Mohave Community College (MCC) was established as a county college by a vote of the people in October, 1970. Recognizing the vastness of the service area, the first Board of Governors made a commitment to establishing three main campus sites. In June 1971, J. Leonard and Grace Neal donated 160 acres of land where the college’s first facilities were developed. The college operated out of temporary facilities in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City at first. In October 1972, McCulloch Properties donated a parcel of land located in Lake Havasu City to the college. Later, 320 acres in Mohave Valley were acquired from the Bureau of Land Management to meet expanded needs.
During the 1971-1972 and 1972-1973 school years, MCC’s courses were occupational in nature and were offered primarily at night. During the fall of 1973, MCC began to offer classes in academic areas, including university transfer courses, leading to associate of arts and associate of applied science degrees. In 1974 Mohave Community College’s plan for integration into the state system was signed into law, and the college became part of the Arizona State System of Community Colleges.
In 1981, MCC received full accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). In 1982, the college received full accreditation of its Associate’s Degree in Nursing. In the same year, the Board of Governors approved the development of a telecommunications system to link the three main campuses together electronically.
In 1988, the college began plans to expand the telecommunications system to Colorado City, linking the upper one-third of the college’s service area to the other MCC campuses.
In the late 1980s, Mohave Community College became the primary provider of Adult Education/GED program services in the county. MCC also began delivering instruction by videotape (Distance Education). The nursing program became available at North Mohave Center (Colorado City), and a new casino training facility opened at the Bullhead City Campus.
The 1990s proved to be an equally eventful time in the life of the College. Mohave Community College experienced a significant growth in terms of student enrollment, program offerings, facilities development, and staff and faculty growth.
In 2008-2009 Mohave Community College had approximately 13,000 students (unduplicated headcount), a significant increase from the college’s first year in 1971, when it opened with only 27 courses for 1,068 students (duplicate headcount).
History of Leadership
Mohave Community College was established in 1971, became part of the Arizona Community College System in 1974 and was first accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges in 1981.
MCC’s leadership began with the initiatives of the first governing board: Dr. Walter Brazie, Gordon McKellips, Tom Schrimsher, E.J. McCarthy and Dr. Lawrence. These founding members selected Dr. Keith West to be MCC’s first president (1971-1984).
In 1984 Dr. Charles Hall was selected to serve as MCC’s second president. He served until 1997, when Michael Tacha succeeded him and served until June of 2002.
Dr. Thomas C. Henry took over in July of 2002. He served through October of 2007.
Michael J. Kearns, the current president, took his post on November 1, 2007. Kearns received his doctor of dental surgery from Case Western Reserve University Dental School, his masters of business administration from Cleveland State University, and his bachelor of science degree from John Carroll University. Following 24 years in private practice, Dr. Kearns accepted the position of founding director of the MCC Dental Hygiene program. He was later advanced to dean of the Bullhead City Campus of MCC, and then to vice chancellor of instruction for MCC. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City and was appointed to the Commission for Communication and Marketing of the American Association of Community Colleges. See current administration.