STEDY Receives Cognia Accreditation

This Spring, STEDY came to the end of a two year journey in the process of accreditation. The accreditation was sought by Cognia (formerly known as AdvanceEd). Cognia works with schools and systems of all types and sizes across the globe to clearly assess the quality of your institution and to help them meet the needs of every student. Cognia provided STEDY with an explicit set of research-based standards and evidence-based criteria for accreditation and certification.

Cognia examined our entire district - its policies, programs, practices, learning conditions, and cultural context to determine how well the parts work together to carry out our vision and meet the needs of every learner. Their team interviewed staff, teachers, students, parents, community members and the governing board.

Based on the set of standards and criteria set before us, it was determined that STEDY met and exceeded the standards, thus resulting in the valuable recognition of excellence and accreditation. STEDY is gaining recognition and this accreditation validates our passion of preparing our student's for tomorrow's workforce.

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The Yuma ACED Project began in the spring of 2019 through a collaborative partnership with the Yuma County School Superintendent’s Office, the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY), ABEC, and a number of community and business partners. The Yuma ACED Project is a county wide initiative with eight middle schools participating from the Crane and Yuma Elementary School Districts.
The ACED offers 44 career exploration sections impacting approximately 1,500 students. Utilizing a website that integrates CommunityShare provides a method for business partners to support the modules and teachers in the classroom. The ACED also provides collaborative opportunities for local and statewide partnerships that include access to career exploration platforms, curriculum, and professional development.
Explore to learn more about this exciting work. For more information about ACED contact Deb Raeder, ABEC Vice President, by email at or by phone at 623-512-2124.‚Äč

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AWC's Dhawan joins STEDY governing board

AWC's Dhawan joins STEDY governing board

  • By Rachel Estes Sun Staff Writer
  • December 26, 2020

Since 2008, Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY) has offered career and technical education – also known as CTE – opportunities to high school students across Yuma County in order to condition these emerging leaders of society for college and/or career readiness.

Joining the district’s efforts and strengthening its preexisting partnership with Arizona Western College is Reetika Dhawan, the college’s associate vice president of workforce development and career and technical education and STEDY’s newest governing board member.

Dhawan was recently appointed by Yuma County Superintendent Tom Tyree to occupy a vacant seat on the board for a two-year term, until the next general election in 2022.

“Her knowledge of career and technical education was outstanding, and we felt that she would really add a lot to their board,” said Tyree. “She’s been a really great partner with the high school district and the elementary districts as the dean of career and technical education for the college. It’s one thing to have that knowledge, and that’s very important, but she has a real can-do attitude. When something needs to be done, she steps up and gets it done.”

Dhawan moved to the United States in 2007, when she began teaching high school physics and math in Parker Unified School District.

In 2008, she took a part-time position at AWC teaching math, physics and engineering before transitioning to full-time in 2010, serving as the department chair for math and engineering in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, she was elevated to dean of career and technical education.

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