Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BBC Newsday to Profile Arizona Voters Live on 91.5 KJZZ

Phoenix, Oct. 29, 2012 The BBC Newsday team will be here in Phoenix as part of its coverage of the U.S. Presidential election— to gauge what Arizona residents have on their minds on the eve of the election during a live, special edition of BBC’s Newsday on 91.5 KJZZ, Thu., Nov. 1, 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

BBC hosts Nuala McGovern and Lerato Mbele will be putting Valley residents at the heart of the show’s global news content as they broadcast live from a local family home.

From the economy, the deficit and healthcare, to immigration and foreign policy, Newsday hosts will ask Arizonans how these issues affect their day-to-day lives and what they really think about the people in charge setting the political agenda.

The special will also focus on immigration and the changing demographics in Phoenix, how SB 1070 is affecting the lives of undocumented immigrants and the heated Maricopa County Sherriff’s race with featured guest, KJZZ News Director Peter O’Dowd. KJZZ Reporter Nick Blumberg will also contribute a report about the sentiments of Arizona’s senior voters and KJZZ Fronteras: the Changing America Desk Reporter Michel Marizco will report live from Tucson on how border issues are playing out in the election.

Phoenix is one of three cities Newsday chose to profile as part of its special coverage of the U.S. elections. The first stop was Seattle on Oct. 26 and then the crew is off to Denver for live election night coverage.

Newsday is a daily current affairs programs heard on public radio stations throughout the U.S. and globally on the international news network BBC World Service. BBC World Service is an American Public Media program partner featured daily on 91.5 KJZZ.

KJZZ invites local media outlets to participate. To schedule interviews with BBC and KJZZ reporters, please contact KJZZ Associate General Manager, News and Editorial Strategy Mark Moran at (480) 774-8230 or mmoran@rioradio.org.                           

About KJZZ 91.5
KJZZ is a listener-supported public radio station that is licensed to the Maricopa Community College District. It is a community service of Rio Salado College’s Division of Public Service, which also includes KBAQ 89.5 and Sun Sounds of Arizona. KJZZ features a mix of local and NPR news, entertainment, jazz and blues—serving nearly 319,000 weekly listeners. For more information, visit kjzz.org.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RSC Awarded $970,000 NGLC Grant to Expand Student Pathways

Rio Salado College has been awarded $970,000 from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), an initiative dedicated to improving college readiness and completion to expand higher education pathways in early college programs, educational service partnerships and credit for prior learning. This award is part of the $5.4 million recently awarded to Wave III grantees which comprise 20 secondary and 10 postsecondary schools to support 13 new models of personalized, blended learning. 

“NGLC’s Wave III grantees are the new-model builders. They are designing schools and college-level learning pathways that encourage access, persistence, and completion in learning environments that marry technology and close attention to students’ individual needs,” said Andrew Calkins, Deputy Director of NGLC. “They are striving to accelerate and deepen learning for today’s digital-native students, who come to school with high expectations for engagement and personalization.”

This funding will help Rio Salado College accelerate the timeline to degree completion by providing students expanded opportunity in high schools, the workplace and ability to earn credit for what they already know. In addition, the college will create a customized online student portal where students can see their progress, map their road to degree completion and connect them with mentors to encourage them throughout the process.

“If we are to increase the number of college graduates and provide our communities with an educated workforce, we need new models of higher education,” said Rio Salado College President, Chris Bustamante Ed.D. “We must be innovative. We must accelerate completion through our public and private partnerships. We must be cost-efficient and effective in leveraging technology in order to expand access and increase our ability to serve students.”

NGLC’s purpose in funding scalable, breakthrough models is to enrich the landscape of these bold experiments in learning design and to inform the development of innovative practices in other schools and colleges. Through extensive study of the new models’ experience and the sharing of strategies, lessons learned, and evidence – including both positive and negative student outcomes – NGLC seeks to ensure that this new-model development serves the entire education sector, including practitioners, policy leaders, researchers, and innovators.

“The field’s response to NGLC’s challenge has exceeded our hopes,” Calkins said, “and is a strong indication of the rapidly deepening interest and activity surrounding these new, digitally-supported, personalized approaches to learning.”


About Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. The college, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, was recently recognized as the fastest growing community college in the nation serving nearly 70,000 students annually. In addition to providing high-quality instruction for 100+ degree and certificate pathways, Rio Salado is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable access through;  adult basic education, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning.

About Next Generation Learning Challenges
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. This multi-year program provides investment capital to expand the use of proven and emerging learning technologies, collects and shares evidence of what works, and fosters innovation and adoption of solutions which will dramatically improve the quality of learning in the United States, particularly for low-income students and students of color.

