Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Rio Salado Website Now Live!

Graphic show a computer sitting on a desk

The new and improved Rio Salado website is now live! Our news stories will no longer be posted to this blog, instead they will be published on the new Rio Salado website in the "News" section. Visit to check out the new modern design and updated content in a user-friendly interface.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New Rio Salado Website Goes Live May 21, 2020

Graphic shows a computer sitting on a desk

Rio Salado College is excited to announce that our new and improved website will be going live on Thursday, May 21, 2020! You will see a new modern design and updated content in a user-friendly interface. This project is part of a larger district-wide web initiative to create a unified online experience across Maricopa Community Colleges. We think the new website will make finding the information you need easier when you visit Be sure to check it out on May 21!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Share Your Story During Mental Health Awareness Month

Graphic shows a woman with her dog sitting on a mountain top overlooking a canyon

Join us as we recognize National Mental Health Awareness Month during May. While we focus on our physical wellbeing, the food we eat, exercise and getting regular check-ups for vision and dental care, we often forget to take stock of our emotional needs. Nearly 450 million people worldwide are currently living with a mental illness, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental illness never seek treatment.

We encourage you to use this month to help break the stigma associated with mental health disorders by sharing your story and inspire those facing similar challenges.

Click here to learn more about mental health awareness.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Stipend Available for Insurance Studies Virtual Summer Camp!

graphic shows students sitting

Rio Salado College is excited to offer INS100, a unique hybrid course that gives students the opportunity to learn about the growing insurance industry and career paths available in this field.

The best part is we have 16 full scholarships available!

Scholarships include paid tuition for this course and a $100 stipend upon completion of the course with grade C or better. Students are responsible for registration fee.

The class will meet virtually via Zoom on Mondays in June (June 1, 8, 15, 22) and will continue in an online format until July 25.

Virtual Zoom Meeting Schedule (June 1, 8, 15, 22)

9:30-10 a.m. - Networking

10-11 a.m. - Lecture/Activity

11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Guest Speaker Presentation

First, register for INS100 and choose Section # 13836. You will need to pay $15 registration fee.

Second, Apply for thescholarship by May 20, 2020, here.

Third, email Dr. Lily Davidov stating you have registered for this class and applied for scholarship.

If you have any questions please contact Dr. Lily Davidov.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Unstoppable Adonis Watt Tackles New Challenge

Alt text 1: Adonis with his mom Veronica and little sister Sanaa at kitchen counter island opening Marvel Hero project commemorative gift box. In upper right corner is part of an image of Marvel’s Unstoppable Adonis comic book featuring an illustrated image of Adonis in his football uniform running with the ball.  Call out box reads: Go Adonis
Adonis with his mom and little sister Sanaa taking part in our video

Meet the Inspiration Behind Unstoppable Adonis, Marvel's first Braille Comic Book.

Clip from Cronkite News story featuring anchor Matt Lively and image of Adonis and Brophy football team celebrating.
Cronkite News Blind Courage video
Valley celebrity Adonis Watt became a media sensation by wowing football fans in 2019 as a freshman Brophy College Preparatory running-back who scored touchdowns— in spite of being blind. While football is his muse and his ambition is to play for the NFL, Watt has been tackling other extraordinary challenges off the field.

“He’s more than just one thing,” said his mother, Veronica Watt. “He's a student, he's an athlete, he's a scholar, he's an ambassador and he's a pioneer… he's not breaking records, he's setting records.”

Photo of Adonis on a sailboat with other buccaneers
Adonis training for Oceans of Obtacles.
Last summer, Watt joined a sailing crew called the Blind Buccaneers with 11 other blind teens from the Foundation for Blind Children, a non-profit he helps to champion.

The buccaneers embarked on a 110-mile sailing trip in the Caribbean— crewing the ship. Their journey training for and taking part in the trip was chronicled in a film called Ocean of Obstacles.

Watt also joined Brophy Prep’s track-and-field and wrestling teams.

Photo of Adonis working out on basketball court.
According to a January 2019 azcentral story by Reporter Richard Obert, which chronicled his last wrestling match, Watt pinned his opponent about a minute into the second period. This was apparently nothing new to Watt, who had a record 7-2 wins with four pins at the time.

