Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Course: Information Skills in a Global Society

Information Skills in a Global Society (IFS102) is perfect for students who enjoy digital technology, social networking, and experimenting with
new technology. Students in this highly interactive course, will explore the global culture developing around the internet and gain a richer understanding of how people in other parts of the world live and communicate.

Prerequisites: None. 
NOTE: IFS102 can be used to satisfy Global Awareness Requirement.

IFS102 course discussion forum

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Teaching is a Family Tradition

Originally published in the April 27 edition of the Tempe Republic.

If an apple falls close to the tree, would Isaac Newton be proud? In the case of Brittany and Jim Weser, the answer is yes!

Brittany Weser is a first year high school biology teacher. Her father, Jim Weser, is in his ninth year of teaching middle school science.

Thanks to Rio Salado College’s Post Baccalaureate teacher education program, both were able to channel their passions for teaching into rewarding careers.

“I was able to complete the program in a timely manner, and the ability to take a wide variety of courses throughout the year was a definite strength of the Rio Salado program,” said Jim Weser.

Originally, Jim worked in the golf industry. After he was laid off, he decided to pursue a new career.

“One of the things I enjoyed most about golf was being a golf instructor,” said Jim. The transition to teacher seemed a natural fit.

“It is very rewarding to see students have those “AHA!” moments in their learning,” Jim said. “I have found that it is very important to have a positive and inviting class environment so that students can be the most open to learning.”

Brittany Weser always wanted to do something involving science and youth, and began pursuing a biochemistry degree with the intent of a career in pediatric medicine.

“I soon realized that a career in medicine was focused most on the science,” Brittany said. “To me, the greatest value and importance rested in the interaction with children because that is what I am passionate about.”

After researching her educational options, Brittany chose Rio Salado College’s teacher education program.

“I saw my dad go through the program and he enjoyed it,” said Brittany. “For me, I really appreciated Rio Salado because it is online and convenient for my schedule. Also, the price of tuition is fair and more affordable than other credentialing programs.”

Both Wesers chose to teach science, recognizing the importance of today’s youth receiving a quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

“STEM is the future,” said Brittany. “If we want to prepare our students to have promising careers as well as further the progress of humanity, then STEM education must be emphasized.”

Jim Weser agreed.

“Young people today are not looking at math and science careers as much as they did in the past, and we need to reverse that trend,” said Jim. “STEM programs not only help give young people the skills to successfully enter those career paths, they also help the U.S. maintain its position as the world’s leading innovator.”

For Brittany, who graduates from Rio Salado in December, following her father down the teaching career path is the best reward of all.

“Being a positive influence on the lives of my students is such a blessing,” Brittany said. “I love to see them grow as human beings. Your students really do look up to you, so it’s awesome to be able to make a difference.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Financial Aid Eligibility Requires Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress is a Federal regulation which requires a student to move toward the completion of a degree or certificate within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. These academic standards must include review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.

Rio Salado College will evaluate whether the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) set forth by the Maricopa County Community College District have been met after each semester. The evaluation process determines financial aid eligibility based on three measures: Grade Point Average (GPA), Progress, and Maximum Time Frame.

  • GPA – Students must meet a minimum grade point average based on the total number of credits attempted.
  • Progress – Students must successfully complete 2/3 of all courses attempted. Progress is calculated cumulatively and carries over from one term to the next.
  • Maximum Time Frame – Students who have already attempted more than 150% of the required credits for a program will no longer be able to pay for the program using federal financial aid. In addition, any earned Associate degree or higher will be considered to have exhausted timeframe eligibility.
Students who do not meet all three criteria for satisfactory academic progress are no longer eligible to receive financial aid and in some cases, may be required to return a portion of the aid they've already received.

Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility due to unsatisfactory academic progress or to the time frame requirement have the opportunity to appeal by completing the Appeal for Satisfactory Academic Progress and/or Appeal for Maximum Timeframe forms.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RioLearn Still Accessible During Website Downtime

Attention students: the Rio Salado College website will be taken down at 4:30 Thursday morning for an update. The update process is expected to last about two hours. RioLearn will not be affected and can be accessed directly at https://www.riolearn.org/.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Westminster College Informational Lunch This Saturday

Discover RSC transfer options and tour the new Mesa campus
Submitted by Rio Salado College Advisement Initiatives Liaison Michael Murphy

Westminster College is a highly regarded private liberal arts college located in Fulton, Missouri. Its new Arizona campus will welcome its first class this fall, moving into a former downtown Mesa courthouse building. This Saturday, you can learn about and tour Westminster College at an information session and luncheon from 10 a.m. until noon. Meet college staff and faculty, inquire about scholarships or transfer opportunities, and explore student organizations and activities. RSVP to admissions.mesa@westminster.mo.edu or text 480-747-3863 for more information.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

RSC Gets Cash for Trash with Recycle 1

Virginia Rocha, Lisa Main, Rhonda Sloan, and
Christopher James are part of RSC's recycle team.
Rio Salado College recently kicked off a new recycling program in collaboration with the Recycle 1 family of companies. Participation in the new program allows the college to be paid by the ton for recycled materials.

Rio Salado installed a cardboard baler and a compactor at its Tempe headquarters to improve collection capacity. Recyclable waste from satellite locations will be transported to the main location by the maintenance and operations team.

“We’re excited to be working with Recycle 1,” said RSC Sustainability Coordinator Chris James. “Not only do they accept a wider variety of materials than our previous recycling solution, we are now generating revenue with our recycling efforts.”

The new recycling program will reduce the need to separate materials by using a single stream collection method. This method has been shown to increase participation in the program by simplifying the recycling process.

Acceptable materials for the single stream method include paper, plastic, aluminum and steel. Cardboard is baled separately and not included in the single stream method. Cardboard is, however, discarded in the same area as other recycled materials Glass is also included in recycling efforts but must be separated from other materials.

Employees and community members are also encouraged to bring recyclable materials from home to the college for disposal. Drop off hours are Monday – Friday, 7:00am-9:00am.

“Blue recycle bins will be in place around all of the locations, and the entire community is welcome to bring their recyclables during our daily morning drop off,” James said. “Our maintenance and operations team will be on hand to help with heavy loads.”

When recycling, it is important to rinse beverage and food containers and be aware of what materials will not be accepted.

“There is a list of acceptable materials near each bin because it is important for employees to know what does and does not get recycled,” James said. “If food or other non-recyclable materials are discarded into the recycle bin, it could cause the entire batch to be rejected.”

Recycle 1 staff will be available to answer questions about the program during the 2013 Rio Salado College Earth Day celebration. Planned activities include an electric car showcase, document shredding, E-waste collection, and picnic lunch specials from the Cafe at Rio. The celebration will be held April 23 from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in the RSC Tempe parking lot.

Originally published in the April 20 edition of the Tempe Republic. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Applying for Financial Aid

Paying For College: Applying for Financial Aid
Submitted by RSC Financial Aid Director Nanci Regehr

Applying for financial aid can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is a little planning and organization to make it a less stressful process. Listed below are some useful tips to make applying for financial aid a more pleasant experience.
  • Apply early - The financial aid application is available every year on January 1. Students should complete the application as early as possible. 
  • Keep track of deadlines - Missing a financial aid deadline can jeopardize the student's financial aid eligibility. Students should be sure to submit all items by the appropriate deadlines. 
  • Monitor the student center and check email regularly - All financial aid communications are sent via the student center at my.maricopa.edu or to the student's official email address. It is the student's responsibility to monitor these sites for information. 
  • Complete all forms accurately, completely, and legibly - Inaccurate, unreadable, or missing information can cause delays in processing the financial aid application. 
  • Keep copies of each form - Students should keep a copy of each form submitted. Students may need to reference a particular form if the college asks for additional information. 
  • Follow through - After submitting all forms, students should continue to monitor the student center and email for any additional items that the college may need. As deadlines near, students should follow up to confirm that all information has been received. 
  • Reapply for financial aid every year - Each year students will need to reapply for financial aid. Students who do not qualify for certain types of aid one year, may qualify the next year. Students should always reapply.
Note: Rio Salado College recently began processing student FAFSA's for the 2013-2014 school year and encourages students to apply for financial aid as early as possible. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

RSC Recognized For Affordability

Rio Salado College was included in the 2013 Most Affordable Large Community Colleges list by Affordable Colleges Online. The list of 100 non-profit, public two-year colleges with enrollments between 15,000 - 92,000 highlights community colleges that offer a quality education for less than $3,000 a year.

