Thursday, August 31, 2017

Successful Student Tip: Engage!

Alt text for blog: Image of Chandler Gilbert Community College volley ball players Rio Salado mascot Splash dressed in a baseball uniform, wearing a cap that reads “Rio Waves,” joined by to other Splash mascots also in uniform.

Successful Students Engage! 

We encourage you to get involved in Rio Salado and Maricopa Community Colleges student life activities! 

By taking part, you’ll increase your chances for success in the classroom, develop life and career-building skills, meet and network with other students and community members and help make a difference in other peoples' lives. 

Visit to learn about the enriching opportunities available to Rio Waves!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My.Maricopa Student Center Outage Sept. 2-3

Student Center Poster.  Text: scheduled maintenance

Scheduled maintenance to the Maricopa Student Center will occur over the next three days. The system will not be available from 11 p.m., Saturday, September 2-- until 7 a.m., Sunday, September 3.

Please plan accordingly.

Get the latest details about services affected

We appreciate your understanding.

10 Steps to Being a Successful Rio Salado Student

snapshot from new video.  Text: Success comes to those who plan

Success comes to those who plan! 

Rio Salado offers many resources dedicated to student success. These resources all share a common strategy: planning! 

This new video highlights 10 steps to being a successful online student at Rio Salado College. 

Check out these additional resources available to you from our counseling team:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Full Class? No Problem-- We're Flexible!

Image of a male and female Maricopa Colleges students smiling.  Text: It's not too late to register.  FLEXIBLE START DATES!

It’s not too late to register with the Maricopa Community Colleges!

We have plenty of 8-14 flexible class options and 45+ start dates to help you stay on track.

Learn what options are available to you!

Start now!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rio Salado Closed Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4

Rosie the Riveter with Rio mascot Splash in graduation cap and gown.  Text: Happy Labor Day

Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, Sept 4.

Here's to all of the hard working students, faculty and staff who are working to achieve academic excellence! 

Enjoy your day off!

Fighting Opioid Epidemic with Education

Ad for new classes.  Image of Dr.  Kirk Bowden.  Text: ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CONTINUING EDUCATION NEW! Non-Credit Seminars* Seminars are online $89 per seminar (15 CE's) Developed & instructed by addictions professionals Work at own pace Online certificates and degrees also available. For a complete list of seminars visit  LEARN MORE TODAY!480-384-9990.  Images of Rio Salado and Maricopa Community Colleges logos. Text: Rio Salado College is a regionally accredited institution and is acredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). Online classes may have in-person components, testing requirements, block calendar guidelines and require proof of legal residency. Payment plan options and financial aid are available to those who qualify. The Maricopa Community Colleges are EEO/AA Institutions.

Rio Salado and Dr. Kirk Bowden Develop Online Continuing Education Seminars for Counselors

Continuing education for addictions and counseling professionals is essential-- especially now, as the United States faces an opioid epidemic and is looking to the addictions and counseling profession for answers on how to resolve this national crisis.

Rio Salado College is offering a series of non-credit, online seminars to help addictions and counseling professionals stay informed about the latest industry developments and strategies, and meet continuing education requirements. 

Visit for a full listing of current offerings.
image of a group in therapy

The 20 seminars focus on topics such as treatments for stimulant use disorders, adolescent substance use disorders, domestic violence and addictions, intervention and treatment for substance use disorders and professional ethics. There are also a series of seminars focusing on eating disorders and behavioral addictions.

Mental health professionals who are providing supervision in academic, training and treatment sites will find ASD285JJ - The Clinical Supervision Training of Supervisors seminar of interest. The seminar reviews the latest legislative initiatives regarding mandated supervisory training, contemporary theory and research regarding best practices in clinical supervision, the identification and development of competencies for supervisees and supervisors and clinical supervision training of supervisors.

When counselors are unaware or ignore cultural differences, they risk the growth of misunderstanding and mistrust. Seminar ASD285II - Multicultural Aspects examines cultural competencies and how human differences affect the counseling relationship. The seminar will address the implications of chemical use/abuse/addiction on multicultural and diverse populations and give participants a chance to explore a variety of cultures with compassion and curiosity. This course will also include three contact hours of professional ethics.

Rio Salado offers 45+ Monday start dates so participants can enroll in courses throughout the year. The cost is $89 per course.  Many seminars have 4, 8 and 14-week completion options and most textbook and course materials are available at no or low cost (<$40). Many seminars do not require additional course materials.

Photo of Dr. Bowden

The seminars were developed under the direction of Rio Salado’s Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden, MAC, NCC, LPC; a well-known industry leader. Rio Salado is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders.

Bowden works with a team of Rio Salado faculty, who are also experts in the field, to create engaging educational content to help professionals stay relevant, informed and connected.

“We have an obligation as addictions and behavioral counseling professionals to stay informed, share news, network and help create solutions,” said Bowden. “These seminars were designed with that in mind.”
Bowden has served as the 2014-16 President for NAADAC, as Grand Canyon University’s Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program and Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education and chair of the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), which accredits college and university addiction studies programs.

As a longtime advocate for continuing education and a proponent for establishing standards for addictions counselors and educators, Bowden has worked to create change in the classroom, through policy and by leading grass roots efforts. Among his priorities has been a call for state behavioral health regulatory/licensing boards to implement a requirement that behavioral health professionals have addiction-specific education and experience before practicing addiction counseling independently. Most states do not have this requirement.

Bowden has also served as the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Substance Abuse Academic Review Committee (ARC) chair since 2015. The ARC is a crucial part of the board's licensing process, responsible for reviewing applications from individuals applying for licensure in Arizona. The ARC also reviews applications from regionally accredited colleges and universities for approval of their addiction counseling degree programs.

The American Psychological Association (APA) recognize Bowden this August with a 2017 Distinguish Career Contribution to Education and Training award for the contributions he has made to the field of addiction science education throughout his career.

“The people of this country need to be protected and deserve to have counselors who are educated, well-informed and knowledgeable about the latest issues, treatments and news about addiction treatment and recovery,” said Bowden. “Rio Salado’s online seminars and flexible start dates make this education affordable and accessible to a greater number of professionals across the country.”

image of a highway.  "Recovery" is etched into it.

While Rio Salado seminars are designed to help addiction and counseling professionals meet their continuing education requirements, they are also available to the public-- giving practitioners a resource to share with the communities they serve.
“Many of our students are parents, teachers and social workers, who, through their daily lives and jobs, encounter people with addiction issues,” Bowden said. “They complete our seminars and courses for a variety of reasons. As such, we are committed to providing quality instruction that will educate and empower professionals and students alike,” said Bowden.
Bowden was invited to join the American Counseling Association (ACA) government affairs staff as a panelist for a Congressional briefing on opioid use disorders on April 4 in Washington, D.C. Among his responsibilities was to give insight into the experience of being an addictions and substance use disorders professional; address some of the challenges industry professionals face and discuss what types of legislation will help counseling professionals strengthen prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. Bowden also emphasized the need for quality education for professionals and those affected by addiction. Watch the hearing now.

abstract photo of a dictionary.  the word help is highlighted.
“We have had an ongoing problem with addiction in this country, but nothing like this opioid epidemic," said Bowden.

"The people of this country need our help so it’s up to us to lead the charge to resolve this conflict by staying informed and relevant, by increasing awareness about the importance of counseling and empowering the people we serve with information and resources to overcome addiction,” said Bowden.

For more information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders programs, visit or call an academic advisor at 480-517-8580.

Friday, August 25, 2017

It Pays to Apply for MCCCDF Scholarships!

Poster with MCCDF logo.  Text: For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, 3,092 scholarships were awarded for a total of $2,195,421

Take advantage of hundreds of scholarships available through the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation! Spring 2018 applications will be accepted Sept. 1-Oct. 15, 2017.