In his spare time, Watt is learning how to play basketball.

Word got out about Watt’s drive, determination and extraordinary abilities and made its way to Disney’s Marvel Hero Project, which invited Watt to be among the first group of teens profiled in its November 2019 season premiere. Marvel published Unstoppable Adonis, its first braille comic book in Watts’ honor.

Photo of Adonis' hands reading the braille version of Unstoppable Adonis comic book, featuring an illustrated image of Adonis in his football uniform running with the ball.  Call out box reads: Go Adonis

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recognized Watt for his achievements during his 2020 State of the State Address in January.

Clip from Governor Ducey's State of the State Address video of standing ovation in honor of Adonis

Adonis is the quintessential humble hero. “At the end of the day, I’m just being me,” said Watt. “It’s not like I’m trying to be a role model. I’m doing things I would regularly do even if I wasn’t getting all this attention for it.” 

Photo of Adonis lifting weights
“Notoriety hasn't changed him, but it's changed people who have felt held back,” wrote azcentral Reporter Richard Obert in a story about Watt. “They see or hear what Watt has done and it inspires them.” 

“He's Unstoppable Adonis the comic book right, but his life is literally him being unstoppable with his education, unstoppable with his physicality, unstoppable with his confidence, his competence and his skill,” said Veronica Watt. “He would say, don't limit yourself by accepting labels. You have a diagnosis that's a scientific conclusion but there's so much more that you are.”

Photo of Adonis in class
Among Watt’s newest challenges— college, through Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program at Brophy Prep. 

Rio Salado serves as the largest provider of dual enrollment education in Arizona, helping nearly 7,500 Maricopa County students at 43 schools across the Valley earn college and high school credits at the same time. Adonis got started with an environmental science class last fall. 

“I probably started dual enrollment the third week of school,” said Watt. “It’s a sophomore level class so it’s not crazy hard… but like anything in class you have to put effort and time studying into it.”

Photo of Veronica Watt at home
Mrs. Veronica Watt.
“Parents are usually the ones to convince students to take advantage of the cost savings, seamless university transfer options, time savings and other benefits of our dual enrollment programs,” said Rio Salado Dual Enrollment Director EJ Anderson. 

“I'll tell you three things about dual enrollment: time, money and comfort level/ competence,” said Veronica Watt. “Your kids are going to be in school for less amount of time. You’re going to save money… you're paying community college rates for college credits. And then you have the competence. They're graduating and they're already comfortable. They're not going to walk into college as freshmen.”

Rio Salado dual 2019 grads
with President Smith. 
At present, there are 207 high school students on track to graduate with associate degrees from Rio Salado during the 2019-2020 academic year. Thousands more will earn credits that transfer seamlessly to Arizona public colleges and 40+ colleges and universities across the country.

Among this spring’s Rio Salado associate degree graduates will be three dual alumni who have since transferred to other colleges. They will be earning degrees through the Maricopa Community College’s reverse transfer program, which allows students to combine their community college and university credits to meet the requirements for an associate degree. 

“Adonis won't graduate with an associate degree, he'll probably have 30 credits, but you know, we're okay with that,” said Veronica Watt.

Adonis holding a big check for $10,000 from Parker and Sons Character Counts scholarship fund.  He's surrounded by his family.
Adonis with his family, accepting 2019
Character Counts scholarship award.
“If I had to do it all again, I would have put him into dual enrollment right away. I think that was part of me putting my limits on him saying well, I don't think you can, I don't want it to be too difficult. And now I’m thinking, we just lost some time. We could have like had tons of credits. You live and learn, so I hope someone can learn from his experience and just take it on.” 

“It’s helping me transition to college,” said Watt. “I don’t think about it too much but in the back of my mind I kind of just remind myself this grade is going to count for that class in college so I’ve got to put everything into it. I’m not going to be playing football forever. Education is something that's going to be there after football. It’s something that’s going to be there forever. Once you get it nobody can take it away.”

Check out a video version of this story.

For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, visit

By Rio Salado College Media Relations Manager Annette Flores

Monday, May 11, 2020

Celebrate Military Appreciation Month Throughout May

Graphic reads Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month. Use this time to give thanks and show appreciation to those who serve our country. Declared by Congress in 1999, May was selected National Military Appreciation Month as a month-long observance honoring the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces.

