Monday, August 18, 2014

The College Within Everyone's Reach

Rio Salado grad Kristi Houston
If you’re a new student or helping someone begin a college career and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the process—you’re not alone. Here’s a look at some of the most common challenges new students face and solutions Rio Salado can provide to help you succeed.

Time is an issue for just about everyone. For Kristi Houston of Springerville, Arizona, time and accessibility were major challenges. “Being able to take classes online, on my schedule, is what made it all possible,” said Houston, who earned an associate degree from Rio Salado in computer technology in May 2014.

Rio Salado opened its doors to the public in 1978 as “the college within everyone’s reach,” with the mission of making education accessible to anyone with a passion for learning. Along the way it has become a pioneer and innovative leader in online learning. Today, Rio Salado’s flexible Monday start dates, 600+ online classes, evening, in-person and hybrid classes give full-time workers, parents and other busy individuals the flexibility to learn on their time and terms.

Without a doubt, cost and affordability weigh heavy on students’ minds. Two-thirds of respondents in a 2014 College Savings Foundation survey said their obligation to support family was the primary reason they were not continuing their education.

As a Maricopa Community College, Rio Salado offers classes at $84 a credit—a fraction of the tuition of many four-year colleges—while providing the same general education required by many universities. The college also has agreements with 40+ universities to help students seamlessly transfer their credits toward specific degree programs.

According to the Chronicle for Higher Education, nearly 60-percent of new students across the nation require some kind of remedial or developmental coursework. At Rio Salado, it’s approximately 69-percent.

Rio Salado has a variety of programs and services designed to help veterans and civilians alike meet the fundamental challenges of learning and transitioning back into the classroom through specialized remedial coursework and tutoring.

Rio Salado’s College Bridge Pathways also help adult learners prep for GED© exams, acquire English language skills, strengthen academic skills, build confidence and launch a college career.

Rio Salado grad Gina Boesch
“I know that the skills I learned at Rio Salado and the support I received from the staff and faculty have given me the tools and confidence I need to succeed in my career,” said 2012 Commencement speaker Gina Boesch, who was recently accepted into ASU’s Master of Education and Arizona Teacher Certification (InMAC) program.

“What Rio Salado is doing for adult students like me is life changing,” said Boesh, who encouraged her husband and friend to attend Rio Saldo, both of whom graduated with associate degrees in May 2014.”

Regardless of your starting point or challenges, Rio Salado is ready to help with personalized advisement, assistance with registration, financial aid, start-up scholarships and orientation programs to introduce you to college life and online learning.

To learn more call 480-517-8580 or visit 

This story can also be found in the Aug. 16 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.