Showing posts with label Excellence in Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excellence in Education. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Student Spotlight: Meet ELAA Student Hiam Muhyar

photo of Hiam Muhyar

Meet Hiam Muhyar, an English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) student attending classes at the Rio Salado Southern location in Tempe who is taking her educational journey to a new level—inside and outside of the classroom.

“I love going to Rio Salado College,” said Muhyar. “I learned from great teachers and made many friends.”

Her enthusiasm is contagious—as is her dedication for being involved in the community.


Among her most recent accomplishments was winning the 2016 Adult Literacy Week Contest hosted by the Arizona Department of Education in February for producing a video with her classmates called, The Best Class, which features Muhyar and her ELAA classmates talking about their experiences in the program and learning English. The video won top honors in the Digital Storytelling category. Watch the video now.

Muhyar is also the recipient of a Presidential Award pin from the City of Tempe for her volunteer service—dedicating more than 500 hours knitting items for others in need. Muhyar, who is from Jordan and moved to the U.S. in 2008 is now a U.S. citizen—and wears her Presidential Award pin with pride.

Muhyar has exemplified outstanding student leadership and is a great source of pride and inspiration for staff and students at Rio Salado Southern.

No matter what your current English skill level is, Rio Salado College has a class to help you learn English at your own pace. Visit this web page to learn more about Rio Salado's ELAA and other College Bridge Pathways programs. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Watch Lumina #StrongerNation Webcast!

Images for Stronger Nation webcast and photo of Dr. Bustamante

Did you miss the April 11 Lumina Foundation Stronger Nation‬ live webcast with The National Press Club It’s available for viewing now online.

The event was hosted to review the 2016 Stronger Nation report, which provides the latest degree attainment data, with media and a panel of national experts who discussed the fundamental inequities in post-secondary education, changing workforce requirements, the impact of low attainment rates and more. Included on that panel was Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante.

snapshot from the webcast
We encourage you to watch the webcast and engage in the discussion using #StrongerNation.

View the report now online.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Join RSC & @LuminaFound #StrongerNation 4/11

snapshot of Lumina Foundation StrongerNation Facebook page, image of monuments from across the nation.  Text: A stonger nation through higher education.

The Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation report on post-secondary attainment has been the leading source of information about progress toward national attainment goals since it was first published in 2009. The 2016 edition, which will be released on Monday, April 11 as part of a special presentation, will include the latest degree attainment data as well as the first-ever nationally representative data showing Americans’ attainment of high-quality post-secondary certificates.

Dr. Bustamante
Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante will be taking part in Monday’s #StrongerNation presentation hosted by the Lumina Foundation, as part of a panel of national experts.

The panel will discuss issues such as the fundamental inequities in post-secondary education; changing workforce requirements; the social, economic, and community impact of low attainment rates; and other related issues. The panel discussion will be moderated by Nirvi Shah, deputy editor for policy at POLITICO Pro.

We encourage you to take part by watching a live stream of the event, 12-2 p.m. Arizona time, and by engaging in the dialogue online using #StrongerNation

The link to the live stream is: https://scontent.webcaster4.com/web/strongernation2016.

For additional details, visit this Lumina Foundation web page.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Does it Take to Meet Student Expectations?

snapshot of EvoLLution web page featuring story.  Image of young student smiling at camera.  Text: Scaling Personalization: What It Takes To Meet The Expectations of Today’s Students.  Rachelle Clarke | Dean of Enrollment Services, Rio Salado —With Shannon McCarty | Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs, Rio Salado Community College.  Caption under studnt photo: By leveraging technological tools and taking strides in understanding and grouping students, institutions can deliver the highly personalized experience learners expect at scale.
Rio Salado Dean of Enrollment Services Rachelle Clarke joined Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs Shannon McCarty to share insights and perspectives with The EvoLLLution team about the use of technology in meeting the expectations, demands and needs of today's students.

In this interview, Clarke and McCarty focus on the importance of personalization and customization of services-- and how technology can help educational institutions improve their student services, experiences and successes.