There are several scholarship opportunities specifically for Rio Salado College students and employees, including the James P. Hornburg Memorial Scholarship for students majoring in Law Enforcement and Corrections degree programs at Rio Salado and the Dr. Linda M. Thor Scholarship, which is geared toward helping single moms.

Type “Rio Salado” into the search engine to find opportunities unique to the college.

Image of former MCCCDF scholars

How to apply
Students must have a valid MEID and password to apply and complete a General Scholarship Application to be considered. View current openings by visiting and clicking on Scholarships.

If you need help with your application, do not hesitate to call on Rio Salado’s Counseling Services team.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rio Salado Earns Excellence in Assessment Award!

Rio Salado Class of 2017 Excellence in Assessment Team
Rio Salado was named as one of just five members of the 2017 class of Excellence in Assessment designees, a national program aimed at recognizing universities conducting a comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success.

The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program – the first national designation of its kind – spotlights institutions successfully integrating assessment practices across campus, providing evidence of student learning outcomes, and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance.

President Bustamante
“We are honored by this acknowledgment which recognizes the ongoing commitment and contributions our faculty and staff have made to measure and improve student learning outcomes,” said Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante.

“Creating a culture of evidence is a priority at Rio Salado,” said Bustamante. “Student assessments provide critical data that help us customize learning, identify trends, troubleshoot issues and discover new opportunities to continually improve the way we serve students,” said Bustamante.

Rio Salado College has worked diligently to foster a culture of assessment and analysis for more than 20 years.

VPAA Kate Smith
“We have worked to refine, align and integrate our Total Quality Management Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) strategy throughout the college,” said Rio Salado Vice President of Academic Affairs Kate Smith. “We have developed a model that facilitates intentional collaboration between full-time and adjunct faculty in relation to assessment of student learning. For students, we offer our Student Learning Outcomes Work Lab (OWL), which helps facilitate mastery of its five college-level learning outcomes,” said Smith.

The sponsors of the EIA program are the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), a public college and university transparency initiative led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

The designation was created to acknowledge on a national level the important work colleges and universities are doing through comprehensive assessment activities and to highlight those practices so other institutions can draw upon them for their own efforts. As part of the application process, colleges and universities were asked not just to detail the specific assessment activities they’ve undertaken, but also the reason why such efforts are a priority for them. The designees needed to demonstrate how aligned processes, building from classroom-based assessment, foster a coherent, collaborative approach to assessing student learning.

poster featuring logos of the 5 winning institutions

“The Excellence in Assessment Designation is the first national, jointly sponsored designation to recognize institutions moving assessment of student learning from a compliance exercise to one of meaningful engagement. It highlights the use of evidence of student learning across the entirety of the university setting, involving a variety of stakeholders. Institutions receiving the designation have proved themselves to be truly excellent in their efforts to advance campus processes and use of evidence, serving as exemplars to others for engaging in comprehensive assessment leading to advanced student success,” said Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Director.

The EIA Designations are directly linked to NILOA’s Transparency Framework, and are the first national program designed to recognize institutions engaging in intentional campus-wide assessment. The evaluation process for the designation included a rigorous and systematic self-study and peer review by faculty members and staff who are assessment experts, and include feedback that enables campuses to improve their effectiveness and sharing of best practices. Accredited, degree-granting institutions working to implement and sustain comprehensive use of assessment of student learning outcomes are eligible to receive the designations. The application period for the 2018 class of designees will open in November. More information on the EIA Designation web page.

Rio Salado team pictured above. Back row (left to right): Languages Faculty Chair Angela Felix, Communications Faculty Chair Julie Cober, English, Creative Writing, and New Media Studies Faculty Chair Jennifer K. Shantz, Associate Dean, Institutional Research Dustin Maroney and Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness Zach Lewis. Front row (left to right): Library Services Faculty Chair Hazel M. Davis, Vice President of Academic Affairs Kate Smith and Reading and ESL Faculty Chair Rosslyn Knight.

Federal Work Study Opportunities at Rio Salado!

image of a Rio Salado employee wearing a college t-shirt.