AC Online  offers a variety of resources to help potential students make informed decisions about how to spend their education dollars.  The 2013 Most Affordable Large Community Colleges list was compiled based on information from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Library Database Helps Students Research

Rio Salado College Library has the perfect solution to help students find credible sources for research papers and assignments. Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a one-stop shop for academic research needs. It is also ideal for exploring both sides of controversial issues, and at-home access to reference books, videos, newspaper and magazine articles, statistics, images and other credible information. Students can learn to make the most of this useful database by viewing the video tutorial in the library’s How Do I? Video Series:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Travis Fentress Recognized for Excellence in Education

Congratulations to Travis Fentress of Williams Field High School in Gilbert for being honored with the Excellence in Education Award for April 2013!

Mr. Fentress teaches English resource and co-teaches English literature. He goes out of his way to help students achieve success and communicates their progress regularly with their parents and other teachers.

He is also the head wrestling coach for the Blackhawks. Prior to the season and on his own time, he offered open mat sessions for students interested in wresting. He inspires campus pride in his athletes through providing community service opportunities for them and lives by the philosophy to lead by example.

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.

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.

To nominate a special teacher, please visit KEZ 99.9 keyword excellence.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Teacher Career Day to be Held April 18th

The 11th Annual Rio Salado College Teacher Career Day takes place Thursday, April 18 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Conference Center at RSC Tempe.

“We are excited to receive such a tremendous response from the schools and districts participating in this year’s Career Day,” said Paulina Ngo, field experience coordinator for RSC’s Teacher Education Programs, “especially from rural school districts who are in need of filling their open teaching positions for the 2013-2014 school year.”

The state-wide event connects public, charter and private schools with potential teacher candidates. On-site interviews will be available for Rio Salado Teacher Education program completers and student teachers.

According to RSC student Luke Young, the career fair is his chance to learn about potential employers and his options as a future teacher.

“For me it’s about finding a good fit and learning about what is available,” Young said. “It’s a good way to find out where the need is.”

Young is finishing his student teaching requirement and will complete the RSC Teacher Education program in May.

“My interviews were set up based on what I was interested in and my existing credentials,” Young said. “I’m excited to be talking to human resource representatives and recruiters. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about my options.”

More than 55 Arizona schools and districts will be in attendance to fill positions including:

  • Certified Teacher 

  • Substitute Teacher 

  • Teacher’s Aid/Paraprofessional 

  • Teacher Intern 
This event is FREE and open to the public.  Representatives will be on hand from major Arizona school districts as well as rural districts from Bullhead City to Springerville.  Attendees should bring copies of their resume, reference letters and samples of their work as appropriate.  

Visit http://www.riosalado.edu/studentevents to register (optional)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Maricopa Foundation Scholarships

Paying for College: Maricopa Foundation Scholarships

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-14 school year. Students may apply for scholarships using the Scholarship Tracking and Review System (STARS). 

Before visiting the STARS site, students will need to:

What to expect after applying:

  • Status updates will be posted to the student's STARS account. 
  • Award and Regret notifications will be sent the student email account by the July 2013.
  • Notifications may be filtered to the spam folder. Adding Foundation.Scholarships@domail.maricopa.edu as an email contact may help avoid delays in the delivery of award notifications. 
Although a FAFSA is not required to apply for Maricopa Foundation scholarships, students are strongly encouraged to submit their 2013-14 FAFSA as soon as possible.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Enhanced Advising Available at RSC Thomas

Students living in the central or west valley now have another convenient location to meet in person with a Rio Salado academic advisor to discuss their educational goals.

Daren Dorm can meet with students by appointment or on a walk-in basis at Rio's newest location at 3631 W. Thomas Road. Currently, advising hours are Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Wednesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

RSC Thomas allows students in Maryvale to take placement tests, have class exams proctored, meet with a counselor, or take in-person College Bridge Pathways/Adult Education classes. The site is also equipped with a professional kitchen for students in Rio Salado's Sustainable Food Systems program.