NGLC Organizational Partners and Funders: Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) is a partnership led by EDUCAUSE and funded primarily by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other partners include the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Funding for NGLC has also been provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Media Contact:
Delynn Bodine

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rae "Kimo" Ormsby Awarded for Excellence

Congratulations to Rae "Kimo" Ormsby of Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix for winning the 99.9 FM KEZ Excellence in Education Award for September 2012.

Ormsby, was nominated by Amber Kalsow who is a student in Ormsby's Spanish class.

In Kaslow's nomination letter she acknowledged her teacher for his desire to change students' lives through his Spanish class and give them the best education.

"This course has not only taught me Spanish but it has also made me learn a lot about myself.  Kimo makes you think in depth.  Kimo is not a person who looks at teaching as his only a job.  It is what he loves to do."
Each month, a Valley K-12 teacher will be selected from all the entries to be recognized for their outstanding contribution to education. KEZ’s Marty Manning will visit the teacher’s school to surprise them with their “Excellence in Education” Award. The surprise visit will be broadcast during the Beth and Friends Show. All winning teachers are rewarded with $99, an Excellence in Education Award, and a Rio Salado College gift bag.

Excellence in Education is a partnership between Rio Salado College and KEZ 99.9 FM, which recognizes Valley teachers. 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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Education Reforms Lives of Incarcerated Students

Kevin Puckett had a rough start in life landing him in prison for more than a decade. Despite his rocky past, he's doing well.

Puckett was recently released from prison and is now only one class shy of graduating from Rio Salado College with an associate degree. His plans are to continue his education, become a counselor and start his own business.

Puckett is one of more than 2,000 students a year who have accessed RSC classes while incarcerated. He began taking courses and found that he was not only capable of completing school work, he was good at it.

“For me, it was life altering. I was completely motivated to do something positive,” he said.  “The teachers are always very, very fast to say, 'Hey, you know, you are doing excellent.'"

Puckett worked hard, saving what little money he earned at his prison job to pay for the classes and proved that he wanted to change his life for the better through education.

“I showed Rio Salado that I was a serious student,” he said.

Eventually, his efforts as a serious student turned him into a teacher. He began teaching GED classes to other inmates, hoping to inspire them to pursue a better life.

Heidi Jaeger, an RSC administrative assistant who oversees much of the incarcerated education programs, sees education as an opportunity for those who are incarcerated.

“The ones that have taken courses are well grounded and ready to give back to the community,” she said.

Jaeger says that when students can focus on their classes they often avoid trouble.

“Once they get those first few classes under their belts, they realize they can reach for the stars,” she said.

Laura* was incarcerated for three years. During her time in prison she also took classes with Rio Salado College and now has two degrees.

“I just can’t describe what that does for you,” she said about how college classes increased her confidence.

Laura was a high school dropout. A long road of mistakes and bad choices left her feeling hopeless and lost until she began her in-prison Rio Salado College classes.

“It gave us goals to look forward to. I don’t know where I would be right now without those classes,” she said.

College classes can strengthen an inmate's resolve to improve their life. One opportunity leads to another until eventually they've found a way to rise above their mistakes, leaving the past behind them...for good.


Rio Salado College has been providing education for the prison population since 1983 and currently provides classes for all of the Arizona State correctional facilities, juvenile detention centers, the Arizona State Hospital, and multiple out of state correctional facilities.

*Requested that her last name not be used.

By Matt Loper, PR Intern

This story can also be found in the October 13th edition of the Tempe Republic.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RSC Promotes Real Food with Food Day Event

Food Day is around the corner and Rio Salado College will be one of many locations to celebrate this national event. The free event, scheduled to take place October 24, has many objectives but its most important goal is to reshape attitudes toward the consumption of sustainable foods.

RSC Director of Sustainable Foods Systems Michael Hodgins says sustainability is important because it leads to better individual health and the health of the environment.

“Sustainable foods are foods we can obviously eat and they’ll sustain us, nourish us- generally healthy foods,” Hodgins said.

Sustainable foods are often preferred over foods produced in the industrial model because they are grown without chemical fertilizers that deplete the soil. Sustainably produced foods are considered healthier and more ideal for consumption.

By supporting Food Day and the real-food movement, Rio Salado encourages a more sustainable lifestyle and promotes farm-to-table meals that support local agriculture.

“Farm to table is pretty much about supporting your local farmer and trying to get stuff locally sourced,” Hodgins explained. “It’s not something being shipped across the world, so you’re not polluting the environment and you don’t have all of those food miles as part of it.”

Farm-to-table also means the food is coming straight from the farmer, something the college practices in addition to using food from its own garden.