Read the full interview now

Your thoughts? Engage in the dialogue!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meet Rio Salado 2016 All-AZ Honorees

Image of Vanessa Williams and Shawna Daniels standing in front of ALL-AZ banner.

Among the 25 extraordinary Maricopa Community College students honored for their distinguished achievements and leadership at the 2016 All-Arizona (ALL-AZ) Academic Awards Luncheon on March 3, 2016, were Rio Salado scholars Shawna Daniels and Vanessa Williams.

Each year, participating colleges nominate two of their most distinguished students to receive the ALL-AZ honor, which includes tuition to one of Arizona’s three state universities and a cash scholarship.

Daniels and Williams were selected as Rio’s 2016 honorees for their academic excellence, community leadership and personal determination.


Shawna Daniels is a working mom who lives in Payson, Arizona, with her husband and their children.

“Being a busy mom of three, I would never have thought I would have the time to complete my college degree and help my community in the ways that I have this year,” said Daniels.

Parenthood came with more challenges than the young couple expected. After getting through the early childhood years, Daniels realized it was time to invest in herself to create the financial future she wanted for her family.

“I chose Rio Salado because of the convenient online classes and staggered start dates,” Daniels said. “With Rio Salado’s amazing technology and student support, I can properly plan and stay dedicated to my studies.”

Daniels with her grandmother Marlene
and husband Mark.
In addition to being a member of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, Daniels engaged in several community service projects including volunteer work for the Rotary Club of Payson and Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. She also organized a charity golf tournament that raised approximately $7,500 for Payson charities.

Daniels plans to attend Northern Arizona University (NAU) with the ALL-AZ scholarship and is working toward becoming a certified public accountant.

“I would not likely be able to attend NAU without this scholarship,” said Daniels. “Being awarded full tuition to a university is priceless and has changed my entire life.”


Vanessa Williams also knows a thing or two about life changing events. The Rio Salado student is both honored and humbled to be recognized at the ALL-AZ awards.

“My life has been one of perseverance,” Williams said. “I was diagnosed with severe depression at the age of 13. I began to use drugs in my twenties. I spent more than thirteen years of my life homeless and destitute, lacking the ability to see any hope in my future.”

But everything changed six years ago when Williams took a training class to become a peer support specialist.

“A peer support specialist assists people who are recovering with mental illness or drug addiction,” Williams said. After working part time for a year at Warm Line, a peer-run support line, Williams was promoted to supervisor.

“I then made the second best decision of my life which was to return to school and get a degree,” Williams said. “As a mother and a grandmother, it was important to return to college to set a good example for my family. Returning to school was also a vital part of my recovery.”

Williams chose to attend Rio Salado College, and quickly found an aptitude for leadership and service.

Williams with husband Joe
As president of Rio Salado’s PTK chapter, and vice-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success chapter, Williams invested her time to champion behavioral health issues and to advocate for people who are homeless.

“I love being of service to others,” Williams said. “I also like seeing people succeed when they didn’t believe that they could. Continuing my education will allow me the ability to help others discover their own unique leadership skills.”

Williams plans on attending NAU this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her dream is to start a non-profit organization that assists in the professional development of people who have been diagnosed with behavioral health issues.

“I feel like anything is possible when you put your mind to it,” Williams said. “I am grateful to Rio Salado College for all they have done to help me to achieve my dreams.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Innovating Language Education

Snapshot of NMC web header, two, multi-national students engaged in conversation

The New Media Consortium (NMC) recently published a report called Innovating Language Education: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief, which provides insights about language education trends, challenges and opportunities to improve student proficiencies and cultural awareness through the use of new technologies.

Angela Felix photo
Among the NMC editorial board members contributing to the 2016 report was Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Languages Angela Felix, who addressed matters of personalized learning strategies.

