Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Federal Grant Awarded for New East Valley Veterans Education Center

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Maricopa Community Colleges to enhance The East Valley Veterans Education Center, to be located at 2055 S. Cottonwood Drive, near the corner of Broadway and Price Roads, Tempe. The grant was secured through the efforts of U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell.

Creation of the Education Center means that for the first time, East Valley veterans can obtain guidance to pursue higher education in one location. The Cottonwood Drive facility contains more than 5,000 square feet of space, which will be used for classrooms, an office, a student lounge and space where various services will be provided to students. It is scheduled to open in January.

“Soldiers who enter active duty, or veterans who return from war, should know that they won’t fall behind academically, professionally, or financially when they return home to civilian life,” said Mitchell. “We have a responsibility to make good on our promise to our servicemen and women that the military will help open doors to new opportunity and achievement. I’m proud to have worked with Maricopa Community Colleges to make the East Valley Veterans Education Center a reality and hope it will serve as a model for others around the country.”

Of the project’s $500,000 total cost, 60% is being funded by the federal government, while 40% is being funded by local sources. The grant is designed to help veterans enroll in and complete postsecondary education, and may be used to purchase equipment and technology.

“Our goal is to create an easily accessible place where veterans can obtain the information they need to quickly access the educational benefits they deserve at the college of their choice,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College, the lead institution among the five Maricopa Community Colleges participating in the project. “The center also will provide a place where veterans can meet, share their experiences, and help each other transition to civilian life.

The Education Center also will provide space for workshops, including sessions on academic and career advisement, resume-writing and job interview skills and peer-to-peer counseling. In addition to referring veterans to the Maricopa Community Colleges, the center will provide referral services to other higher education providers, depending on the veterans’ plans.

The other Maricopa Community Colleges participating in the project are Chandler-Gilbert, GateWay, Mesa and Scottsdale Community Colleges. Project partners include: Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs; Phoenix VA Health Care System; U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service; and the Arizona Department of Employment Security.

For more information, contact:
Tom Gariepy
District Director

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rio Salado Offers Online Courses Including CPR Class

“I want everyone in the world to take this class,” said Angela Ambrosia, a faculty chair member at Tempe-based Rio Salado College.

It’s safe to say every teacher will say their class is the most important and that everyone should enroll in it. But not every teacher can say their class has the potential to save lives. Ambrosia’s cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class has the potential to save lives and that is why she wants more people to enroll in her class.

“If I can teach somebody so that they will feel comfortable and not panic when this occurs, it will be great,” said Ambrosia. “I think we can improve the survival rate for cardiac arrest patients.”

In the Rio Salado class, students will learn to identify signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest with emphasis on early action. They will learn how to manage a conscious and unconscious airway obstruction and the proper technique for performing one and two rescuer CPR on the adult, infant and pediatric victim. Additionally, the students learn to deliver effective oxygenation and ventilation using a bag- valve-mask device and how to perform automatic, external defibrillation as part of the resuscitation of the adult in cardiac arrest.

“Students will learn current American Heart Association standards for one and two rescuer CPR and obstructed airway procedures on the adult, infant, and pediatric victim,” said Ambrosia. “The students will also learn to use automatic, external defibrillation and resuscitation equipment.”

According to the American Heart Association, the use of CPR dates back to 1740. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t know how to perform it today.

Rio Salado College launched the classes in January and saw more than 100 students take the online class and pass the in-person exam. Among the students who passed the exam is Tempe resident Jennifer Phoebe, who is a mother of three young children.

“I’m taking classes to get my degree in nursing and because I have children,” said Phoebe. “I thought CPR is something I should know. It’s long overdue.”

With family and work already keeping her busy, Phoebe found it difficult to attend classes in a traditional setting. So she chose online classes where she could attend class when it fit into her schedule.

“I have time constraints with kids and it made it a lot easier to take the classes online,” said Phoebe. “People think it’s going to be easy because it’s online, but you really have to learn the material. It was a great format for me and it was easy to understand. There was a lot of material and I learned a tremendous amount.”

After taking the classes online, Phoebe was relieved to practice what she learned during an in-person test under Ambrosia’s supervision at the college’s main location in Tempe.

“I felt a lot better coming in and doing it on a mannequin,” said Phoebe. “It reinforced everything I learned online.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Phoenix Teacher Named October’s Excellence in Education Winner

On Tuesday, teacher Angela Scadaru was surprised in front of the entire school when KEZ’s Marty Manning named her October’s Excellence in Education winner during the morning announcements at St. Matthews Catholic School in Phoenix.

The teacher, who said she listens to KEZ on her way to work every day, was nearly brought to tears when Manning read a note from parent Frank Ramirez who nominated her for the award.

“She is such a compassionate, dedicated teacher who has helped my seven year old son Frankie tremendously,” read Manning. “My son has learned so much and has become a very good student, and I owe a great deal of gratitude to this wonderful teacher for her guidance. I feel truly blessed that Ms. Scafaru taught my son Frankie and knew that she was the right teacher to help guide, teach and provide the discipline he needed. It has been over a month now and my son is coming along nicely. He has shown good progress and is doing well. When I see him get up in the morning on his own and explain how excited he is to learn at school, I am filled with appreciation and happiness. Ms. Scafaru has been exactly what our boys need. I hope that she is recognized because she deserves it. She is very humble and would probably downplay what I am saying, but trust me I have seen her greatness and just want her to know she is appreciated.”

Each month, a Valley K-12 teacher will be recognized for their outstanding contribution to education. Rio Salado’s David Staudacher and KEZ’s Marty Manning visit the teacher’s school to surprise them with their “Excellence in Education” Award. The surprise visit is broadcast live during the Beth and Friends Show. All winning teachers also are rewarded with $99, an Excellence in Education Award, and a Rio Salado gift bag!

Students and parents of students are encouraged to nominate K-12 teachers who are excellent at their profession and have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to make a difference in their community. Learn more about Excellence in Education at