Pathway to a Degree Hopscotch Game Helps JA BizTown® Students Learn About the Maricopa Community College Experience

Dec, 8 2022

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Maricopa Community Colleges Junior Achievement BizTown Storefront

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is excited to announce a new sponsorship with Junior Achievement of Arizona BizTown® that introduces fourth through sixth-grade students to higher education and tomorrow’s careers. 

Through the Junior Achievement of Arizona BizTown program, elementary school students from across Arizona gain real-world experience by working in teams and making connections between their shared goals while also acquiring essential financial literacy skills, economic concepts, and workplace skills.

As the only higher education institution in the Junior Achievement of Arizona BizTown area, approximately 21,000 students from 300 schools will experience the Maricopa Community Colleges storefront each year. 

"According to a 2022 national survey conducted by a third-party, 90% of students who have attended BizTown say that the experience influenced their career choice," said Anne Landers, Vice President of Strategic Impact for Junior Achievement of Arizona.

About the Sponsorship

While Dr. Eric Leshinskie, President of Scottsdale Community College, was serving as MCCCD’s Interim Provost, he spearheaded the sponsorship with Junior Achievement of Arizona. Now, MCCCD has a 3-year commitment with Junior Achievement of Arizona. Through the Maricopa Community Colleges BizTown storefront, students will learn about college and career opportunities first-hand before they enter middle school and high school.

Maricopa Community Colleges BizTown Storefront and Student Experience  

Before the Maricopa Community Colleges storefront came to fruition, a dedicated MCCCD team worked behind the scenes to design the space and assist with the creation of the BizTown curriculum. 

As a result, two job descriptions were developed, College President and College Faculty, and an immersive storefront was designed. This innovative design not only showcases the diverse fields of study available at Maricopa Community Colleges, but also enhances learning by encouraging student exploration. The interactive “Pathway to a Degree” hopscotch game board allows students to easily determine their Field of Interest and corresponding career path offered at Maricopa Community Colleges by simply choosing one out of nine options in a fun and casual setting. The Pathway to a Degree game board consists of large squares stuck onto an assigned area inside the storefront. The Fields of Interest are:

  • Applied Technology
  • Behavioral Science and Human Services
  • Business, Entrepreneurialism, and Management
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Culture and Society
  • Education
  • Health Science
  • STEM
  • Visual and Performing Arts.

During the BizTown experience, the College President and Faculty are tasked with sharing the Pathway to a Degree game with ten students. As the College President and College Faculty guide potential college-bound students on their journey, students become familiar with the aspects of higher education, such as picking a major, applying for college, meeting with an advisor, enrolling in classes, paying for tuition, studying, tutoring, and graduating. Upon completion of the Pathway to a Degree game, students graduate from Maricopa Community Colleges and receive a degree they can take home.

Volunteers

As with any non-profit organization, volunteers play an essential role in the success of Junior Achievement BizTown. Before students step foot in BizTown, Junior Achievement classroom volunteers spend 14 hours teaching the curated lesson plans that impart knowledge on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. In addition, classroom volunteers receive training and are matched with a classroom that is suited for their area of expertise. 
 
When the students arrive at the immersive BizTown experience located in Tempe, at least 20-30 volunteers assist students during a single school visit. Additionally, volunteers spend their day answering students' questions about running their businesses. In a single year, Junior Achievement works with approximately 4,000 volunteers, who each assist in the classroom and BizTown.

MCCCD Commitment to Students

MCCCD remains committed to preparing students for the future and is proud to be part of the Junior Achievement of Arizona BizTown. The interactive storefront and Pathway to a Degree hopscotch game help fourth through sixth graders learn more about higher education and the different career paths offered at Maricopa Community Colleges. As the work with Junior Achievement continues, MCCCD hopes to inspire more students to pursue their dreams of higher education and reach their full potential.

MCCCD would like to extend a special thank you to our faculty and staff who worked behind the scenes to turn the concept of the Maricopa Community Colleges Junior Achievement BizTown storefront into reality! Because of their efforts, countless students will be exposed to future careers and learn what it takes to succeed in college. Learn more about the Junior Achievement of Arizona BizTown program

 

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