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Buckeye Independent

West-MEC graduates earn credentials in fields


Every Western Maricopa Education Center student who completes a program has the opportunity to test for licensure or certification.

West-MEC is a public school district in Phoenix that provides industry-standard career training programs for high school and adult students.

“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.

West-MEC Northwest Campus is in Surprise.

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.

“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.

At West-MEC, preparing students and helping them earn credentials in the industry they are interested is an important aspect. 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.”

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