Friday, February 27, 2015

Support System for Success

Grid outlining elements of success: Collaborative Partnerships, Inclusive Leadership, Flexible Resources, Professional Development, complemented by: Academic Rigor & Support, Social Support, Data Use and P-16 Alignment.

This article by the Pathways to College Network, Social Support: An Essential Ingredient to College Success, offers some practical advice you can apply in all areas of your life.

No one creates success by themselves.
We all like to be independent and accomplish things on our own, but the truth is that you cannot achieve everything you want to accomplish in life on your own. No one can. You must be able to work with and receive help from other people in order to achieve the success that you desire in college and in life. One characteristic of successful people is that they look for others who can help them achieve the outcomes they want in life.

You attract help from others by keeping your commitments.
When you get help from other people, you are able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time while learning many new things in the process. One way to attract people into your life who can become part of your support system and offer you help is to keep your commitments. When other people see your strong commitment to achieving your goal of a college degree, they will be more committed to helping you reach that goal. For example, if you make an appointment with a counselor, advisor, or a tutor be sure to show up and show up on time. If you ask your family to help you with household chores or babysit your children so you can study, make sure you use the time wisely for your studies. Keeping your commitments also has the added benefit of improving your self-esteem and respect for yourself, two benefits which will attract more people to be part of your support system.

Get feedback from others. You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.
Having a support system provides feedback from others around you so that you can see where you need to make improvements. This allows you to focus on the right things to improve instead of wasting time in unnecessary areas. For example, consider each teacher you have as part of your support group. If your English teacher keeps marking the same misspellings within your papers, recognize that you are receiving constructive feedback. Rather than focusing on yourself with such negative statements as “I never could spell” or “I don’t think she should be so picky,” take the feedback and insert an action step that will allow you to learn to spell those words correctly once and for all.

If you specifically ask the people in your support system for constructive input, their advice can help you grow and achieve your goals. For example, if you feel that you are not doing as well as you should in your college courses, you could make an appointment to go see a counselor to ask them what areas they think you could work on improving. You can also email your instructors for additional insight. If you have a family member who is part of your support system, you could share with that person a problem you are having and ask that person to help you think of a solution to the problem. For example, you might find that you are struggling to identify extra study time you need in order to prepare for a particularly challenging class. You could share this problem with your spouse and ask him or her to help you carve out additional time you can use for studying. The solution might be as simple as the two of you agreeing to eat canned stew and fruit for supper every Tuesday night as a way to simplify your meal planning and preparation time during the week. Or the solution might be as simple as taking your spouse’s feedback to heart when you recognize the truth within it. For instance, if your spouse points out that you tend to be a perfectionist, he or she may be right! Ironically, being a perfectionist can be a weakness. Perhaps the two of you could identify an area in your life that could be altered without negative consequences. Is it really so bad if you launder sheets every two weeks instead of every week? When you recognize a weakness, let constructive feedback lead you to be solution oriented.

Don’t be afraid to try new things that are suggested by people in your support system. For instance, if you meet with a counselor, she may ask you to describe how you study for a test. She may suggest that you try a new way of studying. This new way of doing something may be hard at first because it’s different, but you may find that the strategy becomes easier as you get more practice using it and even more importantly, you may find that your counselor was right: using the strategy helps you earn a higher grade. Trying new things means that you are learning and growing; this is often uncomfortable at first, but leads to success in the long run. Successful people are constantly challenging themselves to try new things and attempting to do things they haven’t done before.

Surround yourself with the right people to help you grow.
The most important part of your support system is the people within it that will challenge your thinking. These people are dedicated to helping you learn, grow and succeed in college and in life. It is your job to seek out and surround yourself with the right people who can help you grow. You might begin by joining an organization at college that will fuel your success by helping you meet other students who want to learn and grow such as an Honor Society. Another way to learn and grow is to look for a part time job or a volunteer position that is related to your college major. This will allow you to gain knowledge and experience, while flexing your thinking skills about course material above and beyond what you get from textbooks and lectures. This experience also allows you to start building a network of professional people who can help you launch your career by providing references for you or even by hiring you on a full-time basis when you are ready to enter the job market. Depending on your personal likes, hobbies, and beliefs, support can often come from attending church groups, social organizations, extended family, and friends.

Shared by Rio Salado's Counseling Services, helping students with their personal, educational and career goals.

Pathways to College Network. (2007) Boston, MA: Author. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rio Featured in U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report: Consider Whether to Take an Online Course at Community College. Online community college courses can provide an affordable and accessible option for employees who want new skills.

Here's a story by Ian Quillen from U.S. News & World Report about the benefits online community colleges can offer working professionals.

It includes perspectives from Rio Salado Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jennifer McGrath and former Rio Salado Retail Management student Nicki Schillhahn-Amos from Fry’s Food.

Learn how we can help you.

Take the next step:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yummy Benefits from Café at Rio

Photo and Tweet from Maricopa Colleges employee Ilya Lussa.  Image of a her lunch with tweet: "This is what my work cafeteria serves up.  #Organic #Healthy tasty Caribbean meal.  Bravo @RioSaladoOnline Cafe!

Take advantage of the great food and benefits from the Café at Rio.

The Café at Rio is open to the public-- and so is our Café at Rio Gift Card, which can save you 10% on all of your purchases. Talk to one of our friendly staff for details.

Rio Salado Advisement Closed Fri., Feb 27

Image of Rio Salado advisor with student

Please note, Rio Salado Advisement offices will be closed Friday, Feb. 27 so staff can attend the annual Maricopa Advisement conference.

We apologize if this poses an inconvenience. Please call our main line if you need immediate assistance at 480-517-8000 or 800-729-1197.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Top Three Mascot Finalists Are...

Rio's new mascot will be announced March 24!  Images of other Maricopa Colleges Mascots surrounding Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper

Rio Salado's new mascot will be a Roadrunner, Raven or a Wave! 

Many thanks to all of the students, faculty, staff and other members of our community for taking part in the search-- especially the 134 people who submitted more than 200 mascot ideas and the 1,300 voters. 

We'll announce the finalist March 24.

Early Registration Begins March 9

image of web search box.  Text: I'm ready to search for classess...

Attention current students. You can begin registering as early as March 9 for summer and fall classes.  

If you’re new to Rio Salado and plan to enroll, you can begin registering for classes as early as March 23. 

Take advantage of the benefits of early registration and start mapping out your class schedule today at

Rio Honors Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley

photo of Rio Salado staff with Ny'Quenta Strong

Rio Salado Student Affairs staff attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley 23rd Annual Youth of the Year Banquet to honor and recognize high school students who have emerged as outstanding members of their individual branches, including Ny'Quenta Strong of the Boys & Girls Ladmo Branch in Tempe.

Rio Salado staff presented Strong with a $1,000 scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year at last night's gathering.

Strong is a senior at Tempe High School and an ACE student at Mesa Community College who plans to transfer to Arizona State University to study engineering, psychology and sociology with the goal of working in law enforcement. Read her bio.

We congratulate Strong and all of the students who took part in last night's celebration.

We encourage you to learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley and their efforts to help teens realize their potential and dreams. 

Pictured above: Rio Salado Director of Student Services Richard Conchos, Rio Salado Director of Advisement David Hall, NyQuenta Strong and Rio Salado Community Outreach Specialist Laura Miquirray.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Veterans Resource Fair at EVVEC Feb. 28

Poster for Community Resource Fair and Celebration. Text in header: EVVEC is now Tempe's Official Resource for Veterans. Join us to Celebrate a New Community Partnership.  Other details outlined in text below.

The City of Tempe and the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) have joined forces to provide benefits and services to local military veterans and their families at no cost. A community Resource Fair and Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the EVVEC, 3320 S. Price Rd., Tempe.

Through this new partnership, the City of Tempe is able to host exciting new amenities including an on-site navigator to aid veterans in locating necessary resources, as well as individual and group counseling services for veterans and their family members. As additional programs and services come to fruition through the newly appointed Veterans Commission and the City of Tempe Human Services Division, more opportunities will be made available to military clientele.

The new services provided by the City of Tempe will complement the invaluable opportunities and resources already being provided by the EVVEC. Current services include: academic advisement for the Maricopa Community Colleges and Northern Arizona University degree pathways, assistance with college admittance and financial aid applications, assistance with applying for veterans educational benefits, access to the Rio Salado College Testing Center, access to current employment listings, computer-guided resume writing assistance, referrals for educational, employment, health, community and housing resources, as well as free printing, copying, faxing, scanning, Skype, Wi-Fi and computer resources.

Celebration festivities include remarks by Maricopa Community College District Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper, Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. There will also be ceremonial presentations from ASU ROTC Color Guard and Sun Devil Battalion, as well as a live musical performance by the Gililland Middle School Orchestra.

Visitors to the fair will have access to the following partnering agencies: Arizona Coalition for Military Families, Arizona Department of Economic Security, ASU Pat Tillman Center, ASU Veterans Upward Bound, City of Tempe, Disabled American Veterans, Ethos Group, Honor Walk, Maricopa Community Colleges District, Maricopa Corporate College, Maricopa Workforce Connection, Mesa Community College, Mesa Vet Center, Northern Arizona University, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College, Tempe Veteran's History Project, University of Phoenix, Veterans Administration and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

For more information, please call 480.384.9850 or email 

In the event of rain, the program will be held inside RSC Southern; in the same complex as the East Valley Veterans Education Center. 

The EVVEC is hosted by Rio Salado College in partnership with the Maricopa Community Colleges District, Scottsdale Community College and Mesa Community College. Other partners include the City of Tempe, Arizona Department of Labor, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Disabled American Veterans, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Phoenix VA Healthcare System and Phoenix VA Regional Office.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ask a Librarian Online, Anytime!

Librarian Chat 24/7
Is there a librarian in the house? You bet there is. Ask a Librarian is a free service that will connect you to a librarian who can help you online, anytime!

Get help with:
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What are you waiting for? Ask a Librarian now.

Watch Live Broadcast with Debbi Fields Feb. 24

Photo of Debi Fields and NSLS logo.  Text: Video Speaker Broadcast featuring Debbi Fields, Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015, 5-615 p.m. at Conference Center at Rio

Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields' Cookies will be the next guest speaker for the National Society of Leadership and Success 2014-2015 Broadcast Speaker Series, which will be transmitted live across the country on February 24, 2015.

Rio Salado's NSLS chapter will host a live telecast of her presentation at the Conference Center @ Rio, 5-6:15 p.m. 

Fields is a New York Times best-selling author, TV personality and motivation speaker who uses these guiding principles in her recipe for success:

Capitalize on your passion
Good enough never is
The biggest failure is never trying
Stick to your beliefs and follow your heart

This free event is open to students, staff and the public. 

Interested in learning more about Rio Salado's NSLS chapter? It's a great way to engage with other students while developing important life skills.  Check out this blog feature and visit this web page for more details.

About The National Society of Leadership and Success
The National Society of Leadership and Success is the nation’s largest leadership honor society. It was founded in 2001 to build a community of like-minded, success oriented leaders who come together to help one another succeed. The Society offers interactive broadcasts with the nation’s best speakers, training in goal setting, and team meetings in which students set and hold each other accountable for achieving goals. These benefits, which aim to help members personally and professionally, are offered for the rest of their lives. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 400 college and university campuses nationwide and serves more than 350,000 members. For more information, please visit

Conference Center @ Rio
2323 W. 14th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Vote for Mascot Finalists by Midnight

Your chance to vote for the top three mascot finalists ends tonight, Feb. 20 at midnight. 

Come on, join in the fun! 

The finalist will be announced March 24, 2015.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Meet Jordan Sherwood. Leading by Experience

Photo of Jordan Sherwood

Check out this Maricopa Matters profile about Jordan Sherwood, who serves as a Rio Salado Student Services Specialist at the East Valley Veterans Center.

As a veteran and Maricopa Community Colleges student, Sherwood is using his experience to help other veterans and their families transition from military to civilian life by taking advantage of the educational benefits they deserve.

We're proud to have you on our team.
"The EVVEC is literally the one place you can walk into and find out exactly what you need to know to not only make a successful transition but also to live a comfortable life. Students don’t always know what they need until after they realize they need it. We know what questions to ask, and what conversations to have to prompt these kinds of consultations so that’s the biggest thing. We want students to recognize that, by coming into the EVVEC, we’re going to help them be successful – academically, professionally, and personally." -- Jordan Sherwood
You can meet Sherwood and learn more about the programs and services offered at the EVVEC during a special celebration with the City of Tempe on Saturday, Feb. 28. Visit this blog entry for more details.

March Scholarship Deadlines

Image of graduates standing alongside of one another.  Caption: Pursue Your Dreams

There are countless scholarship opportunities for students. Do yourself a favor, take the time to investigate and apply. It will be well worth your effort.

Here are a some opportunities due to expire in March.

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has dozens of scholarships for fall 2015 and there's only one, convenient general application to complete.  

Deadline is March 22.  Apply Now.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholarship Program is accepting applications for 2015-2016. The program covers full tuition, fees and books, while providing each student with an academic advisor and mentor. It also includes a $2,750 annual living allowance. It is available to all Maricopa Community Colleges students who meet one of these criteria:
  • Adults 25 years or older with dependents
  • College-age youth and adults living with physical disabilities
  • Incoming freshmen ages 18-25, raised through the child welfare system and have no form of financial support
Deadline is March 1. Apply Now.

Need help? Visit this Maricopa Colleges web page to watch a video tutorial about successful tips and strategies to consider in all of your scholarship applications. You can also call on our counseling services team for help.