Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 #RioGrad Student Speaker Desiree Williams

Photo of Desiree Williams in graduation cap and gown

Desiree Williams is the Rio Salado College 2019 Student Commencement Speaker. 

The formula Desiree Williams used to reach her goal of graduation is simple: hard work, dedication, a ridiculous amount of coffee, and her 3-year-old son. 

“Although I don’t wear a cape or have Incredible Hulk strength, my son has always viewed me as a superhero and I couldn’t let him down,” Williams said. “Growing up, I was a really good kid. After high school, I had a major set-back. I made some really poor choices and had to live with the consequences.” 

Williams chose Rio Salado College to get her life back on track. 

Photo of Desiree Williams

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunities and flexibility that Rio Salado offered,” Williams said. “Being able to stay home with my son, work and attend school seemed absurd, but Rio made it possible.”

Williams had some motivational help to get her through the rigors of school.

“My fiancĂ© was there any time I was overwhelmed or felt like giving up,” she said. “And my son often pretends like he’s going to school by typing on the computer to take an imaginary test.”

Williams hopes this experience will leave a lasting impression on her son.

“I want him to view education as important and put great effort into whatever he chooses to study in the years to come,” she said. “I also want him to know he was my biggest motivation and never my excuse.”

Williams has earned three associate degrees at Rio. She plans on transferring her credits to a bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory science, and to ultimately work in the fields of microbiology and biochemistry.

"Someday I will trade in my metaphoric mom cape for a lab coat,” Williams said. “I will still be a hero in my son’s eyes, but hope to also be a hero to my patients and their families and friends.”

The Commencement ceremony takes place Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Learn more.

Contributed by Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Free Financial Aid Verification May 3!

Grad cap sitting over a pile of money.  Text: Financial Aid Verification Assistance Opportunity

Need help with your financial aid application?

  • Were you selected for verification for the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 aid year?
  • Are you having difficulty with completing your verification documents?
  • Do you need help resolving selective service or veteran status on your “to-do” list?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you'll want to join the Maricopa Community Colleges financial aid team at Rio Salado College on May 3. Staff will be on duty to help answer your questions and guide you through the process!

Verification Assistance Event
Friday, May 3, 2019
10 a.m.–noon

Rio Salado College Tower–Room 515
2323 W. 14th St., Tempe, AZ 85281

College financial aid is available to help eligible students pay for college expenses. College financial aid comes in many forms such as grants, scholarships and student loans. Learn more at www.riosalado.edu/financial_aid.

An Interview with Doreen Pollack, Sustainable Food Systems Adjunct Faculty

Be the you the world needs know banner image

With efforts towards sustainability on the rise, learning how to create sustainable food systems is more important than ever.

Food waste has reached staggering numbers, and over-consumption has created many problems for our environment that must be eradicated in order to create a sustainable future. Here to provide insights on solving this problem is Doreen Pollack, an adjunct instructor here at Rio Salado College within the Sustainable Foods Systems program. Check out our exclusive interview with her below to learn more about our program and discover ways to support local, sustainable food!

