SIGNAL PEAK, AZ: Northern
Arizona University’s (NAU) Public Budgeting and Finance (PADM 327) class, taught
at Central Arizona College's (CAC) Corporate Center through the Weekend College, invites prominent community leaders to speak
to students about real-world examples of public budgeting.
Taught by Dr. Edward
Ackerley, this course overviews budgeting theories, techniques and
decision-making in the public sector.
Most recently, CAC president
Doris Helmich spoke to the class about higher education costs
and funding cuts.
Casa Grande City Manager Jim
Thompson spoke earlier this semester. Next week, Arizona State Representative
Frank Pratt delivers a guest lecture in the course.
Dr. Ackerley describes his
teaching method as “Edutainment”– a phrase used to describe an education and
entertainment hybrid. Guest speakers like Helmich, Pratt and Thompson help
students learn through storytelling.
“It’s important to make the curriculum come alive for students,” says Dr.
Ackerley. “In turn, it becomes meaningful to them in their own lives.”
The partnership between NAU
and CAC, established in 1995, allows students to take bachelor’s degree classes,
including PADM 327, on a CAC campus or online. Students are part of NAU’s BIS
90/30 Weekend College program held at CAC.
“We need our educated residents to stay in Pinal
County to attract industry,” says Helmich. “The CAC-NAU partnership helps us
accomplish this goal.”