Thursday, February 27, 2014

APIA Scholarship Deadline March 28

The application deadline for the The Maricopa County Community College District Asian Pacific Islander Association student scholarship is Friday, March 28, 2014.

Awards will be granted in amounts ranging from $250-500 for academic achievement, community involvement and English as a second language. Criteria are as follows:


  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Completed at least 12 credit hours at any MCCCD college
  • Currently enrolled with at least 9 credit hours at any MCCCD college
Community Involvement
  • Demonstrated community service
  • Letter of recommendation by an officer of a community organization
  • Currently enrolled with at least 9 credit hours at MCCCD college
English as a Second Language
  • Currently enrolled in an ELAA or ESL course at any MCCCD college
  • Must have taken a minimum of 3 and no more than 20 ELAA or ESL credit hours at any MCCCD college

For more information on APIA at MCCCD or the APIA student scholarship, please visit

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Featured Library Database: Biography in Context

In honor of African American History Month, the Rio Salado Library invites you to learn more about important African Americans via the Biography in Context database. Biography in Context delivers outstanding research support with 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals — spanning history and geography. Check it out!

Rio Salado Opens Second Communiversity to Serve East Valley

The Communiversity at Queen Creek officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday, increasing the number of higher education options available to East Valley residents.

The Communiversity at Queen Creek is a unique civil and educational partnership offering students a variety of academic services and programs in one convenient location.

“This new location in Queen Creek epitomizes what we’re striving to accomplish as an educational institution,” said Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “The purpose of this location is to provide affordable, high quality educational options for East Valley residents and employers, and to stimulate economic growth through education and workforce development.”

The Communiversity model was first introduced in Arizona by Rio Salado College, which opened a location in Surprise in 2009. The model gives students an opportunity to take lower division classes from community college partners and transfer those credits to a university partner, resulting in a significant cost savings on tuition. 
"This is an exciting time for residents of Queen Creek and the surrounding areas,” said Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. “Education is a vital component of a healthy, growing community, and having higher learning available right here in Queen Creek benefits all of our residents and businesses."

The Communiversity at Queen Creek’s partners include the Town of
Queen Creek, the Maricopa Community College District, Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.
The partners plan to roll out certificate-to-degree pathways in the months ahead. Proposed pathways include: Business, Communication, Early Childhood, Healthcare, Justice Studies, Psychology, and Teacher Education.

East Valley residents can now take advantage of academic advising, book store services and professional growth and wellness seminars, as well as Rio Salado College’s 600+ online classes. Testing center services, in-person general education classes and information sessions about degree programs will be available in the coming weeks.

The Communiversity at Queen Creek is located at 21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142. To learn more and to receive updates about programs, free workshops and in-person classes, visit

Upcoming free seminars at the Communiversity at Queen Creek:

Take the First Step: Educational Leadership
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 5-6 p.m.
Northern Arizona University is hosting this information session to introduce the programs it offers to help educational leaders meet the challenges within local and national school systems.

Trauma Sensitive Treatment Seminar
Tuesday, March 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Ottawa University, this seminar focuses on traumagenic family dynamics, understanding trauma and the impact of developmental trauma. The seminar offers continuing education credits and a certificate.

To RSVP, call 480-384-9300 or send an email to

This story can also be found in the February 22 edition of the Tempe Republic. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Changing the Landscape of Higher Education

The Town of Queen Creek was once considered the far reaching outskirts of Phoenix, but this small town oasis – now a thriving east valley community – embraces its ranching and mining heritage while carefully watching over its growth and development. Business and town leaders seek to preserve the Town’s family-friendly, small-town spirit while providing economic opportunities and a high quality of life for residents.

In an effort to provide higher educational options and strengthen the economy, the Town of Queen Creek has partnered with the Maricopa Community Colleges, Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Northern Arizona University, Ottawa University and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences together to create the Communiversity at Queen Creek.

This unique facility is located in Queen Creek town center and brings together these five higher education institutions under one roof to provide nearby residents with program pathways close to home. These pathways were identified through academic and occupational needs assessments of the Queen Creek area by ESI Corporation and Hanover Research Council. These assessments identified business-management, early childhood education, engineering, healthcare, and information technology among the fastest growing industries in the region.

In a recent report by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in just four years, 63 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education. In addition, it is projected that there will be a shortage of nearly 8 million workers to fill these jobs. A national push has occurred, not only about the need to increase the number of college graduates, but that colleges, government, business and community leaders must think innovatively about how best to accomplish this. Improving access through partnerships like the Communiversity is just one way to help decrease the college graduate deficit and increase access for all students.

College can seem out-of-reach for many people for a variety of reasons. The Communiversity can help address the barriers of distance, time and cost. With online and hybrid options along with in-person classes close to home, students who have work and family obligations can fit college into their busy schedule. In addition, tuition costs can be reduced through the Communiversity’s 2+2 and 3+1 articulation programs that allow students to transfer between 60 and 90 credits (of a 120 credit degree) from the community college to the university. Having the community colleges and the universities housed under one roof will also aid students in coordinating academic advising as they transfer from one institution to another.

In addition to offering college certificate, associate, bachelor and master’s degree programs for those seeking professional development or entering a new career, The Communiversity will partner with local employers to provide workforce training. East Valley residents now have convenient access to a quality higher education in Queen Creek town center.


The Communiversity at Queen Creek opened its doors in January, and plans to offer classes later this year. The facility offers academic advising, tutoring, counseling and testing services by appointment. The Communiversity at Queen Creek is the second innovative facility of its kind in the Phoenix-metro area (Communiversity at Surprise opened in 2009) aimed at changing the landscape of higher education in Arizona and the United States.

The Communiversity at Queen Creek is located at 21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142. For more information, call 480-384-9300, email, or visit

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Get Your Geek On With Rio Salado College!

Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) demonstration by
 Rio Salado's Jeanne Ratliff, Rich Cuprak and Rick Vaughn
Geeks’ Night Out is an annual event celebrating all things geeky. Hosted by the City of Tempe to promote an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), this very special Third Thursday event combines the learning experience of a science and technology convention with the fun and excitement of a Mill Avenue street festival.

Popular exhibits include an R2-D2 robotics display, Phoenix Comicon costume contest and a ghost hunting demonstration.

For this year’s event, Rio Salado College, ASU’s Arizona Initiative for Nano-Electronics and Penn State’s Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization will provide family-friendly, educational entertainment highlighting nanotechnology and energy management systems.

According to Rio Salado STEM Faculty Chair Rick Vaughn, the Rio Salado booth will include a variety of displays and demonstrations including a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) display and remote control access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

“We are working in partnership with ASU to celebrate educational and career opportunities in emerging technology fields,” Vaughn said. “The hands-on SEM and DSSC exhibits will allow children and adults of all ages to explore the scale of the universe down to the subatomic scale.”

Vaughn said he’s looking forward to showing the next generation how fun and exciting STEM subjects can be.

“This event gives young people first-hand experience with emerging technology and in-person interaction with the experts who make it happen,” Vaughn said. “Because nanotechnology and energy management systems are expected to have a major impact on things like manufacturing and the American economy, it’s important to foster an interest in these technologies.”

According to Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Applied Technology, Richard Cuprak, technology education can be a moving target, so it’s important for students to enjoy the learning process.

“Technology evolves very quickly. We want to encourage the type of curiosity and drive for lifelong learning that will allow students to evolve with it,” Cuprak said. “It’s also a lot of fun.”

Cuprak said he enjoys the Geek’s Night Out event because it gives him an opportunity to share his passion for technology.

“The educational elements are really just a nice side effect,” Cuprak said. “The best part is that we get to play with really cool toys, meet new people who share our interest in science, and geek out about the things we love.”

Cuprak said he also looks forward to talking to potential students about the emerging technology programs that he is working on for Rio Salado College.

“We’re launching an Energy Systems program this fall that I’m really looking forward to,” Cuprak said. “So I’ll be answering questions about that as well.”

Geek’s Night Out, part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, will be hosted by the City of Tempe Feb. 20 from 4:30 – 9 p.m. on Mill Avenue near Tempe City Hall.

This story can also be found in the February 15 edition of the Tempe Republic. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Math Subject Guide Now Available

The Rio Salado Library is proud to introduce the Math Subject Guide. The guide provides links to key discipline-specific library and Web resources for MAT students. Resources are arranged by topic so that students can instantly access the information they need the most:
  • Where Do I Start?
  • Books & eBooks
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Math Videos & Video Tutorials
  • Research Paper Help
  • Citation Help
  • Web Resources and Search Tips
  • Tutoring
Developed by Kirstin Thomas, Instructional Coordinator for the Library, this subject-specific guide is designed to be a one-stop shop for MAT-related research. Check out the video “Valentine’s Day for Math Nerds,” one of several videos featured in the new Math Subject Guide that proves math is awesome!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Millitary Education Benefits Help Veterans Pay for College

Members of the United States military have access to a variety of financial aid options designed to help them advance their military career as well as transition to civilian employment. Here is a list of the military education benefits that may be used to pay for classes at Rio Salado College.

RSC VA Office does not determine eligibility for benefits. Only the Department of Veterans Affairs can do that. The information below is presented only as a rough guide to the payment you can expect if the DVA finds you eligible for a program.


Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill® : The veteran is awarded a percentage of entitlement based on length of active military service after 9/10/2001. DVA will pay this percentage of:
  • in-state tuition and fees
  • BAH (rate for an E5 with dependents in zip code 85281 for in-person enrollment; one-half the national average rate for completely online enrollments)
  • book stipend of up to $1000 per academic year based on number of credits
Chapter 30, Montgomery GI Bill®: DVA pays veteran a monthly stipend.

Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation: Veteran must have 20% or higher service-connected disability to be eligible. Benefits are authorized through a DVA case manager. Program will pay tuition and fees, actual cost of books, and a supplies stipend. The veteran also receives a monthly living stipend.

VRAP, Veterans Retraining Assistance Program: This program is for unemployed veterans ages 35-60 who want to train for one of the occupations on the Department of Labor’s list of high-demand occupations. Recipients are limited to 12 months of benefits, to be earned before April 1, 2014. They are paid a monthly stipend equal to the Chapter 30 rate, and they MUST maintain full-time enrollment to receive any stipend at all.


Chapter 1606, Selected Reserves: Reservists and National Guard members who have never been activated. DVA pays a small monthly stipend. Many also use Federal Tuition Assistance if they are attending at greater than half time status.

Chapter 1607, Reserve Educational Assistance Program: Reservists who have served active duty time. DVA pays a monthly stipend based on length of active duty service.


Chapter 35, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA): For spouses and children of veterans who are deceased or who have a 100% service-connected disability rating. Recipient is paid a monthly stipend.

Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill® Transfer of Education Benefit (TEB aka TOE): Eligibility to transfer benefits to a spouse or dependents is based on length of service and retirement eligibility date.

Transferring benefits is a three-step process:
  1. The service member applies for his/her benefits through VONAPP at
  2. Once approved for benefits, the service member applies with Department of Defense (DoD) for approval to transfer the benefits
  3. Once DoD approval is received, the spouse or child applies through VONAPP at to complete the transfer.
Fry’s Scholarship: This benefit is for children of service members who die in the line of duty. They are eligible for the full benefit of Ch33 post-911.

For pamphlets & fact sheets regarding these and other benefits please visit the following website:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Library New Titles: You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

Library New Titles:  You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them. But often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter—covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency—is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Check out the complete list of new titles below.

Baba Yaga: A Novel by Toby Barlow
Cold Tuscan Stone by David P. Wagner
Death Angel by Linda Fairstein
Dick Francis’s Refusal by Felix Francis
Elisha Barber by E.C. Ambrose
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
The Rathbones: A Novel by Janice Clark
The Twelfth Department: A Novel by William Ryan
The Whole Enchilada: A Novel of Suspense by Diane Mott Davidson

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
Bullying and Cyberbullying by Elizabeth Kandel Englander
Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End of Life Care and the Hospice
by Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel
Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win by Ryan Babineaux and
John D. Krumboltz
How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris
A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active by Edward H.
Thompson and Lenard W. Kaye
Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha Craven
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Suicide: A Study in Sociology by Emile Durkheim and George Simpson
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook,
Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You Are Deluding
by David McRaney
The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time
by P.H. Connett

This list is updated throughout the month as new books arrive. To view the complete list of new titles from previous months, please see the Library New Titles Archive.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

College Dental Clinic Helps Kids Smile

Rio Salado College dental student Callista Olivares
 demonstrates how food sticks to teeth. 
Rio Salado College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic and the Arizona Dental Foundation joined forces on February 7 to host a free dental clinic for local elementary school children as part of the national “Give Kids a Smile” initiative.

