Mirage accepting submissions

The Mirage Literary and Arts Magazine, a Cochise College publication, is currently accepting submissions from students and community members. We would like to invite high school students, college students, and community members to participate and submit their art, prose, and poetry for consideration in the new issue. The Mirage serves an excellent opportunity to showcase high-quality art and literature. 

Entries are due for the fall semester by December 15, 2020. 

For more information, submission guidelines, and to submit your work, visit www.cochise.edu/mirage. If you have any questions, email to mirage@cochise.edu

Mirage flyer - Public

Virtual event helps students, parents understand the college enrollment process

Cochise College will hold its Virtual Cochise College Week on Monday, Oct. 19 through Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. daily. The online event is open to the public. High school juniors and seniors, adult learners considering attending college, and their families are encouraged to attend. 

So if you’re getting close to graduation or looking to advance your career, join us to learn about the great opportunities and resources at Cochise College. You will meet faculty, advisors, and staff to answer your questions. The online event includes a brief introduction about the admissions process, paying for college, and choosing your path whether it is to a university or getting started in a career. 

To view the schedule and access the links to attend go to www.cochise.edu/virtualweek. You can attend any or all of the nights that interest you. 

Anyone needing an accommodation to attend should contact the Disability Services Office, (520) 515-5337 or (520) 417-4023, at least 72 hours in advance.

American Southwest Credit Union gifts $10,000 to college

The Cochise College Foundation has received a $10,000 donation from the American Southwest Credit Union (ASCU) in support of scholarships for Cochise County adults. To honor the Check Presentationcontribution, the foundation has named ASCU a title sponsor of its virtual run/walk fundraiser, Pathway to $100k.

“If we are going to see our rural Arizona, Cochise County, and our surrounding communities thrive, survive, and flourish in this new economy and era, education and a quick response to achieve goals are necessary,” said Cochise College President, Dr. J.D. Rottweiler during the check presentation. “Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for citizens in our communities through education. We cannot do this without the amazing partnerships like ASCU.”

“Now we have a COVID year and it has become obvious that there are many people in need. Many who may have lost jobs or found themselves underemployed and needing education to improve their opportunities for the future,” said Brian Barkdull, American Southwest Credit Union CEO. “We are so pleased to give back to the community and help local citizens. We have already seen such wonderful success stories.”

Pathway to $100k, which will be hosted in 2021, will raise funds for the Senior Scholarship and the Non-Traditional Student Scholarship. The Senior Scholarship is awarded to Cochise County graduating high school seniors. The Non-Traditional Student Scholarship is awarded to Cochise County residents age 20 and older who have been away from education for a year or more.

Title sponsorship recognizes ASCU’s recent contribution, which will cover about half of full- or part-time tuition for 10-17 adult students enrolling at Cochise College.

The event is a wellness activity in which participants register online, select an event/distance, download an optional event timing app, and carry out their event anywhere in the world and anytime during March 2021. In addition to reaching greater Cochise County, it provides an opportunity for the college to engage alumni who reside elsewhere. Registration will open later this fall and is open to the public. All proceeds benefit scholarships. Donations from participants and non-participants also can be accepted through the registration website or at cochise.edu/give.

“The Cochise College Foundation is pleased to welcome American Southwest Credit Union as a partner on scholarships that help residents no matter where they live in Cochise County,” said Denise Hoyos, foundation executive director. “The generosity of others in support of student success, particularly in light of the pandemic environment, has inspired us all. We sincerely thank ASCU for joining us in this effort to provide students with second chances.”


Student success in a pandemic environment

By J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D.

J.D. RottweilerCochise College is now several weeks into the fall semester, and some of the uncertainty about what to expect is behind us. The unknowns of the future continue to present challenges, but, true to form, Cochise College students are demonstrating their resilience and grit by accepting different, and varied, modalities in their learning journey.

Similarly, college faculty and staff are moving forward with a variety of efforts to provide the tools that make student success a reality. Despite the uncertainties, we are making the most of the situation by exploring and implementing the very best emerging ideas.

