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Giving the Gift of Education

Giving the Gift of Education

By Chris Haines, M.Ed

The holidays are in full swing and that means coming up with creative, thoughtful gift ideas for loved ones. Everyone wants their present to be meaningful and appreciated for a long time by the recipient.

Here’s the perfect gift idea this year: Give the gift of education.

Why? An education never gets old or outgrown, goes out of style, can be discarded, or even needs batteries. Once someone attains it, what they have learned can never be taken away. While “some assembly may be required” on the part of the student recipient, that opportunity for growth is part of the beauty of learning something new.

Giving someone a free college course may ignite that first step in their educational journey to ultimately complete a degree program. Achieving such a goal can open so many doors personally and professionally for years to come.

Perhaps the gifted class will help someone learn new occupational skills, which may translate into a higher salary and more job responsibilities. For some professions, like information technology, successfully completing even a single certificate program can lead to advancement. Few people regret seeking additional knowledge that will help their career move forward. In addition, local businesses will thank you as they strive to find qualified talent to fill thousands of open positions across Scottsdale’ s booming economy.

A free course can help a student already enrolled at a four-year university. They can take a required introductory 101 class at a community college and then easily transfer those credits to their university because the curriculum is the same.

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) offers one of the lowest tuition rates in Arizona at $85 per credit hour. This means a typical three credit-hour class averages about $290, including books and fees.

Another option is gifting a noncredit class for a recipient’s personal enjoyment. Colleges offer unlimited options for discovery. At SCC, you can learn the fine arts, wine tasting, astronomy at the on-campus planetarium, or Italian in preparation for that trip to the Mediterranean you’ve always been wanting to take. The possibilities for enrichment are endless.

Here at SCC, we’re in the process of our own gift-giving campaign.

In October, we launched the Complete your Dreams initiative which is helping up to 100 students who did not finish their degree program return to college. SCC will award each participating student a free, three-credit-hour class when they resume their studies at our college in the Spring 2020 semester.

For these many reasons this holiday season, as you’re “making your list and checking it twice”, consider a present that invests in someone’s future. They’ll thank you for years to come.

  • Chris Haines, M. Ed., is the interim president of SCC. Spring 2020 Semester begins January 11, 2020 for more information call 480-423-6700 or

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