For directions or more information about services and hours at RSC Thomas, visit www.riosalado.edu/locations/Thomas. To make an appointment, call (480)377-4300.

Submitted by Advisement Initiatives Liaison Michael Murphy

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dental Student Resource Guide Available Now

Attention Dental Hygiene and Clinical Dental Assisting Students: Your LibGuide is Here! 

The Rio Salado College Library is proud to introduce the Dental Hygiene (DHE) & Clinical Dental Assisting (CDA) Student Resource Guide

This guide provides links to key library resources for students in the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs. Students will find links to article databases, books and ebooks, as well as video and image collections. It also contains links to relevant web resources. 

Developed by Kirstin Thomas, Instructional Coordinator for the Library, this subject-specific guide is designed to be a one-stop shop for all of your DHE/CDA–related research needs. 

Questions/comments about the guide? Contact kirstin.thomas@riosalado.edu.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Under Construction: Communiversity @ Queen Creek

When completed, this 22,000 square foot facility will feature 6 classrooms, a community room, testing center, computer commons, small study rooms, and administrative offices. The two story building has been designed to complement the look and feel of the Queen Creek library located next door.

The Communiversity @ Queen Creek is a unique civic and educational partnership that will provide community college degree and certificate programs as well as bachelor's and master's degree options all under one roof.

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.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Students Helping Students - Literacy Book Drive

When Will it be Spring?, My Big Dog, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Captain Underpants are just a few titles of more than 500 books that were recently donated to students at Holdeman Elementary School in Tempe. The donations were a result of a book drive sponsored by Rio Salado College (RSC) students Stephanie Miller and Amber Myhrman.

Miller and Myhrman were tasked to organize a campus project as members of a student public policy forum sponsored by the Maricopa County Community College District.

“A book drive was the first thing that came to mind as we were looking for a project that would benefit the community,” Myhrman said.

An avid reader herself, she said that it seemed appropriate that a student-driven project should support literacy.

“Having exposure to books early on in life opens up so many doors of opportunity,” Miller said. “We wanted to be able to collect enough books, to expand what the school is already doing for children.”  

They collected 521 books, 36 activity books and two audio books to donate to the elementary school located just blocks away from the college’s headquarters in Tempe.

According to Wendy Reeck, Holdeman principal, the books will put to good use.

“The books will be used in the library and given out as incentives to students for good citizenship and good behavior at our Holdeman Huddles on Fridays,” she said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to help us promote literacy in our community.”

The new and gently used books were collected in book bins placed at RSC locations across the Valley. They were donated by students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

“It’s wonderful to have these books to share with our students,” said Donna Zegerson, librarian at Holdeman. “Kids need to have books in their hands. There’s nothing like opening a book.”

Holdeman fifth grader Alejandra de Haro Felix was excited to be one of the first students to receive one of the books.

“At first I didn’t like to read, but I got into one book and finished it. It made me want to read more and more. I like to learn about new stuff,” she said.  

Originally Published in the April 6 edition of the Tempe Republic

Friday, April 5, 2013

RSC's Kirk Bowden Receives ACA Award

Dr. Kirk Bowden, director of Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon was recently honored by the American Counseling Association as winner of the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award. This award is given to an ACA member or members who have been involved in legislative advocacy training and development. The Award was presented at ACA’s annual conference in Cincinnati, OH.

Dr. Bowden founded the counseling program in 2007. He is concurrently the chair of the Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Program at Rio Salado College. Dr. Bowden is the chair of the Arizona Board of the Behavioral Health Examiners (AzBBHE). AzBBHE licenses and adjudicates all complaints filed against professional counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapist, and substance abuse counselors in the state of Arizona. Dr. Bowden first served on the AzBBHE from 1999 to 2004 and was reappointed by the governor in 2009. When the behavioral health licensing law was enacted, changing voluntary certification to mandatory licensure, he was appointed as one of three professionals to write the academic requirements for the counselor licensure.

Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Counseling Association is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit organization for professional counselors. Dedicated to promoting public confidence and trust in the counseling profession, the American Counseling Association provides leadership training, continuing education, and advocacy services for its more than 52,000 members. For more information on the American Counseling Association, visit

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ASU Advisor Available April 12 at RSC Tempe

Students interested in transferring to Arizona State University after completing a certificate or degree at Rio Salado College can make an appointment to meet with ASU Transfer Coordinator Chris Griffith this Friday.

Griffith will be available 10am - 1pm in the Advisement Office on the 3rd floor of the RSC Tower Building. He can discuss ASU programs, steps for admission, evaluation of transfer credits, and any other questions students may have.

Call (602) 496-1751 or email ASUChrisGriffith@asu.edu to make an appointment.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Financial Aid and Summer Classes

Paying for College: Summer Classes

Taking summer classes allows students to stay on schedule and pursue their degree without interruption. Students are welcome to use financial aid to pay for summer classes, but there are a few things they’ll need to know.
  • Federal student aid is determined on a yearly basis
  • Students who have already used their full award for the 2012-13 school year will not have funds available for the summer term. 
  • Summer 2013 financial aid instructions and filing deadlines are available on the Financial Aid website.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

RSC Supports Women in Technology

Originally published in the March 30 issue of The Tempe Republic.

Tempe-based Rio Salado College, supports women in technology both academically and as an employer.

Lisa Purcell
 Client Support Analyst
Rio Salado Client Support Analyst Lisa Purcell is responsible for computer and telecommunications equipment at the college, and has a personal interest in networking.

"It’s a challenging job and I am always learning," Purcell said. "That is a benefit to me. Technology is not a dull, day-to-day, same-old-thing kind of career. I think it is fun to run around the college and fix computers, printers, phones, and whatever else it may be."

Purcell said she believes technically inclined individuals are respected for their skills regardless of gender, and that it can put women on more even ground in the workplace.

"I feel that technically inclined women probably are treated a little bit differently than other women," Purcell said. "You are looked upon as a person who can fix an issue or at least help and give guidance in technical situations."

"It's not a bad thing. Employees call me directly because they know I can troubleshoot and help solve a problem," Purcell said. "I think this probably happens to technically inclined men as well. Gender is just not as big an issue when it comes to technical fields."

According to the 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce report, Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation, Purcell is probably right. Women working in science and technology benefit from a smaller gender wage gap and earn 33% more than their non-technical counterparts.

Jennifer Freed
Dean of Instruction 
Jennifer Freed, who currently serves as the dean of instruction and academic affairs, was head of the e-Learning design program at Rio Salado for several years. She is well known for her interest in gadgets and technology.

"I would have to say that unintentionally, my interest in technology has become a defining feature of my personality," Freed said. "If you had asked anyone 12 years ago, 'techie' wouldn’t have been used to describe me at all. However, since then, the interest has become a real part of my personality. It influences not only my job, but my hobbies, interests, and I would even say my parenting."

Freed said that she is constantly on the lookout for new technology to share with her five-year-old daughter.

"I'm always looking for something new - from the iPod doc on her crib when she was a baby to the apps and gadgets that we play with now for fun."

Freed said she believes that her daughter, and girls in general, will benefit from the abundance of technology in everyday life.

"I would say everyone has better opportunity, but because of that, girls have benefited " Freed said. "It is such a normal part of our life that she can’t help but grow up exploring technology and gadgetry. In the past this wasn't the case. Of those who were lucky enough to have this type of technology available, only a small subset ever explored it, and it was typically the boys."

Harpreet Maan
Web Technician
Rio Salado Web Technician Harpreet Maan started her career in technology when she emigrated from India to the United States in 1998. At the time, work permits were available primarily for positions in technology.

"I really wanted to work. I had taken programming classes, but my degree was in advertising. I wanted to do something creative," Maan said. "Making websites uses a combination of design and technology, so I got a certification in web development."

Maan said that her programming knowledge makes the process of designing a webpage easier and more efficient.

"The programming classes really helped me to understand the back end of web technology, and the advertising degree helps me on the front end and marketing aspects of my job," Maan said. “It creates balance. It really worked out perfectly.”

Rio Salado college is a member of the National Information, Security and Geospatial Technologies Consortium. NISGTC is a collaboration of Maricopa Community College entities offering information technology education and career training to underserved populations.