Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bookstore Sale 30% Discount

Take advantage of special discounts of 30% off on textbooks, apparel, supplies, accessories and more at the Rio Salado College Bookstore in Tempe. Sale ends Aug. 3.

Visit for hours of service.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Town of QC Candidate Forum July 30

The Queen Creek Town Council Candidate forum is right around the corner.

Engage in the dialogue July 30, 6:30 p.m. at the Communiversity at Queen Creek.

Send your questions for the candidates to Queen Creek/San Tan Valley Independent News Editor Wendy Miller at

Check out this Independent feature by Ms. Miller for more details and insights:

There are eight candidates running to fill three open seats on the Queen Creek Town Council. They are, clockwise from top left, Lanny Brown, Del Caron, Larry Chesley, Jason Gad, Juliea Wheatley, Emilena Turley, Kyle Robinson and Dawn Oliphant (Wendy Miller, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Employer-sponsored Educational Opportunities

Some companies offer perks like free coffee, Ping-Pong tables in break rooms, and off-site team building activities (read: laser tag)! But several Valley employers are giving their employees something even more valuable: access to a college education.

Rio Salado College has educational partnerships with dozens of local companies. Through the partnerships, employees can receive credit for on-the-job training, and take any remaining credits needed to complete an associate degree from Rio Salado.

These employer-sponsored educational partnerships are mutually beneficial because employees further their education, leading to career advancement, while employers gain a more skilled workforce.

“I knew I was earning credits while attending the deputy academy, but it didn’t click at the time that I could do something with them,” said Guillermo Garcia, a detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Garcia earned an associate degree in law enforcement technology from Rio Salado in May. He credits the training he received on the job along with the opportunity to earn college credits with helping him reach this milestone.

“After an evaluation by Rio Salado’s academic advisement department, I learned I only needed three classes to achieve my degree,” Garcia said. “I really didn't want to go back to school. Once I started, I realized getting a college education wasn't difficult. Plus it was a good influence on my children to see me graduate.”

Garcia plans on continuing his education.

“I want to become a lawyer after I retire, so I am working on a bachelor’s degree in public administration through Rio Salado’s partnership with Northern Arizona University,” Garcia said. “This program is great because I can take classes at the community college rate and transfer those credits to NAU.”

APS employee Richard Martinez is another student who also gained a college degree with the help of his employer.

“I decided to earn a college degree to empower myself and to equip myself with the tools needed to be able to function in today’s society,” Martinez said.

Thanks to the educational partnership between APS and Rio Salado College, Martinez is on his way.

“It was very beneficial for me to receive college credits for successfully completing my employer's training,” Martinez said. “This was the jump-start I needed. Without this program, it would have taken me longer to complete my degree.”

Martinez found the entire experience seamless, noting the convenience and cost savings. However, he also had to learn how to budget his time.

“My greatest challenge while taking classes was juggling work and school,” Martinez said. “It is very challenging to do both. It definitely takes a great deal of discipline and dedication to be able to focus on school and accomplish your goals.”

The education bug has bitten Martinez, too.

“I sincerely believe that I am a lifelong learner,” he said. “I really love to learn. Therefore my long-range career and educational goals include learning as much as possible about things that interest me as well as things that do not. I eventually would like to receive a master’s degree in business.”

If your company would like to explore educational partnerships with Rio Salado College, please call 480-517-8512.

This story can also be found in the July 19 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator at Rio Salado College. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rio Library Database: Ethnic NewsWatch

Ethnic NewsWatch is a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives. Check it out!

News courtesy of the Rio Salado Library.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Student-loan Debt-settlement Scams

Reporter Adriene Hill of the public radio show Marketplace ran a story this month about unscrupulous companies that are tricking borrowers into paying upfront fees for student-loan debt-settlement services they don't provide, including a fake “Obama Forgiveness Program.”

Hill discovered that some of these companies are charging upwards of $1600 for debt consolidation services that are available free of charge from the government.

