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

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Get to Know Your New V.P. of Academic Affairs

snapshot of Ahwatukee Foothills News story.

Gain additional insights about our new Vice President of Academic Affairs Kate Smith by reading this Ahwatukee Foothills News profile.
“Teachers and education change lives - quite simply, that is why I chose a career in education.”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Get Inspired by CGCC Dual Enrollment Grads

snapshot of EVT headline.

Do yourself a favor and take a few moments to read this story by the East Valley Tribune about the extraordinary Begaye sisters-- Chandler-Gilbert Community College's 2016 superstar dual enrollment grads. 

It will likely inspire you to make the most of your day!

Congratulations Chenoa and Tanyka!


‪#‎mcccd‬ ‪#‎studentsuccess‬ ‪#‎dualenrollment‬ ‪#‎superstars‬

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Xavier College Prep Grads Lead Dual Pack!

Xavier Prep Grads at Commencement 2016

Earn college degree before graduating from high school -- check. Astonish friends and family with academic achievements – check. Be two steps ahead on life’s path to success – check.

The students of Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix are leading the pack when it comes to dual enrollment. Of the record 64 Valley high school students earning associate degrees from Rio Salado College this spring, 33 are from the all-female Xavier College Prep.

Thanks to dual enrollment, Xavier students Andrea Gray, Miranda Albo and Ashlynn Holloway all have big plans for the future.

Andrea Gray
“I can say I earned my college degree before finishing high school,” Gray said. “This will stay with me through every future employment and academic opportunity.”

Gray’s future plans include pursuing an engineering career after being exposed to a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program through Girl Scouts in fourth grade.

“I knew then I wanted to be an engineer and stumbled across aeronautical engineering,” Gray said. She is graduating from Xavier Prep with a 3.8 GPA, and earning an Associate in Arts at Rio Salado.

Gray plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, majoring in aerospace engineering with a concentration in astronautics and a minor in global security.

Eventually, she plans to earn a master’s degree and hopes to work for NASA or SpaceX, the independent American aerospace company run by Elon Musk.

Albo, who is also earning an Associate in Arts, will be attending the University of Arizona this fall. She is interested in studying a STEM subject, but also finds joy in art classes like sculpture and ceramics.


“I love the idea of working with my hands and creating an object that has meaning to it,” Albo said.

She credits dual enrollment for its convenience and affordability.

“Dual enrollment is so worth it and makes your life easier,” Albo said. “The biggest benefit was the ability to graduate from high school with a large number of credits, minimizing the cost of college.”

For Holloway, dual enrollment offered a chance to get a head start on college.

“With my basic courses taken care of, I now have the advantage of taking college classes that are major-specific, which will allow me to learn more as I continue my education,” Holloway said.

Holloway is graduating with an Associate in Arts from Rio Salado and has a 3.8 GPA at Xavier College Prep. She plans to pursue a double-major with the courses that have been freed up through the dual enrollment program.

Holloway said the success coaches in the dual enrollment program at Rio Salado also helped her find alternative ways to complete the requirements for an associate degree with her busy schedule, setting up options like online classes.

Sister Joanie Nuckols


Sister Joanie Nuckols, Vice Principal for Academics and campus minister at Xavier College Prep, said the high school has a tightknit community based on common goals of educational excellence.

“The most rewarding aspect of teaching is watching students learn to think critically, grow in wisdom and be able to explain their own point of view,” Nuckols said.

Whatever paths they each may choose, the students at Xavier College Prep are fit to conquer anything that comes their way.


Contributing writer Alyssa DeMember has served Rio Salado's Academic Advisement team since 2014. She is one of several academic advisors available to help you along your educational journey.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Record 64 High School Student Grads in 2016

Image from 2015 commencement ceremony

They are being called trailblazers, overachievers and highflyers.

Bring on the accolades-- these 64 Valley high school students are garnering attention for all the right reasons. They are dual enrollment students who are on track to graduate from Rio Salado College this month before earning their high school diplomas.

President Bustamante
“It is very rewarding to see so many high school students take advantage of early college options and achieve this great accomplishment,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “Their success is our success and I am confident that they will continue to achieve their academic goals in the future. It takes support from high school partners, parents and the dual enrollment team at Rio to realize what can be possible.”