Q.   Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Doreen Pollack, and I am an adjunct instructor for Rio Salado College. I have been teaching with Rio Salado for five years, but have been teaching people how to garden for nearly ten years as a Master Gardener. I received the Master Gardener certificate in 2007. I have been sharing my love of gardening and specializing in growing food, all through the Master Gardener program, Home and Garden shows, garden clubs, and workshops and classes through both Tempe and Phoenix. I have also been on local T.V. news shows to discuss topics like growing fruit trees and composting. I have also studied Permaculture, which is defined as an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings with the goal of creating highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems. I was on the board of and the executive director of the Valley Permaculture Alliance, a non-profit whose mission was to teach and inspire people to create a sustainable life-style. I also held a board member position with the American Community Gardening Association.
 Q.   What kind of courses do you teach? What can students expect to learn in your classes? 
I teach AGS 182, Gardening Practice and Techniques. This is a hybrid course, which means we meet both online and in person. There are two labs in the 8-week course where we meet in person at the Rio Salado campus in Tempe. During the labs, we work in the garden, applying the principles covered in the lessons. It is great way to see first-hand how to plant seeds, prepare the soil for planting, identifying plants and pests, and working with compost. Students also share their personal experiences as well.
Photo of tree in Rio Salado College garden Q. What made you decide to teach for Rio’s Sustainable Food Systems program? 
I met the former program director when we were on a committee to put on a Community Garden Conference at Rio Salado several years ago. He and I connected well, and when he was moving on to another college, he asked me if I would like to teach the course. I jumped at the chance!
 Q.   How did you get into the sustainable foods industry? 
My focus is in producing food. This really blossomed after I learned the basic principles and the right time to plant in the Phoenix area. Once I had the rules down, the rest came with practice. We learn all these rules in the AGS 182 course. 
 Q.   If you could tell someone considering enrolling in this program one thing, what would you tell them? 
Speaking for my class, many of the students have told me they really enjoyed the course because of the labs - getting their hands dirty, digging in the dirt, actually seeing compost. It gave them the confidence to garden at home.
 Q.   What steps can we take to make our food systems more sustainable?
We often speak of a carbon foot print, but we need to also consider a food-print. How far does your food travel for you to eat? Grow your own. Buy from local farmers, eat foods in season. No waste. Learn to can or put up what you grow. Share your excess with your neighbors. As consumers, our dollars help drive what is made and sold.
 Q.   What do you think is the greatest detriment to sustainability that we commit as a society? What can we do to solve this? 
Photo of plant growing in Rio Salado College garden
Mass consumerism and the way we easily dispose of items we no longer want or need. The more we buy, the more the companies make. Everything becomes so disposable, and we do not dispose of things properly. Buy less, reuse more. Just simply recycling is not a solution.  
 Q.   What are some ways we can support local food systems? 
Buy from the small farmers. Seek them out at farmers markets, purchase CSA baskets. You usually pay for the season in advance, which provides the money farmers need to get the crop in the ground and harvested for you.
 Q.   Is there anything else you would like to add or other insights you can provide? 
Grow something. When you grow a garden of food, you will learn to appreciate the cost of food at the markets or stores. You will see how long it takes a seed to become a plant to provide you food. All of that takes human involvement, water, and time.
To learn more about the Sustainable Food Systems program and how you can start your sustainability career, please visit riosalado.edu/sustainable.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Preparing for Your Graduation Ceremony May 2!

Image of a student taking a selfie at graduation, dressed in cap and gown, in front of commencement banner and stage.  Images of 2019 grad badges.  Text: Prepare for Your Graduation Ceremony, May 2, 2019!

T-Minus one week to celebrate your graduation! Ready to take part in Rio Salado’s May 2 commencement ceremony? Please refer to this event page for the latest details. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your big night.

The ceremony will take place at the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85003. Students should arrive and register at the Comerica Box Office entrance door on 4th Ave beginning at 5:45 p.m. Lobby doors will open for guests at 6 p.m.

Caps, Gowns & Tassels 
Students can pick up their cap and gown between now and May 2 (before noon) at the Rio Salado headquarters in Tempe. For more information contact 480-517- 8540 or graduation@riosalado.edu.

Rio Salado 2019 grad badge

Grad Badge
Download and share your favorite grad badge. You have three options. This selection is trending as a favorite pick among Rio Wave grads.

Image of a smiling female grad in cap and gown

GradImages will take photographs of graduates receiving their diplomas and when they exit the stage. Proofs of these photos will be made available at www.gradimages.com and can also be purchased directly from GradImages by calling 800-261-2576. Please email inquiries to giservice@gradimages.net.

We will post event photos in the coming weeks via our Facebook account. You are welcome to tag, download and share these photos.

