NAU, CCC presidents raise the bar for partnerships

John Haeger and Leah Bornstein

Two higher education leaders who set the standard for community college and university collaboration have taken another significant step to support student success.

Northern Arizona University President John Haeger and Coconino Community College President Leah Bornstein have introduced the CCC2NAU President’s Scholarship, a fund that will support students who attend both institutions on their path to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“The partnership between Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College has proved that universities and community colleges do not have to see themselves as competitors,” Haeger said. “We are focusing on student success at all levels. This scholarship affirms Dr. Bornstein’s and my belief it is paramount to focus on getting students to the finish line of their degree path.”

Bornstein to be honored at NAU commencement

Northern Arizona University President John Haeger and Coconino Community College President Leah Bornstein have spent four years building a multifaceted partnership that leads to student success.

At NAU’s spring commencement ceremony on May 12, Haeger will present Bornstein with an honorary degree in recognition of her dedication to higher education and contributions to NAU.

Since assuming the role of president at CCC in 2007, Bornstein has been instrumental in launching several initiatives that enhance the quality of higher education and built a solid collaboration with NAU.

It began with CCC2NAU, a joint admission program that has served as a blueprint for collaboration between higher education institutions throughout Arizona. The award-winning program has led to 16 more 2NAU partnerships around Arizona and served as a national model for transition programs that boost student success. Additionally, CCC and NAU have combined several student services that enhance the education experience while conserving and consolidating resources.

Each president has pledged a personal investment of $20,000 toward the endowed scholarship that will support its first student at CCC this fall. The goal is to increase the endowment with matching donations from future leaders of both institutions.

“The scholarship and the CCC2NAU program are about ensuring student success, and the collaboration of our two institutions is making that a reality,” Bornstein said. “By working together we are better guiding students toward completion. Ultimately, our success is their success.”

The award-winning CCC2NAU program began with 15 students in 2008, establishing a joint admission process to ease the transition from community college to university enrollment. The program welcomed 219 new students last fall, and more than 700 students have participated in the program since its inception.

CCC2NAU also served as the model for additional 2NAU partnerships with 16 community colleges that currently serve 1,900 students throughout Arizona.

The CCC2NAU program recently received the 2012 Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award from the National Academic Advising Association, and 2NAU programs earned an innovative degree pathway award from the Arizona College Access Network