Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Soil Building & Sushi Lessons for Beginners!

Flier for workshops.  Text in blog
Get in-person cooking and gardening lessons from the Café at Rio chefs and Sustainable Food Systems team by taking part in Rio Salado's fall 2016 Community Cooking & Gardening Workshops. The next set of lessons will focus on Soil Building and Sushi for beginners!

Visit and click on the Community Education Workshops tab to enroll.

Workshops will take place at the Café at Rio and the Garden at Rio at the Rio Salado headquarters in Tempe. No tests, no grades-- just good old fashion fun in the kitchen!  Get the latest details by visiting this web page.

Soil Building for Beginners
image of a man in a garden, smiling
Sat., Oct. 1
9-11 a.m.  
$15 each

Tired of your clay soil? Do your plants die every summer? Not sure when or how much to fertilize? This workshop will teach you how soil forms naturally and how you can facilitate the process. You'll learn about the benefits of microbes and how to employ no-till techniques to turn your hard clay into rich, loamy earth-- and how nature works in the process.

Sushi for Beginners 
image of colorful sushi
Thu., Oct. 6
6-8 p.m. 
$39 each or 2 for $65
This class is designed to teach you about essential sushi ingredients; how to properly steam and season sushi rice; how to roll a basic sushi roll, inside out roll and hand roll; how to make classic sushi rolls such as spicy tuna, California roll and vegetarian rolls-- and how to eat them!

Proper kitchen attire is required including close toed shoes, long pants, long or short sleeve shirts and hair restraints.

2016 Student Global Leadership Retreat!

photo of 2015 participants

Join us for the Maricopa Community Colleges 2016 Global Leadership Retreat at Lake Pleasant, November 4-6!

The Global Leadership Retreat, which will be held at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant, will bring together domestic and international students from the ten Maricopa Community Colleges for a three-day, event focused on global leadership training.
  • Learn about other cultures
  • Discover intercultural communication strategies
  • Practice conflict resolution
  • Recognize different leadership styles across cultures
  • Explore global sustainability
  • Develop global leadership skills
  • Build trust for better world citizens
  • Make new friends

    Register Now

    Space is limited! Applications are due Friday, October 14.

    Visit this event page for more details.

    Contact Rio Salado's International Education Counselor Heather Windster at 480-517-8164 or via email at if you need help with your application or have additional questions. 

    This program is made possible through support of the Maricopa colleges and the MCLI International & Intercultural Education Office.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Rio Salado Library: Banned Books Week 2016

    mage by East Branch of the Dayton Metro Library under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.  Montage of books keyed into an American flag

    September 25-October 1 is Banned Books Week-- an annual event celebrating the freedom to read!

    Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

    The Rio Salado Library is proud to support this celebration. Explore the Rio Salado Library's: Banned Books Week 2016 resources for more information, including common reasons books are banned and links to banned books that you can check out from Rio and other MCCCD Libraries! 

    Image by East Branch of the Dayton Metro Library under a CC-BY-NC-SA license

    News courtesy of the Rio Salado Library.

    Helping Students Succeed -- PLUS Team Report

    Image of Rio Salado mascot Splash playing the role of a lifeguard on a beach.  Text: PLUS: First in the World Plan for Undergraduate Success

    In May, Rio Salado College launched the PLan for Undergraduate Success (PLUS), a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant-funded project designed to help students succeed!  The following video and report contributed by Rio Salado's PLUS team provide an overview of project goals, challenges, achievements and lessons learned.

    Rio Salado College is undertaking a two-phase research project called PLan for Undergraduate Success (PLUS) to improve teaching and learning in an online environment. This project is funded by a First in the World (FITW) grant by the Department of Education. The goal is to create a model that includes three treatments: a focused grouping of courses (F13), a student success seminar, and strategic interventions provided by a success coach (PLUS Facilitator).

    In the first (current phase), these three treatments are delivered in the standard online course platform. In the second phase, the three treatments will be delivered in an adaptive platform in order to improve teaching and learning for students.

    A major challenge is that lower performance in online classes and a lack of structured and coordinated student support lead to low persistence and completion, both at Rio Salado College and nationwide. Across the nation, tighter budgets have tasked administrators to look for effective cost-saving measures while not compromising on high quality, accessible education. The PLUS Project was conceived by Rio Salado College as part of an effort to find innovative solutions that provide high-quality, affordable education to a diverse demographic of students with a wide-ranging set of needs.

    Rio Salado College has taken several critical steps in the project. To date, there are approximately 2000 students in the program, of which approximately 800 students have received or are receiving interventions. Three student success facilitators (PLUS Facilitators) are in place, and they have initiated thousands of student communications. The Student Success Seminar has been offered since May 2016 and covers topics such as Academic Success, Growth Mindset and Personal Development.  The seminar is taught by the PLUS Facilitators, who leverage technology such as texting and the learning management system to provide relevant, personalized communication to every student. PLUS Facilitators plan, develop and present webinars with topics geared toward student success.

    Additionally, Rio Salado has identified the adaptive platform which integrates with the learning management system. PLUS Instructional Designers receive formal training in the platform. They are working with subject matter experts on course design and content development.

    The impacts of the project are becoming apparent as the project continues. PLUS Facilitators add value by creating dynamic relationships with students, mitigating frustration students report feeling by acting as the single point of contact that provides guidance on a wide variety of challenges a student may face. The PLUS Seminar provides information and guidance on using college systems, as well as addressing critical topics for student success. The recommended courses impact students by virtue of their high historical success rates and provide a doorway to many degree paths.

