Monday, August 31, 2009

Orientation Sessions Explain Rio Salado’s Encore Career Classes

By David Staudacher, 480.517.8472

Starting Sept. 9, Rio Salado College is having several orientations for its 50+ Encore Career Program at the Tempe Connections Café on the main floor of the Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road.

Rio Salado College’s 50+ Encore Program was created to support a targeted retraining program aimed at adults over the age of 50 who are eager to prepare for new careers in education. The program was made possible due to a $25,000 grant from Civic Ventures and Metlife Foundation.

“We know there are people who want to re-career,” said Kimberly Tobey, Rio Salado College’s community liaison director. “This program will allow us to work directly with the 50-plus re-careering student. For many of them, it may have been a long time since they’ve been in school. This will help them find success in school and in the online learning environment.”

Based on adults’ areas of interest, experience, educational backgrounds, and employment situations, candidates will be able to enroll in one of four online teacher certification programs. Rio Salado has customized its online teacher certification programs for eligible adults, who are interested in re-careering and pursuing teaching positions in early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education. The programs are:

  • Post Baccalaureate Teacher Prep for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and may be working fulltime.
  • Teacher in Residence for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and are working in the classroom while completing their teacher certification.
  • Bachelor Degree Pathways for candidates who do not have a college degree.
  • Troops to Teachers for military personnel transitioning from the military to second careers.

Rio Salado has been offering a teacher prep certification program the past 10 years. The majority of students begin with bachelor’s degrees, but the Tempe-based college also has programs for students who need to complete undergraduate credits.

“Last year, more than 550 students, who were 50 or older, took classes with Rio Salado,” said Tobey. “With the Encore program, we expect enrollment to eclipse 600 students or more. The 50+ Encore candidate bring a wealth of knowledge from prior work experience, general life experience, and an understanding of the importance of continuous learning, which will provide the community with more quality instructors in the classroom.”

The orientation events will offer an overview of the courses and pathways available. Financial aid options also will be discussed. At this time, no scholarships specific to this program are being offered.

For more details about the Rio Salado College program and to inquire about enrolling, please contact Rio Salado’s Enrollment Services at 480.517.8580 or at

50 + Encore Program Orientation dates, programs and times at the Tempe Connections Café

Sept. 9, 2009, Post-Baccalaureate, 10 a.m. – Noon
Sept.9, 2009, Bachelor’s Degree Pathway, 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Oct.21, 2009, Post-Baccalaureate, 10 a.m. – Noon
Nov.18, 2009, Post-Baccalaureate, 10 a.m. – Noon
Nov.18, 2009, Bachelor’s Degree Pathway, 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Dec. 2, 2009, Post-Baccalaureate, 10 a.m. – Noon

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dental Hygiene Extends Application Deadline

Rio Salado’s School of Dental Hygiene has extended its application deadline to October 1st. Contact a student enrollment services advisor at (480) 517-8580 for details, or visit

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rio Named Military Friendly School

G.I. Jobs magazine recently named Rio Salado College a Military Friendly School for 2010. This honor places Rio Salado in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide.

“It is a great honor to be considered a Military Friendly Institution,” said Yvonne Lawrence, Coordinator of Recruitment Programs for Military Education at Rio Salado College. “Providing educational access to service members, veterans, and their families is one of the goals of Military Education at Rio. This honor is attributed to the hard work of the Military Advisement Team and Veterans Affairs at our Tempe location and at Luke Air Force Base.”
Find more about our military partnerships at

Friday, August 14, 2009

Communiversity Featured on School Solutions

By Kim Covington - Aug. 13, 2009

Starting in about a week, college students will be able to skip the long commute and go to several community colleges at one site. It's a new, more affordable option to higher education. The Communiversity concept is the first of its kind in the West.

Director of Community Partnership Programs for Rio Salado College Todd Aakhus says, "It's a one stop shop.”

Starting August 24 classes will be offered face to face, online and in the hybrid format which combines the two.

Communiversity allows students to complete everything from a certificate and associate degree to bachelor’s and master’s degrees all in one location.

Students can choose from 40 programs in 6 degree pathways: education, business information systems public safety and liberal arts and health care. Communiversity partners include Western International University, Western Maricopa Education Center will bring in high school students. They will join Rio Salado, Phoenix and Glendale Community Colleges, Ottawa University and the University of Incarnate Word.

Todd Aakhus says, "You have the ultimate variety here. What we've got is affordable accessible flexibility. You can save up to 35% off the entire degree.” They save because students can transfer up to 90 credits to a university.

The video is available HERE.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

‘Super Registration' Dates Scheduled

By David Staudacher, Rio Salado College PR Manager, 480.517.8472

Second chances are hard to obtain in life. So in August and September, Rio Salado College is offering a second chance to Valley residents who want to complete their high school education or develop their English skills.

The Tempe-based college’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) department is starting Super Registration on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 at eight locations throughout the Valley. Super Registration is an opportunity for people to return to school and prepare for the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test.

“The lack of a high school diploma can keep someone from getting promoted or hired,” said Miranda Lopez, Rio Salado College’s Director of adult education. “Obtaining a GED (General Education Development) can open more doors and lead to higher paying positions, too. After completing an ABE program, 85 percent of adult learners were successful at improving their employment, increasing both their skills and pay level.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half a million adults in Maricopa County are neither enrolled in school nor have a high school credential, and the difference between someone with a high school diploma and a high school dropout is more than $7,000.

Rio Salado’s ABE classes focus on improving students’ basic reading, writing and math skills. The classes help students become more self-sufficient, improve job skills, and lay the foundation for a better future. Also, the classes are funded by the Arizona Department of Education, Adult Education Division, and the classes are free for participants.

“Students will need to participate in orientation and go through an assessment before starting classes,” said Lopez. “Also, capacity is limited at most locations and some centers have minimal immediate class openings. Students may be asked to sign up for orientation and assessment.”

“Students should note that day, afternoon, and evening class options are available at most, but not all, locations,” she added. “Students must be 16 years of age or older and be able to verify that they are a legal resident or otherwise lawfully present in the United States to participate in the program.”

For up-to-date Super Registration dates and times please call the ABE HOTLINE (480) 517-8110 or visit

Thursday, August 6, 2009

You're Invited to the Communiversity Open House!

The brand new Communiversity @ Surprise is hosting an open house on August 18 and August 22. Stop by and tour this state-of-the art educational facility located in the new Surprise Civic Center. You can also meet representatives of our partner institutions, and learn about program offerings available through the Communiversity.

Open House Schedule:
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18th - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 22nd - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
15950 W. Civic Center Plaza, in Surprise
(West of Litchfield Road, off of Greenway Road)

In addition, 98.7 The Peak will be broadcasting live from the Communiversity @ Surprise on Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by for a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Register Now for Fall Classes!

Registration is now open for Rio Salado College's fall session, which begins Monday, Aug. 24th. To register for classes, click here to review courses available for Fall 2009. Then login to to get started. It's that easy!

Rio Part of Initiative Aimed at Adults Returning to College

A consortium of adult-serving colleges and universities, including Rio Salado College has launched a new initiative aimed at adult learners seeking better information in choosing an institution offering degrees through distance education.

The initiative, called Transparency by Design, launches a website that gives adult learners new information to accelerate and better inform their decision making process. The website,, offers adult learners information on program-level learning outcomes, how outcomes are measured and how students performed on these measures. In the next stage, still in development, adult learners will have access to student satisfaction, progress rate, and other data on each member institution participating in the initiative.

For more information about Rio Salado’s participation in Transparency by Design, visit