"Done well, personalized learning can serve to celebrate and validate what heritage speakers already know, which can increase their academic confidence and foster a willingness to spend more time on what needs improvement," said Felix. "Adopting a curriculum that adapts to these learners' needs means that they are not sitting idly by while their classmates struggle with vocabulary and pronunciation that the heritage speakers learned growing up; they can focus on honing the language skills they will need to be successful in academic and professional settings.”

image of a medical professional conversing with a patientThe report also addresses the importance of educational institutions creating partnerships with government and industry to advance the field of language education. Included as a proof of concept is Rio Salado’s online Spanish Medical Interpreting curriculum, which was developed in partnership with Phoenix Children's Hospital in response to the urgent need for qualified interpreters in healthcare settings. Content from the two online classes has earned national accreditation from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.

Students who complete the classes can apply for a 40-hour externship, which provides opportunities for real-life interpreting experiences at hospitals, clinics, and organizations. See related story and Rio Salado’s Spanish for Medical Interpretation web page for additional details.

image of report cover
The full report, which is available online, was commissioned by the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (LFTIC) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

The New Media Consortium is a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The NMC stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rio PTK Hosts Healing Arts Day for Kids Dec. 19

Header for Healing Arts Day invite.  Images of artistic expression like paint, young people playing instruments.

Rio Salado's Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter is hosting Healing Arts Day for youth as part of its Honors-in-Action (HIA) project for 2015!

Students who take part in PTK HIA projects are charged with conducting research, evaluating results and taking action on a topic of interest. This year, Rio Salado’s PTK team focused on this question: “How do the arts foster hope and well-being?”

After researching and evaluating their results, Rio Salado PTK students decided to take action by sponsoring a Healing Arts Day for youth at the Temple Public Library.

Their goal is to give young people a chance to experience the positive effects of the arts-- whether it be dance, music, painting, poetry, scrap-booking, writing or the spoken word.

image of event flier.  all text available in blog.
We encourage you to join Rio Salado’s PTK team for this free, family-friendly event!

Healing Arts Day 
December 19, 2015
10 a.m. -12 p.m.
 

Tempe Public Library

3500 S. Rural Road
Tempe, Arizona 85282


Contact John Bastian at john.bastian@riosalado.edu or 480-517-8656 for more details about this event.

PTK actively promotes scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. To learn more about PTK and other student life initiatives, visit this Rio Salado Student Life web page.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rosalynn Carter Meet on Mental Health Policy


Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden attended the 31st Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, Nov 12-13, 2015. The Symposium, which was titled Help Wanted: Reshaping the Behavioral Health Workforce, was chaired by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter at the Carter Center and Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

Watch the archived webcast of the 2015 symposium.
“I was amazed by the dedication that the Carters have to improving the lives of people who suffer from mental illness,” said Bowden. “The Carters have had a huge impact on improving mental health care not only in the United States but internationally.
Attendance at the symposium was by personal invitation only. Bowden was among approximately 70 of the nation's leading mental health experts in attendance.

“Rosalynn Carter attended the entire conference and chaired most sessions. Her friendliness, openness and dedication to serving others was evident-- and an inspiration,” said Bowden.



History of the symposium
In 1985, former first lady Rosalynn Carter initiated the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to bring together national leaders in mental health to focus and coordinate their efforts on an issue of common concern.

The symposia provide a unique opportunity for the attendees to hear remarks from a variety of individuals with expertise on a selected topic; discuss diverse viewpoints in an open forum; identify areas of consensus and potential collaborations as well as points of divergence; and to recommend action steps for symposium participants to move an agenda forward.

Image of Rosalynn Carter and photo from symposia panel discussion.

Held each November, the symposia have examined such issues as mental illness and the elderly, child and adolescent illness, family coping, financing mental health services and research, treating mental illness in the primary care setting, and stigma and mental illness.

In addition to the symposium, the Mental Health Program hosts another annual meeting to tackle pressing issues in mental health policy, the Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, held each May since 1995 for state mental health organizations.

For more details about the Carter Center Mental Health Programs, visit this web page

Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, has been serving as President of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals since Oct. 2014. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for NAADAC’s Advances in Addiction & Recovery magazine. While serving in many capacities for NAADAC through the years, Kirk has also served as Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program, Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon University, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (IN CASE), and as a steering committee member for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Partners for Recovery, and the Higher Education Accreditation and Competencies expert panel for SAMHSA/CSAT.

