Hall Of Higher Learning

Payson's first permanent college opens for classes


After a decade of fund-raising and a nearly $2.5-million construction job that lasted a year, Eastern Arizona College opened for business in Payson this week in its very own building.

Registration for spring 2000 classes had students lined up for information on classes and finance, and advice on what classes they needed to complete their two-year degrees at EAC.

Classes began Wednesday, but students will be registering for morning and evening classes from noon to 6 p.m. every day through Jan. 11.

Gale Cotten, a former EAC student who now works as a clerk at the college, was ready with information handouts about classes, hours and instructors.

Nancy Moulder was helping students register and Tracey Cochran, secretary to the assistant dean, was behind window No. 203 to help them with tuition financing.

EAC's new campus includes two art labs, two computer labs, a wellness center, a student gathering center, a learning resource center, a biology-chemistry classroom, six basic classrooms, a community and conference room, a faculty conference room and workroom, tutoring and group study rooms, a reception room for guests and a Northern Arizona University distance learning center.

Regular registration will end Jan. 25 for NAU classes, which are conducted via a two-way television system.

Although the instructors for the classes are based in Flagstaff, they can interact with students all over the state using two-way television broadcasts.

Across the courtyard, in another section of the building, Mark Meinerts, a broadcast operations technician for NAU, was putting the finishing touches on the large screen TV monitors, microphones and broadcast equipment that will make distance learning possible in Payson.

Across campus, students poured over their options.

Wilma and Bill Wright studied the class list.

"He's doing computer and I'm doing sewing," she said. "I haven't figured out what else."

Jessica Hall was at the finance window. She was signing up for world of music and introduction to education.

"I'm glad NAU brought (the distance learning program) in," Meinerts said. "Basically, what they have here is a four-year campus. They can start at EAC and finish at NAU."

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