Thursday, January 31, 2013

Breaking Ground in Queen Creek

Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney and RSC President Chris Bustamante
are joined by education and community leaders to celebrate the event.
The Communiversity @ Queen Creek officially broke ground today, Jan. 31. Festivities began at 10 a.m. in the Zane Grey room of the Queen Creek Library located at 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek.

The Communiversity @ Queen Creek is a unique civic and educational partnership dedicated to providing students pathways to earn college certificates and/or associate , bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all in one convenient location. Partners of the Communiversity include: the Town of Queen Creek, the Maricopa County Community College District, Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert

Community College, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University and the Southwest College for Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.

"Overall, the Communiversity model is anchored in community college certificate and associate degree offerings with both public and private universities delivering a variety of educational pathways to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and beyond," said Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante.

The Communiversity is designed to meet the educational needs of its surrounding communities. Pathways of study under consideration are: Business, Healthcare, Teacher Education, Early Childhood, Humans Services, Communication, Psychology and Justice Studies. Many pathways will allow students to save money on tuition by completing their first three years of study at the community college level before transferring to a partner university for their final year.

“We often talk about the importance of providing a place for students to come and feel welcomed with the eventual hope that they will then go out into our community and serve, said MCCCD Governing Board Member Doyle Burke at the event. “The Communiversity embodies that hope and puts into practice our belief that access to education is a vital asset to every community.”

The 22,000 square foot facility will serve as a regional support center for students. It will house six classrooms, a community room which can be divided into two classrooms, a testing center, a Computer Commons, small study rooms, and administrative offices for staff, rotating academic advisors, tutors and counselors. In addition, the design of the two story building will use materials which complement the style of the local library located next door.

"The Communiversity will provide a convenient, affordable, high-quality, higher education alternative for East Valley residents and employers," Bustamante said. "It will stimulate economic growth through education and workforce development, and provide a meeting hub for community leaders to network, collaborate, and partner to provide educational programming that leads to greater degree completion."

Construction of the new facility should be completed by January 2014.

About Queen Creek

Queen Creek's approximately 27,000 residents enjoy the benefits of small-town living close to a metropolitan area: low crime rates, easy commuting to and from metro Phoenix, and a variety of recreational activities, all elements of a low-stress lifestyle. Queen Creek is a family place, a community where the person behind the counter is someone who will know you by name. For more information about the community visit

About Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College will serve as the host institution for the Communiversity @ Queen Creek. The college established in 1978 by the Maricopa County Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. It is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona and is one of the largest public online community colleges in the nation serving more than 67,0000students 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.