Bowden was recognized by the Arizona Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as Advocate of the Year for 2010, and by the American Counseling Association for the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award in 2013, the Fellow Award in 2014, and most recently for the Outstanding Addiction/Offender Professional Award in 2015.

logo for Ariazona Board of Behavioral Health
The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health recently appointed Bowden to a three year term as one of three members of the Substance Abuse Academic Review Committee (ARC), which elected him to serve as chair. The ARC is a crucial part of the board's licensing process and will be responsible for reviewing applications from individuals applying for licensure in Arizona. The ARC will also review applications from regionally accredited colleges and universities for approval of their addiction counseling degree programs.

image of Rio Salado headquarters.
Rio Salado College is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders. 

Bowden leads a team of faculty who are experts in the field. 

“We are here to provide quality instruction to students and leadership in the industry.” Said Bowden. 

For information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit www.riosalado.edu/ASD or call on our Academic Advisement team at 480-517-8580.

Photo 1: Bowden with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Executive Director of NAADAC Cynthia Moreno Tuohy.

Photo 2: Bowden and Moreno Tuohy with former United States Surgeon General Dr David Sacher.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Congratulations Adult ACE Completers!

photo of students and staff at completion ceremony.

Rio Salado held a ceremony on October 6, 2015 to recognize 34 students who recently completed the Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) program. 

Adult ACE is a scholarship-based college and career preparation program for adults, 16-years-of-age or older, designed to help students prepare for the GED® test, transition smoothly into higher education and complete a degree, certificate, or workforce training program.

image of attendees and guests

Many of the students stated they were going to continue their post-secondary education said Rio Salado Director of Adult ACE and College Bridge Pathways Workplace Education Kate Packer. “The students worked hard and did well in this rigorous four semester program that prepares HSE (High School Equivalency) students and graduates for the demands of college,” said Packer.

Packer served as the master of ceremonies for the event and was joined by Rio Salado Dean of Instruction and Community Development Dr. Jo Jorgenson and Associate Dean of College Bridge Pathways Blair Liddicoat who helped to recognize the students.

Packer in background. Jorgenson, student Eng Kim Stirnaman and Liddicoat.
“Student speakers Anna Andersen, Ayla Lopez, and Patrick Tellez touched everyone’s hearts with their stories,” said Packer.

Adult ACE Completion Ceremony speakers Lopez, Tellez and Anderson

“There were some tears, laughter and a great deal of inspiration. We look forward to seeing these students’ names among our college graduates soon-- they are definitely ready,” said Packer.

Congratulations Adult ACE Completers! 

Visit this Facebook album to see additional photos. 

To learn more about this program, visit http://www.riosalado.edu/programs/abe/Pages/ace.aspx.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rio Faculty Chair Leads Addiction Profession

Kirk Bowdend photo
Congratulations to Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden for his leadership role in the behavioral health profession!

The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health recently appointed Bowden to a three year term as one of three members of the Substance Abuse Academic Review Committee. This is a new position created in response to a SB 1374 mandate.


The ARC committee is a crucial part of the board's licensing process and will be responsible for reviewing applications from individuals applying for licensure in Arizona. The ARC will also review applications from regionally accredited colleges and universities for approval of their addiction counseling degree programs.

2015 NAADAC conference graphic.

Bowden also took part in NAADAC, the Association of Addiction Professionals 2015 National Conference in Washington D.C. earlier this month.

The conference included a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders and to advocate for the addiction profession. As NAADAC's current President, Bowden served as the chair for the conference.

Bowden has been instrumental in developing Rio Salado’s Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, which is one of Arizona’s top educational programs for addictions counseling professionals. 

For additional information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit www.riosalado.edu/ASD or call Academic Advisement at 480-517-8580

cover of Advances in Addiction Recovery fall issue
Bowden’s latest published work is entitled Key Terms Important to Moving Forward the Addiction Counseling Licensing Effort, which is featured in the fall 2015 edition of Advances in Addiction & Recovery, a professional journal published by NAADAC.