Click here to learn more about Military Appreciation Month.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Celebrate Small Business Week May 3 – 9, 2020

Graphic shows people at a conference table on laptops

Small Business Week is a week meant to highlight the importance of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the United States. During this week, small business supporters are encouraged to shop small at local businesses.

Nearly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years. While cash is often a major reason for failure, lack of planning and a sound marketing strategy are key drivers of failure. Owners who have a sound understanding of the 4 Ps, effectively monitor performance and pivot when things are not working are much better positioned to beat the odds.

For aspiring small business owners and existing small business owners, Rio Salado offers a Small Business Startup certificate designed to create a foundation for small business owners to overcome the obstacles that often result in business failure.

Click here to learn more | Classes Start Monday

President Smith Named Aspen Institute #PresFellow

Photo of Kate Smith.  Rio Salado brand symbol in white with waves in middle.  Text: Kate Smith Aspen Presidential Fellowship. Rio Salado and Aspen Institute logos.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Rio Salado College Interim President Kate Smith is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selected leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. 

Photo of president smith
“I am deeply honored to take part in this Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, especially now, as our country is grappling with COVID-19 and we are united in our efforts to create increasingly innovative ways to support and encourage student success,” said Smith. 

Smith, an Ahwatukee, Phoenix resident, began serving Rio Salado in 2016 as the vice president of academic affairs and has served as interim president since August of 2018. 

“As the acting president of America’s Online Community College, I am eager to further advance the progress that has been made to make education affordable and accessible in partnership with the Aspen Institute, its fellows, Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges.” 
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2020. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners. 

Aspen Presidential Fellowship logo
“Evidence shows that substantial improvements in student success are achieved only when presidents have the commitment and skill needed to lead change within their institutions and through partnerships in the community,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.” 

“The Aspen Rising President Fellowship Program recognizes leaders who are committed to the success of students and community at large," said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Maricopa County Community College District Chancellor. “Kate has the creativity and drive to transform our Colleges and we are tremendously proud of her to join this initiative.” 

Photo of Smith at front of a classroom presenting student data to staff

Smith decided to devote her career to education nearly 30 years ago with one mission in mind. “Teachers and education change lives— quite simply, that is why I chose a career in education.” 
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 70 percent women and 61 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations. 

Together, the 2020-21 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 500,000 students. As well, 42 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 500,000 students nationwide. 

2020-21 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows
  • Margaret Annunziata, Davidson County Community College (NC)
  • Gita Bangera, Bellevue College (WA)
  • Kaylyn Bondy, Williston State College (ND)
  • Naima Brown, Santa Fe College (FL)
  • Monica Brown, Montgomery College (MD)
  • DeAnna Burt, South Central College (MN)
  • Monica Castaneda, Glendale Community College (AZ)
  • Tamara Clunis, Amarillo College (TX)
  • Mildred Coyne, Broward College (FL)
  • Renee Craig-Marius, Reedley College (CA)
  • Mark Curtis-Ch├ívez, College of DuPage (IL)
  • Chrissy Davis, Spokane Falls Community College (WA)
  • Tawny Dotson, Clover Park Technical College (WA)
  • Kurt Ewen, Houston Community College (TX)
  • Mary Gutierrez, Diablo Valley College (CA)
  • Susan Guzman-Trevino, Temple College (TX)
  • Paul Hernandez, Mount Wachusett Community College (MA)
  • Lloyd Holmes, Monroe Community College (NY)
  • Jennifer Kent, Ranger College (TX)
  • Kimberly Lowry, Lone Star College – Houston North (TX)
  • Ali Mageehon, Southwestern Oregon Community College (OR)
  • Corey McCray, Tidewater Community College (VA)
  • Donna McDaniel, Texarkana College (TX)
  • Brian Merritt, Central Carolina Community College (NC)
  • Scott Newman, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OK)
  • Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Tarrant County College (TX)
  • Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, University of Hawaii (HI)
  • Julie Penley, El Paso Community College (TX)
  • Dilcie Perez, Cerritos College (CA)
  • Nicole Reaves, Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
  • Star Rivera Lacey, San Diego Continuing Education (CA)
  • Irene Robles-Lopez, Pima Community College (AZ)
  • Vince Rodriguez, Coastline Community College (CA)
  • Kate Smith, Rio Salado Community College (AZ)
  • Jackie Thomas, Lone Star College-Tomball (TX)
  • Lena Tran, San Jose City College (CA)
  • Joel Welch, Western Piedmont Community College (NC)
  • Kristina Whalen, Las Positas College (CA)
  • Jermaine Whirl, Greenville Technical College (SC)
  • Jonathan Woodward, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MS)

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership strategies that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @AspenHigherEd.

Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) strives to help education leaders further develop their ability to transform education systems and drive meaningful change. SELI programs bring together the strengths of Stanford Graduate School of Education and Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as additional Stanford faculty and resources, to offer multidimensional and immediately impactful professional development programming for practicing leaders in PreK-12, higher education, and policy. By fostering collaboration and building relationships between existing colleagues and among new peers, SELI programs create networks supporting participants’ continued learning and organizational improvement. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Grab Your Favorite Book And Participate In Get Caught Reading Month

Pick up a good book and get caught reading all month long. May is Get Caught Reading Month, encouraging people to read and share their love for reading. What is your favorite book to read? Where is your favorite place to read a book? Let us know.

Learn more about Get Caught Reading Month here.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Find Your Next Job During Today's Virtual Career Fair

Graphic show a hand holding a phone

Are you looking employment during these uncertain times? Register for the Virtual Career Fair hosted by Maricopa Career Services being held online today!

Morning Session: 9 - 11 a.m.

Afternoon Session: 4 - 6 p.m.

Potential employers will post available positions on Maricopa CareerLink to promote to YOU through a Virtual Meeting Room and/or Chat at the Virtual Career Fair!


1. Create a Maricopa CareerLink Account at

2. Register for the Event: Sign into Maricopa CareerLink > Events > Virtual Career Fair

3. That’s it! On the day of the event, Login to Maricopa CareerLink ready to connect with potential employers!

You will receive more information about the event after you RSVP. We hope to see you virtually.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Do You Need Help Reaching Your Academic Goals? Try Using These Tools For Success

graphic of woman smiling

We know that taking the step to further your education can sometimes be challenging. We want you to succeed here at Rio Salado, and to help, below are a few Student Success Tips you can follow to start off on the right path.

Students can visit our Academic Advisement web page to select degree pathways, review transfer credits, schedule a meeting with an academic advisor and more! Students can also check out our Counseling and Career Services web page  to schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss things such as career planning, strategies for overcoming stress or any concerns interfering with your academic success.

Do you prefer digital resources? Head over to our YouTube channel for Student Success Tips videos! You’ll find helpful videos on “How to Pay for College,” “Study Skills and Time Management Tips,” “Test-taking Tips” and more!

You can also find useful tips in our Welcome to Rio Salado College YouTube videos.

Here you can:

· Learn the Rio Salado enrollment process

· Understand block calendars

· Find out if dual enrollment is right for you

We also encourage you to get involved in Rio Salado 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 more.

Monday, April 27, 2020

How Are You Dealing with Social Distancing? PTK Officers Share Their Stories

Two of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa student officers share their personal stories of dealing with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer some advice to fellow students.

Ashanti Ruiz

"During this time of difficulty, I have found comfort in my friends and family. Even though I am unable to see my friends, I make sure that I stay connected with them. Regardless if it is sending a meme, picking up the phone, or face-timing them. 

I also make sure that I am not in bed all day and find things to do. I recently took the time to do exercises at home and it got me feeling like myself again. I was recently feeling like I was unable to distinguish what day it was because I was literally doing nothing.

However, now that I am coming up with things to do at the house, I feel productive again. I have been cooking with my dad, catching up on homework, and started to paint again.

I also took the time to re-frame my thinking so, instead of telling myself ‘I'm stuck at my house all day,’ I replaced it with ‘I now have the time to do the things I was too busy to do.’

Shifting my mindset has made such a huge difference because I was feeling stuck for so long. Especially because I work and go to school from home. Make small changes, take lots of breaks and give your mind and body a breather!" 

