Cochise fares well in new ranking

When considering key factors important to students, including cost and financing, classroom experience, education outcomes and career outcomes, Cochise College ranks 21st of 670 U.S. community colleges recently studied by WalletHub.

The online consumer information tool that helps users make financial decisions used 17 metrics in four weighted categories to compare not just institutions, but also community college systems. Arizona’s community college system ranks 12th. WalletHub’s announcement of its findings and methodology addressed growing respect for community colleges as their graduates achieve success.

“Cochise College is honored to have received another national recognition of the amazing things happening here,” said Dr. J.D. Rottweiler, president of Cochise College. “This ranking underscores the college’s efforts to balance costs while improving retention and completion. And, driving all of this is students’ return on their educational investment.”

The study took into account characteristics like tuition and fees, cost per student, school spending efficiency, and salaries; active and collaborative learning, academic challenge and student effort, support for learners, student-faculty ratio and interaction; retention, graduation and transfer rates; and ratio of starting salary for graduates to cost of education.

Cochise College was specifically highlighted for a low cost per student and high return on investment.

Simulator to prepare students for faster aircraft

Cochise College Aviation Director Belinda Burnett works with the CRJ700 simulator, which replicates real-world flight experiences for students preparing to work for regional airlines.
Cochise College Aviation Director Belinda Burnett works with the CRJ700 simulator, which replicates real-world flight experiences for students preparing to work for regional airlines.

Cochise College aviation students now have access to advanced simulation training to prepare for larger, faster jets than are available on site.

The Aviation Department recently purchased and installed a CRJ700 simulator from Colorado company Paradigm Shift Solutions. Housed in its own room on the north side of the Douglas Campus hangar, the device simulates high-altitude weather; increased air traffic; communications; nearly real geographical landmarks, cities and airports; and even crew interaction.

In addition, it will facilitate the student transition from training to employability with the regional airlines with which the college partners. Jet Transition Training is the last course in a professional pilot student’s program. Most regional airlines carry 70-90 passengers per flight on planes that travel 400-500  miles per hour. That’s nearly three times as fast as any other aircraft or training simulation the college previously provided, and it was a challenge for pilots new to the industry.

Cochise flight instructors were trained on the new equipment a few weeks ago and soon will be prepared for their first students. Jet Transition Training also is available as a stand-alone course for individuals who already have a commercial pilot’s license. The $6,000 approximate cost for the training includes 20 hours in the left seat and 20 in the right.

The investment in the CRJ700 further enhances one of the college’s keystone programs, which in recent years has replaced aircraft with refurbished diesel models, created a simulation room featuring various models and student-pilot experiences, added a dispatcher program, and renovated its learning spaces.

What they’re saying about Cochise men’s basketball

korcheck“My time here at Camp Cochise was great. A few years ago I thought I knew it all … But I quickly learned that basketball wasn’t as easy as I thought. Coach Carrillo opened so many doors for me and has taught me so much about not only the game of basketball, but life. It has been a true blessing playing under Coach Carrillo. He welcomed me into his family and showed me what it takes to be a true man. Cochise will always be a part of me and I will never forget my time here. Thank you Coach! Love you man!”

Matt Korcheck
2010-12 Cochise men’s basketball player
Playing on scholarship at the University of Arizona

College welcomes two new board members

Two new members took the oath of office at the August meeting of the Cochise College Governing Board.

Danny Ortega

Daniel Ortega, mayor of the City of Douglas and a 1982 Cochise College graduate, now holds the Precinct 2 seat vacated by Donald Hudgins, who resigned earlier this year. A Douglas native, Ortega worked for IBM in Kentucky for some time, returning to the community in 1989 to assist with family businesses. He has also served on the Douglas Unified School District board, including as chair. Precinct 2 includes Douglas, McNeal, Tombstone, Elfrida and surrounding areas.




QUINN 20MAY2013 (1)
Tim Quinn

Tim Quinn, a retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence colonel, fills the Precinct 4 seat vacated by Dr. John Eaton, who has moved out of the area. Quinn currently serves as the deputy director, Training, Development and Support Directorate, where he is involved with the analysis, design and development of training for military intelligence soldiers and civilians. He is president of the Fort Huachuca Accommodation School Board and previously served as president of the Buena High School Site Council. He holds a master’s degree in adult and continuing education from Kansas State University and another from the National War College. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Montana State University and has taken a number of classes at Cochise College. Precinct 4 serves much of the City of Sierra Vista.
The Cochise College Governing Board meets at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at one of the institution’s campuses or centers. Agendas and minutes are available on the college website.

