Monday, August 1, 2011

Northern Arizona University Joins the Communiversity @ Surprise

Surprise, Ariz. – August 1, 2011 – The Communiversity @ Surprise is pleased to announce the addition of Northern Arizona University (NAU) as a partner in higher education. NAU’s presence at the Communiversity will complement existing programs by making available additional educational pathways for students seeking bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

“We are delighted to have NAU join the Communiversity,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College, host institution of the Communiversity in partnership with the City of Surprise. “NAU has a strong and valued reputation and this partnership strengthens our Communiversity program offerings and will provide additional higher education opportunities for students within the City of Surprise and in surrounding areas.”

The Communiversity @ Surprise is a unique civic and educational partnership dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to earn an associate to bachelor’s to a master’s degree from partnering institutions, all in one location.

“Joining the Communiversity partnership in Surprise is another example of how NAU reaches out to provide higher education pathways to underserved populations across the state,” said Fred Hurst, senior vice president for NAU-Extended Campuses. “We look forward to working with Rio Salado and the Communiversity partners to provide seamless programming that helps Surprise residents achieve their academic goals.”

Course offerings at the Communiversity are available in person, hybrid and online. Students can experience a savings in tuition by transferring 75-90 credits from a community college partner to a university partner.

“The Communiversity offers students an opportunity to enroll in up to 90 credits at community college pricing making it both a very affordable and convenient choice for students in Surprise and the surrounding area. We value the community college and university partners who make this possible, and know that NAU will add to the breadth, depth, and quality of the educational pathways,” said Dr. Jo Jorgenson, Dean of Instruction and Community Development at Rio Salado College.

This fall NAU will offer Bachelor of Science degree programs at the communiversity in:
• Career and Technical Education
• Interdisciplinary Studies-Technology Management
• Interdisciplinary Studies-Emergency Services Administration

Master’s programs include:
• Educational Leadership with a Principal Certification
• Administration of Leadership

Program offerings scheduled for fall 2012 are:
• Bachelor of Science or Art in Interdisciplinary Studies-Humanities
• RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Bachelor of Science Health Sciences in Allied Health
• Bachelor of Science Health Sciences in Medical Assisting


The Communiversity @ Surprise is a partnership of the City of Surprise, three Maricopa Community Colleges: Rio Salado College, Glendale, Community College, Phoenix College, Ottawa University, Northern Arizona University and West-MEC. The communiversity opened in August of 2009 and is located at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza in Surprise.

Northern Arizona University is a leader in statewide and online learning and continues to offer and create convenient degree programs that meet the state’s growing need for health professionals, teachers, business leaders, public administrators and more. In the past 20 years NAU has awarded more than 30,000 degrees to students in statewide degree programs, each reflective of the university’s solid reputation and ability to provide a personal touch. About 35 percent of NAU students now earn degrees online or in their communities.

Rio Salado College was founded in 1978 and serves one of the largest online enrollments nationwide. The college was recently recognized as one of eight highly productive institutions of higher education in the nation by McKinsey & Company. Rio Salado offers general education courses as well as a variety of degree and certificate programs with more than 62,000 students enrolled annually. It is also Arizona’s largest provider of Adult Basic Education.

The Maricopa Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation and serves more than 250,000 students annually. It includes 10 colleges - Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College. The District also includes the Maricopa Skill Center, SouthWest Skill Center, several satellite campuses and business/industry, technical and customized training institutes.

Media Contacts:
Delynn Bodine, Rio Salado College
480.517.8205 work 480.215.9456 cell

Diane Rechel, Northern Arizona University