The American Dental Association launched the Give Kids a Smile program nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists across the country to join with others in their community to provide dental services to underserved children.

The goal of Give Kids a Smile is to increase awareness about the importance of dental hygiene during the month of February, which is National Children’s Dental Health month.

Children from several local elementary schools and organizations participated in the event. Each child received free dental exams, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride, goodie bags, and fun tips on staying healthy.

Services were provided by 42 Rio Salado College dental hygiene and dental assisting students. Instructors and support staff also donated their time and expertise for the event.

“This is a great way for us to give our students a real-life practical learning experience while providing a vital service for the community,” said Holly Harper, faculty chair for dental programs at Rio Salado. “We want to educate children on the benefits of proper oral health care at the earliest age possible. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children, but is almost entirely preventable.”

Harper added that community service is one of the core principles of the Rio Salado College culture.

“The college participates in events and programs that benefit the community all throughout the year,” Harper said. “In fact, we require our dental students to volunteer at least 10 hours during their program of study.”

Students enjoyed the clinic experience as they were able to put practical skills to use and interact with patients.

“Having children in my chair was exciting,” said dental hygiene student Amanda Jacka. “It allowed me to learn even more and I also was able to have fun while teaching kids what everything was. It's rewarding to know I am helping somebody while they help me at the same time with skills I will be able to utilize for the rest of my career.”

The Rio Salado Dental Clinic is open to community members and their families. Children must be 4 years of age or older and are generally seen during the summer semester. Fees range from $25-$35 depending on age.

The clinic is located at 2250 W. 14th Street in Tempe. Clinic hours and appointments vary. All new patients must have a screening visit prior to a dental hygiene appointment. To schedule a screening appointment, call (480) 377-4100. For more information visit

This story can also be found in the February 8 edition of the Tempe Republic. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

MCBAA Hosts Annual Scholarship Lunch

The Maricopa Council on Black American Affairs (MCBAA) is hosting its annual scholarship lunch Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Conference Center at Rio.

Artist and Rio Salado employee Jenita Landrum will give the featured presentation, “Journey…The Shoulders I Stand Upon.” Tickets cost $15 for MCBAA members and $20 for non-members. Proceeds will go toward the MCBAA Student Scholarship. Register here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Free Dental Cleanings for Kids

As part of national Give Kids a Smile Day, the Rio Salado Dental Clinic is offering FREE dental cleanings for children Friday, Feb. 7 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Call 480-377-4100 to make your appointment. Space is limited. FREE appointments are available to the first 60 callers on a first come, first served basis. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 

Featured Library Database: African American Experience

In honor of African American History Month, the Rio Salado Library is proud to feature the African American Experience database, the widest ranging and easiest-to-use online collection on African American history and culture. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Scholarship Applications Due March 24

Hundreds of Scholarships, One Application
The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation Scholarship program is now accepting applications for Fall 2014. The application deadline is March 24, 2014. Visit the STARS scholarship application page to search for scholarships and submit your application. 

Opportunities include:
  • Bilingual Nursing scholarships
  • Veterans Scholarships
  • AZ Retirees Association Scholarships
  • Nursing Women's Club Scholarships
  • Hundreds more...
Visit to learn more. 

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization designated by the Maricopa County Community College District to receive and manage gifts on behalf of its ten colleges, two skill centers and multiple satellite centers. The Foundation actively seeks contributions from a variety of public and private sources including individuals, corporations and other foundations. It acts as a trustee for donations to assure that gifts are distributed in the manner specified by the donor.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Queen Creek Is a College Town!

Communiversity at Queen Creek is now open on Ellsworth across from IHOP.

Rio Salado College and it's partners are setting up shop in the heart of Queen Creek!

