The Maricopa Community Colleges and Highnoon Announce Partnership to Promote Free Education Concierge Service

Jun, 24 2021

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Two graduates celebrating, text reads "Empowering Arizonans to pursue higher education"

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and Highnoon announced today an Education Concierge Partnership, which will provide Highnoon, its clients, and partners access to convenient, consolidated services to help their employees pursue a college education within the Maricopa Community Colleges system.

Statistics show that 93 percent of employees say using their employer’s tuition assistance program helped them develop the skills they needed to grow within their company, yet fewer than 10 percent of employees utilize tuition assistance from their employer if it is offered. Many factors impact this underutilization, but for many it is lack of understanding of funding opportunities both through employers, financial aid or scholarships.

The Education Concierge Service was created with this in mind to provide direct support through a dedicated Maricopa Community College’s advising team, who are part of the Enrollment Management division within Student Affairs. These individuals will be available to assist with admissions, tuition benefit and financial aid navigation, advising, and success coaching for students attending any of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.

As part of the Achieve60AZ initiative, the state of Arizona has set a lofty goal: By 2030, 60 percent of adults in the state, ages 25 to 64, will hold a postsecondary credential or degree. In order to help reach this goal, the Maricopa Community Colleges are developing strategic partnerships like this with local employers like Highnoon, dedicated to a quality, affordable education.

Highnoon is a Tempe-based marketing and public relations agency that serves a variety of clients such as SRP, Taylor Morrison, Valleywise Health, and Arizona Federal Credit Union.

As part of this partnership, all of the organizations and companies that the agency engages with will have access to a dedicated advising team to help their employees eliminate barriers many working professionals face when starting or returning to college.

"Highnoon serves a number of large employers in our state, and this partnership will help us reach these employers and drive certificate and degree attainment among their employees," said MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. "Reaching the Achieve60AZ goal is going to require a full community effort, and innovative partnerships like this one are critical to the success of this initiative."

 The Education Concierge Service make it simpler for local employers to earn an associate’s degree, certificate, and/or university transfer.

"As a product of the Maricopa Community Colleges system, I know first-hand the quality of education you receive, especially for those starting down their educational path or reentering to enhance their skills," said Ken Bonham, partner at Highnoon. "As an agency that values education and opportunities to be life-long learners, we hope that our partners will utilize this service as an added value to their employees."

This partnership was facilitated by Maricopa Corporate College, a division of the Workforce and Economic Development Office at Maricopa Community Colleges. Employers interested in similar partnerships can visit info.maricopacorporate.com/highnoon.

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