Friday, August 29, 2014

PBS NewsHour Twitter Chat with J. McGrath.

Rio Salado’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer McGrath engaged in a lively online discussion about entrepreneurship in higher education during the PBS NewsHour Twitter chat, "Should Colleges be Run Like Business?"
McGrath, an invited participant, tweeted answers to questions posed by PBS NewsHour Audience Engagement Specialist Nora Daly.

Participants of the chat included David Attis, the senior director of academic research with the Education Advisory Board, The Hechinger Report, Northern Arizona University and others.

Topics discussed included:
  • Is it beneficial to have a CEO with managerial and administrative background, rather than a dean who rose up through the ranks of academia?
  • Would students gain if they were thought of as “customers?"
  • What are the potential drawbacks?

Sparking this conversation was an article by Jon Marcus of The Hechinger Report on recent innovations at Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community College District. The article and Twitter chat were part of a week-long PBS NewsHour series on various innovations and initiatives aimed at making college more accessible and affordable.

Missed the chat? Here's a transcript of the conversation.

5 Tips for Book Advances

Need funds to purchase books? Take a look at Rio Salado’s Book Advance Program to see if you are eligible. Each semester, Rio Salado College initiates a one-time only book advance that eligible students can use to purchase text books and supplies for upcoming classes.
Here are five tips to follow if you opt to receive a book advance:
  1. Review the financial aid terms and conditions to ensure you qualify to receive a book advance.
  2. Use the Maricopa Student Refund Program for the fastest way to have book advance and financial aid funds delivered.
  3. Monitor your Gmail account for notification. Enrollment instructions for MSRP will be sent through the student center.
  4. Use caution when purchasing course materials from a third party. Advance funds are not restricted to the Rio Salado College bookstore, but investigate the options.
  5. Know that book advance funds may not be an appropriate option if you prefer to purchase books prior to the first day of class.
Here's a look at the typical Book Advance timeline:

  • Funds are posted to the Rio Salado College account 6-9 days prior to the start of class.
  • Funds can take 4-6 business days to be received by City Prepaid Services.
  • Funds that are deposited on a holiday or weekend may take even longer.
  • Remaining financial aid funds will not be available until two weeks after the start of class.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Join in on PBS Twitter Chat

On Thursday Aug. 28, Rio Salado’s vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Jennifer McGrath, will be a participant in a PBS NewsHour Twitter chat on "Rethinking College."
Courtesy PBS NewsHour
Follow the conversation and join in by using the hashtag #NewsHourChats on Twitter from 10-11 a.m. Arizona time, 1-2 p.m. EDT.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AZ Military/Veteran Women's Fair

Today, there are thousands of women on Active Duty who enlisted from or are stationed in the State of Arizona. In addition, more than 59,000 women veterans now live in Arizona.

The increase in the number of women serving in the military over the past few years has increased the need for supportive and specialized services for military and veteran women.

To help meet the needs of these women, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, in partnership with the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, will team up to hold the Arizona Military/Veteran Women’s Health & Knowledge Fair.

The fair is designed as a family-friendly event and offered in both Phoenix and Tucson at the VA Hospital on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. The fair will focus on health services, skill building, benefits and resources.

"As the Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, it’s important to make sure that all of Arizona’s veterans are served," said Ted Vogt in his message on the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services website.

For more information and to register for the Tucson Health & Knowledge Fair please click here.

Rio Salado College is committed to helping active duty service members, veterans and their families through its Veterans Affairs office and the East Valley Veterans Education Center – by providing educational outreach, college advisement and other specialized services-- at no cost.

Visit or call 480-517-8153 for more details about Rio Salado’s Veteran’s Affairs office. Visit or call 480-384-9850 for more details about the EVVEC.

Labor Day Closure Sept. 1

Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed Monday, Sept. 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Titles at the Rio Salado Library

Here is what’s new in the Rio Salado College Library!

This list is updated throughout the month as new books arrive. To view
the complete list of new titles from previous months, please see the
Library New Titles Archive.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Early Childcare Workshops for EV Parents

Work is like play for Victoria Diforte. She can’t think of a better profession.