I have also developed some tips to be successful online:

1. Review your homework schedule ahead of time. This may seem like a no brainer, but this has helped me maintain my grades. Write down due dates on your phone or planner. You know yourself the best and know your strengths and weaknesses as a student. Looking at your homework schedule beforehand allows you to have enough time to complete homework.

2. Find a good space to study. I am guilty of trying to do homework in bed and then passing out because my bed was so comfortable. Try to study in the kitchen or living room. Somewhere spacious with little distractions.

3. Set a homework schedule. Even though, you do not attend classes in person, set an hour or two aside to do homework every day. This allows you to get homework done and not get overwhelmed.

4. Know when to take a break. I have been guilty of trying to do large amounts of homework without being reasonable. In the end, it made me overwhelmed and I was less likely to complete my tasks. So, if you feel like you can no longer continue, stop and go do something else!

Ann Jamieson 

"Hi there! My name is Ann Jamieson and I am both an officer in Rio Salado's Phi Theta Kappa chapter and a dual enrollment student. 

I know there are many people who are scared and unaware of what the future holds for them. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to not be okay. Hold onto that idea first and foremost.

Since Arizona schools have been shut down, I have been working on getting my assignments turned in online as soon as possible. I am holding onto the idea of transferring to ASU next semester and am allowing myself to get excited for that new experience.

I am a hands-on kind of person, so I am giving my parents some time to relax by making dinner for the family often. I am also planning on doing arts and crafts to decorate my dorm room next year.

I am prioritizing things that make me happy. I talk to those I care about and take time for myself when I get overwhelmed or stressed. Just because we at home does not mean we cannot hold onto the idea of hope. We will get through this together! Finally, remember there is someone who is close to you who cares and wants you to succeed. Always remember that. No one is truly alone, and you are always loved."

Learn more about the Phi Theta Kappa here.

Friday, April 24, 2020

What Happens To The Insurance Industry During Times of Economic Uncertainty?

Graphic shows 3 people sitting at a laptop. The text reads, "turn your compassion into a meaningful career."

Are you looking for a career with versatility? Being able to adapt to various circumstances can be useful in the professional world. During these uncertain times, many people are wondering about the next step in their career. Insurance employment remains steady as the economy faces uncertainty, and recent data shows positive employment trends in the insurance industry.

Read more about the insurance industry in today’s economy here.

Is there insurance industry right for you? Learn more about Rio Salado’s insurance program today.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Find Your Next Job Opportunity During A Virtual Career Fair

Graphic shows a person holding a phone that reads, "career fair, We're hiring!"

Register Now for the Virtual Career Fair hosted by Maricopa Career Services.


Online on April 30, 2020


Morning Session: 9 - 11 a.m.

Afternoon Session: 4 - 6 p.m.

Potential employers will post available positions on Maricopa CareerLink to promote to YOU through a Virtual Meeting Room and/or Chat at the Virtual Career Fair!


1. Create a Maricopa CareerLink Account at

2. Register for the Event: Sign into Maricopa CareerLink > Events > Virtual Career Fair

3. That’s it! On the day of the event, Login to Maricopa CareerLink ready to connect with potential employers!

You will receive more information about the event after you RSVP. We hope to see you virtually on Thursday, April 30th!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Today Marks The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Graphic shows bright colored background with the words Earth Day in the middle of the graphic

Today is Earth Day, join us in celebrating the world that we live in. Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The purpose of Earth Day is to give a voice to emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet.

Today more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day each year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Use this day to spread the word about the importance of taking care of the world we live in.

Click here to learn more about Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rio Salado Phone Issues

Graphic shows a red phone attached to a phone cord with the words Phone Issues Please Try Back Later

UPDATE: Our phone issues have been resolved and our systems are back up. Thank you for your patience.

Please be aware that we are currently experiencing issues with our phone lines. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve the issue. Please try again later or complete the following online request form

Monday, April 20, 2020

Counseling Resources to Help You During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It is natural for people to feel stressed out or anxious as a result of recent dramatic changes to our daily lives. The following resources can be helpful in dealing with stress, grief, loss, fear and other challenging issues stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.

Covid-19 Health and Safety Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Covid-19 information

Please feel free to reach out to a Rio Salado Counselor if you are experiencing any of the difficulties highlighted above. We can be reached by email.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Register for Summer and Fall Classes Today!

