MOHAVE COUNTY – Tristan Bartels has lived by the lake his entire life, so when it was time to go to college, he decided to stay at home.
He recently shared his story with a group community and educational leaders from Mohave County who attended an Achieve 60 Arizona presentation at the Mohave Community College Kingman campus. Achieve 60 is a non-profit that has a goal of seeing 60% of Arizona adults, ages 25 to 64, earn a college credential or degree by 2030.
Bartels told the group about the value of having Mohave Community College and ASU-Havasu in his hometown, especially since he knew that any career he would want would require a higher education degree. He just didn’t know which career he wanted to pursue.
“It seemed like a pretty logical choice considering the cost savings, I’d rather pay less money here at home at MCC for the same classes I’d get at a university,” Bartels said. “And also, I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, and an associate degree is better than a high school diploma. So, I’d start at MCC, save money while earning college credits, and at the same time figure out what I want to do.”
After he graduated with an associate degree in liberal arts from MCC, he transferred to Arizona State University at Lake Havasu where he is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science.
“Transferring my community college credits to ASU-Havasu was smooth, and having both schools here working together to help students is not only saving me a lot of money, it’s helping me achieve my dream,” said Bartels.
His interest in politics came during the 2016 election, but he has always had a passion for politics and grew up in a home where it was an everyday conversation.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, he hopes to go to law school, and is currently studying to take his Law School Admission Test.
“I want to obtain my law degree, then from there go into lobbying and eventually run for office,” Bartels said.
Bartels found the community college prepared him very well for success at the university. “Community college wasn’t easy, the classes were challenging, the professors were firm but fair, and it gives you a good prep for going full-time at a university.”
He said he now tells other students who want to go off to a university to instead take advantage of what they have right here in Mohave County.
“Definitely start at MCC and then transfer because it allows you to save money, it gets you ready for the university and it also allows you to figure out what you want to do,” he said.
During the Achieve 60 presentation it was also noted that students who start at Mohave Community College earn a bachelor’s degree at a higher rate than those who go directly to a university.
Bartels also mentioned that the class sizes are smaller at both MCC and ASU-Havasu, “so there is much more helpful teacher-to-student interaction.”
The MCC and ASU-Havasu partnership is one of 20 the community college has with universities across the country. The partnerships with ASU, NAU and the University of Arizona have the added benefit of the Arizona Transfer Admission Guarantee program. It provides meaningful incentives for students who complete the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC), an associate of arts, business or science degree before transferring to a university. For more information visit AZTransfer.com or call 1-866-MOHAVECC.
Mohave Community College is currently enrolling students for the spring semester, which begins on January 21. To get started, you can apply for free at www.Mohave.edu, or call 1-866-MOHAVECC for assistance.