English Village

A recent study ranks the Lake Havasu City-Kingman metro area as Arizona's "least educated" area despite years of educational attainment efforts within the Havasu community. 

The study, by 24/7 Wall Street, singles out metro areas in each state using relatively narrow metrics, most notably the number of people in each area who have bachelor's degrees. The Lake Havasu City-Kingman metro area includes all of Mohave County. 

The study is gaining traction online, with MSN among the latest media brands bringing attention to it.

According to the site’s analysis, 13.5 percent of adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree in the Lake Havasu City-Kingman metro as compared to the state average of 30.2 percent.

The numbers in Lake Havasu City are slightly better than the rest of the county, according to the U.S. Census. In Havasu, 15.7 percent of adults have bachelor's degrees compared to 12.9 percent county-wide.

However, local education and business community leaders in Havasu argue that a population needs more than bachelor’s degrees to be considered educated.

MCC Director of Communications James Jarman said that last year Mohave Community College awarded 646 associate degrees and 445 certificates to students. According to Jarman, students who graduate from the community college either go on to a four year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree or go straight into the workforce.

“MCC graduates in the Allied Health programs and Career and Technical Education programs are finding careers that pay enough to support a family,” Jarman said. “It would be nice to also include all of these successful individuals in any metric that seeks to define an ‘educated’ workforce.”

According to self-reported data from Lake Havasu Unified School District, a third of the students from the class of 2021 went on to a four-year university and 30 percent enrolled in a two-year education program like community college. Six percent went to a trade school, and 10 percent enlisted in the military. Eighteen percent of Lake Havasu High School's 2021 graduates went straight into the workforce.

Director of Students Achievement Jaime Festa-Daigle says the district offers 15 career and technical education pathways that help shepherd students into the workforce.

“Many career and technical education students leave high school with the skills and certificates that allow them to go directly into the workplace,” Festa-Daigle said. “Others will continue their education to build on these skills.”

For example, students in high school cabinet-making classes have a natural education path into Arizona State University's construction management program, Festa-Daigle said. 

“There are a number of students who have chosen this path who are working as construction superintendents for large firms across the country,” Festa-Daigle said.

James Gray, executive director of Lake Havasu City’s Partnership for Economic Development, says education is only a small part of being successful. He says that the Havasu community is driven by entrepreneurs and that their education only tells half the story.

“Small business is driven by sweat equity and core knowledge that cannot always be measured by college degrees,” Gray said. “Traditional or general college education does not necessarily translate to modern job descriptions, more than ever large employers are looking for talent with specific education and experience”

The issue of educational attainment has been at the forefront of community planning for more than a decade, and it was cited as among the chief reasons to open an Arizona State University Campus in Lake Havasu City in 2014. 

The campus now offers 18 bachelor degree programs, and since it opened, 189 students have graduated with bachelor's degrees. 


(45) comments


Where's HG?


Look around and see who is running the top companies in the US. Not a high school graduate. Who is in charge of this city. Yes formally educated people. How about all the doctors, nurses, dentists, CPAs? Yes formally educated.


I wonder if the study was based on our demographics or just raw data. And certainly our "tourism" based economy is difference than say an industrial based economy. I wonder what the study would look like if you studied each community as a separate entity AND the level of satisfaction in the community. And certainly the success of a community is NOT based entirely on how many people have a college degree.

Lake Havasu City is one of the most desirable places in the U.S. to live and yet we are considered to be less educated than other areas. So a well educated population DOES NOT in itself guarantee where people want to live. We have a tough time building enough homes just for people who want to live here which is significantly different than those who want to leave the communities they are currently living in to move here. It is the old story of "Contributing Factors" isn't it? What makes someone want to live in our city? What factors make us desirable. There are far more factors that contribute to someones desire to move to our community than just education.


Well said Tom. Sadly some people think just because you don't have a 4 year degree that you are uneducated. I had most of my training with OTJ and had to fix numerous problems from engineers with 4+ years of college that didn't teach them anything about common sense. Book smart isn't always the solution.


nl - You are one funny guy! Imagine you actually talking about "common sense." A true laugh riot.


Common sense. Something that is lacking for you Bozo.


Dogs4Birds is right on. The only member of my family that isn't successful is the one that went to UC Berkeley. I don't have a degree and I retired twice--first time at 48 and the second time at 58. Did well enough to live in Havasu during the winter and the mountains of CA during the summer.

Our country is now run by Ivy League elites with huge pedigrees and no common sense.

And I have dogs that hunt birds as well!


I have a master's degree and what I have found in this town is that for most jobs here you don't really need a degree. The majority of jobs are in the service industry and do not require it. Additionally, if you do have a degree you would need to move to a different county so that you could actually earn what it is worth. The jobs in this county pay nothing in comparison to the money and effort it cost to get the degree. I can completely understand why people with degrees would not stay here.


BFD. I've been self employed for 40 years and retired when I was 60. I own 2 airplanes, a hangar, 2 boats, two homes, and a retirement fund that I'll never outlive. I have never been to college a day in my life. Having a degree doesn't mean s*** to your success in life. I know a lot of people with degrees that live life on a financial shoe string. But most of those people are "enlightened" liberals. [rolleyes]


Just think if you were educated you could have expanded the business into a Amazon. I bet your plane does not start with a G in front. I hope your grand kids get formally educated so they can have more opportunities then you did.


1502 - Nailed him!

Too old for this

It doesn't take much for you to consider a comment as having "nailed" someone.


What a stupid dumb a$$ comment for someone that was a success.


nl - Well Dogs said it and it was most assuredly one "dumb a$$ comment."


You just proved again you have no common sense.


I guess education offers one thing and that is hubris! There are many educated dummies out there. $200k in student loan debt making 125k a year. Great at posting crap on the Herald.


Your absolutely right. Should have not spent that $200k and kept making $30k? a year. Im sure your business sense and planning has served you well....

Too old for this

I thought you guys hated Amazon because Bezos pays no taxes. It sounds to me like the guy was a success in his life, and reached his goals. Those goals may not be yours, but they seem to have provided quite well for him.

What was your occupation before you became a curmudgeon? I don't see a lot of education in your comments. You are more like the guy who thinks he is a journalist because he wrote a coloring book and repeated unverifiable stories that someone else once told.


twosie - Congratulations! Thanks to your incessant lies about me and general non-substantive comments here you have joined that elite group of fools I will no longer deal with. It is sad that you find it necessary to post lies, insults and BS instead of actually engaging in actual discourse , but then you have more than proven yourself to be one of the many uneducated of Mohave County. However, one final point, none of us "hate" Amazon because Bezos pays no taxes, we dislike Bezos because Bezos pays no taxes.


doggie - Always fun to watch some keyboard warrior show up here proclaiming what an amazing success he is. In checking it's usually found he's some half-a-step-above a derelict living in a rented room. And of course bragging about being ignorant - you see education raises you up from that - just makes you look, well stupid.


" he's some half-a-step-above a derelict living in a rented room." Kind of like you in your little twin plex up on Chemehuevi.


nl - Still stalking me I see. You truly have one pathetically sad life.


Kind of hard to stalk you from where I'm at.

Too old for this

How were you able to check him out and discover his real lifestyle? You are just making crap up! When you finally reach maturity, you will not need to embellish your own accomplishments, nor tear down someone else's. I wonder if that day will ever be here.


Great life story ! Me and my wife have followed this same path. We have found that getting to a comfortable place in life , one job at a time, is the most rewarding thing you could possibly do.

Too old for this


Joe Nobody

Just read the comment section of the papers...


“It would be nice to be in this group - The 10 most educated places in the United States:” So BigBob there is alway the State Route 95 option, just drive either North or South permanently! You’ll eventually find one of your “nice groups” to live in and improve Havasu’s education level! It’s what’s known as a “two-fer” [thumbup][tongue][love] Deaton


The Department of Education, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce and the Lumina Foundation all predict that around 65 percent of all jobs in the United States will require some post-secondary education by 2020.

It would be nice to be in this group - The 10 most educated places in the United States:

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Austin-Round Rock, TX

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Madison, WI

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Ann Arbor, MI

But instead we’re with this bunch Here are the 10 least educated places in the United States:

Ocala, FL

Fresno, CA

Stockton-Lodi, CA

Salinas, CA

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC

Modesto, CA

Bakersfield, CA

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX

Visalia-Porterville, CA


Bozo. You constantly speak highly of CA. Please explain why the state of CA has one of the highest population of liberals, but yet 6 of the cities of the least educated are from CA.


nl - Who is this "Bozo" you keep whining about? As to myself (not "Bozo,"that's just a voice in your head) I have never spoken "highly" of CA other than to point out they are the fifth largest economy in the world.


Look around and you see cities with lower educated people. How many doctors at our local hospitals come from Havasu. Not many if any! Taliban Trump loves the uneducated he can manipulate!


The educated have already been manipulated. There are many dumb educated people in the world, Biden is a good example.


47 - Could be, but he was elected by the American people to replace a truly ignorant fool and he is doing a very good job for all Americans, not just the wealthy.


Hardly all Americans believe Biden is doing a good job. Trump was ignorant to the Washington ways or the highway, but a fool........... I agree that wealthy Americans do need their wings trimmed.

Too old for this

I hardly call what he has done so far "a very good job."

Too old for this

You are one of those this story was written about, 502. Traitor Joe depends on low information voters to keep his job, and you are one of the leaders.


twosie - Who is "Traitor Joe?" Another of those weird little voices only you can hear?

Too old for this

Traitor Joe is the guy you voted for, hoping that he would provide you with all the freebies you want in your life. Instead, he sold our soul to China, and our reputation to a bunch of illiterate ragheads in Afghanistan.


"James Gray, executive director of Lake Havasu City’s Partnership for Economic Development, says education is only a small part of being successful." Out of the mouth of babes, Duh! Where does a person work with a B.S. or a B.A.? Why would a degreed person live here unless they are a teacher, lawyer, doctor, or a ?. I would assume a portion of those residents with degrees are retired and who knows, that person moon lighting and collecting money at the booth in the marina or the shopping cart individual at Wal-Mart could have a higher education. A majority of college grads are moving on and not lining up at job fares in Havasu. How many of those 189 ASU grads remain in the city workforce?


And Gray is an expert because.............?


Big shocker!! 😂


ROFL this has been a known fact for years, not really news.


Yep, anyone with even a modicum of education has known this for years and no-where is it more obvious than in the comments from Republicans in this newspaper.

Comment deleted.


And as always thank you for your highly educated comment. Nothing gets past you, does it?

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