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Peoria Independent

West-MEC students earning credentials at high rate


Western Maricopa Education Center is a public school district in the Valley that provides industry-standard career training programs for high school and adult students. Every student who completes a program has the opportunity to test for licensure or certification.

“Credentials are life-long skills that show a true measure of career readiness, and students are provided the opportunity to earn them here at West-MEC,” said Northwest Campus Administrator Holly Medina.

The rate of students receiving at least one credential at West-MEC has been steadily increasing; rising from 91% to 96% in the past three years. “High-value” credentials have increased by 14% in the same period, Medina said.

“High-value credentials include required, preferred and relevant credentials to the industry,” said West-MEC Assistant Superintendent Stephen Weltsch. “Seventy-eight percent of our students earned a credential that is required or preferred."

Credentials are important, but if they aren't industry driven, it is much tougher to put the certification to use. That is what makes West-MEC an excellent option for students. At West-MEC, preparing students and helping them earn high-value credentials in the industry they are interested in is of utmost importance. That starts with the instructors.

"About 90% of our teachers come from the industry area in which they're teaching, so we really have our finger on the pulse of what industry expects of entry-level employees," Weltsch said. "This way, we can better develop students to connect them with those career opportunities, and I think this is what makes West-MEC stand out."

West-MEC is a career technical education public school district focusing solely on innovative career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials. West-MEC serves more than 37,000 students from 48 high schools across 3,800 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. West-MEC now also offers adult education programs. Visit for more information about West-MEC’s career-driven education opportunities, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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