Philosopher Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” For me, that “something” is the role I’ve enjoyed for the past 17 years guiding Northland Pioneer College’s mission of providing higher educational opportunities to the residents of Northeastern Arizona that truly transform lives and our communities.

I frequently visit other community colleges as part of an accreditation review team. Never do I find college employees who are as dedicated to student success or as innovative in providing course delivery and vital support services as those at Northland Pioneer College. They epitomize those who lead the way, like the early settlers to this region.

Inside this issue of CareerFocus magazine, you’ll learn how NPC is pioneering a new cybersecurity program to prepare warriors to defend our nation’s data systems. NPC is one of the first community colleges in Arizona to offer this program, and many of the courses are available online, making the program available to the greatest number of students possible.

Another “pioneering” project is NPC’s TALON Program, which uses high-definition interactive video conferencing to deliver college-level courses to area high schools. Students, especially at small, extremely remote schools, now have the opportunity to receive instruction from NPC professors right at their high school. TALON has become an international model for distance-learning delivery while inspiring students to continue their college education, transforming and bettering their lives.

My tenure as president will soon end, and I am confident NPC will continue to be a pioneer in transforming lives, just as it has mine. Good luck and remember – learning lasts a lifetime.

– Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, President