An earlier column alluded to Mega Convocation, a summer effort to provide learning opportunities for faculty who would soon be teaching in a different learning environment. Led by our academic support team, mega-convocation offered 98 sessions on 53 topics, plus eight strategy planning sessions. There were classes on how to use Zoom and Moodle, the college’s online learning communications hub. Faculty professional development topics covered online assessment, cheating, developing effective online instruction, financial aid, virtual reality, institutional research, the library and curriculum. Attendees included 84 full-time faculty, 67 associate faculty, nine dual-enrollment faculty and 22 staff.

Mega Convocation inspired Cochise College to enhance the level of ongoing training available, and this fall it will morph into the Cochise Convogent, a monthly series that in September focuses on engaging the online learner. Cochise Convogent will also include a book club opportunity and stress management techniques. Change can be hard, but we are moving forward into a brave new world of teaching and learning.

While faculty become more familiar with their new world, staff also seek to better serve students. The Student Success team includes advising and counseling, tutoring, testing, adult education, library services, the federally-funded TRiO program, and the faculty and staff who teach the Student Success Strategies course. Together they are looking at how learning outcomes can be improved and measured. The group works with an early alert system that prompts advisors to intervene when students need help. The team is also working on a persistence and retention plan, examining what a student’s first-year experience is like, and exploring ways to expand the high-impact learning and values instilled by the TRiO program and the Student Success Strategies class beyond those they currently serve.

Also new this semester is Virtual Cochise College Week, scheduled Oct. 19-22, from 6-7 p.m. daily. This event is open to anyone, with special attention to those considering attending college. Different topics will be covered each day, including a general overview of the college and sessions on the enrollment process, student success, financial aid and scholarships, the transfer path and workforce/industry training programs. Pre-registration is kindly requested at https://www.cochise.edu/virtualweek/.

Finally, we are interested in knowing your opinion about Cochise College and the value of higher education in general. A survey is available to members of the public at cochise.edu/survey. We look forward to receiving your responses before September 30.

Once again, exciting things are happening at Cochise College. Even a pandemic can’t keep us down!

J.D. ROTTWEILER, Ph.D., is president of Cochise College. Contact him at jdr@cochise.edu.

Music instructor receives a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Citizenship Diplomacy Action Fund

Dr. Lori Keyne, music instructor and Fullbright scholar alum, received a $4435 grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund. “I feel honored, proud, and humbled toDr. keyne be awarded this grant,” said Dr. Keyne. “The grant will be used to provide virtual binational art performances during the COVID-19 pandemic to help build community resilience.”

The public is invited to join us for the first online concert. The virtual event will be streamed on the Bi-National Arts Institute’s website www.binationalarts.org  at 7 p.m. MST  on Tuesday, September 15. “The project is a collaboration with the Bi-national Arts Institute, the Mexican Consulate in Douglas, Cochise College, the cities of Douglas, Agua Prieta and Naco, UNAM in Tucson, some departments from U of A and other regional entities,” added Dr. Keyne. “There will be participants from southern Arizona, northern Sonora, Mexico, and Japan in the virtual event.”

The virtual concert showcases renowned Japanese baritone Shingo Sudo as a soloist for the choral piece, “Custodia,” with words by Octavio Paz and music by Dr. Keyne. The public will also enjoy singers from Japan, Cochise County, Pennsylvania, Mexicali, Hermosillo, and Agua Prieta. Two dancers from Sonora will create movement to express the concrete image of a mandala with which Paz created his work. “The work speaks of caring for each other and creates symbols of what we share with the use of female and male images,” said Dr. Keyne. “The dancers will be wearing masks to symbolize this time in our world.”

“We are thrilled that our U.S. alumni, like Dr. Keyne, are using the skills and knowledge they gained during their exchange programs overseas to join the worldwide effort against COVID-19,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “These Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund public service projects uplift communities and provide them with resources and education needed to fight the pandemic.”

“My deep hope is that the connections we make while we create these projects together will enrich all of our communities during COVID-19 and continue to build lasting relationships where we can collaborate,” explained Dr. Keyne. “COVID-19 has brought a tragic, difficult time to our world. However, with the creative use of technology, we can be together, lift one another’s spirits, still sing, and make music.”

For more details about the virtual concert visit binationalarts.org.

