Thursday, October 31, 2019

Do You Struggle With Hunger? We Have Options

Graphic shows a student wearing headphones, eating a pizza while studying

Did you know one in seven people struggle with hunger in Arizona?

On any given day, thousands of students struggle with chronic hunger, which means they may not know where they’re going to get their next meal.

Are you struggling with hunger? Let us help you.

We’re prepared to provide emergency relief services to Rio Salado College students across the country through a non-profit meal delivery service.

Remember, you are not alone. Do not hesitate to contact one of our counselors if you need help overcoming food insecurities interfering with your academic performance. Call (480) 517-8785 or click here for immediate assistance.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Rio Salado Northern Testing Center Closed Nov. 1-2

Graphic with students at a computer with the messaging, "Testing Center Alert! Northern Closure - Nov. 1-2

The testing center at Rio Salado Northern will be closed Friday, Nov. 1-Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, for building renovations.

The center will reopen at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019

Dental Continuing Education... Learn At Your Own Pace

Graphic shows a dental chair inside of a dental office with the words "Rio Salado College Dental Continuing education" on the graphic

Did you know Rio Salado College offers non-credit online and hybrid courses that provide continuing education hours for the registered dental hygienist and dental assistant?

With online accessibility and classes that start every Monday, it allows students the freedom to work at their own pace prepare for the Dental Assisting National Board exams.

Students will receive hands-on training during in-person labs in courses such as Coronal Polishing, Dental Radiology, Fluoride Update and more.

Contact our dental department today to learn more. Call 1.800.729.1197 or visit us online.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Rio Salado’s Academic Advisement and Financial Aid departments Closure Nov. 1, 2019

Graphic Shows a sign that says, "Sorry We're Closed."

Closure alert for students!

Rio Salado’s Academic Advisement and Financial Aid departments will be closed on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., so staff can attend a student success conference.

Winning Ways For The Rio Waves

Graphic shows woman holding the ACE Award

Congratulations are in order after a big win for Rio Salado College. 

Rio Salado’s Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) program received the 2019 First Generation Advocate Award.

Hosted by Northern Arizona University with attendees and nominations from nearly a dozen states and colleges, it was an honor for Rio Salado College to be recognized with this award. Representatives from those states and colleges shared best practices on:

· Advocating for the first-generation students

· Educating institutions about what first gen students are and what they aren’t

· Supporting these students as they realize their potential.

Did you know 78 percent of our students are the first generation in their family to attend college? Rio Salado’s Adult ACE program serves adults 16-70 years of age who are pursuing a high school equivalency diploma, and, initially in many cases, don’t plan to continue to college.

The Adult ACE program offers students a scholarship, a dedicated program specialist who is with them from the day they start, a prescribed class sequence with classes taken one at a time, and a cohort of students who will be their peers from day one.

“I am proud to know that MCCCD and Rio Salado have been consistently supportive and dedicated to the success of the first-generation students,” said Kate Packer, Rio Salado Instructional Services Manager.

Learn more about FirstGeneration Student Success.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

No Waitlists for Rio Salado GED & ESL Students

Snapshot of azcentral story, photo of two young women studying.  Headline Thousands are on waitlists for adult education; Arizona hasn't increased funds since 1998.  By Lily Altavena, Arizona Republic

What is the state of adult education in Arizona?
This azcentral story by reporter Lily Altavena provides insights into adult education funding and waitlists— and the lives of students who found a pathway through Rio Salado College’s GED® Prep and English as a Second Languages classes— which do not have waitlists.

Then check out this KJZZ follow up interview between Lily Altavena and The Show’s Lauren Gilger to get additional details.

Ready to go back to school? We’re ready for you. Get started now at

Pictured above are Rio Salado GED Prep students Melina Gutierrez and Ruth Camacho who shared their story with reporter Lily Altavena.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Rio Salado College Wins 2019 NACCE Fast Pitch Competition and People’s Choice Award

photo shows contest winner holding $21,000 check with 5 other people in the photo

Rio Salado College’s Incarcerated Re-Entry (IRE) team won the Fast Pitch Trades Competition at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) annual conference in Newport Beach, CA on Oct. 15, 2019.

 The prize, $21,000. The team also took home the People’s Choice Award, which included a $1,000 cash prize.