Victoria Diforte and Cindy Radebaugh, Shining Stars owners.
“I don’t think there are any other jobs where you get to be hugged and kissed and play all day,” said Diforte—a parent, owner and director of Shining Stars Learning Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, who will share her passion for and expertise in early childhood education during a community workshop series at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, Aug. 27, 2014 through June 23, 2015.

The monthly classes are based on a training program developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University, which promotes the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and school readiness by the age of five.

“So much change happens in the first few years and you can have a great impact,” said Diforte, who will also impart some of her 17 years of experience as an early childhood education specialist. Diforte has a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, with an early education endorsement from ASU. She is also a certified K-8 teacher.

The workshop will include information on how infants and toddlers develop, parenting techniques, teaching skills and where to find community resources and services.

Diforte, who recently joined Rio Salado’s adjunct faculty team, is collaborating with the college to make early childhood education accessible to parents and professionals alike.

“I’ve worked with Rio on other community projects and I think it’s great that they’re here in Queen Creek and placing an emphasis on early childhood education,” said Diforte. “There aren’t a whole lot of educational options close by and to provide these educational opportunities is exciting.”

“We’re offering these non-credit classes as a community service for parents, foster parents, and early childhood professionals—who can in-turn learn some tips on how to work with parents,” said Rene Manning, Rio Salado’s Senior Manager of Corporate and Government Partnerships for the Early Childhood and Human Development Undergraduate Program.

“There are approximately 100 childcare providers in the Town of Queen Creek and surrounding communities—including homecare providers, child care centers, school districts, and head start programs— so there is an obvious need for this kind of instruction,” said Manning.

Participants will earn a two-hour training certificate upon completion of each class. The classes meet Arizona’s Children Association and A Place to Call Home training requirements.

Workshops take place 5-7 p.m.

  • Aug.27– Making a Connection
  • Sept. 24– Making it Happen
  • Oct. 21 – Why Do Children Do What They Do? 
  • Nov. 18 – Recognizing and dealing with Childhood Trauma 
  • Dec. 16 – Teach Me What to Do! 
  • Jan. 20, 2015 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 1 
  • Feb. 18 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 2 
  • Mar. 24 – Infant/Toddler development 
  • April 21 – Kindergarten Readiness 
  • May 19 – Health and Safety June 23 – Community Resources and Services
The cost per class is $20 and includes child care. Scholarships are available.

Register online at or call (480) 888-9545.

Child care provided by Shining Stars Learning Center, 21805 S. Ellsworth Road, Suite B101, across the street from the Communiversity at QC, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road.

By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.

Friday, August 22, 2014

SIS Down for Maintenance Aug. 24

The Maricopa Community College District’s Information Technology department will perform maintenance on the SIS system on Sunday, August 24, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Services impacted and unavailable during maintenance include:

  • Login to Student and Faculty Centers
  • Find a Class and Catalog Search
  • Password Reset Tools
  • Student Self Service Payment Processing (via TouchNet service)
RioLearn should not be affected, but it may cause a delay in seeing classes.

Thank you for your patience as the ITS division performs this maintenance.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

EVVEC Outreach Events for Vets

The East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) is on the move! Representatives will be visiting campuses throughout the fall months to provide college advisement services to veterans and their family members at no cost. It's a "one-stop-shop" to get information about community and educational resources.

Campus Visits

All visits will take place from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the following locations:
Gateway Community College – 8/26 and 10/28
Scottsdale Community College – 09/02 and 11/04
Mesa Community College – 9/16 and 11/12
South Mountain Community College – 9/30 and 11/18
Chandler-Gilbert Community College – 10/14 and 12/2


Need to refresh basic skills? EVVEC will be offering ongoing developmental courses in English, math and computer literacy beginning Sept. 2. Classes are 60 days in length, open-enter/open-exit (start on any date), and run Mon.-Thurs. from 2 -5 p.m. at EVVEC.

Beginning Oct. 20, an eight-week veteran-themed cohort of CPD150 and PSY101 will be offered. Please contact the EVVEC for more details.


Special onsite workshops at EVVEC will begin Sept. 23, with topics that include Financial Literacy, Job Readiness and VA Information Presentations. More details to follow.

For more information on any of these services, contact The East Valley Veterans Education Center, 3320 S. Price Rd., Tempe. Phone: 480-384-9850 or visit EVVEC Facebook page.