Join our winning team!  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.

help wanted poster. Illustration of hands holding signs that read: "We are hiring," "Jobs"
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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RioCompass: Your Planning Tool for Success!

snapshot from RioCompass video.  Text: Is easier when you have a compass to guide you.

Stay on track, meet your goals and graduate on time with RioCompass-- an online planning tool designed to help you succeed!

This new video will provide an overview of how RioCompass can help you.

Learn more by visiting

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Hartford Honors Rio Salado Apprentices

photo of the new Rio Salado interns.

The Hartford hosted a celebration to honor the first cohort of Arizona students to take part in a new insurance apprenticeship program on Monday, Aug. 14 at Rio Salado College.

The Hartford partnered with the Connecticut Department of Labor, Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services and local community colleges like Rio Salado to develop the program, which will offer an insurance-specific curriculum, paid on-the-job training and mentoring to equip students for key customer-facing roles in The Hartford’s claims operation.

photo from ceremony, featuring four honorees and guests, including Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante

The Rio Salado students honored at Monday’s ceremony were Bob Delgado, Rosemary Vasquez, Heather Martin and Lane Gibbons. Congratulations! 

The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides tuition assistance for participating students through its American Apprenticeship Grant Initiative.

To learn more visit

Visit this page to learn more about The Hartford’s insurance apprenticeship program

Photo 1: (left to right) Rio Salado scholars Bob Delgado, Rosemary Vasquez, Heather Martin and Lane Gibbons

Photo 2: Scholars with (left to right) Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante, Deputy Director of Programs at Arizona Department of Economic Security Sean Price, The Hartford Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion Susan Johnson and The Hartford Vice President of Claims Learning Mark Wagner.

Check out other photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Photos by Rio Salado College photographer Jason Robey.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

New Titles at the Rio Salado Library this August

Book cover for "The Stress Test"  How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper by Ian Robertson.  "You can change and here's the proof," -- Oliver James

Here are the latest additions to the Rio Salado Library!

This is a free service for Rio Waves. You can arrange for free pick up and drop off of your selections at Rio Salado locations across the Valley.



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. To request a title please call the Library at 480-517-8424.

News courtesy of the Rio Salado Library.

It's Go Time! Student Services Open Sat., Aug. 19

Image of a happy young student smiling at camera proudly.  Text: It's go time

The back-to-school rush is here and we're working this Saturday to help you get going! Take advantage of these student services on Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Bookstore will also be open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19 and 26.

The Testing Center, Knowledge Commons and Technology Support Helpdesk will have normal Saturday hours.

Visit our online listings for more details about important dates, closures and extended service hours.

Peak season starts in early August and continues through September.
Splash sitting at a desk with a computer

Here are a few tips to help you avoid lines and hold times on the phone:

Avoid calling during peak times, like Monday mornings. Please click here for suggested times to call. 

Take advantage of self-serve options like the financial aid steps and to-do list

Come prepared before you meet with an advisor by reviewing your program at

For a step-by-step guide on getting started at Rio Salado College visit

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New to Rio? Check Out New Online Student Guide!

snapshot of new web landing page.  Images of students gathered around Rio Salado's welcome center.  Text: Welcome New Students.  A Guide to Help You Get Started with Your Classes.
You're registered for classes... now what?

We have a new, online guide to help new students during their first semester at Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Check it out now!

Succeed with New Student Orientation NSO101

snapshot from NSO101 video.  Text: Take New Student Orientation 101 conveniently online!

We want you to be a successful online student!

Our online New Student Orientation (NSO101) class provides new students with an overview to online learning at Rio Salado College.

This video highlights why NSO101 is the foundation for your college success.

To learn more, visit:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Apply for 2018 MCCCDF Scholarships 9/1-10/15

Image of MCCDF logo and photo of group of scholars.
Rio students, mark your calendars! The next Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation scholarship cycle takes place from Sept. 1-Oct. 15, 2017. The Foundation will be posting scholarship opportunities available for the Spring 2018 semester.

photo of Jessica Chapman
Student Success
Rio Salado College student Jessica Chapman credits her Foundation scholarship for aiding her in going back to school and realizing her dreams.