The fast pitch entry was submitted by Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Applied Technology Rich Cuprak, who took to the stage with Rio Salado IRE Director Lisa Preston, to make a compelling case for funding to purchase electronic training kits.

The training kits will help IRE students at Perryville and Lewis prisons learn skills that are in high-demand in the Construction-Electric industry. These additional skillsets will help increase their prospects for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities— and hopefully reduce their rates of recidivism.

“Funding is tight, and we didn’t have the resources to procure these training kits, so this award means a great deal to us and the students we serve,” said Rich Cuprak.

“This win is really about the students, said Lisa Preston. “The money will go a long way in helping them to hone skills necessary to gain employment, which will increase their chances of success upon release. I am so fortunate to be a part of a program that, through education, provides individuals the opportunity to turn their lives around.”

Pictured above (left to right): President and CEO of the NC IDEA Foundation Thom Ruhe, Rich Cuprak, Lisa Preston, Incoming CEO of the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Carlene Cassidy, The Lemelson Foundation Coordinator Rachel Brunette and Founder of the Manodharma Raj Rajagopal.

Are You Taking Advantage of These Discounts?

Graphic reads Free Student Discount Program, sign up today.

Everyone loves a great deal, right? How about thousands of great deals?

Take advantage of being a Maricopa Community College student and sign up for Maricopa Perks to access exclusive offers and discounts.

The PerkSpot is where students can find discounts in nearly 25 different categories on a wide range of items.

Sign up and start saving today.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Have You Checked Out FATV?

graphic shows a woman on a laptop smiling. Words over the graphic reed, "Have questions about financial aid?"

How much is it going to cost to sign up for all my classes? 

How much will books cost? When do I have to pay? How am I going to pay for all of this?

If you have any of these financial aid questions, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with FATV Get Answers videos. 

Students can check out a series of videos to help navigate the financial aid process. What is financial aid? How do I apply for financial aid? Do I qualify for financial aid? Find the answers to these common questions and more through FATV.

Check it out now.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Veterans... Are You Ready For Your Interview?

Graphic of a groupd of people in work attire, with the words "veteran hiring expo" written across.

Are you a veteran looking for work?

Come out to the Veteran Hiring Expo at GateWay Central City Campus on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.

This is NOT a career fair. All candidates are pre-matched for interviews to be conducted the day of the event. Vets will meet with employers who value their skills and experience.

Come dressed for success and bring copies of your resume.

This event is for U.S. veterans, transitioning military members, disabled veterans and military spouses.

If you want to be a part of this event, Register Now.

Thank you for your service.

Celebrate National Food Day with Our Sustainable Food Systems Program

With National Food Day approaching on Oct. 24, there are a number of ways to celebrate! Check out this Q&A interview with our Cafe at Rio Program Director, Michael Hodgins, as he shares his views about this important holiday.

Q. Why is National Food Day so important?
A. National Food Day is important because it raises awareness about food issues in the United States. Things like hunger, food justice, food health and education, sustainable growing practices, fair treatment of food workers and farm animal welfare, to name a few.

Q. How can people celebrate National Food Day?
A. There are many meaningful ways to celebrate National Food Day! People can celebrate by going to a planned event, like the Phoenix Food Day & Healthfest celebration on October 26, 2019 (at the Cartwright Community Garden, 4208 N. 51st Ave. from 9am to 2pm). Or folks can visit a farmer’s market and purchase local produce to come home and prepare with family and friends.

Q. How does the Café @ Rio celebrate local food choices and sustainable food systems?
A. At the Café @ Rio, we like to think of every day as food day. We are committed to serving fresh foods that nourish the body and soul. As such, we have an onsite garden used by Sustainable Food Systems students, and the fresh produce is used by the Café @ Rio. On Thursday October 24, 2019, the Café @ Rio will even be featuring Farm-to Fork specials to celebrate National Food Day.

Q. How can people create their own sustainable food system or incorporate local food choices at home?
A. At Rio Salado College, we look at sustainability as, “meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” If you add the word "food" into that statement, it becomes, “meeting the food needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own food needs.” A sustainable food system uses practices that work in tandem with the Earth, rather than depleting its natural resources. Some ways to eat more sustainably include buying from local farms to reduce food miles and increase nutrient density, eating a more plant-based diet, eating lower on the food chain, and eating foods that are in-season.