Friday, October 16, 2015

White House Names Rio a “Bright Spot”

web header for White House initiative

Rio Salado College has received two recognitions from the White House for its dedication to serving Hispanic students.

The college is one of more than 100 Commitments to Action named yesterday by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Organizations that participate in the commitment pledge to increase educational opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and deliver a complete and competitive education for all students, including Hispanics.

“We are honored to be recognized by the White House for our efforts to reach out to underserved populations,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “Educational opportunity has never mattered more than it does today. Regardless of where a student is on their educational journey, Rio Salado College is here to help prepare them for the jobs of the future.”

students studying at a Rio Salado location

As part of its action plan, Rio Salado is increasing efforts to reach local schools with large Hispanic student populations, assess their education needs and increase awareness of college programs.

“Rio Salado College already has many offerings from GED® test preparation to post-baccalaureate master’s degree partnerships,” said Dr. Jennifer Gresko, faculty chair for teacher education. “By identifying the school’s needs, our staff members can start conversations about enrolling in the many different programs, whether within educator preparation or in other fields.”

AACE graduate holding up her certificate of completion

Last month, the Initiative named Rio Salado College’s Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) program as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education as part of its 25th Anniversary of Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Bright Spot organizations are recognized for using data-driven approaches, promising practices, and effective partnerships resulting in increased educational completion opportunities for the Hispanic community.

“This nation has set a goal for citizens to achieve at least some post-secondary education to be competitive in the job market,” said Dr. Jo Jorgenson, dean of instruction and community development at Rio Salado. “Yet, more than 40 million Americans lack either a high school or equivalency diploma.”

Rio Salado’s Adult ACE program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, helps bridge that gap by providing an educational pathway for minority, first-generation college students.

Adult ACE students are simultaneously enrolled in Rio Salado’s college classes and in classes to help them prepare for the GED® test. Students are also provided with personalized academic advising and support services to ease the transition.

“The primary objective of Adult ACE is to help students become more confident, improve their college and workplace skills, and lay the foundation for a better future,” Jorgenson said.


About the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The Initiative was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. To learn more visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Rio Salado in the News!

headline from East Valley Tribune story about Rio Salado grant.

The word is getting out about a $2.6 million grant Rio Salado will receive from the U.S. Department of Education to support innovation and improve student outcomes.

This online story by East Valley Tribune reporter James Gingerich provides insights into how Rio Salado will use the funding to help new students succeed. It includes comments from Rio Salado Dean of Instruction Shannon McCarty and Interim Dean of Instructional Technology Michael Medlock, who are leading this new grant initiative.

Learn more by watching the Oct. 5 edition of Cronkite News at ow.ly/T3tp0 for a report by Kendall Bartley and visit ow.ly/T5hME for additional coverage by 3TV Phoenix reporter Erika Flores.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Case for Expanding Online Learning

http://evolllution.com/managing-institution/operations_efficiency/online-models-provide-answers-to-free-tuition-infrastructure-questions/
Rio Salado Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs Shannon McCarty recently published this feature for EvoLLLution.com to address how online educational models can help traditional, two-year colleges increase their capacity and ability to serve a greater number of students.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rio Investigator Training Course Piques Interest


Image of headline from  Ahwatukee Foothills News: Rio Salado College offers surrounding poicie agencies new hybrid investigative course

We are pleased to share this story by Ahwatukee Foothills News intern reporter Ryan Santistevan about Rio Salado's new Investigator Training Course for local law enforcement professionals-- which is now available in a hybrid format at the Communiversity at Queen Creek.

