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AWC Offers New STEM Degrees In South Yuma County

Arizona Western College is expanding by offering new  STEM related degrees to students in South Yuma County.

KAWC's Stephanie Sanchez reports.

Arizona Western College held a groundbreaking celebration Thursday morning at San Luis Middle School to renovate and expand learning space.

Over the next several months, a discovery lab and an open student work area will be created at its San Luis Center.  

Each of the classrooms will be equipped with state-of-the art computer equipment in order to provide a newly created Associate’s in Applied Science in computer informatics degree.

For now, AWC’s Associate Dean for South Yuma County Susana Zambrano said students with that degree will be able to transfer to complete a Bachelor’s degree from University of Arizona South.

But Zambrano said there are plans to offer the entire 4 years program in San Luis.

"We’re really excited because informatics is like the new upcoming degrees that are available in the U.S. and they are in high demand," she said.

UA’s professor of industrial engineering Doctor Samuel Peffers said the degree pathway was designed to address needs of the local community.

"We’ve seen time and time again, that the communities that are able to contribute to the advancement of science technology are the ones that also reap the benefits of those advances to the greatest degree," Peffers said. "So we see ourselves as an integral part of that community development effort."

The expansion and renovation is a result of a nearly 6 million dollar federal grant awarded to AWC last in year in October.