Maricopa Community College District
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The Maricopa Community College District, also known as Maricopa Community Colleges, is the largest community college district in the United States, serving more than 260,000 students each year in Maricopa County, Arizona.  The district serves Maricopa County, the county that includes and surrounds Phoenix and is the most populous of the state's counties. The district's administrative headquarters are located in Tempe, Arizona (east suburban Phoenix).
The Phoenix Union High School District established Phoenix Junior College (now Phoenix College) in 1920; it was the first community college in the state of Arizona. In 1960, the state legislature provided for junior college districts in Arizona. The Maricopa County Junior College District was established in 1962 by the approval of county voters, with the new system acquiring Phoenix Junior College.
The system established branch campuses of Phoenix Junior College in the nearby suburbs of Glendale and Mesa; these would become independent campuses within the system by the end of the decade (1965). Other campuses were established in the following years:
- Maricopa Skill Center (now part of GateWay Community College) in 1964;
- Maricopa Technical College (now GateWay Community College) in 1968;
- Scottsdale Community College in 1969;
- Rio Salado Community College, in 1978;
- South Mountain Community College, which opened in 1980;
- the Northeast Valley Education Center (now Paradise Valley Community College) in 1985;
- the Chandler/Gilbert Education Center (now Chandler-Gilbert Community College) in 1985;
- Estrella Mountain Community College in 1990;
- the Red Mountain campus of Mesa Community College in 2001;
- Glendale Community College North in 2008;
- Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain in 2009.
In 1971, the "Junior College" portion of the name was changed to "Community College".
The State Board of Directors for Community Colleges of Arizona presided over the entire statewide community college system until June 2002, when the Arizona Legislature reduced its powers and duties and transferred most oversight to individual community college districts.
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The Maricopa Community Colleges provide access to higher education for diverse students and communities. The colleges focus on learning through:
- University Transfer Education
- General Education
- Developmental Education
- Workforce Development
- Student Development Services
- Continuing Education
- Community Education
- Civic Responsibility
- Global Engagement
The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District is currently made up of seven active members, five of them are elected from geographical districts within the Maricopa County, and two at-large positions represent the entire county.
The Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges is the CEO of the 10-college system. The Presidents at each college and a select group of Vice Chancellors report to the Chancellor, who serves at the pleasure of the Governing Board.
Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., is Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges. He has served in that role for five years, and previously held District leadership positions for more than two decades.
Fred Gaskin served as the Maricopa district's chancellor from 2000 until Dr. Glasper's appointment five years later. Prior to Gaskin, Dr. Paul Elsner served as the district's chancellor from November 1977 to his retirement in June, 1999.
John Prince was appointed President of the Maricopa Community Colleges District in 1967, serving until 1976. Robert J. Hannelly was appointed the first district president in 1947, and served until Prince's appointment.
The Maricopa Community College District, or Maricopa Community Colleges for short, is also known as the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). This is the legal entity name of the District. Some confuse the Maricopa Community Colleges abbreviation for Mesa Community College (MCC), one of the ten Maricopa colleges. The District's official initialism, therefore, is MCCCD, while Mesa's is MCC.