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