“I’m working on an AAS in Paralegal Studies, and I just want to keep learning more things,” Chapman said. “I just can’t quench that thirst for knowledge and will definitely be continuing on the path of higher education.”

As a single mother who works full-time, Chapman found Rio Salado’s online classes made it possible to fit education into her life. 

“Rio Salado College offers many fascinating courses and makes education convenient for older students as myself, who have jobs and children,” Chapman said. “I think I will be a lifelong student because there really is so much out there to learn and experience!”

Read more about MCCCDF scholars.

How to apply
Students who wish to apply for a Foundation scholarship must complete a General Scholarship Application to be matched to scholarship opportunities for which you qualify.

Students must have a valid MEID and password to apply.

You can also view current openings by visiting and clicking on Scholarships.

Part-Time Site Support Wanted in Queen Creek

Image of two Rio Salado staff members helping a visitor

Are you looking for a part-time position that puts your customer service skills to good use?

Rio Salado College is looking for a part-time site support representative at the Communiversity at Queen Creek to provide customer service and administrative support to our internal and external customers. 

The Communiversity is located at 21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142.

Job Duties
  • Provides a variety of general and specific information to students, faculty, community leaders and the public regarding courses and programs offered
  • Provides assistance to faculty on classroom technology before and during class if needed
  • Uses multi‐line phones, computers, and general office equipment on a daily basis
  • Assists in the setup of events including Community Room, working with event coordinators and providing additional support during the day of the event
  • Schedules counseling and advising appointments for students
  • Performs tasks in support of the operations at the site
  • Assists with data entry
  • Performs various clerical duties and other duties as assigned

Customer focus oriented; excellent organizational skills; effective written communication skills; ability to work as a team player; computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite to include Word, Excel & PowerPoint; knowledge and experience with general office equipment, phones, copiers, and web based applications; prior administrative/clerical and work in a customer service setting preferred; experience with Microsoft Access and Publisher; experience working in a college or university setting; experience working with people where English is not their primary language; prior experience working with diverse populations.

Hours and Pay Rate
  • Up to 19.5 hours per week
  • Mid‐Day availability preferred with hours to be determined.
  • Must be flexible as hours to be scheduled: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
  • Employee work shifts may change depending on department needs
  • Please note that early morning, evening and/or weekend hours may be requested
  • $10.35/hour 
  • This position is part‐time with no benefits

How to Apply
Please send resume and cover letter, including hours/days of availability to

Learn more about employment opportunities at Rio Salado College by visiting this web page.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Special Saturday Hours for You Aug. 19

Rio Waves Mascot Splash with backpack and books in hand.
The back-to-school rush is here! To help with the increased demands during this busy time, the Rio Salado Tempe headquarters will provide the following student services on Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Bookstore will also be open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19 and 26.

The Testing Center, Knowledge Commons and Technology Support Helpdesk will have normal Saturday hours.

Visit our online listings for more details about important dates, closures and extended service hours.

Peak season starts in early August and continues through September.
Splash sitting at a desk with a computer

Here are a few tips to help you avoid lines and hold times on the phone:

Avoid calling during peak times, like Monday mornings. Please click here for suggested times to call. 

Take advantage of self-serve options like the financial aid steps and to-do list

Come prepared before you meet with an advisor by reviewing your program at

For a step-by-step guide on getting started at Rio Salado College visit

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mediterranean Flavors Cooking Class Sept. 14

Opa! Join us for Mediterranean Flavors, the first cooking class of the 2017 Fall Rio Salado College Community Education Workshop series. The class takes place Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, from 6-8 p.m. at the Café at Rio.

Our professional chefs teach you how to prepare Mediterranean staples such as Spanakopita, Hummus and Red Quinoa Tabbouleh.

Rio Salado College culinary workshops are designed to be fun and low pressure. Come and learn new techniques and recipes to add to your culinary repertoire while most importantly having fun!

