Randy Hartless

Former Arizona Western College Board Member Randy Hartless is shown addressing the audience at the commencement ceremony where he earned his associate’s degree from AWC. He started college later than many, but how hopes to earn his master’s in English and become a teacher.

It’s never too late to go to college and earn a degree.

When Randy Hartless moved to Parker in 1990, he enrolled at Arizona Western College with no clear plan of what degree he wanted to pursue. He started taking a variety of courses because he had an interest in learning, but it wasn’t until 20 years later, at age 52, that he decided to focus on earning an associate degree.

“I would say college is the most important decision you can make, regardless of your age,” said Hartless. “I would say start early, but if you can’t, don’t be discouraged - it’s never too late.”

After earning his associate degree from AWC, he began down a business path while working as the executive director of the Parker Area Chamber of Commerce. It was during that time, at age 56, that Hartless earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Agency Management/Public Administration through a partnership between Northern Arizona University and AWC.

He’s recently switched gears and is now, at age 59, on track to graduate with a master’s degree in English to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher.

One of his favorite memories at AWC was participating in the AWC Presidential Search in 2009 while he served as a member of the AWC District Governing Board.

“I met a great group of people and it was a real educational process to see what was needed to run the institution,” he said.

Hartless represented La Paz County District 1 on the AWC District Governing Board from 2009 to 2013 and served as the board president in 2012.

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