Q. Do you have any favorite "healthy choice" recipes that you would like to share with us?
A. Yes! You can check them out here.

Want to learn more about our Sustainable Food Systems program? Check out our website here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Faculty Chair Awarded for Fighting Opioid Epidemic

Collage of Kirk Bowden photos and awards

Dr. Kirk Bowden has sounded a battle cry for years about the way the United States should treat addiction and the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Kirk Bowden
“The solution is education,” said Bowden, a nationally recognized addictions and counseling expert who serves as Rio Salado College’s Faculty Chair of Addictions and Substance Use Disorders and Professor-in-Charge of Ottawa University’s Addiction Counseling Program.

His message is being echoed by other behavioral health specialists and finally gaining traction among local and federal agencies and community leaders.

“Prison is not the answer,” said Bowden. “We need to treat addiction as a disease, not as a crime and the only way we’re going to do this is through education. I’m talking about education for people living with addiction, their loved ones and service providers— especially their medical doctors and therapists— really all of us.”

Bowden at 2019 NAADAC
Award Ceremony 
Bowden was recognized this October for his efforts to champion addictions education by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, which honored him with the 2019 Educator of the Year Award. He was also recognized by the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE), which presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award named after Dr Dick Wilson, a renowned California addiction counselor, educator and pioneer in establishing and upholding academic accreditation standards for addiction counselor programs.

“[Bowden] has successfully advocated nationally and in the state of Arizona for improving addiction counselor education and licensing standards.” Said former INCASE President Dr. Edward Reading, who presented Bowden with his lifetime achievement award at the NAADAC conference in Orlando, Florida earlier this month. “His successful efforts provide for greater protection of the public and improves the perception of addiction counseling professionals.”

photo of NAADAC award
“Bowden has written more than 30 addiction counseling courses and spends countless hours with students in-person, on the phone, and electronically to help them succeed and achieve their educational goals,” cites a recent NAADAC press release. “He has worked diligently to build outstanding addiction counselor education programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As a mentor to many, Bowden leads by example and shows his students how to navigate the addiction profession and provide the best care for the clients they serve.”

Bowden is a resident of Gilbert, Arizona who is originally from Vernal, Utah. He began his career in addictions counseling education 30 years ago.

Rio Salado hired Bowden in 1997 to chair its in-person Chemical Dependency Counseling Program, which at the time was serving a small cohort of 50 students— most of whom were in addiction recovery and trying to juggle full-time jobs, families and their schoolwork. Bowden began pioneering online learning with the college to make learning more accessible. Since then, he has personally developed and produced more than 30 online addiction counseling courses, which now serve nearly 5,000 students annually as part of the college’s Addiction and Substance Use Disorder program.

“We are deeply honored by Dr. Bowden’s long-time dedication, passion and leadership,” said Interim President Kate Smith. “We owe a debt of gratitude to him for his relentless pursuit to help people recover from addiction.”

Bowden has worked with Rio Salado faculty, other experts in the field and accrediting addictions and counseling agencies to create educational content to help professionals stay relevant, informed and connected.

Photo of Bowden at 2017 ACA Congressional breifing
Bowden at 2017 ACA 
Congressional briefing
Bowden has received numerous awards and appointments for his outstanding achievements in addiction and counseling education through the years and has been invited to provide expert advice and testimony about opioid use, including a Congressional briefing about the nation’s opioid epidemic hosted by the American Counseling Association in April 2017.

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 grassroots 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 still do not have this requirement.

Bowden standing next to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and guests
Bowden at 2015 Rosalynn Carter 
“What we find a lot of times is that individuals who are providing service have no education, experience or training in addictions,” said Bowden. Most counselors, social workers, psychologists are not required to have a background in addictions. What’s frightening is that these individuals are practicing outside of their scope.”

“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. “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.”

Bowden and his collaborators develop coursework for professionals and non-professionals alike.

“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.”

“Most of us are affected by the opioid epidemic,” said Bowden. “It’s difficult to escape when 130 people die from opioid overdose every day and more than 700,000 lives have been claimed from 1999-2017. We’re in this together, and the only way out is together— and through education.”