Flier for course: Investigator Training Course for Law Enforcement Professionals.  NEW for FALL 2015! Enhance Your Investigative Skills Rio Salado College now offers the Investigator Training course for law enforcement professionals in a hybrid format, which combines in-person and online learning. The hybrid course offers more flexibility to those who cannot attend in-person on a weekly basis. The class covers crime scene management, investigation report writing, interview and interrogation, search warrants and court orders, courtroom testimony and more. Officers will receive 16-hours of continuous training from AZPOST per college credit. Through this program, participants can earn up to 64 hours of AZPOST training hours. Overview: Class open to sworn and civilian law enforcement only • Class meets August 27-December 10, 2015 • Taught by Detective Paul Dalton, Phoenix PD • In person classes take place at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142 • In-person Thursday class dates: Aug. 27, Oct. 15 and Dec. 10, from 4:30-9 p.m. Remainder of the course is conducted online. Enroll Now! Contact Sylvia Anderson at 480-517-8461 or sylvia.anderson@riosalado.edu
Included are insights from Angela Kwan, faculty chair at Rio Salado College, who explains how the course helps Phoenix police agencies with training.

Are you interested in a law enforcement career? We can help you get started.

Whether you’re already an officer or looking to join the force, Rio Salado has the training you need to advance your career!  The Law Enforcement Technology program is designed to provide you with the education needed to enhance your professional skills, earn promotions and meet the challenges of being a law enforcement officer. You can earn 39 credits toward your degree just for completing your basic training.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Workforce Lessons Learned at Education Summit


Here's a great story by Queen Creek/San Tan Valley Independent reporter Wendy Miller about the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce education summit hosted at the Communiversity at Queen Creek on Sept. 3. 

Among the things discussed was how to prepare students for the workforce.

Pictured in photo to right, standing, is Communiversity at Queen Creek Director of Community Partnerships Charles Flanagan leading one of the discussions.

"By working collaboratively, educators and businesspeople can create a sustainable workforce of young adults who will continue to live, work and raise their family in Queen Creek," said Flanagan.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Review of Addiction Counseling Requirements

Photo of Kirk Bowden

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden published an editorial called My Big Concern for the Addiction Counseling Profession (Part II) for the summer edition of Advances in Addiction & Recovery, a professional journal published by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

This is a follow up to a spring 2015 editorial published by Bowden about the same subject.

image of fall Advances in Addicition and Recovery magazine

Bowden calls on state behavioral health regulatory/licensing boards to implement a requirement that behavioral health professionals have addiction-specific education and experience before practicing addiction counseling independently. Most states do not have this requirement.

Rio Salado College is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders.


“We have a lot of highly-qualified faculty who are experts in the field,” Bowden said. “For example, one adjunct is the author of a textbook that is used nationally and another works as a policy writer for President Obama.”

Bowden himself is well known in the field.

In addition to serving as NAADAC’s President since October 2014, Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for NAADAC’s Advances in Addiction & Recovery magazine. While serving in many capacities for NAADAC through the years, Kirk has also served as Chair of the Chemical Dependency Counseling Rio Salado College, Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon University, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (IN CASE), and as a steering committee member for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Partners for Recovery, and the Higher Education Accreditation and Competencies expert panel for SAMHSA/CSAT.

Bowden was recognized by the Arizona Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as Advocate of the Year for 2010, and by the American Counseling Association for the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award in 2013, the Fellow Award in 2014, and most recently for the Outstanding Addiction/Offender Professional Award in 2015.

For additional information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit www.riosalado.edu/ASD or call Academic Advisement at 480-517-8580.

Monday, August 17, 2015

NACCTEP Student Spotlight: Federico Poloni

image of Federico Poloni from video clip


Rio Salado student Federico Poloni was awarded a $1,000 scholarship through the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP).

image of NACCTEP web banner


Each year the NACCTEP Scholarship Committee reviews applications from teacher education students across the country. Poloni was one of two awardees.

He is a student in the Educator Preparation Program's undergraduate partnership with Northcentral University and will be completing a secondary certificate with a content focus of math education.

Poloni brings a strong background of mentorship with high school students and a passion for working with at-risk students.

Here's Poloni's way of saying thank you by way of video. For more details, visit nacctep.riosalado.edu.

NACCTEP is an affiliate of the Maricopa Community Colleges and operates out of Rio Salado College.