College conducts a community survey

Cochise College is conducting a community survey within its service district of Cochise County. The intent of the survey is to gather the current perception of the college and assess how the community values attaining a college degree or certificate. Participants will have the opportunity to share information and provide feedback. The results of the survey will be used in the development of future planning.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete, and responses are confidential. The survey will be available until midnight, Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at www.cochise.edu/survey

Your time and opinions are much appreciated.

For more information, please visit www.cochise.edu/survey.

Second 8-week fall registration is here

The majority of classes for the second 8-week fall session start on Monday, October 19. 

 Students can register in person for classes at all college locations or online through their MyCochise student account. Online registration is open until midnight, Sunday, October 18.

Schedule of Classes: cochise.edu/schedule

URL to MyCochise:my.cochise.edu

Please note: Cochise College requires face coverings or masks in public spaces at all college campuses and centers.

If you have any questions about scheduling classes, please contact an advisor at (520) 515-5483 or (520) 417-4038. For any tuition and payment questions, call (520) 515-5416 or (520) 417-4076. 

College closed for Labor Day

Cochise College will be closed Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day. The normal class schedule and regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, will resume Tuesday, September 8, at all campuses and centers.

College Receives Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has recognized Cochise College with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. This award is a significant recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting.

“The production of the CAFR is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by the entire Finance team, under the leadership of Dr. Wendy Davis. The college has excellent policies and procedures in place,” said Debbie Craig, Director of Finance and the college’s Controller. “Still, it takes the team’s dedication and professionalism to follow those guidelines and recognize when those guidelines may need to be updated and amended to meet the ever-changing world of financial reporting.”

The Certificate of Achievement is a notable accomplishment by a government and its management. The CAFR has been judged by a neutral group to uphold the highest standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financials.

“This award is a confirmation that the structure our administration has put in place meets the financial reporting requirements and that the college takes it to the next level,” added Craig. “I am so proud of this accomplishment. The Finance team is relatively young in their tenure with the college, but they put their best foot forward to exceed expectations.”


2019 Certificate


College pulls together, despite being apart

J.D. RottweilerBy J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D.

The last five months have been full of lows and, thankfully, highs. While I’ve never been more discouraged in my 30-year career, I’ve also never been prouder.

“In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity,” said John F. Kennedy in a 1959 speech in Indianapolis.

This year, Cochise College faculty and staff have moved past an unpredictable danger and taken opportunities to serve students in different ways.

When spring classes were disrupted mid-semester, faculty demonstrated innovation, responsiveness and commitment to helping students complete what they’d begun in January, or even earlier. An example is our career technology faculty, who did what they could online until the only thing left to do was bring students on site to finish the lab, or hands-on, portion of their courses. Staff began assisting students remotely in March and then returned to campus to serve students in all modalities while other organizations were still working from home. Academic support personnel carried out a “mega-convocation” to help faculty prepare in the event the fall semester would be taught remotely, which is where we are today. Faculty taught faculty; they learned how to use technology innovatively. Staff and faculty engaged students and potential students by phone, text and email. “Did you apply but never enroll? How can we help you?” Facilities personnel cleaned, re-cleaned, and cleaned again, and classroom capacities were adjusted. Fall classes were scheduled and then rescheduled to accommodate a late switch from face-to-face to remote delivery where possible. A new scholarship program for Cochise County adults was not just an idea, it’s a reality, thanks to donors who stepped forward to help.

Despite being apart, we have really pulled together!

Some of these new efforts may only continue in the immediate future, and others may remain permanently. The situation keeps changing, so we’ll have to get back to you on that.

The college recently hosted its annual convocation, a welcome to the academic year. We did it remotely – apart but together. As we enter a semester devoid of athletic competition and on-campus student activities, engagement is going to be a challenge. How do we engage students and deliver the kind of college experience we’re normally capable of while being remote, distanced and masked? It’s a challenge faced by every institution that is suddenly unable to carry out activities that normally take place in a public space. It puts greater responsibility on us, and our students, because we won’t necessarily see each other every day.

But education is needed, perhaps now more than ever. Our students, colleagues and communities need us now. We do not know the answer to all the questions, but we remain committed to the idea that through innovation and energy, we can enhance the quality of life for the students and communities we serve.

Be well!

J.D. ROTTWEILER, Ph.D., is president of Cochise College. Contact him at jdr@cochise.edu.