Students to benefit from CCC - Civitan collaboration

WILLIAMS - Education, job training and greater independence toward a sustainable future are the goals of a new college program announced last week by Civitan Foundation Phoenix that tailors to the needs of persons with intellectual and developmental delays.

Dawn Trapp, Executive Director of Civitan Foundation Phoenix, has worked with children and adults in the nonprofit organization's successful Summer Camp and Day Training programs since 2003.

"Every day we see this capable population accomplish so many amazing things just by trying," she said. "More options at the post-secondary level will give them the skills they need to build greater security throughout their lives."

Civitan Phoenix will launch a pilot class this fall in partnership with Coconino Community College of Flagstaff. The new program - Coconino Community College at Camp Civitan (CCC@CC) - will offer a curriculum of life skills; visual and performing arts; finance; job

training; culinary; and basic academic courses such as math, reading, grammar, social studies and science.

The fall semester begins at the Civitan Foundation Phoenix complex at 3509 E. Shea Blvd., on Sept. 20.

Beginning with spring semester in January, students will live in residential dormitory rooms at Camp Civitan in Williams. Three meals per day and transportation to and from classes in Camp Civitan accessible vans are included in fees for tuition and housing.

To better prepare students for future employment, Coconino Community College will administer career aptitude tests. Based on test results and students' personal interests, individualized class schedules will be created.

CCC@CC students will attend classes five days a week and also participate in the Camp Civitan Organic Gardens project in Williams.

"Working hands-on in a garden, tending crops and selling vegetables in our marketplace not only offer personal satisfaction, but also teach customer service, sales and marketing," said Trapp.

"We want our students to get a true college experience, with opportunities to learn firsthand about living and working on their own, attending classes, and being part of college and community life," said Trapp. "Something as simple as having a college photo ID is a big deal and motivates them to learn."

All students who finish CCC@CC will receive a Certificate of Completion. A degree option is also available for students who maintain good grades and wish to attain an accredited Associate Degree. Enrollment for the first semester pilot program is limited to 36 students. The program is two years long, but students can go for shorter or longer periods based on their goals.

In addition to student financial aid (see http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ for details) and private pay options, a newly created state of Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) is now available for those who attended an Arizona public school for a minimum of 100 days in the 2010-11 school year. Parents must apply for Empowerment Account funding by July 20 to qualify for the fall semester. To apply for an ESA, visit Arizona Department of Education at http://www.ade.az.gov/ESS/ESAs/ESA_ED_Fall2011.pdf for an application. Terms apply, so be sure to read the contract carefully before signing.

Trapp is very excited about launching Coconino Community College at Camp Civitan because of its potential benefits for students and their families.

"If the outcome is a lifetime of greater independence, friendships, and job options for adults with intellectual and developmental delays, then CCC@CC will be a remarkable success," she said.

"This project truly fits within the mission of CCC. We are excited about this collaborative effort and honored that Camp Civitan has looked to us to provide services," said Executive Director of CCC's Community and Corporate Learning Division John Cardani.

To learn more about Coconino Community College at Camp Civitan, call Civitan Foundation Phoenix at (602) 953-2944.

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