“We have a garden here. About 15 percent of the produce we use in the cafĂ© comes from the garden.” Hodgins said. “We also work with several farms in the valley- Love Grows, Maya’s Farm, and Rhiba Farms in Chandler.”

With the help of these same farms, RSC’s Food Day celebration will provide a closer look at the principles of the real-food movement from an economic, social and environmental standpoint. All of which, according to Michael Hodgins, are things the college is trying to support and implement.

Food Day is open to everyone in the community. It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24th from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rio Salado College in Tempe. The event will include gardening demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, healthy cooking tips, and a farmer’s market where people can stop by to shop for local produce.

This event is sponsored by the sustainable foods programs at Rio Salado College, Mesa Community College and Tempe High School.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

RSC Receives Sloan Workplace Excellence Award

Rio Salado College has received an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility in workplace practices for the second year in a row.

This award is given to employers for their skillful use of flexibility as a strategy to increase workplace effectiveness and success. Winners are identified through a rigorous selection process, which involves an evaluation of employers’ flexibility programs and practices from telecommuting to job sharing to phased retirement programs and a confidential employee survey.

The award was presented to the college at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce’s When Work Works recognition breakfast today at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler. In addition to receiving the award, the college will also be featured in the next edition of the Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work.

Other award recipients include: Arizona Bar Foundation, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona Small Business Association, Autohaus Arizona, Inc., BDO USA, LLP, Deloitte, GoDaddy.com, Henry &Horne, LLP, Infincom, KeatsConnelly, KPMG, Microchip Technology Inc., Morrison & Associates CPA, Orchard Medical Consulting, Ryan LLC, Scottsdale Healthcare, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Verde Valley Sanctuary and Wist Office Products.

This is an initiative of Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility are part of When Work Works, a national project to educate the business community on the value of workplace effectiveness and flexibility.

About The Chandler Chamber of Commerce 
The Chandler Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization, serving the business community of Chandler, Arizona and the East Valley. The Chandler Chamber of Commerce supports business and our community by providing vital programs and services that attract and retain business while embracing our diversity. The Chandler Chamber of Commerce is the only chamber in Arizona to be selected as a community partner in this endeavor.

About When Work Works
When Work Works is a national initiative, led by the partnership of Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), to help businesses of all sizes and types become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. When Work Works is one of the foremost providers of resources, rigorous research and best practices on workplace effectiveness and flexibility in the nation. The initiative administers the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility annually, which recognize exemplary employers for using flexibility as an effective workplace strategy to increase business and employee success. Visit www.whenworkworks.org and follow us on Twitter @FWINews and @SHRM.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RSC,SMCC Presidents Join Entrepreneurship Forum

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College and Shari  Olson, president of South Mountain Community College have joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through this program, 186 community college presidents nationwide have committed to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic wellbeing of the communities they serve.
 “Entrepreneurs are key to economic growth in our communities,” said Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante, Ed.D. “Being a part of NACCE demonstrates Rio Salado’s commitment to providing needed support for those who are starting their own businesses.”

Rio Salado and South Mountain Community College are both part of the Maricopa Community College District located in the greater Phoenix area.

“South Mountain Community College has helped thousands of our students realize their dreams of going into business for themselves,” said South Mountain Community College President Shari Olson, Ph.D. “As an institution,  we are firmly committed to this initiative.”

About the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum
The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America Call to Action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.

According to NACCE Executive Director, Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who join the Forum make five commitments:
                • Develop transparency of community college and community assets
                • Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
                • Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
                • Engage in industry cluster development
                • Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

“The five commitments were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. “After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. “One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship.”

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serve, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com. Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.

About Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. The college, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, was recently recognized as the fastest growing community college in the nation serving more than 67,000 students annually. In addition to providing high-quality instruction for 100+ degree and certificate pathways, Rio Salado is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable access through;  adult basic education, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning.

About South Mountain Community College
South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has served the higher education needs of Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Guadalupe and Laveen for more than 30 years, offering associate degrees, certificates of completion, courses that transfer to universities and technology training to more than 10,000 students annually.   SMCC is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

RSC Library to Host Open Reference Session

Learn about research sources, search strategies and bibliographies

On Wednesday, October 10, the Library at Rio Salado College will host a virtual reference session for students.  During this session, students will get help finding research sources, learn how to build a better bibliography and refine their keyword search strategy. The session is available anytime between 5:30 and 7 p.m. through teleconference or Join Me Pro online access. 

Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
Teleconference: Call 480-517-8900 [Long distance call (800) 729-1197 (#8)].
When prompted, use the following conference ID: 2700
Online Access through Join Me Pro-Use the following link to join the session, and to see and share the librarian’s computer screen: https://join.me/MaricopaCCLibraries1