K-12 - Educating the Next Generation

Education is a high priority in Southern Arizona. Complemented by a K-12 public education system of 63 districts with over 236,000 students as well as 149 charter schools and more than 117 private, self-regulating elementary and secondary schools, Southern Arizona’s well-developed education infrastructure maintains an open ear to the needs of the business community.

For 2016, charter school Basis Tucson North and Basis Oro Valley ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, and public school University High School ranked No. 15 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top 100 high schools in the country. Other highly-ranked schools in Arizona from U.S. News and World Report include Sonoran Science Academy and Catalina Foothills High School. In addition, Basis Tucson was lauded as a national model in education in the acclaimed documentary “Two Million Minutes: The 21st Century Solution.”

Primary, secondary, university, vocational, and continuing education institutions in Southern Arizona all contribute to the goal of providing a qualified workforce. The region’s educational system reflects the community’s diversity, offering programs at all levels that meet the needs of both student and employer.

Southern Arizona has a healthy high school graduation rate and growing college enrollment statistics. A highly educated population is an important attraction for companies that require a highly-skilled workforce. The amount of the population with bachelor’s degrees is an indicator that companies in high wage industries use to gauge the skill level of the local workforce. 62% of the population of all four counties in Southern Arizona have continued their education at the collegiate level, and 35% have an associate’s degree or higher.

To evaluate schools in Tucson and Southern Arizona, use this handy tool:

Joint Technical Education District (JTED)
The Pima County JTED is a public high school district that offers premier, tuition-free Career and Technical Education programs to sophomores, juniors and seniors. They serve students from public, private, and charter schools, and students who are home-schooled. JTED also serves students who have not earned a diploma or GED and are under the age of 22. Students may attend JTED classes at one of our Central Campuses, located throughout Pima County, or at one of the satellite locations which are located at all public high schools in Pima County, Santa Cruz Valley, and in Mammoth San Manuel. This program is unique to our region and is a refocus on the types of vocational skills employers in the region need to succeed.

Higher Educational Institutions

The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona (UA), with a mission devoted to excellence in teaching, research, and public service, serves 42,000 students. The UA is a premier, public research university. The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranks the UA 19th in research and development expenditures among public universities and colleges, and 33rd among public and private universities and colleges.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the UA among America’s Best Colleges and the Princeton Review lists the UA as one of “The Best Western Colleges.” The UA ranks No. 50 in the world and No. 37 nationally according to the Center for University World Rankings. The UA is one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars and has high-ranking schools of business and pharmacy (Eller College of Management and the College of Pharmacy, respectively). The UA is one of Southern Arizona’s largest employers with 15,530 employees.

The UA College of Engineering offers many outstanding engineering programs, awarding 458 bachelor’s degrees, 158 masters degrees, and 56 doctoral degrees in 2015-16. Arizona Center for Innovation, located at the UA Science and Technology Park, is a high-tech incubator that focuses on important developing areas including aerospace, advance composites, information technology and the life sciences.

Source: UA Fact Book, 2015-16

The University of Arizona recently named Dr. Robert C. Robbins as the 22nd President of the University. Below is a video introducing Dr. Robbins to Southern Arizona.

Arizona State University
Adding to the educational strength of the region is another powerhouse of talent just 2 hours north of Tucson – Arizona State University (ASU).
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks ASU #1 on its “Most Innovative Schools” list
  • ASU is ranked #93 in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and #47 among all universities in the United States
  • ASU ranks #5 on a list of the top universities favored by employers for producing the best-qualified graduates
  • ASU has had a presence in Tucson and the surrounding area for decades. This includes ASU’s School of Social Work, with over 300 students based in Tucson and a larger student community of over 1,800 students enrolled at various ASU campuses. Three areas of growing activity in the Tucson area are engineering, aerospace and defense, and biomedical—all of which are fields of great strength at ASU.
  • Partnerships in the Tucson area include Raytheon, which relies on ASU for the second highest number of its engineers, as well as the space exploration company World View, which is headed by two former scientists who participated in BioSphere 2.
Source: ASU Website, 2016

University of Phoenix
The nation’s largest private university for working adults has 4 campuses region-wide. University of Phoenix in Southern Arizona offers both in-classroom and online learning for Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in many disciplines, including popular business, education, and nursing programs.

College Scorecard data puts University of Phoenix students in the top 25 salaries after attending
among large institutions.
Source: University of Phoenix Website, 2016

Pima Community College

Pima Community College, with several well-established regional  campuses and a workforce training program, enrolls more than 45,000 students annually, provides contracts for customized on-site job training, and has more than 185 academic and vocational programs.

Source: PCC Quick Facts, 2014-15

Central Arizona College
Central Arizona College is a vital and integral part of Pinal County. With five full service campuses and three centers located strategically throughout the region, CAC offers a full array of academic degrees and certificates, online and university transfer courses, career training and personal enrichment courses to 3,000 students.
  Source: CAC Website, 2016

Cochise College
Cochise College serves nearly 7,500 students, providing accessible educational opportunities that are responsive to a diverse population and lead to constructive citizenship, meaningful careers and lifelong learning.
  Source: Cochise College Website, 2016

Trade Schools

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Since its beginning in 1926, Embry-Riddle has been providing the world with aviation personnel, one student at a time. A pioneer in aviation education, Embry-Riddle continues to be the most highly regarded institution dedicated to the field.
It is the nation’s largest, oldest, and most comprehensive aeronautical university. When you enroll in an aviation-related degree program here, you can be assured that you will study within a curriculum that is at the forefront of the industry’s developments and demands for the future.
Embry-Riddle has a campus on the grounds of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Source: Embry-Riddle Website, 2016

Brown Mackie College
Brown Mackie College – Tucson is dedicated to providing rewarding opportunities through imparting the skills and desire for life-long learning and developing students’ personal and professional enrichment goals. Our College presents our communities with diverse graduates who possess the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in existing and emerging professions. Brown Mackie College – Tucson strives to accomplish its mission through the empowerment, motivation and guidance of our students by means of offering an educational foundation and socio-economic support for their success.
Source: Brown Mackie Tucson Website, 2016

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