Graphic shows a guy with his arms crossed

Have you registered for summer and fall classes? Registration is now open for students to select summer and fall classes.

You can register today here!

Students Can Check Out Free eBooks Until May 25, 2020

Graphic show an Ipad leaning up against a stack of books with the words Free eBooks at the top

To assist students during these uncertain times, Follett has partnered with RedShelf to give students access to free eBooks until May 25, 2020. You may have been notified in your RioLearn inbox to access the free eBooks from the Rio Salado College Bookstore website.

Instead, please visit the Follett website directly here.

Check out your free eBook today.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

World Autism Awareness Month

Graphic shows a child holding up a puzzle piece of the world

April is World Autism Awareness Month. In 1972, the Autism Society launched the first annual National Autistic Children’s week, which evolved into World Autism Awareness Month (NAAM). The goal of World Autism Awareness month is to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, foster worldwide support and inspire a kinder, more inclusive world.

Use this month to help spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change.

How will you recognize Autism Awareness Month? Let us know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Celebrate Community College Awareness Month With Rio Salado College

Graphic shows two people jumping in the air. The words "We're celebrating community college awareness month" shows at the top of the graphic

April is Community College Awareness Month. Take time this month to help share why community colleges matter. You can help recognize Community College Awareness Month by sharing how your college is serving your community’s needs and why public support for our colleges is more important than ever.

Many community colleges serve as vital lifelines to help people meet basic food, housing, providing healthcare professionals and medical equipment to communities as well as other needs.

Community College Awareness Month gives you the chance to highlight the importance of your community college.

How has Rio Salado College helped you in life?

Are you considering furthering your education? Rio Salado College can help. Click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

April Is Diversity Month. How Will You Celebrate?

Graphic shows different hands reaching toward the sky

Celebrate diversity month during the month of April with Rio Salado College. Be creative and spread a message of inclusion at your workplace or school.

You can also use this month to involve yourself and others in learning about cultures and religions that are not part of your daily life.

How will you celebrate diversity month?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dr. Kirk Bowden Takes Home The Arizona Counseling Association's 2020 Advocacy Award

Graphic shows a picture of Dr. Kirk Bowden
Dr. Kirk Bowden

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Kirk Bowden, Rio Salado College’s Faculty Chair of Addictions and Substance Use Disorders, after being named the winner of the Arizona Counseling Association's 2020 Advocacy Award. This award is given in recognition of the leadership and advocacy efforts that affected state policy priorities within the behavioral health profession in Arizona.

Dr. Bowden’s recognition didn’t stop there. He was also recently elected president-elect of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC). IAAOC is the division of the American Counseling Association (ACA) which represents professional addictions counselors, offender counselors and counselor educators. He will serve one year as president-elect, one year as president and one year as immediate-past president.

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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

April Is National Internship Awareness Month. Are Internships Right For You?

Graphic shows a person sitting at a laptop. Content says, "internships are an excellent way to gain realworld professional experience through meaning opportunities

April is National Internship Awareness Month. This month is used to inform and dispel many of the myths people have about internships. Internships offer a great way to teach and share information with a person ready to start their career. Internships provide employment training and experiential learning opportunities that can enhance professional qualities like teamwork, communication, problem solving and professionalism.

Have you interned before? Are you considering an internship? Share your internship experiences below.

If you would like to learn more about career resources click here.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Meet Rio Salado’s 2020 All-AZ Honorees

Graphic shows the All-Academic team winners and Rio salado faculty and leadership

Each year, participating Arizona colleges nominate two students for the All-AZ Academic Team. This honor includes a tuition waiver to one of the three public universities in Arizona and a stipend from Rio Salado.

Meet Rio Salado’s 2020 All-AZ Honorees Ashanti Ruiz and Tamara Rink.

Ashanti Ruiz recently was chosen as an All-Arizona First Team member, as a result, she will be receiving $1,000 from Rio Salado College. In addition, as part of this scholarship process, Ashanti also was chosen to receive the 2020 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholarship. Tamara Rinck was chosen as an All-Arizona Second Team member receiving $750 from Rio Salado.

Graphic shows president kate and all-az team winner

 Ashanti Ruiz

Program: Behavioral Health-Addictions and Substance Use Disorders

Ashanti plans to transfer to the University of Arizona to earn her bachelor’s degree in Care, Health & Society, and her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Her career goal is to work for her own community, Maryvale Community, helping those with substance abuse problems.

