Friday, November 8, 2019

Missy Ascension Elected to Maricopa Student Senate

The Maricopa County Community College District has elected CGCC student Missy Ascension as one of the ten 2019-20 Student Senate Members.

"CGCC is incredibly special to me, and I'm honored to be able to represent its community in such a monumental way," said Missy. "It's the place where I experienced the most professional and personal growth in my life, and where I learned that I could make my dream career a reality. I love my school and all the communities that have poured their time and encouragement in shaping me into who I am today. I'm excited to be able to give back to CGCC by becoming the voice of our student body and set the precedent for all future Student Senators to come. My goal as Student Senator is to ultimately ensure that the needs of our students do not fall on deaf ears, and cultivate an environment that allows students to feel heard, welcomed and safe here on campus. I hope to inspire our students and help them become the best version of themselves that they can attain during their academic journey at CGCC."

Student senators represent their fellow students at the college they attend within the Maricopa County Community College District. Senators will take on the challenging and fulfilling duty of addressing student issues, as well as legislating on behalf of their student constituencies. As a voting member of the senate, senators will provide for the welfare and betterment of all Maricopa students. In this leadership position, senators ensure student voices are heard.

"We are excited that Missy will serve as a Student Senator," said Veronica Hipolito, CGCC Vice President of Student Affairs. "Missy has made a positive impact on student engagement at CGCC through her leadership in the ESports Cub, and we believe she will continue this positive work as an advocate and voice for students in the Maricopa Student Senate."

Missy studies business and intends to transfer to Arizona State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management with an emphasis in project management. She aspires to work in the rapidly-expanding esports industry with the goal of creating more esports teams at colleges and universities. Missy served as the President of the CGCC Esports Club in 2018-19 and plays on the club's League of Legends Varsity Team. She currently works as the Welcome Desk Receptionist for the International Education Department.

The Maricopa Community College’s Student Senate functions to advocate for the common interests of all MCCCD students in order to share student achievements and concerns with their fellow students, Governing Board, Chancellor, colleges, faculty, staff, and the community. MCCCD proudly provides this opportunity for growth, leadership development, and overall success of students. 

For more information about the MCCCD Student Senate please visit our website

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Aspen Institute Names CGCC as a Top 150 U.S. Community College

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named CGCC as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges. Based on strong and improving in student outcomes—including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity—15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize. 

"We are honored to be recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the country," said Dr. Greg Peterson. "This distinction highlights our commitment to student success and showcases our faculty and staff's dedication to ensuring our students accomplish their educational and professional goals." 

The 150 community colleges named today as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 39 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 500 students and as many as 75,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector.  

Data show that over the last two years, student retention, graduation rates, and degree completion have improved at the top tier of 150 Aspen Prize-eligible colleges. 

“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students—through graduation and beyond.” 

The top ten finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.  

Previous winners of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence are: Miami Dade College (FL) and Indian River State College (FL), 2019; Lake Area Technical College (SD), 2017; Santa Fe College (FL), 2015; Santa Barbara City College (CA) and Walla Walla Community College (WA), 2013; Valencia College (FL), 2011. 

For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dr. Monika Bilka Named Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow

At CGCC, we pride ourselves on our award-winning faculty. We believe in our faculty pursuing their research interests and utilizing that research to educate our students. These distinguished faculty members add to the enriching experience at our college.

History professor Dr. Monika Bilka has been named a 2019 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Community College Faculty Fellow for her case study Remaking a People, Restoring a Watershed: Klamath Tribal Empowerment through Natural Resource Governance. The inaugural class of fellows includes 26 faculty members.

According to the ACLS, “The Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships recognize humanities and social science faculty who teach at two-year institutions and their vital contributions to scholarship, teaching and their communities.” The inaugural class of fellows includes 26 faculty members.

“We’re thrilled to announce the recipients of these awards,” said ACLS program officer Rachel Bernard, “each of whom exemplifies the kind of rich humanistic research, innovative pedagogy and deep community engagement that is flourishing within humanities programs at two-year colleges across the country. This program serves an unmet need by supporting teacher-scholars at community colleges through flexible stipends that fellows can use to fund their research, teaching and public programming.”