The Communiversity at Queen Creek combines resources from the Town of Queen Creek, Maricopa Community Colleges and university partners to offer higher education options tailor made for students in the East Valley.

The current event calendar includes the following free offerings provided by the Communiversity's educational partners:
New Year, New You: Natural Health Made Easy
February 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
Presented by Southwest Center of Naturopathic Medicine President and CEO Paul Mittman, this 1.5 hour seminar will explore natural ways to achieve well-being. 
Take the First Step: Educational Leadership
February 26, 5-6 p.m.
NAU will host this information session to focus on how to step up to the leadership challenge within local and national school systems. 
Trauma Sensitive Treatment SeminarMarch 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Ottawa University, this seminar on traumagenic family dynamics, understanding trauma and the impact of developmental trauma will also offer continuing education credits and a certificate
For information on available student services, tours of the facility or to RSVP to any of these events, please call 480-384-9000 or email

Communiversity at Queen Creek academic partners are currently targeting summer and fall start dates for certificate-to-degree pathways including: Business, Communication, Early Childhood, Healthcare, Justice Studies, Psychology, and Teacher Education.

Occasional updates on new programs and events at the Communiversity at Queen Creek are available by visit and completing the information request form.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rio Salado College is CompTIA Authorized Academy Partner

Gordon Inman and Heather Tyler at the
RSC Tempe Testing Location
Rio Salado College and CompTIA, a non-profit trade association for information technology professionals, are teaming up to provide students with a reliable pathway to success in the IT industry.

The CompTIA Academy partnership ensures that Rio Salado classes are teaching applicable skills, and it offers significant discounts on the cost of CompTIA certification exams.

“Discounts offered through the CompTIA Academy Partner program vary by certification,” said Gordon Inman, Rio Salado’s Director of Computer Technology. “Rio Salado students pursuing A+ certification save about 55% of the normal price for each exam, and Network+ certification students take the test at about half price.”

CompTIA certifications are recognized by thousands of companies as a predictor of employee success, and the CompTIA Academy Partner Program provides Rio Salado with resources and guidance to ensure the college’s IT curriculum remains relevant.

“We are currently focused on the CompTIA A+ certification,” Inman said. “We offer two computer maintenance courses, BPC170 and BPC270, which prepare students to take the A+ exams. Each course focuses on one of two exams required for the A+ certification. We also offer a LAN course, CIS190, which prepares students interested in the CompTIA Network+ certification.”

Students who take the CompTIA preparation courses will earn college credits that can be applied toward a certificate or degree program.

“What’s great is that our CompTIA prep students aren’t limited to industry certification,” Inman said. “All of the classes are for-credit and can be applied toward our Computer Technology: Networking program.”

Students are encouraged to combine industry certification with a college degree program to best prepare them for career success.

“Industry certification focuses on specific areas of the IT industry. For example, the A+ certification focuses on computer maintenance and repair,” Inman said. “Earning a certificate of completion from Rio Salado goes above and beyond the CompTIA certification, as it explores other important topics that individuals need to be successful.”

“The certificate of completion from Rio Salado uses the input of the local IT industry to select the right courses to help prepare students to enter the IT workforce,” Inman said. “Together they provide a way for students to showcase their knowledge and skills in specific areas of IT via the industry certification and their overall preparedness for working in the IT field via the certificate of completion.”

According to Rio Salado Testing Coordinator Heather Tyler, the CompTIA certification process is perfect for working adults looking for advancement opportunities or those who need to update their skills to change careers.

“I love that we are able to offer our students cost savings and testing options that are flexible and tailor-made for the working adult,” Tyler said. “And I am really excited about the opportunities these certifications will afford our students.”

In addition to preparing students for CompTIA certification, Rio Salado students who already hold industry certifications can have those certifications evaluated for college credit.

“Rio Salado has a fantastic credit for prior learning program in place to accept approved certificates and licenses for class credit,” said Tyler. “We can offer credit for CompTIA certifications as well as industry certifications offered through Adobe and Microsoft.”

Visit for more information on CompTIA certification and credit for prior learning options at Rio Salado College.

This story can also be found in the February 3 edition of the Tempe Republic.