Live Stream
The event will be available via live stream, courtesy of MCTV. Will will share that link with you soon!

snapshot of Rio Salado Snapchat filter, featuring images of students embedded into a filter.  Text: Oh Snap!  We have a filter.  Download Snapchat to use itGo Social
Share your stories, smiles and celebrations using #RioGrad #RioWaves or by using our Snapchat grad filter at Comerica Theatre on May 2.

We look forward to celebrating your big night with you! 

Way to Go #RioGrad Class of 2019!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Opioid Crisis Dialogue April 26, 12-1 p.m.

Poster for event.  Photo of a highway leading into horizon.  "Recovery" is spelled out on roadway.  Text: Rio Salado College A Maricopa Community College Opioid Crisis and Substance Abuse Dialogue, April 26, 2019, 12-1 p.m.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die after overdosing on opioids every day in the United States. 

Learn how we got here, how this public health crisis is impacting our communities and what tools are available to help make recovery possible by taking part in a community discussion this Friday with Rio Salado’s Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden, who is a leading authority on the subject.

Opioid Crisis & Substance Abuse Dialogue
April 26, 2019
12-1 p.m.

Rio Salado Tempe Headquarters, Room 515
2323 W. 14th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Event questions? Please contact katherine.ricker@riosalado.edu, 480-517-8575.

Poster with a woman's eyes staring into camera.  Text: Rio Salado College, Help Make Recovery Possible.

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. Visit www.riosalado.edu/ASD to learn more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Stand Up for Women, Free Community Event 4/26

Stand up for Women poster, featuring silhouette of a woman holding the sun.  Text includes event details as listed https://www.facebook.com/events/338454930131367

Take advantage of Stand Up for Women, a free community event hosted by Women in Transition Services, Fri., April 26 at Fresh Start Women's Foundation in Phoenix!

This one-day event is designed to help women overcome challenges and find resources and employment opportunities to support themselves and their families.

Look for our Phoenix College and Rio Salado College information booth. Staff will be on duty to help advise attendees about the financial aid and admissions process.

For more insights about this event, check out this 99.9 KEZ web page and interview between Marty Manning and Jessica Starr, District Manager of Abacus Staffing and Women in Transition services.

We look forward to being of service to you!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Closing Early for Commencement, May 2!

Image of 2018 commencement post ceremony celebration.  Rio mascot Splash gives a grad a high-five.

Admissions, Records and Registration, Advisement and Financial Aid services will be closing at 5 p.m., Thu., May 2 in preparation for the 2019 commencement ceremony. 

We will resume regular business hours, Friday, May 3. Please plan accordingly.

Get the latest news about our graduation ceremony.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Happy #EarthDay Sustainable Super Heroes!

Poster featuring illustrated image of earth and Rio Salado mascot splash dressed as a super hero.  Text: Earth Day, Save the Planet April 22

We are committed to our Sustainability Pledge, which we adopted as a college core value. It’s not just a matter of teaching others how to be sustainable-- we strive to be a leader in environmental responsibility by incorporating earth-friendly practices throughout our daily operations.

We hope you will join us in this effort by championing Earth Day every day!

Change the World as a Sustainability Super Hero!

Poster featuring a young man working in a garden.  Text: Be the You the World Needs Now.

Ready to start your eco-friendly education? Learn more about Rio Salado’s sustainability programs now.  Be sure to ask about scholarship opportunities to help you get started!

Our program is designed for people who have a passion for food, fair trade and sustainable practices that protect our environment. You can earn a certificate or degree-- and gain real experience with industry experts.

Rio Salado Hosts Insurance/Risk Management Career Night

Photo of panelists at Insurance/Risk Management Career Night
Left to right: Dana Schmidt, Catherine Gleason, Sherry McFadden, Jazmyn Miller

On April 16, the Rio Salado College Insurance Studies program and Arizona Christian University welcomed students, industry professionals, and community members to an Insurance/Risk Management Career Night to learn more about this thriving industry. 

