Page higher education center MOU signing

From left, Coconino Community College President Colleen Smith, Dine College President Charles "Monty" Roessel, Arlena Benallie, director of the Chinle Instructional Site at Navajo Technical University, and Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng sign a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a higher education center that will be based in Page.

Coconino Community College professors Andrew Allen and Aaron Tabor will be traveling long-distance for some of their spring science classes. The two instructors will be teaching at least one class twice a month in person at the Page CCC Campus.

The classes are part of a new hybrid system that CCC will be showcasing at an open house event at the Page Campus at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The college is also offering a scavenger hunt and applications for a $750 Spring to Success Scholarship for Page students who attend the event.

The new system is a mix of online learning classes and in-person classes, said Kimberly Batty-Herbert, CCC’s dean of Arts and Science. Students will do most of their coursework and reading online. Then a professor from CCC’s Lone Tree Campus will travel twice a month to Page, on Fridays, to cover more complex items or lab work with students.

It’s beneficial to the students because it allows them to take certain core courses, such as biology, chemistry and math, closer to home and they don’t have to make the drive to Flagstaff every day, Tabor said.

“I have one student who gets up at 2 or 3 in the morning in order to get her kids ready for school and herself ready to make the nearly two hour drive to Flagstaff for class at 8 a.m.,” he said.

The hybrid online courses also allow CCC to stretch its teaching resources without having to hire additional instructors, Tabor said. Finding new professors that meet CCC’s requirements of a master’s degree and teaching experience and the desire to teach at this level has been a daunting endeavor, he said.

The hybrid courses are a bit more work for professors, he said. The professors would have to make the trip to the Page Campus twice a month and would spend the entire day there in order to teach and hold office hours for Page students.

He said, the hope is to eventually sync the schedule of hybrid classes with the same schedule offered at the Lone Tree Campus. That way professors teaching hybrid classes would spend two Fridays out of the month teaching in person at the Page Campus, live streaming the class back to Flagstaff, and two Fridays teaching class at the Lone Tree Campus and streaming the class to Page. Professors would essentially be teaching one class to two different classrooms, Tabor said.

“I think it’s going to be a fun and exciting experience for students and teachers, Tabor said.

Batty-Herbert said that a number of community colleges and universities have used similar hybrid teaching programs across the U.S., but it was only recently that CCC decided to give it a try.

“We feel that the Page Campus has been under served for so long and this is a way to get highly qualified professors out to those students,” she said.

The hybrid classes will start this spring in Page with chemistry, math and biology, Batty-Herbert said. Classes will continue in the fall, adding course offerings in sociology and speech communication. 

The reporter can be reached at or (928)556-2253.


Education/Business Reporter

Suzanne writes about education and business. She covers the local school district, charter schools and Northern Arizona University. She also writes the Sunday business features.

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