“I’m a 21-year-old multicultural community college student, who’s ready to combat stigma of mental health. My community fuels my passion for service. This scholarship means everything to me because it is the steppingstone that I need to help my Maryvale community. I grew up in the Maryvale area for years and was able to identify that there needs to be more bilingual substance abuse counselors. I am constantly inspired by those in my community and wanted to do something about it. Furthering my education has always been a dream of mine but because I am a first-generation student, I was unsure how to get there. The All-Arizona scholarship transformed my dream into a reality. None of this success would have been able to happen without my PTK advisors, my PTK crew (Ann, Michael, Nick), or without the love of my parents. Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity. I have come such a long way and encourage all of my first-generation students to apply.”

graphic shows president kate and all-az team tamara rinck

 Tamara Rinck

Program: Public Administration

Tamara plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University and complete her bachelor’s degree and her Masters in Higher Education. Tamara would like to give back support she has received by becoming a PTK Advisor and an instructor at the college level.

“Earning the All-Arizona Scholarship, I did not even think this was possible at my age, and a mother of 3. It is truly like winning the education lottery. First off, I did not think I was even smart enough to become an honor student. Then achieving the GPA to join PTK. Earning the All-Arizona Scholarship, now allows me to finish something I started 37 years ago. To be 1 of 89 students, in a very competitive application process; I am immensely blessed to receive the news that I won. The next part of my journey will take me to Northern Arizona University. I will be utilizing their online program in Public Administration. I also plan to keep going and earn my master’s degree. I am so thankful for the support I have received from family, faculty, advisors and counselors at Rio Salado College. I am ready to complete a journey I started many years ago. I am a strong, confident, and determined mother.”

graphic shows president kate with ashanti ruiz and Tamara Rinck

Congratulations Ashanti and Tamara!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Message from President Smith about Courses, Support and Your Success

Banner for college.  Text: College Updates.  Office of the President

Dear Students,

We at Rio Salado College and the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) care about your health and well-being and supporting you throughout your academic journey. I am sharing these updates to help you achieve your educational goals this spring.

As a reminder, all classes that were originally scheduled as online are continuing as scheduled and all in-person/hybrid classes will resume in an online/alternative format on Monday, April 6, 2020. In-person services have all been moved to remote services, so please, do not visit any of our locations or MCCCD campuses, while we all work to protect your health and stop the spread of COVID19.

Check your RioLearn portal, Student Center and MyInfo App for details about your courses. If you’re new to online learning, you may find these tips for online learning and information about Canvas and RioLearn very helpful.

To provide you with the support you need, all Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges’ academic and student support services will continue to be offered remotely (e.g., by telephone, email, chat, and online). All MCCCD campuses and locations will remain closed for in-person classes and services for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We will continue to provide updates when additional information is made available.

As we all navigate the remainder of the spring semester remotely, we kindly ask that you check this COVID-19 FAQs web page to find answers to your questions. We also encourage you to visit this community resources web page, especially if you need assistance with finances, housing, food insecurities, healthcare and other challenges that may be interfering with your academic progress and success.

Please stay in regular contact with your instructors. They will provide you with the latest information regarding your assignments and courses.

We truly admire your determination to continue your educational journey during these challenging times. We are all in this together and our Maricopa family is committed to help you succeed.


Kate Smith
Rio Salado College Interim President
Maricopa Community Colleges

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Resources For Job Seekers

Graphic shows the hand of a person using a laptop.

During these uncertain times many people may have concerns about their financial stability. Best Companies AZ is working to help those looking for employment, listing resources for job seekers during COVID-19 to help find new jobs and receive financial support.

Job seekers can match their skills with a desired career, attend webinars and virtual hiring events and apply for unemployment insurance.

Click here for more information and resources.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Have You Completed The Census. The Deadline Is Apr. 1, 2020

There’s only one day left to complete the 2020 census.

What matters to you? Schools? Transportation? Hospitals? Data from the US Census Bureau  help inform planning efforts for all these important community resources.

Make sure to complete the census by April 1, 2020.

To learn how census data impact you and your community, visit here.