The fellows will each receive a $40,000 stipend to be used for any activities that advance their research projects. They will attend a convening hosted by ACLS in fall 2020 to share their research.

“We are honored to count Dr. Bilka among our outstanding faculty at Chandler-Gilbert,” said Dr. Greg Peterson, CGCC President. “Her research will not only have a profound impact in our classrooms, but on sustainability and resource management efforts across the country. I congratulate her on the well-deserved fellowship.”

In her abstract, Dr. Bilka writes, “In 1961, the federal termination policy transferred the Klamath Tribes' land in southern Oregon out of tribal ownership and ended all federal education and social programs guaranteed to the Klamaths through their treaty with the US government. Without dismissing the traumatic effects of the termination policy, Remaking a People, Restoring a Watershed analyzes how the Klamath Tribes asserted sovereignty to influence natural resource management on public and private lands. While this case study focuses on the Pacific Northwest, it speaks to environmental issues that Native American tribes and non-Indian communities face across the United States. This project will result in a book manuscript and lessons for history, Native American studies, and sustainability courses offered through Maricopa County Community College District.”

The fellows will each receive a $40,000 stipend to be used for any activities that advance their research projects. They will attend a convening hosted by ACLS in fall 2020 to share their research.

For more information on the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows, visit

Thursday, September 12, 2019

CGCC Wins 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s Food Waste Recycling Project as the recipient of the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Awards in the Associate/Two-year Institutions category for outstanding achievements in sustainability. 

This year, AASHE received 350+ entries that resulted in 11 winners in four categories. Winners will be recognized during the Opening Ceremony at the annual AASHE Conference & Expo in Spokane, Washington on Oct. 27. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

“We are honored to win the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award. Our Food Waste Recycling Project not only exemplifies our commitment to sustainability, it also showcases our emphasis on collaboration across disciplines,” said CGCC President Dr. Greg Peterson. “An outstanding team of students, faculty and staff brought this project to fruition, and the entire Chandler-Gilbert community will benefit from their dedication to the Food Waste Recycling Project.”

The CGCC Food Waste Recycling Project is a grant-funded campus-wide ongoing collaborative project that offers deep, cross-disciplinary, experiential student learning via an innovative solution for CGCC’s food and green waste. With the support of campus facilities, this program has established a receptacle system that facilitates separation of food waste generated on campus. A collaborative group of biology and engineering students, with guidance from faculty, have designed a unique organic waste digester machine that will recycle food and green waste into a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer, which will be used to maintain campus grounds.

Through collaborative biology, art, English, and communications projects, students have begun a marketing campaign that promotes a “sustainability mindset” by changing the behavior of how the campus community handles their waste through increasing awareness of what happens to our food after we dispose of it. CGCC students play an integral role throughout this project, which offers a unique opportunity to practice translational science, bringing innovative ideas to the public while fostering critical thinking and confidence in their innovative potential.

“The Food Waste Recycling Project highlights both the research and implementation strategies and methods at Chandler-Gilbert and addresses the global need for sustainable waste management,” said CGCC Dean of Instruction Gabriela Rosu. “Winning the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award is a huge honor and will help raise awareness for this innovative solution to one of the world’s most significant challenges.”

“The 2019 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the campus sustainability movement,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. 

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit

Friday, August 16, 2019

Ten Tips For Fall Semester Success

Saturday, August 17 marked the first day of Fall Semester. It’s time to say goodbye to “Old Town Road” and hello to Pecos Road, Tahoe Avenue, Alma School Road and Ellsworth Road. While we have plenty of parking for your car or bike, your horse will have to stay at home.

Whether you’re a first-time student or returning to campus, we want you to have a successful semester. We’ve compiled a list of tips and resources to help you enter the new year with confidence.

1. Plan Ahead to Score a Prime Parking Spot: The new semester promises plenty of packed parking lots, so we recommend you arrive early to secure a prime spot. Use our campus maps to find the lot closest to your classes. Students at our Williams Campus are required to display a valid 2019-2020 parking permit. Learn how to get your permit here.