The event featured time to network with hiring employers and a diverse lineup of speakers including:
  • Dr. Edward A Clavell, Associate Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Theology at Arizona Christian University
  • Dr. Lily Davidov, Insurance Studies Faculty Chair at Rio Salado College
  • Chris Behymer, Insurance Studies Faculty at Rio Salado College
  • Chris Nero, Ottawa University and Rio Salado College Student
  • Cindy Angelini, Apprenticeship Manager at The Hartford
  • John Walters, Senior Branch Manager at Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Lamont Boyd, CPCU and Insurance Market Director
  • Sherry McFadden, Director of Custom Care (Sales) Center at State Farm
  • Jazymn Miller, Lead Sales Representative at Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Dana Schmidt, Human Resources Business Consultant at Nationwide
  • Catherine Gleason, Team Leader at The Hartford

John Walters shares his insights at Insurance/Risk Management Career NightThe focus of the event was on the diverse career opportunities available in the insurance industry.
“The insurance industry is one of the most welcoming and holistic industries,” said John Walters, Senior Branch Manager at Liberty Mutual Insurance. “We have a spot for every one of you.”

Lamont Boyd shares insights with attendees at Insurance/Risk Management Career NightLamont Boyd, facilitator for the panel discussion, expanded on this idea:
“Study what you feel comfortable with, what you are good at, and make sure and be able to communicate, problem solve, and work in groups, and there will be an opportunity for you in the insurance industry.”

Attendees left the event with a much better understanding of the industry and the kinds of opportunities that await them.
One student shared, “My biggest takeaway was that the insurance industry is actually an amazing industry for any student looking to build a long-term full-time career. It completely broke the stereotype that I had about insurance agents being just sales people, and it is amazing how insurance keeps the world running and helps people achieve dreams.”
To learn more about the Insurance Studies program and how you can start your insurance career, please visit riosalado.edu/insurance.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Meet Rio Salado’s 2019 All-AZ Honorees

Left to right: John Bastian, Kate Smith, Macyn Bradley, Karen Bradley, Andrea Martinez,
Melanie Abts, Rachelle Clarke and Vincent Martinez.


Each year, participating Arizona colleges nominate two students for the All-AZ Academic Team. The honor includes tuition to one of Arizona’s three state universities and a cash scholarship. Students are chosen for demonstrating academic excellence and leadership and service to the community.

Rio Salado’s 2019 All-AZ honorees are Karen Bradley and Andrea Martinez.

Bradley with Rio Salado
Interim President Kate Smith
Karen Bradley
At one point in her life, Karen Bradley was belittled for not having a college degree. Today she is a champion for early childhood education, advocate for at-risk women and children, single mother to six children, caregiver to her mother and a Rio Salado College honor student.

“Going to college at this stage in my life was a hard decision, both emotionally and financially,” said Bradley. “Receiving the All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship made me realize that I made the right decision. It also bolstered my confidence and helped me realize that earning a college degree is a goal I can achieve.”

With a passion for helping those in need, Bradley decided to pursue an associate degree in family life education at Rio Salado College.

“Because I enrolled at Rio Salado, I had the opportunity to complete my studies online while continuing my community and volunteer activities,” Bradley said. “To be able to take what I was learning and immediately put it into practice was a wonderful opportunity.”

Those efforts include founding The House of Timothy, a non-profit organization that supports pregnant women and new parents with the education and skills they need to create strong family environments.

She also leads “Mom and Me” classes at the Compassion Care Center, and volunteers with the New Mercies Pregnancy Center, both in San Tan Valley.

“As a former foster parent, I saw a tremendous need to educate parents and provide them with education, resources and crisis prevention,” Bradley said. “All too often I saw children removed from their homes because parents were never given these tools.”

In recognition of her extensive volunteer work, leadership and outreach awareness, Bradley was named 2018 Pinal Champion for Young Children by First Things First.

Her educational accolades include being named to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Bradley has already started taking classes at Northern Arizona University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.