Poster for Rio Salado ASD program.  Image of a woman's eyes.  Text: Help Make Recovery Possible

Rio Salado College is the only community college in Maricopa County designed to offer classes that meet academic requirements for licensing through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and serves as one of the largest addiction studies programs in higher education. The college offers online classes, certificates, an Associate Degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders and continuing education coursework, which are accredited by the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators and the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission.

Visit for more details.

Kirk Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, is a member of the American Psychological Association's Society of Addiction Psychology board of directors and past president of NAADAC. He has served as the chair of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and chair of its Substance Abuse Counselor and Professional Counselor Credentialing Committees. Bowden is a board member and past president of INCASE.

By Rio Salado College Media Relations Manager Annette Flores

Take A Stand Against Cheating

Integrity is a big part of education, and it starts with you. Join us today as we take part in International Contract Cheating Day.

Contract cheating happens when someone completes academic work for another who then submits it for academic credit. Contract cheating accounts for about 1/5 of the plagiarism in papers submitted to popular online submission sites.

Graphic of a hand with math answers written on it. Graphic has a heading that reads, "Protect your academic integrity"

Head over to our Facebook page and drop a comment telling us why academic integrity is important to you.

To learn more about contract cheating, please click HERE.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

What Did You Learn During Hispanic Heritage Month?

Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up today. How did you celebrate?

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

The September 15 to October 15 dates for Hispanic Heritage Month correlate to the independence day of seven Latin American countries.

Today may be the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, but you can learn about contributions of Hispanic Americans all year long.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Are You Speaking Out Against Domestic Violence?

Graphic of a purple ribbon sitting in the palm of someones hands.

Did you know domestic violence affects millions of women and men each year?

Help us spread the word this month as we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Throughout October, we seek to raise visibility for those affected daily by physical, emotional or mental abuse.

Statistics show women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence – nearly 3x the national average.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, there are resources available that can help. Specialists are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone dealing with domestic violence.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Use This Month To Spread Awareness

graphic shows cartoon people standing next to a breast cancer ribbon with text that reads, breasts cancer awareness month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Help us spread awareness and give support to those who have been affected by breast cancer.

Did you know breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime?

While you can’t prevent cancer, it’s important to be proactive about your health.

How can you get involved? Some ways for you to raise awareness are to wear pink, share your story on social media or donate to an organization supporting research and treatment of those diagnosed.

To learn more about breast cancer and how you can spread awareness, click here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Apply For Your Share of $2.5 Million Before It's Too Late

graphic with photos of students with their name and personal quote below below

Make paying for college a little bit easier with Maricopa Community College Foundation scholarships.

Remember, MCCCDF Scholarships + You = Success! Take advantage of the opportunity at more than $2.5 million in scholarships. Make sure you apply before the October 13 deadline:

Graphic of student with steps on how to apply for the scholarship

There are hundreds of scholarship opportunities for students and a streamlined process that only requires general application. There are even several scholarship opportunities for Rio Salado College employees and students specifically.

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

To find the right scholarship for you, click here.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Are You Protecting Your Digital Privacy?

graphic with a lock and the words "cyber security month" written across it

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, so before you log-in, make sure to protect your digital privacy.

There are a few steps you can take to make sure you’re CyberSmart.

The first step is to Own IT:

  • Keep tabs on your apps
  • Update privacy settings
  • Never Click and Tell

The second step is to Secure IT:

  • Shop safe online
  • Create strong, unique passwords
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication
  • Be wary of online strangers

The third step is to Protect IT:

  • Update to the latest security software, web browser and operating systems.
  • Stay protected while online: Wi-Fi safety
  • Keep customer/consumer data and information safe

For more information on how to be CyberSmart, please click HERE.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Enroll In Spring 2019 Classes Today

Graphic with a student wearing a white lab coat with text reading register for spring. Make it happen at Rio Salado

Are you enrolled in classes for this Spring?

Kick off your educational journey with Rio Salado College. Whether you want to learn a new skill, take a class for fun or work toward your associate degree, you can do it all here at Rio Salado.

Meet with an academic advisor and find the spring schedule that works for you with online, hybrid and flex start classes available.

Why wait? Enroll in Spring 2019 classes today for lower tuition, top-notch instructors and smaller class sizes.

Current students can say their spot with priority registration for Spring 2019, starting October 4. Your future is calling.