Friday, July 10, 2015

MCCD’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for Rio Salado

Janice “Cat” McDonald, adjunct faculty in the Incarcerated Reentry and Psychology departments was selected as the Maricopa Community College District's Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for 2015.

The Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA) is a nonprofit professional organization that serves as a framework for MCCCD adjunct faculty to better serve and support students.

McDonald was nominated by two faculty department chairs, Dr. Melanie Abts and Dr. Wanda Tucker, for her exceptional teaching practices and commitment to students.

Dr. Wanda Tucker cited McDonald's tireless efforts to connect with her students by phone, email, and through U.S. mail to ensure her students receive support to compensate for the lack of face-to-face capabilities between students and faculty.

"McDonald is a leader in incarcerated education and goes over and beyond for her students to empower them. We would like to congratulate her for receiving this well-deserved recognition," said Abts.

Dr. Tucker highlights McDonald's dedication by acknowledging her commute from California to Arizona to attend the colleges’ all-faculty meetings and trainings as a demonstration of her commitment to students.

McDonald teaches Workforce Reentry (WFR) courses in a print-based format for Rio Salado’s incarcerated students, as well as PSY 101. 

The WFR curriculum is a valuable resource for students as it provides the necessary skills to effectively transition from an incarcerated environment into the community. WFR courses are available nationwide and focus on job readiness, job preparation, and job retention skills, as well as family reunification, personal growth, and social skills development.

McDonald's overall accessibility, responsiveness, and feedback are among the many positive comments students cite throughout her evaluations.

More importantly, McDonald's WFR students reveal that their increased confidence in themselves, their skills, and ability to acquire employment after incarceration are the most priceless tools they develop as a result of her courses.

News courtesy of Rio Salado Counseling Faculty Chair and PTK Advisor Dr. Melanie Abts on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services.

Pictured above: President of the Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA) Leo Valverde, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost for MCCCD Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Adjunct Faculty of Incarcerated Reentry Janice McDonald and Chancellor of MCCCD Dr. Rufus Glapser.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chancellor Honors Students for Civic Engagement


Maricopa Community Colleges’ Chancellor Rufus Glasper awarded 31 students with a Civic Leadership Medallion on May 8, 2015-- including Rio Salado student Daniel Cassidy.

Civic engagement – active involvement in college campus and community life – is a cornerstone of Maricopa Community Colleges’ mission. These students exemplify what it means to be highly engaged.

Chancellor Glasper created the award to acknowledge these students and to encourage others to follow their example. This honor highlights students’ effective civic participation and leadership as a central goal and function of higher education.

Rio Salado Scholar Daniel Cassidy recently completed his last class at Rio Salado and plans to graduate from Arizona State University in May, 2016 with a degree in Political Science, with the hope of attending law school immediately thereafter. He has a particular interest in constitutional and health law and eventually would like to work with indigent populations on legal matters.


Cassidy has been engaged in a wide range of civic activities throughout the current academic year and is planning to run for a state legislative seat during the 2016 elections.

"Daniel Cassidy is deserving of the Chancellor’s Civic Leadership Medallion not only due to his engagement with many activities, but also because his efforts to make inroads through action and advocacy are exactly what this award is designed to promote," said Student Life and Leadership Coordinator John Bastian, who submitted a letter of recommendation on Cassidy's behalf.

To be considered for this honor, students must demonstrate broad general and educational contribution to the campus and community and increase students’ and community involvement in governmental processes (i.e., public policy). They must help grow awareness about critical community and political issues or ones that expand students’ and community members’ capacity for leadership and political efficacy.

Congratulations to Daniel Cassidy and all of the 2015 honorees for their outstanding achievements!

Visit this web page or contact John Bastian at john.bastian@riosalado.edu or 480-517-8656 for more details about the Chancellor's Civic Leadership Medallion award.

Photo 1: Chancellor Glasper with Civic Leadership Medallion scholars.
Photo 2: Chancellor Glasper, Daniel Cassidy, Deanna Villanueva-Saucdeo and Alberto Olivas from the MCCCD Center for Civic Participation.