“My goal is to become a family life educator and to ultimately manage a family resource center, a place where parents can find support, education and the resources to grow healthy families.”

Andrea Martinez
As a self-described “student of the world,” Andrea Martinez has a diverse background.

She lived in Sweden to study its culture and language. She learned about the stock market while working at an investment firm. She deepened her compassion for humanity while working for an international health non-profit. And she grew curious about how laws are passed while working at a governmental organization.

The one thing missing in her career? A college degree.

“I wanted to expand my education so that I can make a difference in the quality of life for our Arizona communities,” Martinez said. “This knowledge will open more doors for my professional growth and opportunities in public policy.”

Career growth is one reason Martinez decided to earn a college degree. The other is her parents.

“I look at my parents as the most influential people in my life,” said Martinez, who was the sixth of seven children. “My father was a veteran who worked at a job for 25 years that offered no advancement, and my mother maintained our home and didn’t attend college.”

“Having survived WWII, my parents were very practical and humble,” Martinez continued. “At age 61, my mother returned to the workforce as a retail clerk, to later retire at 74 as a university dean’s assistant.”

“No longer do I frame their life together as uninspired,” Martinez said. “Rather, it is a legacy, a tribute to loyalty and self-sacrifice. Finishing my degree is my goal and the legacy I wish to leave to my own two daughters.”

A successful Rio Salado College student, Martinez earned a certificate and associate degree in public administration (2014-16) before returning for her associate degree in general studies.

As a member of the college’s PTK chapter, Martinez participated in many activities including Healing Arts Day, and Free Arts for Abused Children Arizona. She also volunteered for the Be A Leader Foundation and gave her time to a local high school senior girls’ leadership program.

“As an enthusiastic advocate for others, it brings me great satisfaction to help individuals see their worth and value as it unfolds,” Martinez said.

She plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University’s online program to earn a bachelor’s degree in humanities and hopes to one day work at the state level as an executive assistant in public policy. 

Photo of Karen and Andrea at awards ceremony

Congratulations Karen and Andrea!

Contributed by Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator.

Spring GED Test Prep & ESL Classes

Poster featuring a woman smiling at camera.  Quote: “I started my new life at Rio Salado College. They gave me the opportunity to grow. So now I have strong roots and all the tools I need to succeed.” - Maria Gomes.  Text: English Language and GED Test Prep Classes.  Enroll Now.  Register for June 10 GED Test Prep classes by May 29 deadline!

Ready to go back to school? We’re ready for you! 

Our adult re-entry programs are designed to help students learn the English language, prepare for GED® tests and transition to college.

Get started now: www.riosalado.edu/programs/abe.

Flier for Rio Salado GED TEST Preparation In-Person Classes.  Text in blog.  Additional details at www.riosalado.edu/ged.  Image of Rio HSE student speaker Heather Lyn Ashman. Quote: “Returning to school was a stepping stone on a path to becoming the person I always was, but needed to prove to myself to be.”
The next set of GED test prep classes begin June 10. Apply by May 29 to get started. Call 480-517-8110, email gedinfo@riosalado.edu or visit www.riosalado.edu/ged.

Rio Salado College serves as the principal provider of GED test preparation programs for the Maricopa Community Colleges and the largest provider of adult basic education in the state of Arizona.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Opioid Crisis & Substance Abuse Dialogue April 26

Poster for event.  Photo of a highway leading into horizon.  "Recovery" is spelled out on roadway.  Text: Rio Salado College A Maricopa Community College Opioid Crisis and Substance Abuse Dialogue, April 26, 2019, 12-1 p.m.

Has your family, friends or community been touched by the opioid epidemic? Join Rio Salado College for a discussion about our country’s substance abuse and addiction public health crisis-- and how it’s impacting our communities, Friday, April 26 at the Rio Salado Tempe headquarters.

Rio Salado’s Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden, who is a leading authority on the subject, will be joined by Rio Salado Faculty Chair for Counseling Melanie Abts and Counseling Adjunct Faculty Gary Zarchy to lead the discussion and field questions from guests.

