Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Oct. 26

Education pays, says Coconino Community College

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The higher your education level, the lower your chance for unemployment. That's the word from Coconino Community College (CCC) as Arizona's unemployment rate hit 6.1 percent in October.

"To successfully compete in the current economy means having a college education," said CCC President Leah L. Bornstein. "As you might expect, statistics reveal that workers with the highest degrees make the most money and have the lowest unemployment rate."

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with doctorate degrees earn an average of $1,500 a week. They also have the lowest unemployment rate at 1.4 percent.  

In Coconino County, the average worker earns about $9.34 an hour. However, workers with an associate's degree improve their earning power, by about $15,000 more a year.  Arizona Department of Economic Security records show that CCC graduates on average earn $17.20 an hour, or $37,362 per year.

"Our graduates can expect to increase their yearly earnings by some $3,000 a year if they continue their education and pursue bachelor's degrees," said CCC Institutional Research Director Stephen Chambers. "That's what makes our new program, CCC2NAU, so appealing."

It offers a seamless transition to Northern Arizona University and a support staff that advises and encourages students on their individual educational journeys."

Chambers adds that when unemployment is high, many people choose to go back to school. "It makes a lot of sense. It's a great way to plan for a better future or refine skills that make people more marketable."  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those without a high school diploma make up the largest category, 7.1 percent, of the nation's unemployed.

Currently, CCC is enrolling students for the spring semester. For more information, log on to

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