After preparing the wonderful, flavorful food, the class will sit down as a group to dine on the delectable fare. Proper kitchen attire is required which includes: close-toed shoes, long pants and long or short sleeve shirt. Please restrain hair while in the kitchen.

The cost to register is $25 for one person, or $40 for two. Register now!

See all the culinary classes offered in the 2017-18 Community Education Workshop series.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Get Credit for What You Already Know!

At Rio Salado College, we know that not all learning takes place in the classroom. That's why our credit for prior learning can help you get college credit for what you already know.

Check out this video on YouTube to find out what types of learning qualify, and how to earn college credit for it. 

With credit for prior learning, you can complete your certificate or degree in less time by taking fewer classes, which saves you money on tuition.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

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!

Learn About Federal Work Study Jobs this August at the Tempe headquarters Aug 14-15.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Get 50% Off a Second CLEP Exam in August

Photo of student with laptop. Accompanying text states Earn college credit with CLEP exams.

To help celebrate the CLEP 50th Anniversary, students who take one CLEP exam in the month of August will get the next exam for half price!

To receive the discount, students must take one exam before registering for a second and enter the code CLEP50 at check out.

The code can only be applied to one CLEP exam and can only be used one time per customer.

CLEP exams are offered at these Rio Salado College testing centers: RSC Tempe, RSC Thomas, RSC Southern, Lifelong Learning Center, Luke Air Force Base and the Communiversity at Queen Creek.

The College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds to earn college credit by examination.

Students can earn credit for what they already know by getting qualifying scores on any of the 33 examinations.

CLEP exams are accepted by more than 2,900 colleges and universities and are offered at 1,800 test centers world-wide.

Learn More.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rio Graduate Earns Multiple Honors

Oliva Mendez with MCCCD
Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick

The civic advocate and future educator credits her single mother for being her inspiration to achieve.

Congratulations to Rio Salado College graduate Oliva Mendez for earning several academic and civic accolades. Mendez recently received a place in the Miracle Corners of the World (MCW) Young Leaders Access program, the Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor’s Civic Leadership Medallion, and the Soroptimist International Live Your Dream award.

The young leader also earned an associate of arts degree from Rio Salado in May – making this spring a particularly memorable time.

Mendez credits her single mother, who left Mexico in pursuit of a better life, for reinforcing the value of hard work.

“My mother would work long hours, arrive home when the kids were asleep, and leave before we woke up,” Mendez said. “We communicated with her through notes.”

Following her mother’s example, Mendez applied for multiple academic scholarships and programs to give herself leadership and volunteer opportunities.

Leadership Preparation

Mendez is one of 50 students internationally to be selected for the MCW Young Leaders Access Program, an intensive, year-long program for youth who want to contribute to positive change.

She is currently attending the group’s “Young Leaders Incubator” program in New York City and Vermont, where participants create action plans to address community issues.

“My project is to encourage the youth population of Arizona to learn more about public policy and how to be civically engaged in our community,” Mendez said.

“My goal is to increase awareness on the local level, then state, national, and eventually global.”

During the remainder of the year, young leaders will implement their plans with the assistance of mentors and online workshops.

Civic Participation

While studying at Rio Salado College, Mendez became active with Arizona Town Hall, a non-profit organization that brings diverse people together to solve critical policy issues.

“I learned how coming together as a community and finding common ground can help find solutions to the issues that no one wants to talk about, like immigration,” Mendez said.

She also served as co-president of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society chapter, and directed a project that emphasized employability skills.

Her Arizona Town Hall and PTK involvement earned Mendez the Chancellor’s Civic Leadership Medallion, which highlights and promotes student civic participation and leadership.

In addition, Mendez received the Live Your Dream award and grant from the Soroptimist International of Phoenix. The organization empowers women and girls and conveyed the award to Mendez to help her pursue her dream of becoming an educator of children.

Next Steps

Mendez is planning to enroll in Rio Salado’s Elementary Education degree program this fall.

“I still plan on attending school to fulfill my goal to be a global educator,” she said. “I will begin my career by teaching third grade in Arizona once I graduate from university.”