Pima Medical Institute and East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) Create a Collaborative Partnership that Benefits Phoenix Area High School Students
By Jen Spurlin, Corporate Director of Education, Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute recently unveiled a new partnership with the Health Sciences division of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), aimed at providing students with a clear pathway from high school onto higher education and into healthcare careers. The dual/early enrollment program is a first-of-its-kind for Pima Medical and will assist students currently enrolled in allied health certificate programs at EVIT to use transfer credits into several of Pima Medical Institute’s associate degree and certificate programs.
EVIT, Arizona’s first joint technical education district, is a public education system of career training options for high school students and adults throughout the Phoenix-metro area. Education is tuition-free for high school students and tuition-based for adults, with financial aid available to those who qualify.
Dr. Sally Downey, the Superintendent of EVIT, was seeking relationships that would benefit students currently attending EVIT. The need, combined with Pima Medical Institute’s reputation of positive student outcomes ultimately brought the two entities together.
“This partnership creates an opportunity for EVIT students to enter several associate degree programs at Pima Medical Institute right away and with priority,” said Fred Freedman, Pima Medical Institute President and CEO. “These students have proven they are committed to a career in healthcare, and with the support of our staff at Pima Medical Institute, students can get their career on track with incredible ease.”
After securing the appropriate approvals, Pima Medical Institute is now able to provide academic and financial credit to EVIT high school students.
Students are not charged for dual or concurrent courses taken while enrolled in EVIT programs. Students will not only benefit through college readiness, but will also benefit from student support services provided by PMI. For many students, not immediately enrolling in postsecondary education limits the chances of completion of a degree. This partnership breaks down the barrier of waiting to enroll by preparing students for what to expect and concurrently offering courses that fill specific course requirements.
Kristen Torres is a Regional Director of Operations with Pima Medical Institute and was instrumental in the creation of this partnership. She stated, “EVIT’s goal of raising the bar for career and technical education programs combined with their esteemed reputation, is a perfect match to Pima Medical Institute’s mission, philosophy and goals.”
Pima Medical Institute is offering several concurrent courses to high school students including a computer literacy course. The long-term goal for this partnership is to prepare the current generation of high school students for careers in healthcare by starting their higher education early. The partnership will increase college persistence rates and give high school students an advantage in competitive career fields by enabling them to graduate sooner and with less debt.
Students currently enrolled in EVIT’s Emergency Medical Technology, Medical Assistant, Nurse Aide and Veterinary Assistant programs can earn transfer credits to Pima Medical Institute’s Patient Care Technician certificate program, Health Care Administration, Paramedic and Veterinary Technician Associate degree programs.
“We hope this partnership enables students living in the Phoenix-metro area opportunities that might not have been available to them in the past,” added Freedman. “The opportunities in healthcare are immense and training people early in the process bodes well for long-term success.”
The mission of Pima Medical Institute is to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing the best value in medical career education, and this partnership was a natural match to EVIT. The shared goal of this program is to maintain the incredible 98 percent EVIT graduation rate by moving students on to a college degree and secure employment with good paying jobs in healthcare.
EVIT Superintendent Dr. Sally Downey said the school’s new partnership with Pima Medical Institute is the perfect example of the “phenomenal opportunities that can be presented to students when institutions pool their resources and work together.”
“I couldn’t be happier that our students will be given credit for their learning at EVIT and the opportunity to add to that for an associate degree,” Downey said. “I love the business model of Pima Medical Institute, where they follow the student all the way through to placement. They have such a wonderful reputation, not just in Arizona, but nationwide.”
Creating a more seamless transition for students, creates a ready workforce, with quality hands-on learning throughout the entire education process. In addition, students at EVIT will have access to a Pima Medical Institute Health Science Coordinator, right on campus. A first for Pima Medical Institute, the school has named Amber Morrow to this position. Morrow, who is on-site at EVIT’s Mesa Campus began her career at Pima Medical Institute as a lead pharmacy technician instructor and most recently served as Student Services Coordinator. In her role, Morrow will teach general education and assist students daily to help them reach their degree goals.
About Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is a private, accredited school dedicated to providing students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs.
Pima Medical Institute operates 17 campuses as well as an extensive online curriculum. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with the following ground locations: Albuquerque and Albuquerque West – Rio Rancho in N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and two campuses in Mesa, Ariz.; Aurora, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston and El Paso, Texas; Chula Vista and San Marcos, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 1-888-442-5998.
JEN SPURLIN as Corporate Director of Education provides oversight to the educational components of all PMI certificate and degree programs. She has provided direction and support and been instrumental in the success of many programmatic accreditations, site visits and self-studies.
Spurlin joined Pima Medical Institute in 2004 as a respiratory therapy instructor and was quickly promoted to the respiratory therapy clinical director later that year. In July 2011, Spurlin was promoted to the respiratory therapy program director position, and in 2014, joined the Corporate Education Department as the regulatory affairs coordinator.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care from Midwestern State University and a Master of Education in Career and Technical Education from Northern Arizona University.
Contact Information: Jen Spurlin // Corporate Director of Education // Pima Medical Institute // 520-323-5987 // email@example.com // pmi.edu // Facebook@pimamedicalinstitute // Instagram@pimamedical // Twitter@PimaMedical