Opioid Crisis & Substance Abuse Dialogue
Rio Salado Tempe Headquarters, Room 515
2323 W. 14th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281
April 26, 2019
12-1 p.m.

Event questions, please contact katherine.ricker@riosalado.edu, 480-517-8575.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die after overdosing on opioids every day in the United States. Learn how we got here and what tools are available to help make recovery possible.

Poster with a woman's eyes staring into camera.  Text: Rio Salado College, Help Make Recovery Possible.

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. Visit www.riosalado.edu/ASD to learn more.

Monday, April 15, 2019

CPLC Engagement Center Empowers Maryvale

Snapshot of web news story by CronkiteNews, featuring image of CPLC grand opening ribbon cutting.  Text: New Chicanos Por La Causa fcenter to empower Maryvale through education, jobs.

Our community partner, Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) has a new Engagement Center in Maryvale to help empower west-side locals through education, job skills training and youth engagement programs.

This Cronkite News story provides a brief about the services available-- including educational advisement and counseling from Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges.

“We are here to offer access to information and opportunities for anyone in the community, young and the not so young, who has a need for betterment in life, access to a job or better jobs,” said Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick.

The 8,200-square-foot center located at Desert Sky Mall is open 7 days a week—and allows CPLC and its partners to host job fairs, workshops, GED® test prep classes and other workforce programs. Rio Salado and Maricopa Community Colleges counselors will be available at the center on the weekends to help students enroll in school and review their education options.

LaTina Watkins, a Rio Salado student success coach is using the center to secure resources for students she serves at Rio Salado’s Thomas location.

“Rio Salado and Chicanos Por La Causa is giving opportunity to low-income families, or minorities, or even just people who don’t know exactly what they want to do with their lives or how to go about doing things in their lives,” Watkins said.

Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) is one of AZ's largest nonprofits, with services in Housing, Economic Development, Education, and Health/Human Services.  To learn more, visit cplc.org

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Celebrating National Library Week!

First recognized in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

Check out this National Library Week guide, created by the Rio Salado Library. It highlights many of the practical resources and services that make the Rio Library an indispensable source of student support and an asset to the Rio Salado College community.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Connect with Other Students via RioLounge!

Banner with text: Join RioLounge

Join RioLounge on Facebook-- your channel to connect with other students!

RioLounge is a Facebook group created to help you connect with other students and network with community members who can support you as you pursue your education.

Post notices about buying and selling books, chat about classes and experiences, find study partners and engage in other things that are important to you!

Here’s how to become a member:
We will send you a confirmation and then you can begin sharing with the group.

This Facebook group is closed to RioLounge members only.

While you’re there, be sure to like, follow and share a review!

Engage with us via these other social channels:

Top 8 Benefits of an Insurance Industry Career!

Group photos of young insurance agents gathered around a table

Many employees agree that benefits are an important aspect of choosing a job. The insurance industry, in particular, offers unique benefits to employees looking for a career in this lucrative field, which gives employees the opportunity to maintain a rewarding job with great benefits. Check out this list of incredible benefits, and get a behind-the-scenes view at a career in the insurance field.

1. Plenty of Jobs
One of the best aspects of working in the insurance industry is the vast selection of career paths to choose from. This is something people considering an insurance job find out quickly, as there are a large range of positions available within the industry. The following are just some of the positions you can have in this field:
  • Claims adjuster
  • Insurance investigator
  • Policy processing clerk
  • Sales agent or broker
  • Underwriter
  • Loss control specialist
  • Actuary
  • Marketing specialist
Having options like these allows you to begin at the bottom and work your way up or even give you the opportunity to enter the insurance industry later in life, especially if you have previous experience with similar positions. Some people with excellent math skills, for instance, choose to begin working as an actuary because of their special skill set. Others aren’t sure what part of the industry they want to work in so they begin as a sales agent or processing clerk and advance to being a claims adjuster. No matter what you choose, the possibilities are wide open for you!

