Governor Ducey Signs Bill To Expand Education For In-Demand Industries

PHOENIX, AZ – April 29, 2022

Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation allowing career and technical education districts to offer associate degrees, paving the way to grow Arizona’s workforce pipeline and expand higher education options.

“Arizona’s career and technical education districts are equipping students with the skills to fill the jobs of tomorrow,” said Governor Ducey. “These high schools are teaching the ‘shop’ classes of the 21st century – often integrating with industry partners and providing students with real-world experience in top industries. Now, students will have higher education at their fingertips, in familiar settings. Thank you to Rep. Michelle Udall for your leadership and partnership in expanding opportunity for all.”

Arizona’s career and technical education districts (CTEDs) improve skills training and are a critical component of the school-to-career pipeline. H.B. 2034, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Udall of Mesa, makes the transition to college seamless for high school students, bringing higher education directly to their school.

“Our career and technical education schools help Arizona students become workforce ready and get stellar degrees at the same time and place,” said Rep. Udall. “This is a very exciting opportunity for students in pursuit of an associate degree. H.B. 2034 boosts our career and technical education districts so students can receive their associate degree and readily enter the field. Governor Ducey has been a leader in expanding education choice and I thank him for signing this bill.”

Throughout the state, 101 schools have joined 14 career and technical education districts. The East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa is one the districts that plans to offer associate degrees under this new law.

“I would like to thank Governor Doug Ducey, Rep. Michelle Udall, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Representatives Walt Blackman, Frank Carroll and all legislators who supported House Bill 2034,” said Dr. Chad Wilson, superintendent of EVIT. “In allowing CTEDs to offer associate degrees, this legislation gives Arizona students and families another choice for higher education and will increase the number of skilled professionals in high demand Arizona industries. House Bill 2034 is good for our students, communities, industry partners, tax payers and the great state of Arizona.”

As of the 2020-2021 academic year, CTEDs have served about 155,950 students and passage rates for their programs are more than 97 percent.

CTEDs will be able to offer associate degrees for programs that are on the in-demand industries and careers list created by the Office of Economic Opportunity and Arizona Department of Education. In demand careers include health care, information technology, finance, manufacturing and transportation.

Under the legislation, CTEDs opting to offer associate degrees must approve each program based on specific criteria, including workforce need, a financial and administrative analysis of the feasibility of offering the program, and mitigating duplication.

Governor Ducey also signed 12 other bills today:

S.B. 1327 alternative assessment advisory committee (Barto)

S.B. 1654 schools; seizure management; treatment plans (Kerr)

H.B. 2119 civil rights restoration; requirements; process (Kaiser)

H.B. 2161 parental rights; schools; educational records (Kaiser)

H.B. 2177 charter schools; fingerprinting; renewal; revocation (Udall)

H.B. 2322 hazing; classification; offense (Kavanagh)

H.B. 2398 dude ranches; heritage trail program (Dunn)

H.B. 2406 water quality fee fund (Griffin)

H.B. 2439 school library; review; policy (Pingerelli)

H.B. 2583 DUI; data collection; study committee (Kavanagh)

H.B. 2626 animal handling; microchip scan (Kavanagh)

H.B. 2645 false filings; UCC; penalty (Diaz)

az office of the governor

(Photo by Arizona Office of the Governor)