    Early student response to the facilitators and seminar has been positive, with many students stating that they appreciate the personalized help and guidance they receive. Here are some quotes from the students: “Great class, glad to take.” ”The note-taking strategy was the most valuable thing for me through this course.” “(T)he orientation here will set the students up for success not only as it relates to college but also in their professional lives.”

    Rio Salado has partnered with external evaluator Education Northwest to provide guidance and objective feedback related to the efficacy of the PLUS Project. The Rio PLUS team also monitors key activities and expect to have preliminary results at the end of Phase I next summer.

    The Rio PLUS team has learned that unexpected challenges, especially of a technical nature, can arise at any time. Good planning and a culture of systemic communication is important to minimize delay and any potential negative impact on student success. It is also important to remain flexible to account for system/institutional considerations. For example, the team needed to change the point at which students entered the PLUS Program.

    Overall, the Rio PLUS team is very excited about our progress to date and we look forward to increased student success in the coming year!

    Learn more about Rio Salado's PLUS team and First in the World grant in RioNews.

    About the FITW Grant
    The FITW grant program was created to drive innovation and keep a higher education within reach for all Americans. Of the Rio Salado College grant award, nearly 100% of the $2.6M project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education - Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Free Orientation: Learn How to Be a Teacher!

    image of a hand writing on a chalkboard.  Text: Rio Salado College Teacher Education Orieintation Sessions in-person and webinar.  Free!

    Join Rio Salado's Teacher Education team for a free orientation session -- in-person or online-- to learn how to become a teacher!

    You'll learn about:
    • Rio Salado College's Teacher Preparation program requirements
    • Program expectations and support
    • Registration process and requirements
    • Answers to any related questions you may have

    Rio Salado's Post Baccalaureate programs are designed for people who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited university and would like to become a teacher.

    icon for a calendar
    In-person orientation sessions, 6-8 p.m.

    September 26
    Communiversity at Queen Creek

    October 24, 2016
    Rio Salado College Tempe Conference Center

    November 9, 2016
    Rio Salado College Tempe Conference Center

    The next webinar orientation will take place November 21.  

    Register now.

    Visit this program web page or call 480-517-8140 for the latest details about orientation sessions.

    Friday, September 23, 2016

    PT & Federal Work Study Jobs for Students!

    Rio Salado College has several, part-time student Federal Work Study (FWS) job opportunities that can help you pay for school while you gain valuable workforce experience.

    We encourage you to review the current job openings listed under Part-Time Student Federal Work Study Opportunities.

    Federal Work Study opportunities are need based and do not have to be paid back!

    If you have an interest in a current job opening, please ensure you will meet the following criteria:
    • Complete your FAFSA application for 2016/17 academic year
    • If selected for verification complete all “to do” items in your Student Center
    • Enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours
    • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each semester

    Please submit your resume to the email address noted on the job posting.

    For additional information, please contact our Financial Aid Answer Center at (855) 622 - 2332.

    We hope you will consider joining our team!

    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Date Night Cooking Workshop Friday, 9/23!

    Image of a group of young people cooking under the direction of a chef.

    Any plans this Friday night? Join the Cafe at Rio team in Tempe for a Date Night Cooking Workshop!

    Register now  

    Date Night!
    Fri., Sept. 23
    6-9 p.m.
    $35 for singles, $60 for couples

    Prepare and enjoy a romantic meal for two with the guidance of a professional chef. You will begin with a kale Caesar salad, followed by a chicken saltimbocca paired with a porcini mushroom risotto and lemon garlic brussel sprouts.

    #Tempe #Arizona #foodie #datenight

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Stand for Veterans Resource Fair Oct. 15

    event poster.  East Valley Veterans Center Stand for Veterans

    Rio Salado College is hosting Stand for Veterans-- a free resource fair for veterans on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, where veterans and their family members can access educational, employment and community services.

    The resource fair takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC), 3320 S. Price Road, Tempe.

    “The Maricopa Community Colleges are proud to support those who have served our country by providing the resources they need to obtain a college education and further their career goals,” said Maria Harper-Marinick, Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District.

    The fair will connect veterans to a variety of services designed to help them transition from military service to civilian life. Representatives from several community partners will be on hand, including Goodwill of Central Arizona, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department, Tempe Municipal Court and more.

    event flier.  see event web page for full text:
    Stand For Veterans
    Resource Fair
    October 15, 2016
    8 a.m.-2 p.m.

    ● Career preparation seminar 8-10 a.m.
    ● Hiring event 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    ● College advising and enrollment assistance
    ● Health, wellness, housing services
    ● Legal services and information

    The EVVEC is hosted by Rio Salado College in partnership with the Maricopa Community Colleges.

    “It was always the vision that the East Valley Veterans Education Center would be a place where community partners joined forces to support veterans and their families,” said Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “They deserve our support and it is an honor to serve them in this way.”

    For more information call 480-384-9850 or visit

    @gatesfoundation Profiles Rio Salado College

    snapshot of Washington Post feature.  Images of students engaged.  Text: Today's College Students Have Diverse Needs.  These Two Schools Get It.

    This Washington Post BrandStudio feature contributed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation addresses the diversity of today's students and the challenges they're facing in traditional college settings-- and how colleges like Rio Salado are developing programs and services that are flexible, convenient and tailored to meet their needs. 

    We are honored by this recognition and the support we have received from the
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve student success.  See related blog stories.

    We are eager to help you get started with your educational journey. Take the first step, visit: