Thursday, October 20, 2016

Free Career Tools From AZ CIS & Rio Library

black and white photo of a city street corner.  Sign in forground that reads: "career."

Rio Salado students and employees can access valuable and free-of-charge online career development resources through Arizona Career Information Systems (AZ CIS) and Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center

AZ CIS and Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center are designed to help you with your career research, planning and exploration. They offer free career assessments so you can learn more about yourself, your interests, your skills and how they relate to an occupation.  You can review occupations and discover more about a variety of different jobs. There is information regarding programs of study and the schools that offer them. You can even learn more about employment tools, such as resume writing and interviewing skills. They also give you the means to create a portfolio to keep track of your career planning.

snapshot of AZCIS web page

Students and employees should contact Rio Salado's Counseling team via email at to receive a login for AZ CIS.

snapshot of Ferguson's web page.

Your access to Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center is available now thanks to the Rio Salado Library.  You will need to log into RioLearn to gain access.  See related blog for additional details.

Another great resource is CPD 102AB, Career Exploration, a college credit course at Rio Salado that will help you develop a career and education plan.

For additional support, call on the Rio Salado Counseling team. They're ready to help you set career goals and prepare for your job search.

Rio PTK Hosts Free Career Workshop Nov. 1

Image of students taking part in a workshop, raising their hands and a moderator fielding questions.   Text: Rio Salado Workshop: Take the next step to make your dream career a reality.

Join the Rio Salado Phi Theta Kappa - Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter for a free career workshop at the Rio Salado Tempe headquarters, Tue., Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m.

  • The Cover Letter and Resume Building session will provide tips on how to write effective cover letters and resumes.
  • The Mock Interview Dress for Success session will provide helpful tips and address the importance of proper attire.
  • The Public Speaking and Communication Skills session will provide tips on how to overcome anxiety and fears of public speaking.

Please contact Rio Salado College Student Life & Leadership Coordinator John Bastian at or by calling 480-517-8050. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Expert Advice on How to Become a Teacher

Image of a young man smiling confidenly at the camera.  illustrated images of teaching like a book, A+ grade.  Text: Learn how to be a teacher

Ready to launch your teaching career?  Rio Salado Teacher Education staff member Paulina Ngo has advice and answers to some of the most common questions for newcomers to the teaching profession.

“How do I become a teacher?”
image of a young, male school teacher surrounded by grade school children

As a field experience coordinator in a college educator preparation department, I can say that this is the most frequently asked question we get.

Most states have the same standard licensure requirements: completing an approved educator preparation program, clearing a background and/or fingerprint check, and passing the state’s exams for the certification.

While these requirements may appear pretty basic, it is helpful to break down each requirement into manageable steps.

Completing an approved educator preparation program
image of a young woman walking onto a college campus

Investigate potential colleges or universities to see if they offer a state-approved educator preparation program. You will want to ensure the program you are pursuing leads to certification and not just a degree.

For example, some universities offer a degree in education but do not include all of the state certification requirements such as student teaching.

Don’t rule out community colleges, which have the unique advantage of offering bachelor degree pathways with partnering universities at a lower tuition cost. And remember, community college does not mean low-quality. Many community college educator preparation programs are national award winners!

Some colleges also offer post-baccalaureate certification programs. These are tailored for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree, but require specific coursework for teacher certification.

When researching programs, keep in mind that colleges and universities may differ in how they deliver their programs – in-person, online or hybrid. So choose a learning method that is right for you.

Clearing a background and/or fingerprint check
image of a finger print scan

Any person seeking teacher certification must clear a state background and/or fingerprint check. These checks are made through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). For specific instructions, visit your state’s department of education website. As a rule of thumb, expect the process to take 6-8 weeks. School districts may require a separate background check for job applicants.

Passing the state’s exams for the certification
image of a keyboard.  The word test is in place of "enter" key.

Generally, there are two state mandated exams required for certification: a subject/content knowledge exam and a professional knowledge exam. Teaching candidates must receive a passing score on both exams. The subject/content exam measures how much a person knows about a specific subject area as defined by the state’s academic standards. The professional knowledge exam measures how much a person knows about teaching/pedagogical skills.

