dec. 7, 2015
  • Jazz Band (Day) meets Tuesday/Thursday; 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Jazz Band – Latin Jazz (Eve) meets Tuesdays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Mariachi Band meets Tuesdays; 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015

Contact Desiree Howard, 602.243.8382, to schedule an audition.

Jul 1 15

USCIS to Welcome 250 New Citizens During Independence Day Celebration at South Mountain Community College

USCIS to Welcome 250 New Citizens

During Independence Day Celebration at South Mountain Community College

Citizenship candidates to take Oath at public libraries and historic landmarks


PHOENIX — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome America’s newest citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at South Mountain Community College.

The Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, U.S. Federal Judge for the District of Arizona will preside over the ceremony and administer the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens.

Honored guests and speakers include:  former State Senator Robert Blendu, and USCIS Phoenix District Director Al Gallmann.

The 250 citizenship candidates originate from the following 57 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bularia, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, People’s Republic, Colombia, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, ST. Vincent –Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USSR, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.

This ceremony is part of USCIS’ annual Independence Day celebration. This year, USCIS celebrates our nation’s 239th birthday by welcoming more than 4,000 new U.S. citizens in more than 50 naturalization ceremonies across the country from July 1through July 4.

To view a list of 2015 Independence Day naturalization ceremonies, visit

USCIS is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share their experience and photos from their ceremonies via social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.


WHO: USCIS District Director Al Gallmann

Former State Senator Robert Blendu

The Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, U.S. Federal Judge

WHEN: Friday, July 3, at 9 a.m.
WHERE: South Mountain Community College

7050 S. 24thStreet

Phoenix, AZ 85042

CONTACT: Maria Elena Upson,

USCIS Public Affairs Officer

(602) 462-2503 desk

(214) 208-7765 mobile

NOTE: Media should plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.


Jun 16 15

Hope College & Career Readiness Academy

Additional Information Session to Learn More About The Hope College & Career Readiness Academy

An additional information session has been scheduled to provide the community with more information about how South Mountain Community College (SMCC), a Maricopa County Community College, and the Maricopa County Regional School District (MCRSD) are working together to find a solution that will re-connect the youth in South Phoenix.

MCRSD is proposing to develop a high school campus – Hope College and Career Readiness Academy – that will provide disconnected youth in South Phoenix with an opportunity to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diplomas.

Research indicates that traditional educational routes are not working for these young adults. Working together, we can prepare all teens and young adults with the skills they need to be productive, fulfilled citizens and community members.

Hope College and Career Readiness Academy Information Session:

Monday, June 22
6-7 P.M. | Free and open to the public

South Mountain Community Library | Community Room

  • Learn more about the Hope College and Career Readiness Academy and programs it will offer
  • How we can decrease the disparity in education outcomes in Phoenix neighborhoods by joining forces
  • Enhance the local economy by developing positive community members
  • Alleviate taxpayer burden by reducing unemployment, and produce engaged workers looking for long-term employment opportunities.
Jun 11 15

South Mountain Community College Athletics Best Year in the History of The College

The 2014-15 season turned out to be the best season ever for South Mountain Community College (CC) Athletics. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) honored eight student-athletes as All-Americans for their respective sports. This is the largest number of individual All-Americans in one year in the history of the college. The eight All-American student-athletes represent the largest total of all the Maricopa Colleges for the 2014-15 athletic year.

Congratulations South Mountain Community College Cougars on your outstanding performance and achievement:

  • Delaney Scanlan, Volleyball
  • Kevin Kelly, Basketball
  • Connor Klein, Golf
  • Ben Harden, Golf
  • Jake DeForest, Golf
  • Ryan Douglass, Golf
  • Alexis Evans, Softball
  • Sebastian Zawada, Baseball

The Academic recognitions will be announced by the NJCAA in the next couple weeks, which will include seven of South Mountain CC’s nine teams achieving outstanding academic honors.

Jun 10 15

Hope College Information Session

Serving the Disconnected Youth In South Phoenix

Serving the Disconnected Youth In South Phoenix

South Mountain Community College (SMCC), a Maricopa County Community College, and the Maricopa County Regional School District (MCRSD) are working together to find a solution that will re-connect the youth in South Phoenix.

MCRSD is proposing to develop a high school campus – Hope College and Career Readiness Academy – focused on re-connecting these young adults. This Academy will provide disconnected youth in South Phoenix with an opportunity to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diplomas.

Research indicates that traditional educational routes are not working for these young adults. Working together, we can prepare all teens and young adults with the skills they need to be productive, fulfilled citizens and community members.

Hope College and Career Readiness Academy Information Session:

Wednesday, June 10
6-7 P.M. | Free and open to the public

South Mountain Community Library Community Room

  • Learn more about the academy and programs it will offer
  • How we can decrease the disparity in education outcomes in Phoenix neighborhoods by joining forces
  • Enhance the local economy by developing positive community members
  • Alleviate taxpayer burden by reducing unemployment, and produce engaged workers looking for long-term employment opportunities.
May 26 15

SMCC Student Club to Develop a Mobile App

South Mountain Community College (CC) “Digital Connect” club has been awarded a learning grant to develop a mobile app and student digital newspaper for the college. Phi Theta Kappa students have already published the inaugural edition of “Cougar Today”, the student newspaper, as a PDF that will morph into the digital newspaper.

Business and Information Technology division faculty Stephen Hustedde, Niall McCarthy, and Maria Bailey-Benson along with Language Arts division faculty member Camille Newton, submitted submitted the application for the 2015-2016 Learning Grant project and were awarded $11,880 for the proposed project.

“South Mountain CC has made strides in building a programming/mobile apps development program and a business entrepreneurship program”, said Stephen Hustedde. “We have programming and design students who need and want more real-world experience. An obvious solution is to develop a mobile app and a digital newspaper deployable to mobile devices in-house, placing students with faculty oversight to provide additional learning and instruction, while helping students build upon their portfolio to secure gainful employment.”

The club project will focus on four interwoven teams – a mobile-app design/development team (programming students), a digital publication design team (web and graphic design students), a content team to write for the newspaper as well as the app (journalism/English students), and a business/entrepreneurship team that provide project management, marketing, and surveying of student needs/desires in the design process (business/entrepreneurship students).

The Digital Connect project will kick-off July 1, 2015 and will begin recruiting students August 20, 2015. For more information contact Stephen Hustedde at

May 19 15

South Mountain Community College Career Education Students Have A New Scholarship Opportunity

Phoenix, AZ – May 18 – South Mountain Community College (South Mountain) is now offering tuition awards and test certification reimbursements to students enrolled in a My Career Certificate of Completion program.

To apply for the tuition award, students must be enrolled in their final class that will complete their certificate at South Mountain, maintain a grade of C/P or better, meet attendance requirements for the course and apply prior to graduation. Students interested in the test certification reimbursement must have attended South Mountain after October 1, 2013, completed the test between May 1, 2015 and December 18, 2015, and submit completed test results and proof of payment with application.

“We are delighted to announce this scholarship, which reflects the importance of career education at South Mountain,” says Shari Olson, South Mountain president. “We are committed to a whole-person approach, which provides students with the knowledge, skills and tools to effect real change in their workforce and their community.”

Gladys Hernandez, real estate student and test certification reimbursement applicant, said that this grand affords her the opportunity to focus on preparing for the test. “I don’t have to worry that I won’t be able to take the test due to financial considerations,” she said. “I am thankful that South Mountain is supporting my education and helping me achieve my career aspirations.”

The Walmart Brighter Futures Project and the League for Innovation in the Community College made this scholarship program possible. For more information about the program, contact the MyCareer Advisor at