2. Room for Advancement
The insurance industry is not a static environment for employees at all. It is a field that encourages and supports career growth. This could be through a specific course offered by the company, training on the job, various certifications, and even educational advancement. Each company may be different in what they expect from their employees, but insurance is a field that is all about communication and collaboration. Developing these two skills are essential for advancing through the ranks.

To succeed and advance in the insurance industry, it is vital to develop your interpersonal and professional skills in ways that benefit the company directly. With a combination of training, education, skill development, and certifications, such as a state license or educational certificate, your insurance career outlook can maintain an upward slope.

3. Job Security
Insurance is one of those components that our society needs and can’t seem to go without. There are also laws and regulations in place that require businesses to be insured as well. This means there is a type of insurance for nearly every aspect of life, from everything including home or auto insurance to health and life insurance to liability insurance.

Thanks to the high demand for insurance, there is also a great need for employees in the industry. Overall, there is a 5% expected growth in the industry workforce and a 9% increase for jobs such as an insurance actuary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of the need for this industry, a career in the insurance field is a safe bet that won’t be disappearing with the whims of the economy.

4. Increasing Opportunity
One of the biggest benefits is that the industry is growing, which means there are more opportunities available to potential employees. According to the Insurance Journal, the number of insurance agents retiring in 2018 reached a staggering 25%. This is because nearly half the industry is comprised of employees over 45-years-old!

However, it is not just sales agents and brokers, which is something you need to remember as you develop your career goals. The current workforce is aging and retiring, which leaves the field wide open for newer and younger employees to learn from the industry’s top leaders and take over the business. This is a big contributor as to why the insurance career outlook is so promising for up-and-comers. 

5. Industry Growth
Each year, new laws and regulations are put in place that make insurance more necessary than ever. This could be for businesses, the auto industry, or even homeowners. The work you do meets the demands of the public as well as the law for insurance, helping to protect businesses and consumers against possible damage. Whether it is in the public, private, or even government sectors, there is a growing need for insurance, which means there is an increasing opportunity for you to begin a career in this industry.

6. Flexible Schedule
Chances are you may have a flexible work schedule as you pursue your insurance career. This is because many of the positions involve fieldwork. A claims adjuster, for example, doesn’t just sit behind a desk; they go out and inspect incidents, look for damage, and conduct interviews to determine how large a specific payout should be. This keeps the work interesting and eventful, often leaving you to arrange your schedule to best perform your duties. If you are looking for an exciting career that allows you to get outside and work with others, this may be the perfect option for you.

7. Rewarding Work
Photo of an insurance agent working with a couple, sitting around a table using a laptop

Although many don’t usually think of the world of insurance as a rewarding career opportunity, working in insurance means you are constantly helping people who need it. You could sell a family car insurance to keep them safe out on the road, help individuals find the right health insurance, or connect with other insurance companies on behalf of your client. The need is everywhere, and you can help shape the way the industry works.

Insurance companies also often contribute to charity, with money going to various organizations for education, community outreach, and health services. You have the chance to provide money to policyholders when disaster strikes, help someone find the right insurance, or directly contribute to charity work. Who knew the insurance industry could be so rewarding?

8. Unique Employer Benefits
While the industry itself offers a ton of great benefits, like growth, numerous career opportunities, and more, many insurance employers will often offer their own set of unique benefits to attract new employees and retain their current talent. Various USAA locations, for instance, offer on-site gyms, “healthy points,” parental benefits, tuition assistance, and much more. State Farm, too, is known for their tuition assistance programs and will sometimes even offer basic education courses on-site at various locations, giving you the flexibility you need to maintain a well-balanced life.

Consider Your Career Choices
Choosing a career is an important step in anyone’s life, so it is vital to do proper research into the industry you are thinking about and explore what kind of jobs are available to you. The insurance industry is a secure business with plenty of job opportunities for people of various skill levels and interests. Whether you prefer working with people or with numbers, companies need people like you to join their teams. With all the insurance career benefits available, it’s not difficult to see why this is such an amazing field to join. 

