Yuma Multiversity Moves Closer to Reality
Efforts to create a Yuma Multiversity, an educational hub for existing institutions of higher education to offer their various degree programs in one location, got a boost Wednesday with new funding.
The Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation announced grant funding at a press conference from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support efforts to increase local higher education access and increase degree attainment.
GYEDC secured about $110,000 in funding from the EDA and received another $25,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation and $10,000 from Yuma Regional Medical Center.
Jim Schuessler is the president and chief executive officer for Yuma Multiversity Campus, Inc. He says the plan is to continue to work with local officials for the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, while respecting the course offerings at Arizona Western College. Ultimately, the multiversity idea would fill in any gaps for educational offerings not available in Yuma County at this time.
“One of the challenges that we find with our population that goes on to continuing education is they’re forced to leave the area because the things they want to do aren’t available here,” Schuessler said.
Collaborating with the Yuma Multiversity Campus Corporation, the funds will support a third-party study and assessment of the present and future workforce needs of the region.
Paul Brierley, executive director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, said he supports the multiversity campus and what it can bring to the local ag industry.