2. Fuel Your Brain: At the Pecos Campus, the Coyote Cafe features a variety of food options as well as hosting a local restaurant on-site each week. The café is located at in Bradshaw Hall (between the Library and Coyote Center). You'll find their menu, upcoming features and hours of operation here. Grounds for Thought, under the Ironwood Bridge, offers coffee drinks, smoothies and quick bites to eat on the north end of campus.

At the Williams Campus, the Roadrunner Cafe offers breakfast, grilled, and deli options for breakfast and lunch each day. You'll find their menu and hours of operation here

Last year we launched the Coyote Cupboard at both the Pecos and Williams campuses. The Coyote Cupboard is a food pantry with non-perishable and household items and school supplies available to any CGCC student. Learn more here

3. Use Your Cell Phone: Need to find a class or access campus maps at the drop of a dime? You can access your student resources right from your mobile device. Download the MyInfo app and access your:  
  • Class Schedule
  • Campus Maps & Room Information
  • Financial Aid Award Status
  • Holds on Your Account
  • Messages
  • Textbook Information
The MyInfo app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

4. Enjoy Some Quiet Time in the Library - Our Pecos and Williams libraries aren’t just places to find books. They boast quiet spaces for you to relax before, after or between classes and study rooms for group work. Our librarians are available to assist you with research projects and can help you find materials from other libraries.

5. Stay Safe with the RAVE Guardian App - Our Public Safety and Campus Police recommend that all students download the RAVE Guardian app on Google Play or App Store.  The app allows you to create a network of trusted safety guardians, set safety timers to alert police and family, submit anonymous tips, and have one-touch access to contact campus police. The convenience of storing safety processes in one app can save you precious seconds in an emergency. Learn more about the RAVE Guardian app here.  

6. Get Involved - Getting involved in campus clubs helps students build leadership skills, strong friendships, networking connections, life experiences and a powerful resume. Building a network of peers who can walk this college path alongside you is a key element of setting yourself up for success. Browse our student clubs and organizations here

7. Leverage Tutoring Resources - Get acquainted with the level of support that's available for on-campus tutoring services. You'll find that our learning centers offer both drop-in and appointment-based support. Find both locations and times for the Pecos and Williams campuses here

8. Utilize the Computer Lab - The computer labs at our Pecos and Williams campuses are open to all CGCC students. The labs are equipped with both Macs and PCs with specialized software to help you complete your coursework. Printers are also available for a small fee. Our computer lab staff can help you format your papers, find resources and use online applications. The computer labs are located in Bradshaw Hall, Room 123 at the Pecos Campus and Bridget Hall, Room 116 at the Williams Campus.

9. Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy - Counseling Services are available at our Pecos and Williams campuses. The mission of CGCC Counseling is to promote student development by facilitating personal growth, career decision making and academic success. Counseling Services can assist with academic concerns (time management, test anxiety, college transition, etc.), goal setting, career counseling and connections to resources in the community. Students can schedule free private appointments with our highly-trained counseling staff.

The Coyote Fitness Center at our Pecos campus is a 4,000 sq. ft. facility, offering a full line of cardiovascular exercise training equipment, resistance training machines and a complete free weight training section. Our Fitness Center staff have degrees in exercise science or a related field and are here to help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals. Students can join the Coyote Fitness Center for just $25/semester.

10. Slow Down - Many of our students are holding jobs in addition to studying. While you're running from one location to the next, we recommend you schedule some time to slow down and visit the Student Center Pavilion at our Pecos campus and Bridget Hall at our Williams Campus to unwind. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Coyote Kickoff Helps First-Year Students Prepare for College

Coyote Kickoff is Chandler-Gilbert’s new student orientation for all new-to-college students.

What to Expect 
The tailored, two-hour orientations are intended to ease the transition into college. Benefits of attending Coyote Kickoff include:
  • Learning about college resources and support
  • Learning how to access and navigate the online student center
  • Meeting with academic advisors and discussing degree requirements
  • Meeting other new college students
  • Registering for first semester courses with dedicated support
  • Establishing payment arrangements to secure enrollment
Coyote Kickoff’s small-group format allows for a more personal, hands-on enrollment process where students can feel comfortable asking challenging questions. Due to these small groups, Coyote Kickoff sessions fill quickly. Please register for a session as far in advance as possible.