Poster with Rio Salado logo and text: Turn Your Compassion into a Meaningful Career
Contact us today, and learn more about how we can get you started with your Insurance Studies certificate! Rio Salado College offers numerous opportunities for you to expand your educational horizons to help you get the career you’ve always dreamed of. 

Contributed by Rio Salado's Insurance Studies team.

Attend Our Insurance/Risk Management Career Night on April 16!

Rio Salado College Insurance/Risk Management Career Night

The Arizona insurance industry is growing, and employers are looking for talented individuals like you to be part of the next generation of insurance professionals. 

Join us for our Insurance/Risk Management Career Night on Tuesday, April 16 at Arizona Christian University to explore all of the career options this industry has to offer!

Register now!

This event will give attendees an opportunity to:
Hear from professionals currently in the industry
Connect with key people in the industry
Learn about scholarship and apprenticeship opportunities
Discover the educational path with Arizona Christian University & Rio Salado College
Enjoy FREE pizza & gift card giveaways!

Registration is FREE and open to Maricopa Community Colleges students, staff, alumni and the public.

Insurance/Risk Management Career Night
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Arizona Christian University
1 Global Place
Glendale, AZ 85306

Please bring your resume (or any other material to hand out) and be prepared to introduce yourself and interact with potential hiring managers, which could lead into a successful career path! Come prepared with a few questions to ask our panelist as well.

Rio Salado College is proud to join Arizona Christian University as a co-sponsor for this event.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Register for April 15 GED® Test Prep by April 3!

Banner featuring Rio HSE student speaker Heather Lyn Ashman.  Quote: “Returning to school was a stepping stone on a path to becoming the person I always was, but needed to prove to myself to be.”  Other text: GED® Test Preparation In-Person Classes.  Register for April 15 classes before April 3 deadline.

Begin your educational journey this spring! 

Rio Salado’s adult re-entry programs are designed to help students prepare for GED® tests, learn the English language and transition to college. 

Get started now: www.riosalado.edu/programs/abe.

The next set of GED® test prep classes begin April 15 and June 10. Apply by April 3 to get started April 15.

Registration Information:
  • Registration fees range between $25-70, based on a sliding scale
  • Registration must be completed in-person
  • Registration takes 20-30 minutes to complete
  • Applicants must be at least 16 years old to enroll
  • Morning and evening schedules available

Flier for Rio Salado GED TEST Preparation In-Person Classes.  Text in blog.  Additional details at www.riosalado.edu/ged.  Image of Rio HSE student speaker Heather Lyn Ashman.Need help getting started or finding a Valley location near you? Call 480-517-8110, email gedinfo@riosalado.edu or visit www.riosalado.edu/ged.

Rio Salado College serves as the principal provider of GED® test preparation programs for the Maricopa Community Colleges and the largest provider of adult basic education in the state of Arizona.

Pictured here is Heather Lyn Ashman, Rio Salado’s 2017 High School Equivalency (HSE) student speaker. Learn more about her educational journey in RioNews.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Dental Hygiene Reunion at WRDC, April 4-6!

Collage of group photos of dental hygiene students at pinning ceremonies, graduation and at dental clinic.

Attention Dental Hygiene Rio Grad! The Rio Salado Alumni Association is hosting a hospitality suite for you at the Arizona Dental Association's 2019 Western Regional Dental Convention at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa April 4-6. 

We hope you’ll drop by to reunite with faculty, staff and other graduates, enjoy refreshments and pick up some college mementos.

The Hospitality Suite will be available:

Thu., April 4: 5-6 p.m.
Fri., April 5: 8-9 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Please RSVP via email to todd.aakhus@riosalado.edu with Rio Salado College Dental Program Alumni in the subject line.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more about this event at westernregional.org/2019