CCC alum finds calling in education


CCC alum Melissa Klemp focuses on helping children in her job with the Flagstaff Unified School District.


Flagstaff, Ariz. – Enriching children’s lives became her calling.

Coconino Community College alum Melissa Klemp began attending the College because she wanted to achieve her goal of getting a degree and pursuing a career in education.

“It was a personal goal, and I wanted to show myself and my loved ones that I could get a college degree,” Klemp said. “I come from a single-parent household and am the first in my family to graduate college.”

Klemp started her college journey in 2002 with a major in criminal justice at CCC. After much consideration, she decided that pursuing a degree in education would better suit her. After completing her general studies at CCC as a CCC2NAU student, Klemp attended NAU and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Learning Pedagogy, with an emphasis in Criminal Justice.

“While I was pursuing my Criminal Justice degree, my focus was on rehabilitation,” Klemp said. “And that is what pushed me more toward education and enriching children’s lives – so they do not end up in a correctional facility or in trouble as a juvenile or as an adult.”

Currently, she is the assistant coordinator for the Families & Communities Teaming for Students (FACTS) program. The FACTS program is a public service organization that serves all 10 elementary schools in Flagstaff, including Leupp. The program works to help parents who are in need of scholarships to fund childcare. Among the institutions and programs that Klemp works with are the Department of Economic Security, NAU and CCC’s Passages program. She travels throughout the 10 schools of the Flagstaff Unified School District, where she conducts inspections and helps out as needed.

Klemp has worked with the FACTS program for the past 10 years. She loves her job because it gives her the feeling of making a difference and giving back to the community.

There were many aspects about taking classes at CCC that Klemp enjoyed. The main draw of attending college at CCC was how affordable classes were and continue to be. All of the classes that she enrolled in were interesting and engaging, and her anthropology courses were especially intriguing, Klemp said. Other aspects of the college that she enjoyed were the varying demographics at CCC, the age range of students and teachers, and the smaller class sizes.                      

“What really helped me were the smaller class sizes,” Klemp said. “They gave students the opportunity to have more of a one on one experience with the teachers.”

Klemp was able to achieve her goals in pursuing a career in higher education with the help from the CCC2NAU program. She said she is delighted to be a part of CCC family and to be able to work alongside them. She added that is pleased and appreciative of the quality of the education she received from CCC and the path that paved her way to success.

Klemp wholeheartedly recommends CCC to people considering college.

“I would stay that starting at a community college is definitely worth it, and it’s never too late to pursue a career,” she said.

-- Mark Hanson


Wednesday, 7th December 2016

All Dates

  • Wednesday, 7th December 2016