Explore teaching
Image of hand writing on a chalkboard.  Text: "Rio Salado Teacher Education Orientation Sessions In-person and via webinar.  Free!"

Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to become a teacher, I encourage you to research programs in your area for specific information.

At Rio Salado College, we offer an Explore Teaching Workshop that covers our program pathways and requirements. For more information visit or contact a Rio Salado College Academic Advisor at (480) 517-8580. 

image of Paulina Ngo

Paulina Ngo serves as the Field Experience Coordinator and Coordinator of Marketing for Rio Salado's Teacher Education program.  She is celebrating 10 years of service with the college and nine years as a member of the Teacher Ed team.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Librarian House Calls 24/7!

Poster for Ask a Librarian 24/7 chat

Need a librarian-- in the middle of the night or when most libraries are closed? Ask a Librarian was made for you!

image of a student in a library, alone

Get help 24/7 with:
●  Starting your research
●  Searching smarter and faster
●  Finding articles, books, and media
●  Citing sources and more!

The librarians are quick to reply-- and available when you need them most. Ask a Librarian is designed to help you succeed!

Student Spotlight: Deb Baldemore on Success

Deb Baldemore with Rio Salado Advisor Gidget Poler
Student Overcomes Age & Learning Barriers for Career Success
You are never too old to learn and make your life better. These are the words of Deb Baldemore, a Rio Salado College graduate who is living proof that age has no boundaries.

Baldemore had always wanted a college degree, but never felt herself to be “college material.”

“I took the traditional path my family had encouraged me to take - marriage and motherhood,” Baldemore said. “After my youngest child left home, I decided I wanted to go to college to learn more about public administration.”

After researching schools, Baldemore decided that online classes would be a good fit, so she contacted Rio Salado College and was put in touch with advisor Gidget Poler.

“When I walked into her office, Gidget made me feel welcome and comfortable with the idea of starting college at the age of 50,” Baldemore said. “She helped me all the way through my program, even after she moved on to another position.”

Baldemore enrolled in the public administration program, and excelled in her classes, earning A’s and B’s.

She left her nemesis, math class, for last.

“I enrolled in MAT102 and got the best math teacher who was always open to my many questions,” Baldemore said. “The first time I emailed him I told him I had not “algerbrated” since Ford was in office!”

With her instructor’s help and the assistance of Rio Salado’s tutoring services, Baldemore earned a C in her class and graduated with distinction with an associate in arts degree in public administration.

Baldemore continued on her educational journey, enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree program at Northern Arizona University.

She again faced her math nemesis, however, this time she was thwarted.

“I would look at the formulas and even have them explained to me and could not understand them,” she said. “I was feeling really low. I didn’t understand how I could do so well in my other classes and fail so bad in math.”

After she failed the same math class four times, Baldemore gave up any hope of earning her bachelor’s degree. Then a NAU counselor suggested she get tested for a learning disability.

“Ironically, most of my working life has been spent with teens who were at-risk or disabled, but I never thought I too could have a learning issue,” Baldemore said.

Testing indicated that Baldemore had a learning disability that affected math comprehension.

“I walked out of that office sobbing and feeling so much relief,” Baldemore said. “It wasn’t that I was not trying hard enough.”

Earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration helped Baldemore secure a position with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) working with disabled teens to transition them out of high school into adulthood.

The learning did not stop there, however.

Baldemore’s supervisor told her about the ADE’s master’s degree partnership with Grand Canyon University. She enrolled in March 2015 and will graduate this September with a master’s in public administration.

“Because many of the people I work with at ADE also teach at community colleges, I remembered how Rio Salado had helped me,” Baldemore said. “I contacted Gidget and she not only remembered me but called me one of her star students.”

Wanting to pay it forward, Baldemore hopes to one day teach for Rio Salado College.

“I hope to be as great a role model to others as Gidget and the entire staff of Rio Salado has been for me,” she said.

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich