Monday, May 23, 2016

Join Us for the 2016 HSE Graduation!

Rio Salado 2016 HSE Student Speaker Angelica Marie Solaro   

We look forward to this week's 2016 HSE Graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of students who have successfully completed Rio Salado's High School Equivalency (HSE) Prep program and passed the GED ® test.

Rio Salado 2016 HSE Graduation
Thursday, May 26, 2016 beginning at 7 p.m.
Orangewood Nazarene Church
7510 N 27th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85051

Visit the event page for full details

Caps, Gowns & Tassels
Graduates participating in the ceremonies must wear the official Rio Salado blue gown, cap and 2016 tassel. The graduation fee includes the cost of these items, as well as a diploma cover.


Photos, DVDs, Broadcasts & Live Stream 
GradImages™ will be taking photos, which you can purchase at a later time. We will provide updates when photos are available. Rio Salado staff photographers will also be taking photos, which we will post to our Facebook page for you to download and tag.

DVD copies of the ceremony will be available for sale. The cost is $20 and must be paid at the time the order is placed. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

MCTV Cox Channel 115 will provide a live stream of the ceremony.  Visit this page to tune in.

wide shot view of 2015 ceremony

Choose Your Favorite Grad Badge
Visit this web page to vote for, download and share your favorite grad badge.

Images of three new Rio Grad badges.

Share Your Selfies and Stories
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #RioGrad to share your photos and stories.

Closure May 30 in Honor of Memorial Day

close-up of Marine Corps War Memorial monument
Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed on Monday, May 30 in honor of Memorial Day.

Services normally available 24/7 such as our Technology Support Helpdesk, Ask a Librarian and My.Maricopa.edu will remain available.

gravesites at Arlington

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the armed forces.  

The National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed in 2000 to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity.”   

The Act encourages all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. for a minute of silence on Memorial Day.

As a tradition, gravestones are marked by U.S. flags each Memorial Day, as seen here at Arlington National Cemetery.

There is a traditional way of displaying the U.S. flag on this special day.

flags at half-mass, in front of Satue of Liberty at sunset

The flag is raised quickly to the top of the staff and then lowered slowly to the half-mast position, where it remains until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. At noon their memory is raised by the living.


Here is a list of free, family-friendly events in Arizona honoring Memorial Day traditions from About.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Xavier College Prep Grads Lead Dual Pack!

Xavier Prep Grads at Commencement 2016

Earn college degree before graduating from high school -- check. Astonish friends and family with academic achievements – check. Be two steps ahead on life’s path to success – check.

The students of Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix are leading the pack when it comes to dual enrollment. Of the record 64 Valley high school students earning associate degrees from Rio Salado College this spring, 33 are from the all-female Xavier College Prep.

Thanks to dual enrollment, Xavier students Andrea Gray, Miranda Albo and Ashlynn Holloway all have big plans for the future.

Andrea Gray
“I can say I earned my college degree before finishing high school,” Gray said. “This will stay with me through every future employment and academic opportunity.”

Gray’s future plans include pursuing an engineering career after being exposed to a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program through Girl Scouts in fourth grade.

“I knew then I wanted to be an engineer and stumbled across aeronautical engineering,” Gray said. She is graduating from Xavier Prep with a 3.8 GPA, and earning an Associate in Arts at Rio Salado.

Gray plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, majoring in aerospace engineering with a concentration in astronautics and a minor in global security.

Eventually, she plans to earn a master’s degree and hopes to work for NASA or SpaceX, the independent American aerospace company run by Elon Musk.

Albo, who is also earning an Associate in Arts, will be attending the University of Arizona this fall. She is interested in studying a STEM subject, but also finds joy in art classes like sculpture and ceramics.


“I love the idea of working with my hands and creating an object that has meaning to it,” Albo said.

She credits dual enrollment for its convenience and affordability.

“Dual enrollment is so worth it and makes your life easier,” Albo said. “The biggest benefit was the ability to graduate from high school with a large number of credits, minimizing the cost of college.”

For Holloway, dual enrollment offered a chance to get a head start on college.

“With my basic courses taken care of, I now have the advantage of taking college classes that are major-specific, which will allow me to learn more as I continue my education,” Holloway said.

Holloway is graduating with an Associate in Arts from Rio Salado and has a 3.8 GPA at Xavier College Prep. She plans to pursue a double-major with the courses that have been freed up through the dual enrollment program.

Holloway said the success coaches in the dual enrollment program at Rio Salado also helped her find alternative ways to complete the requirements for an associate degree with her busy schedule, setting up options like online classes.

Sister Joanie Nuckols


Sister Joanie Nuckols, Vice Principal for Academics and campus minister at Xavier College Prep, said the high school has a tightknit community based on common goals of educational excellence.

“The most rewarding aspect of teaching is watching students learn to think critically, grow in wisdom and be able to explain their own point of view,” Nuckols said.

Whatever paths they each may choose, the students at Xavier College Prep are fit to conquer anything that comes their way.


Contributing writer Alyssa DeMember has served Rio Salado's Academic Advisement team since 2014. She is one of several academic advisors available to help you along your educational journey.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Best of the Best #RioGrad Photos!


Enjoy the latest, extraordinary commencement 2016 photos from Imageworks photographer Kenneth Krehbiel by visiting our Facebook account!

We encourage you to tag, download and share these photos.

Share your photos using ‪#‎RioGrad‬ and ‪#‎Maricopa16‬

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rio Salado & State Farm Insurance Night May 19

program flier.  Text: Scholarship Program.  Bilingual?  Looking for a stable, professional career with unlimited growth potential? Ensure Your Future.  Rio Salado College now offers a Certificate of Completion in Insurance Studies to help accelerate your insurance career. This certificate is designed to prepare individuals for entry-level jobs in the growing insurance industry, and enhance the skills of current insurance employees. Classes provide an overview of property, liability, personal and commercial insurance. Rio Salado College is dedicated to  providing access to training and career-path programs that provide employees with the skills and knowledge they must have to succeed in today’s competitive environment.  Your insurance career is waiting.  Register today.  480-517-8580 www.riosalado.edu/insurance.  Logos for Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community Colleges

¿Habla Inglés y Español? Have a passion for helping people? We have an opportunity that may be of interest to you!

Join Rio Salado College and State Farm for a free information session on Thursday, May 19 at Rio Salado Southern in Tempe to learn about new opportunities for bilingual Spanish-speakers to transition into the insurance industry—and scholarships to help you acquire a certificate of completion in Insurance Studies.

  • New hybrid Insurance Studies course begins June 20 
  • Instruction provided in-person and online 
  • Ten $2,500 scholarships available from State Farm to eligible candidates  

Insurance Information Session
Thursday, May 19

6-7 p.m.
RSC Southern
3320 S. Price Road
Tempe, AZ 85282

RSC Southern is served by Valley Metro local bus #61 and the Tempe Orbit MARS circulator bus.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to Jeanne Ratliff at Jeanne.Ratliff@riosalado.edu.

Students must be available to take in-person courses two nights per week in Tempe and have the time to take two courses concurrently for two semesters.

This program is a great way to learn about the insurance industry, take advantage career development opportunities—and get first-hand news about employment opportunities available in the field.

See related blog story about the increased need for insurance professionals.

To learn more about Rio Salado's new Insurance Studies program, visit: www.riosalado.edu/insurance.