Neighborhood College

Monday, November 25, 2019
Aerial Image Of Campus

Make It Happen At Phoenix College

The City of Phoenix and Phoenix College have established a “Neighborhood College” partnership, which provides onsite courses for City employees.  The intention of the program is to expand city employees’ careers; by obtaining educational experience in various business-related areas, employees will be better equipped to apply for advanced positions within the City.

Subjects offered include accounting, web development, communication, and customer service, though employees have access to all of the Phoenix College’s business courses.

The partnership was developed after PC president Dr. Larry Johnson met with City manager Ed Zuercher to discuss the needs of the City’s workforce, and how they could eliminate the need for students to physically travel to the College campus.

Continuing Education

“The partnership allows City employees to pursue an education at their workplace. And, upon successful completion, allows employees to compete for higher positions within the City of Phoenix,” said Dr. Johnson.

110 employees have utilized the program since its creation, and the City is hoping to see an increase in the number of employees participating in an upcoming session. When employees pass the courses, the City reimburses the cost of tuition.  

“Our employees want to do the best job they can, and we want to do everything we can to help them succeed,” said City Manager Ed Zuercher. “The City encourages continuing education for employees, and our partnership with Phoenix College helps us make education available in a way that is flexible and accommodates a variety of work schedules.” 

“This partnership helps the City of Phoenix bolster its workforce while providing advancement opportunities to employees.  And, the tuition assistance is an added benefit and motivator for participants,” Johnson said.  “We hope this allows folks who might not have the time or opportunity to come to campus the ability to pursue new credentials and certifications,” Johnson added.

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 87 percent of millennials rated “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in any job.  Employers like the City of Phoenix are taking note of this, and creating partnerships like the Neighborhood College to fill this need. In 2014, just 18 percent of companies provided onsite professional development programs. As of last year, this figure increased to 69 percent, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.  

Equity In Education

Dr. Johnson highlights equity in education as one of Phoenix College’s central goals and one of the primary drivers of the Neighborhood College concept. “Since 1920, the College has provided lifelong opportunities for a diverse student population and workforce, and this partnership aligns well with the College mission, goals and strategic priorities,” Johnson said.​

If you would like to learn about the Neighborhood College, call 602-285-7466.


Quotes from City of Phoenix employees:

“So far my experience with Phoenix College has been great! The tools they provide make it really easy to learn and retain the information. They have videos, learning tutorials, and interactive reading material. It has worked wonders for me and motivates me to keep pushing. The professors are really nice and communicate well what the expectations are, and also respond to questions pretty fast. I always tell people about the program because of the success I’ve had so far, and how easy it is to get started!”

Stephanie, City of Phoenix
Finance Department

“When I found out the city of Phoenix was bringing Phoenix College courses to the city, I thought to myself how much easier could it get, taking a college course that would only take an hour and a half of my time after work, in my own building, while earning college credits towards a degree? This class has helped me a great deal in my job duties.”

Denise, City of Phoenix
Information Technology Services

“I’m very excited to take advantage of the opportunity this new program provides.  I have been out of school for a few years now, since transitioning in my career and becoming a parent.  I found that finding free time to go to a campus was an issue, and with this program the classes are conveniently coming downtown every week to me.  I’m happy to be continuing my education, which will be helpful in my career advancement within the city of Phoenix.  As long as this program is offered, I plan on being involved with it.”

Peter, City of Phoenix
Planning & Development Department

 “For me, it has been a goal to go to college and earn a degree. I took a few classes through PC years back and life happened, I had children to focus on.  Now they are grown, and I have no excuses.  I was also inspired by my oldest son, who is a military veteran, a full-time student, and has two jobs and two children.  If he could do it, so could I!  When I received the announcement of the partnership, I was like ‘oh my, if this is not a sign for me to enroll then I don’t know what is!’  I’m hoping to advance in my career from a Secretary III to an Administrative Assistant position or higher.  I also have a younger son who I want to be an inspiration for.”

Anita, City of Phoenix
Community & Economic Development