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The Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY) has arisen

As a “baby boomer” education today is much different from when I went to high school. Gone are the days when we sat in rows and read aloud from textbooks. The lesson plans of yester-year contained exercises that would measure my rote memory. My, how things have changed! No longer do we hear “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Instead, students today hear, “what problems do you want to solve?”  The expectations educators have these days are to prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist. However, since time flies so fast, those jobs will be here before we know it and to prepare today’s student for tomorrow’s workforce, the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY) has arisen.

What is STEDY?

STEDY is the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma. We are a career and technical education (CTE) public high school district.  We serve ALL high school students enrolled in public, private, and charter school CTE courses; providing them with educational experiences that lead to an industry recognized certification.  As a career and technology public school district, we work closely with the Arizona Department of Education. All courses offered by STEDY must be approved by the Career and Technical Education Division (CTE) of the Arizona Department of Education.

How did STEDY Start?

STEDY began in 2008. Led by our county superintendent, a group of dedicated individuals (the “steering committee”) developed a plan to create Yuma’s own “joint technical education district” (JTED). The steering committee was made up of industry and business professionals. In addition, because STEDY is JTED, two districts (Antelope and Yuma Union High School Districts) were instrumental in STEDY’s formation. Their district leadership contributed their expertise in developing the JTED Plan. In addition to making several key decisions, the steering committee’s effort included taking the plan to the Arizona School Board, paying for the election, naming the district and appointing governing board members. It took collaboration and several years’ worth of effort. Finally, it won voter support to make the dream a reality and on July 1, 2015 STEDY accepted its first students.

How is STEDY funded and where does the money go?

As a public school district in Arizona, STEDY receives funding from state and local taxes. STEDY receives .05 cents for every $100 of assessed property value (local). This amount will never increase. STEDY also receives tax revenues generated from the state. Approximately 75% of the tax revenue received by STEDY supports CTE programs and classes in the high schools directly. The remaining 25% is used for student tuition and books at the community college, as well as operational costs for programs and classes offered at STEDY. As a good steward of public funds, STEDY will not duplicate CTE programs that currently exist in the high schools or at Arizona Western College. STEDY will not have a program if the program is offered at the local high schools. STEDY will not create classes or programs if the classes and programs currently exist at a facility for which students can earn credit. We provide support for the successful CTE programs currently in place.

Who are STEDY Students?

Students enrolled in a Yuma Union High School District or Antelope Union High School District CTE course is a STEDY student. If a student takes a CTE class in high school, our governing board recognizes the student a STEDY student. If a student takes an automotive class at Kofa High School, they are considered a STEDY student. If a student takes a Sports Medicine class at Yuma High School, they are a STEDY student. If a student takes a music production class at Antelope High School, they are a STEDY student. Any high school student taking a career and technology education (CTE) class is a STEDY student. Provided students are enrolled in a public, charter, or private school, or are home-schooled in Yuma County, any student can “dual enroll” in an STEDY program.

What is CTE? 

CTE stands for “career and technology education.” CTE is Career Driven Education, providing students with:

  •   Industry Certification
  •  College Credits
  •   Career Based Experiences
  •   Classroom Instruction
  •   Hands-on Instruction
  •   Leadership Development

What CTE classes does STEDY offer?

All career and technology education (CTE) classes at the local high schools can be considered STEDY classes. Some examples are accounting, agriculture, automotive and construction technologies, culinary arts, cyber-criminology, digital photography, drafting, entertainment marketing, film and TV, graphic design, nursing, software development, sports medicine and more. For a full list, please visit

What is the advantage of being a STEDY student?

Students enrolled in a CTE program earn high school credit on their home campus, and in some cases, may earn college credit, industry certifications, and/or a state license. It is recognized that possession of an industry certificate, and/or a state license will provide students with a head start in their career choice. STEDY was formed to help students find a faster way forward in life. To connect them with their future. There is a strong collaborative effort between STEDY and the school districts in Yuma County. This collaborative effort between STEDY and the school districts provide an intricate network of student support. In addition, STEDY may provide tuition-free career and technical education at Arizona Western College in a specific area of study.

Why is STEDY good for Yuma?

A skilled workforce is critical to Yuma’s economic health. To promote and support this, STEDY works collaboratively with community shareholders to inspire students to make a successful transition from school-to-career and become contributing members of society. We know to help today’s students be prepared for tomorrow’s workforce, it is our obligation to work closely with business and industry to offer students internships, job shadowing and work experience. We understand the role businesses (both large and small), play in our mission. Therefore, we call upon industry experts to provide students with information and relevant training for industry certifications. Through the support of the community and by being good steward of tax dollars, the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma is prepared to help students meet their academic and career aspirations.