Campus Spotlight – Phoenix Campuses

Phoenix CampusThere’s no getting away from the fact that Phoenix, AZ, is a big city – big enough for two Carrington College campuses - Phoenix Westside and Phoenix - split over three locations. Did you know that:

  • Phoenix covers more than 519 square miles making it larger than the City of Los Angeles?
  • It has a population of more than 1.4 million, which makes it the sixth largest city in the country?
  • The Phoenix Metro Area covers around 9,000 square miles, about the size of New Hampshire?

We sat down with Val Colmone, Executive Director II of the Phoenix campuses. Val has been with Carrington College for 14 years, having spent six years as Executive Director of our Mesa campus before being promoted to oversee the two Phoenix campuses in March 2012. Val spends at least two days a week at each location.

“We have two distinct campuses, Phoenix and Phoenix Westside, but they have one management team covering them both. Technically we have three locations, because we co-locate with the DeVry University campus, which is about two miles north of the Phoenix campus.”

Carrington is very established in the Phoenix community, having been located at the same north Phoenix campus since 1981. Westside has been open since 1976, just at different locations over the years.

All three sites are equipped with the leading trends in health care technology, with modern classrooms and patient simulation labs that enable you to get hands-on training without the need to leave campus.

“The Phoenix campus has about 35,000 square feet, while Phoenix Westside has about 20,000 square feet of learning space. We have just under a thousand enrolled students, supported by 105 faculty and staff.”

Both campuses have recently had cosmetic facelifts with new paint throughout; while the Phoenix campus had a major overhaul just a couple of years ago.

“I’m very proud of our facilities; in particular the Nursing lab at the Phoenix Westside campus and the Respiratory Care facility at our Phoenix campus that is co-located with DeVry University are really very nice, top-notch places for students to learn their new skills. They have the ability for the students’ lab work to be recorded, with their actions reviewed later in the classroom. The recent renovation of our Dental Assisting classroom and lab at our Phoenix campus means our facility now rivals most real-world dental offices in terms of equipment.”

 If you choose to study at Carrington College in Phoenix, there are 11 different programs to choose from – Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Management, Pharmacy Technology and Veterinary Assisting at our Phoenix campus. And Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Laboratory Technology, Medical Radiography, Physical Therapy Technology, Registered Nursing and Respiratory Care at our Phoenix Westside campus.

Even though our programs are typically very popular, there isn’t usually a waiting list to get started.

“Medical Assisting and Registered Nursing are our most popular programs by enrollment; together they have about 400 enrolled students currently. Registered Nursing classes start three times a year, and Medical Assisting classes every six weeks.

As long as they don’t wait until the last moment to enroll, students can usually get started the next cohort, once they’ve qualified for their program either through an admissions’ exam or a program specific test. For example, Registered Nursing has an entrance exam that students must pass to qualify.* Our latest class of students just started this week on September 9th, so welcome everyone!”

Time is precious when you’re trying to balance work, school and life, so it’s good news that access to our Phoenix campuses is excellent; both are located just off the I-17 and are close to a wide variety of stores and restaurants so students can maximize their time around campus.

As you would expect being located in such a large metropolitan area, most students commute from Phoenix or surrounding cities in the Valley, but there are exceptions as Val explains…

“The program that attracts most ‘out-of-towners’ or even ‘out-of-staters’ is Medical Radiography. It’s a highly sought after program. We do have students who’ve moved to Phoenix to enroll in that program.”

The two campuses are only about three miles from each other; students and faculty at both are very active in the Phoenix community. Event participation is usually done at a program level, depending on the occasion and what students can get involved with, but it is sometimes arranged at a campus level.

“We’re very community centered; students in all of our programs try to get involved in one way or another, whether participating in events and/or raising money. We do a lot of community outreach with local grammar schools; things like clothing and shoe collections for example. And every other month we work with United Blood Services (UBS) to arrange a blood drive. Just this year we won a UBS Silver Award because we were considered a leader who inspires, motivates and serves as an advocate for the promotion of the UBS community blood program.”

As you may expect, the largest programs (in terms of enrollment) have the most visible impact in the local community.

“I would say our biggest contributors are our Registered Nursing and Medical Assisting programs; they are extremely active in the community, getting involved with local hospitals and certain charitable events.

We recently participated in a local event where a number of health care facilities came together to donate a day of their time to allow high school kids to come in and go station to station for check-ups. Many of our Nursing students worked side by side with doctors, donating their time at the event as well as earning some clinical hours for it.”

Campus events are always fun in Phoenix; there is tremendous school spirit at all of the locations. Students and faculty work hard, but they also remember to have fun in the process. Isn’t that what pursuing your passion is all about?

“Whenever we do a campus event, we do the same at all locations at the same time. We don’t want anyone to miss out, and it’s much easier to coordinate! We do Student Appreciation Days all the time; we did a Popsicle Day in the summer because it’s so hot down here…and we’ll do BBQs and cook-outs too, although unlike the rest of the country, not so much in the summer!”

We also have program specific weeks where we’ll celebrate the students of one particular program with events and guest speakers. The next one we have coming up is our Medical Assisting Recognition Week, October 21st through the 25th. We’re working on it now, but being October we’ll probably tie it in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month again.

Last year the campus Medical Assisting department partnered with the Breast Assured Foundation to educate our students on the benefits of early breast cancer detection. Kristen Heffern visited with students and staff on the importance of early detection, and how to get the community involved in making “awareness” a priority. The week is a chance to celebrate what medical assistants do and encourage them to want to educate the public about the need for regular checks.”

If you have friends or family in the Phoenix, AZ, area that would benefit from learning more about our programs, why not share this blog post with them and have them visit our website at carrington.edu/schools to learn more.