Monday, November 22, 2010

Student Services Add to Students Success

Graduating from college is a major accomplishment for all students. It marks a new chapter in their lives as they transition from student to professional. But before they join the workforce the graduates need to go through the not-so-fun process of resume writing and interviewing.

For some graduates, resume writing and interviewing are not a problem. For others, it can be a daunting task. For all graduates, and current students, help is available.

“Just because a student has graduated it doesn’t mean the door at the college has closed behind them,” said Melaine Abts, faculty chair of Counseling at Rio Salado College. “Our student services are open to current students and graduates to help them with every aspect of career planning.”

Every day, Rio Salado’s counselors help people set personal, educational, and career goals. Counselors also are on hand to help students when they are experiencing obstacles that are interfering with their academic performance such as: lack of motivation, relationship issues, study skills, test anxiety, time management, and stress. Additionally, the counselors are available to students and graduates when they need assistance with job search skills, resume writing, interview preparation.

“We want students and graduates to be successful, and that means helping them with their resumes and preparing them for interviews, too.” said Abts. “The counseling services at Rio Salado College are an integral part of the total educational process, and this includes after graduating, too.”

Current and Incoming Students
For current and future students, Rio Salado offers three classes, which are geared toward helping students choose the career path that is right for them.

“Whether you're new to college or online learning, we'll give you tips on how to be a successful student,” said Abts. “We help develop study plans, identifying learning styles, and set personal and academic goals.”
The Career Exploration class focuses on current occupational trends and outlooks and is designed to assist students as they make informed career decisions.

“This class uses of various assessments to help the students explores career-related interests, values, needs, preferences, skills, and strengths,” said Abts. It will aid in the development of individualized educational goals, career goals, and action planning.”

The Creating College Success class offers strategies to help students succeed in college. It explores methods for selecting and developing effective academic strategies, increasing self-awareness, and developing self-management strategies. Elements of college resources and relationships with others are explored in support of the students' educational experience.

The Strategies for College Success class focus on increasing student success through college orientation and personal growth, study skills development, and educational and career planning.

“The college is successful if the students are successful,” said Abts. “With all of these tools available to students, everyone should be confident that they will be successful at Rio Salado.”

To see all of the counseling help that is available, visit

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November’s Excellence in Education Winner

This morning, teacher Carole Cardenas, of Career Success High School, was named November’s Excellence in Education Award winner when David Staudacher, of Rio Salado College, and Marty Manning, of KEZ, visited her classroom in Phoenix.

Cardenas was nominated by Sandra Guevara-Terraza who said “Mrs. Cardenas is a teacher who makes a huge impact on the lives of her students.”

Each month, Rio Salado and KEZ will recognize a Valley teacher who is excellent at their profession and has gone above-and-beyond their call of duty to make a difference in their community for their extraordinary contribution to education. The Excellence in Education Award, presented by 99.9 KEZ and Rio Salado College!

To nominate your favorite teacher, visit To learn more about Rio Salado College, visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sustainable scholarships awarded

On Earth Day 2010, Rio announced a sustainable scholarship competition, Art to the 3rd Power. Students had an opportunity to submit a creative piece that incorporated the 3R’s of Sustainability. We had more than 25 entries, which included poems, creative writing pieces, media entries and short stories. On Oct. 21, three winners were announced. The first place award went to Larry Marrs, who received a $400 scholarship. The $250 second-place award went to Shanna Slaughter, and the $150 third-place award went to Becky Beesley. The winning entries were creative and well written! All entries can be viewed here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maricopa Colleges, Capella University Announce Education Agreement

Officials from the Maricopa Community Colleges and Capella University held a signing ceremony Oct. 19 that will offer Maricopa employees and graduates a variety of tuition reductions, grants and other benefits.

The Maricopa/Capella Agreement offers a 10 percent tuition reduction and the opportunity for a $500 grant, as well as a formal articulation agreement for block credit transfer from Maricopa to Capella. Professional development webinars and opportunities for additional scholarships and grants are part of the agreement.

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost of the Maricopa Community Colleges, and Dr. Michael Offerman, president of Capella University, participated in the signing ceremony and offered remarks extolling the benefits of the agreement.

To be eligible for the $500 grant, employees or graduates must enroll in a degree program at Capella, meet their admission requirements, and be a new learner who starts a course between Oct. 1 and March 31, 2011. The grant will be applied to the first two quarters if students remain enrolled for two consecutive quarters.

Grant applications and more information on the agreement are available by visiting, or by calling a Capella University enrollment counselor at 1-866-736-1746.

Capella University in an accredited on-line university offering Bachelors, Masters, and doctorate degrees, as well as certificates, and is an approved education provider by the Maricopa Community Colleges.

About the Maricopa Community Colleges: The Maricopa County Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation. It includes 10 colleges - Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College. The District also includes the Maricopa Skill Center, SouthWest Skill Center, several satellite campuses and business/industry, technical and customized training institutes and serves more than a quarter million students annually. For more information: 480-731-8333, 480-731-8000 or District News:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sustainable Food Systems on MCTV

Rio Salado College's Sustainable Food Systems program is the Green Pulse feature in the November edition of MCTV's Maricopa Now

Check out the entire show at 

For more information about Rio Salado's Sustainable Food Systems program, visit

Monday, November 1, 2010

ABE Classes Help Student Earn GED, Publish Book

James Compton is like a lot of teenagers. He enjoys swimming, using Facebook, and playing video games. Unlike most teens his age, he started college at 16 and published his first book at 17.

In November of 2009, James earned his GED diploma after taking Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes at Rio Salado College’s Orangewood site. Less than a year later, the Glendale resident, now 17 years-old, is reviewing author’s copies of his children’s book, "Cat-Boy vs. the Fatal Game Glitch."

“I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I could remember,” said James, who wrote the book under the pen name Michael Morgan, a combination of his middle names. "So I wrote a story which included two of my favorite things – my cat and my Game-Boy."

According to James, the video-game-infused journey makes the book relatable to younger audiences and fun to read. The story, which is intended for readers ages 8 to 14, follows the adventures of Cat-Boy as he battles a variety of outlandish characters.

“Some of my favorite books include the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, the Jack Sparrow series by Rob Kidd, and the Mossflower series by Brian Jacques,” said James, who is an avid reader.

“He has enjoyed reading and writing from a young age,” said James’ mother, Elizabeth, who home-schooled James.

“The public high school wasn’t the right fit for him, so I taught him at home,” said Elizabeth. “A lot of my teaching techniques included writing assignments, and that helped him hone his style and technique.”

While James was taught most of his basic education at home, his mother confessed that she needed additional help with math and civics. And that is when she turned to Rio Salado College’s ABE program to continue preparing him for the GED tests.

Rio Salado’s ABE program helps students improve their basic reading, English, writing and math skills and civics. These classes are designed to help students become more self-sufficient, improve job skills and lay the foundation for a better future.

For James, the ABE program did more than help him earn his GED. It also prepared him for life in a traditional classroom, where the teen dreams of career plans and more Cat-Boy stories.

“I want to pursue a lot of things, but I definitely want to write forever,” said James. “I’m working on a follow-up to "Cat-Boy vs. the Fatal Game Glitch,” and have ideas for the third book, too. I hope it will become a series and would like to see it become a movie.”

The 121-page book is available for purchase at local bookstores and through several online bookstores.

For more information about our Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes, contact Rio Salado College.