Friday, October 31, 2014

RSC Named Top 40 Online Community Colleges

Afflordable Colleges Foundation seal for 40 Top Online Community Colleges

The Affordable Colleges Foundation (AFC) just added Rio Salado to its 40 Top Online Community Colleges list for 2014.

The list is comprised by two-year schools offering the best online learning opportunities at the most affordable price. Rio Salado is listed as number 18

AFC, which is a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information, based its decision on data from thousands of community colleges across the country. You can see our college's ranking and related data on this ACF web page.

This new analysis focuses on affordability and online learning. Each community college on the list has tuition and fees less than $3,000 per year and at least 10 full online degree programs available to students.

Rio Salado is committed to making education affordable and accessible to anyone with a passion for learning.

We can help you get started right now. 


Get ready to RockYour Mocs!

Image of dancer with colorful moccasins and dress

Rio Salado is celebrating Native American Heritage Month and Rock Your Mocs Day with special performances and presentations on November 12, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., outside the Café at Rio in Tempe

Share your Rock Your Mocs photos and stories on our Facebook page and with using #RioSaladoCollege #RYM2014

Rio Salado Southern Celebrates Student Diversity

a group of friends pose for a photograph in traditional Chinese dress.

Rio Salado College locations have become a melting pot of world cultures, in great part because of the English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) classes they offer. Students and staff from RSC Southern in Tempe decided to celebrate that diversity by hosting an International Days Festival Oct. 28-30.

Image of attendee holding a flag.

The three-day long festival gave students a chance to share music, food, clothing, stories and traditions that make their culture and country of origin unique.

The celebration kicked off with a Parade of Nations on Oct. 28, which recognized students from more than 35 countries, who proudly waved flags from their country of origin and posed for pictures.
image of map with pins showing student countries of origin

A world map was provided for students to pinpoint their birth country with tacks that included their names. As you can see from this photo, the geographic coverage was extensive.

The event also brought together students who participate in RSC Southern’s Music Club, which meets once a week to improve their English speaking skills through music and song.

Rio Salado Instructor Linda Putnam chooses music that makes it fun and easy for students to memorize lyrics and sing along while they learn and retain correct pronunciation and annunciation.

Rio Salado Lab Technician Francisco Alberto De La Torre-Guiterrez recently joined Linda for weekly classes, contributing his welcomed skills as a trained guitarist.

“It’s really a learning environment,” said Francisco. “The group gets together every Wednesday and we sing traditional American Folklore songs,”

“Students are able to apply what they learn in Music Club to what they are currently learning in ELLA. It seems to really help them to better comprehend the English language.”

Khurram and Francisco
Francisco says he truly enjoys sharing his passion for music and the English language with students from across the globe. He has even begun teaching one of the club’s students, Khurram Shahzad, how to play guitar.

“I was a performance guitar major, so having the opportunity to come to work and share my passion and expertise with students is incredibly rewarding and exciting.” said Francisco.

Khurram attests to the success of the Music Club’s innovative approach to mastering English, and- a side benefit- was inspired by Francisco to learn to play guitar.

“It was something I really wanted to learn, and when the opportunity was offered to students at this location for free, I couldn’t wait to sign up.” said Khurram.

Music also played a special role throughout the International Days Festival, which continued with a talent show, pot luck and other events that gave students a chance to share in a truly multi-cultural experience.

Check our our Facebook page for more photos.

By Aubrie Artiano, PR Coordinator at Rio Salado College

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get Your Free Copy of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 Free to Students!  The ability for students to: 1. Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!) 2. Use with OneDrive for automatic device syncing. 3. Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software. 4. Use the same programs as your instructors to ensure file compatibility.

The Maricopa Community Colleges are providing Microsoft Office 365 to every current student free of charge! How great is that?

Office 365 is the latest version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, OneNote, and more.  It's available for offline and online use to help you prepare for class and your academic journey.

Take advantage of this free student service today. Visit for additional information.

One-Stop Resource Center for Veterans

William Phaler from and veteran Ignacio Reyes.
You can have the best program or service in the world but if no one knows anything about it—what good is it? Increasing awareness about the benefits available to veterans was the primary focus of the Veterans Healthcare Benefits and Resources Clinic at Rio Salado College Southern in Tempe on Friday, Oct. 17.

“After listening to veterans in our district, we found that many were unaware or did not have access to all available community resources,” said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, who hosted the clinic with Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Councilmembers Robin Arredondo-Savage and Corey Woods, the Phoenix VA, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) and the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC).

Left to right: Woods, Sinema, Arrendondo-Savage and Mitchell

More than 30 organizations and VA benefits eligibility advisers offered one-on-one advisement, information on medical care and Medicaid, and how to find help with grief, military sexual trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other issues affecting veterans.

“The importance of ensuring that our veterans have what they need to be successful cannot be understated,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “When a veteran cannot find the services they need, whether that be healthcare, benefits, or an education, we all suffer.”

The clinic was also an opportunity for the EVVEC to increase awareness about the comprehensive services it offers to veterans and their families-- all year long.

“The EVVEC is a one-stop center that provides many free services,” said Troy Friedman, EVVEC’s site coordinator. “Academic advisors assist students with understanding and completing course and degree requirements, class registration and information about student services and resources. On Wednesdays, a Rio Salado career counselor is available for face-to-face meets-- to help students set personal, educational, and career objectives-- and share resources to help them learn, grow and succeed.”

photo of EVVEC service providers
EVVEC Service providers are available to veterans all year long.

The center also provides skill assessments, financial aid and college orientation services to help veterans use their Post-9/11 benefits by mapping out an education plan that fits their unique needs and goals. It hosts Arizona State University’s Veterans Upward Bound classes, which help students improve developmental English, math and computer skills and transition into college. It is also an access point for Maricopa and Phoenix Workforce Development and has a comprehensive referral service program that includes many community-based agencies that can provide assistance with employment, health and housing services.

There are monthly workshops, which include help with resume preparation, interviewing skills, financial literacy, and VA benefits; free wireless Internet and computer access; help learning how to use computers and private Skype access for family of deployed service members.

Rio Salado College Southern is located right next door, so veterans and their families have additional access to Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, English Language Acquisition classes, workshops, testing services and more.

The EVVEC began providing services in 2010 from a temporary location on Broadway and Southern. This new facility, which opened its doors in February 2014 serves as a permanent home for the center, which is hosted by Rio Salado College in partnership with the Maricopa Community Colleges District, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gateway, Chandler-Gilbert and South Mountain Community Colleges. Other partners include the Arizona Department of Labor, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Disabled American Veterans, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Phoenix VA Healthcare System and the Phoenix VA Regional Office.

For more details about services, hours of operation and to schedule a tour of the EVVEC, visit or call 480-384-9850. 

EVVEC Service Providers pictured above: Jeannette Breden, ASU Veterans Upward Bound Program Coordinator; Troy Friedman EVVEC Site Coordinator; Kara Cutler, NAU Military Program Coordinator; David Lopez, Maricopa Workforce Connections Trainer. They were among the service providers available during the Oct. 17 Veterans Healthcare, Benefits and Resources Clinic at Rio Salado College Southern in Tempe and offer help to veterans and their families all year long at the EVVEC. 

This story can also be found in the October 25, 2014 issues of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2015 Career Guide: Find Your Passion

Find your passion and explore your options with the Maricopa Community Colleges 2015 Career Guide. 

Check it out online now:

Early Registration & Student Services Advantage

Don't get Stuck at the Back of the Line!  Register now for Spring 2015 Classes.  Here are the steps you should take to succeed: 1. See an academic advisor to help you choose your classes, update your academic plan, and ask about graduation.  2. Register now at and check out our flexible schedules; day, afternoon and evening classes and hybrid/online options.  3. Pay for your classes.  Complete your FAFSA, check on your Financial Aid Award and sign up for a payment plan.  4. Apply for scholarships by visiting, there are numerous scholarships that are available all year-round.
Take advantage of the benefits of registering early--and the student services available to you through Rio Salado's Academic Advisement and Counseling Services teams.

We also recommend you enroll in Rio Salado's College and Career Success Classes, which are designed to help you succeed in your educational career and personal growth-- especially CPD 150, which is also available online.

With CPD 150, you'll learn about college support resources, how to develop an educational plan, time-management strategies, goal-setting strategies, effective communication skills and note-taking, strategies to improve memory, test-taking tips, career planning resources and more.

Here's a look at what students are saying about CPD 150
I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed taking this class. I wish there was a way to tell everyone attending Rio Salado the importance of taking this class.

I just wanted to say thank you, for everything! This class has been an amazing guide and I have recommended it to my brother and best friend who are both undecided.

I have learned many valuable time-management skills that have resulted in working smarter rather than harder. I have also learned that no matter how “mature” and “wise” you think you are, you can develop new skills that will result in new experiences. I have developed new skills that are making my classes more enjoyable.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Volunteers Break World Record to End Hunger

image from azcentral story about Oct. 25 event, shot of volunteers creating food packs.

Thanks to the support of countless volunteers, the Valley of the Sun United Way’s World Record to End Hunger event on Oct. 25 was a smashing success!

In three minutes, volunteers packed 1,993 bags to benefit local children in need, beating the previous record of 1,000 bags. 

Check out this azcentral story at for more details about the event and how you can continue to make a difference.

We thank you for joining Rio Salado, the Maricopa Community Colleges and Valley of the Sun United Way in this year's effort to help end hunger in Maricopa County. 

You do make a difference.  


Friday, October 24, 2014

First Annual Veteran Summit at PC Nov. 6

Image of arms/hands shaking, one with business attire, the other in military uniform
Phoenix College Veteran Services is collaborating with Support Education and Employment for Vets (S.E.E.4VETS) and the Valley's business community to host the First Annual Veteran Summit, November 6.

The summit is designed to give business leaders, veteran students and alumni an opportunity to engage in an open dialogue about ways skilled veterans can help satisfy the needs of local employers.

The Summit is not a job fair. It is a way for veteran students and alumni to network with leaders in the business community and learn how to transition into the business industry.

Phoenix College Career Services staff will be on hand to help veterans with resume preparation. Free business cards, flash drive, and resume printing will be available prior to the event.

Network and meet great people who can help you get to the next stage of your career!

First Annual Veteran Summit at Phoenix College
Thursday, November 6, 2014

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Phoenix College, Hacienda Room, F Building
View Map
Lunch will be provided

Please call (602) 285-7342 or stop by the PC Veteran Services office in the Hannelly Center to register for the event.

Program Summary
Moderated discussion with veterans and business leaders who will share:
  • Their experiences in navigating the business community and what they learned.
  • What they wished they knew while they were in school.
  • How veteran students can best highlight their important skills and training.
There will also be time for participants to ask questions.  

  • 11:00 a.m. - Welcome
    Dr. Heather Kruse, Dean, Student Affairs, PC
  • 11:05 a.m. - Opening Remarks
    Dr. Anna Solley, President, PC and Laura Pastor, District 4 Councilwoman
  • 11:15 a.m. - Summit Overview
    Ray Torres, Chairman of the Board S.E.E.4VETS, Major General USAF (Ret.) Carl Schneider, S.E.E.4VETS Strategic Advisor and John Nicholas, S.E.E.4VETS Strategic Advisor
  • 11:30 a.m. - Panel Discussion
    Student and Alumni Panel  
  • 12:15 p.m. - Photos, Networking and Prizes
  • 1:00 p.m. - Appreciation Fair
    Bear's Den Patio / Sophomore Square 

Image of soldiers saluting, as seen on PC Veterans Services web page
Presented by PC Veteran Services in partnership with the S.E.E.4VETS (Support Education and Employment for Vets)

Student Success Tip: Ask for Help

Poster for Student Success Tips: Everyone needs a little help sometimes.  Ask for Help.  You don't have to figure out everything on your own.  Experts are available to help you in the following areas: Financial Aid to help pay for college, Tutoring to help you improve your grades, Career Services to help you find your purpose, Counseling to help you with personal and academic concerns and our Library, which can help you research, find books, articles and other resources.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Successful students understand they can't go it alone and seek the counsel of experts.

Take advantage of the student services available to you at Rio Salado College. Learn more by talking to our Academic Advisement and Counseling Services teams, which can help you:

  • Select degree pathways
  • Evaluate transfer credits
  • Choose appropriate classes
  • Identify college resources
  • Explore university transfer and articulation agreements
  • Personal and educational goals
  • Time management and stress 
  • Set career goals and prepare for your job search

If you're new to Rio Salado, we highly recommend you enroll in our College and Career Success Classes

#help #financialaid #tutoring #advising #careerservices #counseling #library #collegeresources #askforhelp #iwillgraduate

Cyber Security Tips You Can Use All Year Long

Cyber Security month is drawing to close but we hope you'll employ these tips all year long:

Stop. Think. Connect.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

UNITE with Rio Salado to End Hunger

Who's hungry in Maricopa County?  82,000 Valley households don't know where their next meal is coming from.  That's enough refrigerators to reach rim-to-rim and back again at the Grand Canyon.  Enough Dinner Tables to reach the top of Camelback Mountain, 130 Times!  According to a 2010 US Census Bureau, the average houehold in Arizona has 2.63 occupants.  That's enough people to fill a city almost as big as Scottsdale or fill Chase Field-- Five Times.  Sign up to end Hunger at
We are pleased to announce that the United Way has already reached its volunteer capacity for the World Record Event to End Hunger! We truly appreciate your participation.

You're welcome to join us as a spectator at the event to cheer us on and celebrate this momentous occasion. We cannot, however, guarantee you a spot inside of the official Guinness "attempt area" for the backpack assembly.

The event takes place Sat. Oct. 25 from 12-3 p.m. at ASU's Band Practice Field at 511 S. Rural Rd. The event starts at noon, and the attempt happens 2-3 p.m. (parking will be limited, please car pool).

Other Ways to Help:
The goal of this year's United Way fall campaign is to end hunger once and for all in Maricopa County, which effects 82,000 Valley households.  

Food Drive
Drop off food donations at Rio Salado locations across the Valley by Friday, Oct. 24. Suggested Items: Peanut Butter, Canned Vegetables or Fruit, Rice, Pasta, Beans. No glass please. 

Make a monetary contribution that works with your budget.

Be the One to make a difference.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SIS Access Update and Outage Oct. 23

image of a Stethoscope in front of computer hardware

You maybe experiencing issues logging into SIS or experiencing intermittent access issues. Our Maricopa Colleges ITS teams are working to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.

Please note, SIS will not be available Thursday, Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m. for maintenance and repairs.

We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this.

College Connect Workshop for High School Students

Attention high school students: register for the next City of Tempe L.I.F.T. workshop at the Tempe Public Library on Saturday, November 1. This community-based program is specifically designed to help you fulfill your dream of a post-secondary education.

The next session will focus on funding your college career. 

Visit for more details.

Students attending the workshop will be entered in a drawing to win one of five $250 scholarships.