Take the time to listen to Payback time for student-loan scams? and take advantage of related tips and resources listed on the host web page. It will be a wise investment of your time.

Marketplace can be heard on 91.5 KJZZ, a community service of Rio Salado College.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Part-time Positions Available at Rio Salado

Join our winning team! There are several job opportunities with Rio Salado College, including Federal Work Study positions. Please visit for more details.

For full-time and other employment opportunities with Rio Salado College and all Maricopa Community College District locations, please visit: 

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

KJZZ GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Get to know the candidates.
Get to know the 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidates with KJZZ's Steve Goldstein and Mark Brodie July 22 at the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe. Gain an understanding of the candidates' positions prior to casting your vote in the August 26 primary. The 90 minute discussion will focus on a variety of issues and listener submitted questions moderated by KJZZ's Sarah Ventre. 

Can't be there in person?
A live audio stream of the forum will be available at A portion of the event will be presented on the July 23 edition of KJZZ's Here and Now.

Submit your question.
To submit a question, please send an email to by 5 p.m. on July 21. Questions can also be submitted in-person at the event.

Republican Gubernatorial Primary Forum
July 22, 2014, 6 p.m.
1300 N College Ave
Tempe, AZ 85281

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to  

Contributed by 91.5 KJZZ, a community service of Rio Salado College.

Block Calendar 101

This video will give you a brief on how the Rio Salado Block Calendar System works. Please note, all of your classes must fit within your semester block's start and end date. Classes that are out of block are automatically dropped.

For more details visit or contact the Rio Salado Advisement team at

Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Prior Learning Credit with CLEP Exam

As an online college, Rio Salado doesn’t get the kind of foot traffic you see on most campuses so our curiosity was piqued a few weeks ago when a small school bus pulled up to the Tempe headquarters and dropped off nearly 20 Franklin Police and Fire High School students dressed in matching t-shirts.

Accompanying the students was Steve Clendenen, Franklin’s Spanish teacher and world languages instructional leader, who provided some insight about their visit.

The students came to Rio Salado to take their College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) Spanish exam—one of 33 CLEP tests offered at the college. These exams assess subject matter proficiency and provide an opportunity for students to receive college credit with qualifying scores. Spanish CLEP test takers can earn up to 16 college credits.

“The majority of the students receive the maximum credits,” said Clendenen. “That’s due to the preparation and the hard work that we put in throughout the year to prepare for the test-- the listening dialogues, the reading comprehension activities. This is proof that they are bilingual, they’re bi-literate and they can handle college coursework.”

As the name suggests, Franklin Police and Fire High School, which is part of the Phoenix Union High School District, specializes in preparing students for careers in Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services. It is the first in the nation to offer a police and fire program within a four-year comprehensive high school program. All students are required to complete two years of Spanish, including communication skills that bilingual EMT and police officers often use in the field.

While many of the Franklin students grew up in Spanish-speaking households, most were unfamiliar with the Castilian dialect they had to learn in class for the CLEP exam.

“From day one I tell them that they will learn the universally accepted Spanish language, which is Castilian, so there is a transition period, especially when they’re freshman,” said Clendenen.

Clenenden, who has been with Franklin for six years, arranged for 41 students to take the exam over the course of two days. He also helped the students organize fundraisers to help pay for the test. The students raised nearly $4,200 by hosting movie nights, car washes and selling refreshments.

“I’m just very happy that every student was fully funded to take the test this year and the results speak for themselves,” said Clendenen.

CLEP exams are one of several ways individuals can earn college credit for prior learning. Qualified candidates are also eligible to seek departmental credit by examination or evaluation.

There are also a variety of other exams administered by Rio Salado testing centers across the Valley, including the GED® test and discounted CompTIA certification exams.

For more details about credit for prior learning and testing services, visit or call 480-517-8560.

This story can also be found in the July 12 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.