Northern Arizona State University's new Payson coordinator, Gary W. Moore, has a vision for the future of Eastern Arizona College's new school building and a plan to keep graduating high school seniors in town.
NAU, in cooperation with EAC, is committed to providing Payson with four-year undergraduate degree programs, he said.
"Because of the quality of life in Payson versus a big town, we'd like to be able to offer a variety of programs," Moore said. "More and more students are seeing EAC and NAU as a viable alternative to going off to school."
Moore's new role, which grew out of a nine-hour academic adviser position, is new this year. As coordinator, Moore will conduct student registration, serve as academic adviser and promote NAU in the community as a public relations officer.
"I'll be available to talk to groups about the programs they're interested in," he said. "If there's a need out there, we want to be able to meet it."
When a number of students express an interest in a new program, Moore said, he can petition NAU to provide faculty and resources for a new course of study.
EAC provides first- and second-year of college classes, along with a variety of two-year degrees, he said. NAU has partnered with the community college to offer third- and fourth-year classes and four-year degree programs.
"It's a team relationship that community colleges throughout the state have developed," Moore said. "The current programs we have here are geared toward education."
NAU-Payson now offers undergraduate degrees in liberal studies and elementary education, and master's programs in elementary education with a reading endorsement, counseling with an emphasis in human relations, and educational leadership.
NAU also offers state certification programs for school principals, superintendents and supervisors.
"We plan on expanding all the degree and course offerings as quickly as possible, both undergraduate and graduate level, in order to meet the needs of the Payson population," Moore said. "Right now, in order to petition the NAU main campus to offer a new degree program, we need seven students who want to take that degree together for us to start the approval process."
Moore said some programs, like the nursing program at the Payson campus, require 10 students for a new degree program.
Payson residents have expressed an interest in undergraduate degrees in nursing, as well as degrees in criminal justice, social work, and hotel and restaurant management, he said. An interest also has been expressed in graduate programs in criminal justice, nursing and business management, he said.
Moore comes to the NAU position with six years' experience as an adjunct professor at EAC. He said he knows most of the students and faculty at EAC because he's taught psychology there for the past six years.
"I'm still teaching classes for them, and for NAU, as well," he said.
He was professor of educational psychology at the University of Colorado for nine years and has 22 years' experience in education.
NAU will staff an office and an interactive instructional television classroom at the new EAC building, which is set to open in January near the corner of Mudsprings Road and Highway 260. Spring registration for all NAU classes began this week.
For information, call the NAU-Payson center at 474-5147 or visit its statewide Web site at www.nau.edu. Moore can be reached by e-mail at gary.moore @nau.edu.