Student studying at table. Student studying at table.
Arts & Culture 

A place for everyone

2NAU 90/30 program Adaptive Sports Biological and Natural Resources Computer Information Technology Diné College Disability Studies Interior Design Kitt School of Music military-connected Native American Cultural Center (NACC) NAU–Yuma Online personalized learning Phoenix College Public Administration Scottsdale Community College Spanish veteran

Northern Arizona University students come from all walks of life.

Whether you’re a first-generation student or a military veteran, a full-time parent or a business executive, whoever and wherever you are, Northern Arizona University has a place for you. You can learn in a traditional, on-campus setting in Flagstaff; at more than 20 convenient locations across Arizona; or through flexible online options accessible around the globe. The stories below highlight a few NAU students who have found their own unique paths to higher education. Follow the links for their full stories.

Three NAU students gathered around a laptop.

Transitioning 2NAU

With a full-time job and two children to raise, the traditional path to a bachelor’s degree wasn’t possible for Jessica Arnold ‘20. The 2NAU program, however, allowed her to seamlessly transition from general education courses at Phoenix College to NAU’s Interior Design bachelor’s program at Scottsdale Community College. “The 2NAU program made the most sense for me and my goals,” Arnold says. “I was very happy to be able to successfully transfer to NAU. I enjoyed the flexibility and thoroughness of the education format.”

Finding support at NAU

Sage Bond working on a laptop with mentor.
Sage Bond

Sage Bond transferred to NAU from Diné College. Building on the “Cookie Monster scream” she uses singing heavy metal, she’s now studying opera in the Kitt School of Music. Bond, who is Apache and Navajo and commutes to Flagstaff from Monument Valley, said her transition to college life was eased by the support of her professors and Native American Cultural Center staff.

Veteran applies his passion

Marine Corps veteran Alexander Davenport graduated from NAU in May 2019 with a University Studies degree focused on Disability Studies and Spanish. His on-again, off-again college career took flight when he found his passion for adaptive sports. “I went and found something I loved, and then I went to school for it,” he says. Davenport founded the adaptive sports program at Arizona Snowbowl, where he and his team can teach just about anyone to ski.

Saving money with 90/30

Tiffany Grigsby was pleasantly surprised to find a supportive student community in her NAU Online courses. Grigsby made use of NAU’s 90/30 program, saving money by transferring in 90 credits from community college. She finished the remaining 30 credits at NAU and graduated in 2020 with a degree in Public Administration. Thanks to the online option, Grigsby was able to complete her education while working full time and raising two teenagers.

Personalized learning lets you work

Despite his lofty position as an executive leader for a Fortune 500 company, Ian McLein still wanted to fulfill an old goal: graduate from college. NAU’s Personalized Learning program allowed him to maintain the busy schedule and frequent travel required for his job at The Walt Disney Company while completing a bachelor’s degree at his own pace. He graduated in 2021 with a BS in Computer Information Technology and is now committed to lifelong learning.

An NAU education in southwest Arizona

Gerardo Noriega in a classroom with a laptop and genetics textbook.
Gerardo Noriega

NAU–Yuma student Gerardo Noriega commutes to class from El Centro, California. The Yuma campus is convenient and affordable; he can live at home and save money. Noriega will graduate in May 2022 with a bachelor’s in Biological and Natural Resource Sciences. He’ll be the first in his family to earn a college degree.