Measuring up at Cochise College

By Dr. J.D. Rottweiler

Cochise College welcomed faculty and staff back for the 2015-16 academic year this week. Since the college faces an important accreditation milestone this fall, the focus was on “Measuring Up at Cochise.” I shared some statistics on the state of education in Arizona, something that keeps me up at night.

According to the Arizona Board of Regents:

  • Fifty-three percent of Arizona high school graduates are not eligible for admission into the state’s public universities.
  • Fifty percent of Arizona high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution immediately following high school, a college-going rate that is 40th in the nation.
  • After six years, about 26 percent of that graduating class has earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The following news was published in “The Arizona Republic:”

And records from community colleges indicate that among all publicly funded education sectors in Arizona, the community college sector has seen the greatest percentage decrease in state support – 70 percent – with two institutions no longer receiving any support.

What does this mean for the future? I don’t know, but it would be unfair to pretend it’s not happening. The day after I caught myself sighing with relief that my own family is almost finished with high school, I set up meetings with all of the superintendents in Cochise County to talk about what we can do for all those who are to follow. The future rests with us; state funding is less and less reliable. These are the types of challenges all of Arizona’s educational institutions face, and anyone with a stake in the state needs to know.

Cochise, for now, must focus on its reaccreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which, as an external reviewer, evaluates the quality and sustainability of the college, conveying confidence to the public and future students. In just a few weeks, the college will submit a written case demonstrating that its mission guides operations; that it operates with integrity; that it provides high-quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered; that it demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement; and that its resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

Public access to the report will be provided.

As we measure the state of education in Arizona, it’s clear that Cochise College has a role to play. Measuring its effectiveness will help sustain quality and hone efficiencies for the good of students. They are our future.

J.D. Rottweiler is president of Cochise College. Contact him at

Extended registration hours in August

Fall semester classes at Cochise College start Aug. 17. Students can sign up for courses in person or online.

Students must complete the registration process for a course the day before a class begins. Late registration is no longer available.

Extended registration hours are offered in August on the Sierra Vista and Douglas campuses:

  • Monday, Aug. 10:
    1 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 – Thursday, Aug. 13:
    8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 15:
    9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 17 – Tuesday, Aug. 18:
    8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Fall Regular Hours
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the the Admissions and Registration Office on the Douglas Campus at (520) 417-4005 or Sierra Vista Campus at (520) 515-5336, or email


College convocation hours on Aug. 10

Cochise College will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Aug. 10, as faculty and staff gather for the annual Fall Convocation to prepare for the academic year. The college will re-open from 1 – 4:30 p.m. for regular business functions.

Regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, resume Tuesday, Aug. 11, at all campuses and centers, with extended registration hours through Friday, Aug. 21.

To find more important dates and deadlines, check out the Academic Calendar.

Cochise approved to participate in national initiative for online classes

Cochise College is one of 13 higher education institutions in Arizona now approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is a national initiative to create interstate reciprocity in the regulation of postsecondary distance education. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses through institutions based in other states.

“SARA is an idea whose time has come,” said David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), in a 2013 news release. “Today, online learning is a major part of higher education, and it requires a quality assurance process that’s unbound by state lines. SARA is designed to achieve multiple goals: to effectively protect customers; to reduce the cost of often redundant regulatory compliance (in terms of both dollars and time); and to increase the quality, comparability and effectiveness of regulatory oversight and of the distance courses we offer our students.”

SARA is administered across the U.S. in participating states, districts and territories under four regional education compacts. Arizona’s SARA Council is recognized as the State Portal Agency (SPA) by W-SARA, the SARA partner for the Western region.

Participation in the national SARA initiative is voluntary. As an approved SARA institution, Cochise College has reciprocity approval for distance education with other SARA approved states. The college must comply with a number of provisions developed by Arizona’s SARA Council, such as ensuring that online learning is appropriate to the institution’s mission and purpose, that the expansion of online learning is integrated into the college’s planning and evaluation processes, that online faculty are qualified and effectively supported, that the institution assures the integrity of its online course offerings, and more.

For more information, visit the Cochise College Virtual Campus website at or the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements website at