National Higher Education Day: Celebrating NAU Yuma’s


YUMA — As National Higher Education Day approaches, NAU-Yuma has been reflecting on the enduring significance of education and the transformative impact it has on the lives of students.
One institution that stands out in this regard is Northern Arizona University-Yuma (NAU-Yuma), which has been a pillar of academic excellence for over 35 years, particularly for a primarily Hispanic, first-generation student population along the U.S.-Mexican border.
NAU-Yuma has achieved a remarkable milestone with its fall graduating class, where an impressive total of 2,265 graduates received undergraduate and graduate degrees in just five years. This accomplishment speaks volumes about NAU’s dedication to providing diverse student populations in Arizona with opportunities for advancement and success.
“Education is the key that unlocks the door to opportunity and empowers individuals to shape their futures. At Northern Arizona University-Yuma, we are proud to provide diverse student populations with the tools and resources they need to succeed. On National Higher Education Day, we celebrate the transformative impact of higher education in fostering social and economic mobility” said José Luis Cruz Rivera, President of Northern Arizona University.
In response to the critical needs of the region’s workforce, NAU-Yuma has been proactive in collaborating with Arizona Western College (AWC). Together, they are launching a mechanical engineering degree program this fall, supported by an initial $2 million investment. This collaborative initiative creates a seamless pathway for AWC mechanical engineering associate degree graduates to earn a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from NAU-Yuma, thus ensuring the region has a skilled workforce in this field.
Additionally, NAU-Yuma has introduced the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program to address the pressing demand for professional nurses in the state. This program, funded by a $6.4 million grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services, streamlines nursing prerequisites, and expedites the graduation of nursing students, equipping them to effectively tackle healthcare challenges.
On National Higher Education Day, it’s important to celebrate the impact of institutions like NAU-Yuma that empower diverse student populations and promote social and economic mobility. NAU-Yuma’s notable achievements, such as its impressive graduation numbers, collaborative programs with Arizona Western College, and initiatives like the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, exemplify its commitment to shaping a skilled workforce and meeting critical societal needs.