The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF) is pleased to announce that it has received a $500,000 grant from Bank of America in support of the Guided Pathways program at the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD).

Guided Pathways, a MCCCD program implemented to increase students’ success in degree and certification completion by providing a structured educational model, will utilize the funds from Bank of America to advance success in the area of education to industry, focusing on closing the wage gap among minorities with improved outcomes for students of color, low income and first-generation students. The concentration will be on career attainment in the fields of Information Technology, Cybersecurity, Business, Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing.

“This partnership will bring to scale critical services and programs designed to increase student success and pathways to employment that not only helps students directly, but in the longer-term, strengthens our local economy,” said Benito Almanza, President, Bank of America Arizona. “Our investment in Guided Pathways is a direct demonstration of how Bank of America works with our partners to create better social and economic outcomes in the communities we serve.”

The Guided Pathways’ approach integrates wrap-around support services to remove barriers to higher education.  It focuses on financial aid, tutoring, academic and career counseling, food pantries and emergency funds and obstacles students face when obtaining higher education. Qualifying students from across MCCCD will receive support from the Bank of America grant, and the company will be open to providing opportunities for internships and bank employees will also provide participants with financial empowerment training.

“Bank of America’s support is a game changer in workforce development,” said Brian Spicker, President and CEO, MCCF.  “It not only provides us with the opportunity to support the District and our students, it allows us to build an ecosystem, narrowing the wage gap by building a pipeline of scholarships and programs for higher education to underrepresented communities.”

This grant is the latest success in the Foundation’s efforts to support diversity, equity and inclusion for work based programs. In Spring 2020, MCCCD began a relationship with the “Partnership for Economic Innovation” to develop a platform that would provide a way for students to determine their academic and career pathway and to support work-based learning so that students could gain on-the-job experience by being matched with employers in high demand areas as they complete their programs. This partnership has developed into a new platform that serves students’ full career and educational[MOU1]  journey.  Today, more than 5000 students, 250 staff and faculty and 3,500 employers are registered on the platform.

For more information please contact Meredith Warner, District Director, Student Success, Maricopa Community Colleges District at merideth.warner@domail.maricopa.edu or 480.731.8434.