Gila College Gets To Join Community College Council

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Gila Community College has officially joined the Arizona Community College Council after a snub — or oversight — originally excluded its presence.

Bob Ashford, president of GCC’s governing board, will serve on the statewide council Gov. Janet Napolitano created by executive order in September, the college announced Tuesday.

“I am very pleased to be selected to the council,” Ashford said. “The council gives us a united voice at the state legislature and fosters collaboration with other education entities in the state.”

He added, “Participation on the council also means that Gila Community College is being recognized by other colleges throughout the state.”

Gila County is not legally allowed to operate its own community college because its population and property assessments fall beneath state-set thresholds.

The original executive order decreed that representatives from the state’s 10 community colleges would sit on this committee. However, including GCC, the state has 11 community colleges.

Board members said at an October meeting that the college’s original exclusion offended them. College lobbyist Mike Gardner then said the lapse was likely an oversight, and that he would look into it.

Napolitano created the council to increase collaboration among the colleges, help reform college funding and support the expansion of dual enrollment classes for high school students, according to the executive order.

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