“Coyote Kickoff is one of the first steps students take in their college experience,” said Dr. Felicia Ramirez-Perez, CGCC Dean of Enrollment Services. “We know this is important to students and their parents, so we work hard to listen, learn and educate our students during this time to make their first student experience meaningful.”

Parent Resource 
Space limitations also prevent us from accommodating parents and guardians at Coyote Kickoff. Our Parents Resource Guide contains information about registration, financial aid and other resources available to parents and students.

Students who have earned college credit through ACE, Dual Enrollment or Hoop of Learning programs and are now high school graduates are required to attend Coyote Kickoff. Student veterans using VA benefits are required to attend a separate veterans-only new student orientation. Transfer students are not required to attend.

Tips for Success
Available at Pecos & Williams Campuses
Coyote Kickoff sessions are held at our Pecos and Williams campuses. Students can register for Coyote Kickoff here. For more information, visit or email

Monday, July 22, 2019

Make Your Law Enforcement Career Happen

About the East Valley-based Law Enforcement Training Academy
Chandler-Gilbert’s Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) is a fully certified police academy located at our Williams campus. CGCC is home to one of just two LETA programs in the Maricopa County Community College District.

LETA is an intense, highly accountable and challenging training program certified by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (AZ POST). The program meets Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6 – 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. for 11 months.

The program is designed to develop skills in eight functional areas: introduction to law enforcement, law and legal matters, patrol procedures, traffic control, crime scene management, community and public relations, report writing and police proficiency. Graduates who pass the AZ POST comprehensive exam at the completion of the 11-month program will be eligible to be a certified peace officer in Arizona.

Respected East Valley Program with Benefits to Graduates
LETA is a part-time program, meeting for 17 hours per week during the evenings and weekends. This gives recruits the flexibility to attend the academy while keeping a full-time job, unlike other police academies that require a full-time commitment. LETA is open to those not currently affiliated with a police department, allowing non-sponsored recruits to enter the academy and be hired upon completion. LETA recruits benefit from the same, low-cost tuition ($85 per credit hour) as all CGCC students.

LETA is a widely known and respected program in the East Valley and across Arizona. Our relationships with local police departments provide LETA graduates with opportunities at top agencies. Our faculty consists of current and retired commanders and officers with more than 80 combined years of law enforcement experience. Students are consistently trained on current POST standards and real-world scenarios

“Law enforcement is a career where you can give back to the community you serve,” said Jon Terpay, Director of CGCC’s LETA. “It's made up of men and women who made a commitment to serve with honor and integrity. CGCC-LETA has a 97% hire rate with agencies all over the State of Arizona, and the average starting salary for law enforcement is more than $50,000 per year with a 25-year retirement. It’s a fast-paced, rewarding and noble career.”

Survival of the Fittest 
Not only do recruits need to excel in the classroom, but they must also have the ability to meet the physical demands of law enforcement. Program candidates should be able to run 1.5 miles in less than 15 minutes and complete a minimum of 25 push-ups and 30 sit-ups prior to entering the academy. Students must pass the Peace Officer’s Physical Aptitude Test prior to certification. This test includes five timed events: 6’ solid wall climb, 6’ chain-link fence climb, 99-yard obstacle course, body drag and 500-yard run.

Application Process
“One of our goals is to encourage a diverse group of applicants to enter LETA,” said Gabriela Rosu, Dean of Instruction at CGCC. “We believe police departments should represent the communities they serve to build trust and relationships with their constituents.”

Students can be sponsored by a law enforcement agency or enroll as a non-sponsored recruit. Sponsored recruits are required to undergo a background investigation by their respective agency. Non-sponsored students must complete a background investigation through the academy. Recruits must be at least 21-years-old at the completion of the program. Learn more about the application process here. You’ll also find FAQs here.

LETA applications are due on August 5. For more information and to request an application packet, visit