Central Arizona College (CAC) was established in 1969. It is located in Coolidge, Arizona, a small town with a population of about 9,000 residents located in Pinal County. The college maintains nine separate campuses. It is a public institution that offers the majority of its programs on a two-year college level.
Students may select form over 100 programs of study, comprised of a mix of certificates and degrees. Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Business degrees are all granted. The Associate of Arts in Elementary Education transfers to three Arizona public universities: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.
Each associate degree requires 60-64 credits to complete. These credit requirements cover Arizona’s general education curriculum, common courses, special requirements and electives. CAC also offers programs that are on “transfer pathways.” A transfer pathway allows students to complete a training program and possibly receive certification. There are 17 divisions of study including business, communications, fire science and emergency technology, and a sports and fitness division.
To be admitted to the honors program, students are required to possess a 3.2 GPA, be eligible to take college level English without taking remedial courses and maintain a 3.0 in all honor courses. Being in the honors program offers students the opportunity for personal attention due to smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction.
Accreditation is granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The college offers several community outreach programs to cater to continuing education and growing businesses in the community, including training for workers and GED classes.
The campus also features a child development center. This center offers full day and part day childcare for children 3-5 years old.
Admissions are non-competitive. Incoming high school graduates must show proof of high school completion or have earned a GED. Transfer students must submit transcripts from the all previous institutions.
International students must submit a student information form, passing TOEFL scores of 450/133, have a completed financial statement, official transcripts, and a letter from a bank verifying funds for financial support.
Programs for High School Students
The Early College Program allows high school students to enroll in college courses while still enrolled in high school. To participate in this program students must be enrolled in at least 4 high school classes. Other requirements for this program include that students must be Pinal County residents, have at least completed their sophomore year and must receive permission from high school guidance counselors. Student must maintain a 2.5 GPA, enroll and complete CPD101, and meet every semester with an advisor and attend all early college meetings.
The First Step Program allows students to take college courses during the summer sessions. All courses last about 5-8 weeks. Students wanting to enter the First Step Program must be finished with their sophomore year in college. Students that want to enter this program must complete the first step form that requires their parents’ and counselor’s signatures; they must also take college testing, meet with an advisor and attend orientation.
Dual enrollment allows students to earn college credit while in high school. Dual enrollment classes are offered at the local high schools. To apply for this program students must take the college Compass test and have the required academic prerequisites. Unlike the other two programs mentioned above dual enrollment students must pay tuition.
All students who would like to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid , or FAFSA. Options for federal aid include a mixture of grants, loans, scholarships, and work study. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
Campus life features a variety of clubs such as the Funny Biz Club, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Art Club.
There are many helpful resources for students to enrich and facilitate their transition to college life and the challenging academic standards that come with it. The tutoring center offers peer tutoring that helps students in math and writing. The Student Success Program also offers several helpful resources to ensure college success. The Summer Bridge Program gives incoming freshmen a taste of college life through on campus living visits, a peer mentor and academic counseling.
Student Enrollment Demographics
CAC is associated with three different athletic organizations, the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association/Rocky Mountain Division. Sports offered are men’s and women’s cross country, track and filed, basketball and rodeo. There is also men’s baseball and women’s softball.
Additional School Information
The Signal Peak campus is the only one to house students. Residential housing at Signal Peak holds about 400 students. Students have two living options: Living Learning Communities in which students are paired with students of similar interests such as academics goals and wellness concerns (i.e. non-smokers, non-alcoholic users) or general housing. All rooms come fully furnished and are double occupancy. Suite and quad rooms are available, but all rooms are joined by Jack and Jill bathrooms.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.