ASU Offers Residents Leadership Degrees through CAC

by Blake Herzog

Annique Petit, senior director of Trusted Learner and community college partnerships at ASU, says there are currently two students enrolled in the organizational leadership program through ASU@Pinal at a reduced tuition rate, which is available to students currently taking classes or have earned credits from CAC.

For now, all classes are virtual, but as enrollment grows students will have the opportunity to take hybrid classes with in-person Saturday classes at CAC’s Casa Grande Center, earning an ASU degree without having to leave Pinal County.

All three degrees are offered through the College of Integrated Science and Arts and teach students how to communicate effectively, solve problems, resolve conflict, assess program effectiveness, and use other leadership skills. They are designed for different work or educational settings.

Organizational leadership prepares students to take on primary roles in a variety of settings including health care administration, government, nonprofits, and the service industry, says Gerry West, coordinator for the ASU@Pinal programs. This program includes courses on communication with diverse groups, organizational ethics, the use of emerging technology, and leading innovation within organizations.

The organizational leadership degree with the project management emphasis differs with its focus on processes and schedules, along with communication, problem-solving, and related skills, “Students also acquire the skills necessary to manage complex projects: project leadership, project quality management, project risk management, project schedule management, project cost management, and project resource management,” West says.

The Applied Leadership program has similar coursework but is intended for students who focused on an applied science field during their community college years. This covers a wide variety of fields including culinary arts, agriculture, early childhood education, justice studies, nursing, paramedicine, and software development.

“It provides a valuable degree pathway for students with an associate in applied science degrees in fields such as fire science, environmental technology, machine shop technology, and welding technology,” West says.

All of these degrees are highly marketable in today’s workplace, he adds: “These are highly attractive degrees because of the broad scope of leadership skills students are given. Employers from several sectors love how our students are prepared to be leaders in a variety of areas from education to health care to the service sector (policing, EMT, fire) and corporate. Employers have expressed an interest in our org leadership and applied leadership students.”

For more information on the ASU@Pinal degree programs visit or contact West at

ASU@Pinal is Arizona State University’s first foray into offering four-year degrees through Central Arizona College, the county’s community college system. Since its start in the fall of 2018, it’s been offering three undergraduate degree programs: Applied Science (Applied Leadership), Organizational Leadership, and Organizational Leadership (project management).