No other college in the state has this many college graduates among their dual enrollment students.

“Not only is this a huge achievement to graduate from high school and college simultaneously, but starting college with two years under your belt saves students an enormous amount of time and money,” said EJ Anderson, director of Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program.

2015 Dual Enrollment Graduates
Dual enrollment students earn both high school and college credit at the same time. Classes are taught by certified instructors at the many area high schools that partner with Rio Salado College.

Sullivan Dupre is a senior at Mountain Pointe High School and overachiever extraordinaire.

He is earning both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science degree at Rio Salado’s commencement ceremony this evening, May 11, 2016 at the Orpheum Theater.  He will be one of 50 dual enrollment graduates attending tonight's event.

“The biggest benefit I see in dual enrollment is that it saves time and money,” said Dupre. “Because I took dual enrollment, I will already have the credits that usually take around two years to complete in college.”

Dupre is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for 2-year colleges. He said students considering dual enrollment should get involved as soon as possible.

“Enroll to get as many credits as possible,” Dupre said. “Even if you think you won't need a certain class for your major, having that extra credit will allow you to be more flexible in the future.”

2014 Westwood High School dual enrollment students
Another advantage of Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program is location.

“The biggest benefit of dual enrollment is being given the opportunity to complete a college degree without having to leave your own high school,” said Krystal Rebhun, a student at Corona Del Sol graduating who is graduating with an Associate in Arts. “You also get the same credits that you would at a university at a much smaller cost.”

Rio Salado dual enrollment team
Robert Brown works as a success coach in the dual enrollment department at Rio Salado College. He assists high school students and their parents in developing career and education pathways.

“Dual enrollment gives high school students the flexibility to finish a bachelor’s degree sooner, pursue a double-major, or take fewer credits at a time in college,” Brown said.

He added that parents get excited when they see the benefits of dual enrollment for their kids.

“One very selective university called her a trailblazer, and noted that they had not seen an incoming freshman with this type of achievement before,” said Laurie Mariani, whose daughter Mia is earning an Associate in Arts. “We are certain her opportunities will be endless having achieved this extra academic success while in high school.”

Rio Salado College – 2016 Dual Enrollment Graduates
  • Boulder Creek: Kimberly Klein
  • Brophy College Prep: James Stickell
  • Corona del Sol: Jeffery Wilcox, Karl Willette (2014), Krystal Rebhun, Tyler Le Duc
  • Deer Valley: Alec Medrano, Evan Mekenney, Madison Banbury (2015), Matthew Briody, Reese Tanner, Ryanne Karlson, Alexander Mills
  • Desert Vista: Alexandra Ferrara , Aradhana Kumar , Daniel Gulden , Gail Watterson , Marcela Delgado, Matthew Hart, Natalie Schatton, Neeku Navabi, Samuel Rosenberg, Wyatt Langs
  • Heritage: Erica Durham, Ethan Berglund, Sarah Taylor (2015), Triston Kosloske
  • Horizon: Connor Little, Matthew Thomas, Peter Godfrey
  • Marcos de Niza: Briana Estrella, Dominic Martinez, Joy Jimenez
  • Mountain Pointe: Emily Harmsen, Gen Ito, Jacob Peters, Jasmin Jackson, Jason Damp, Jordan Wachter, Lauren Rein, Meredith Grula, Sullivan Dupre
  • Xavier College Prep: Ainsley Ramsey, Andrea Gray, Ariana Salazar, Ashlynn Holloway, Bailey Stalcup, Brianna Siegle, Brie Harriel, Brielle Januszewski, Claudia Lucca, Danielle Favata, Fiona Lobo, Hailey Schwab, Hannah Cooper, Isabella Patterson, Isabella Serrano, Jessica Daniels, Julia Teeter, Leslie Zaragoza, Lisbet Maldonado, Madison Williams, Mia Mariani, Michaela Wuycheck, Miranda Albo, Monique Hasbun, Olivia Iacono, Rebeca Gardner, Royal Shoen, Sara Skornik, Sophia Deyden, Spenser Rosner, Stephanie Ashkuri, Therese Knapp, Tiffany Meyer

For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, including scholarship opportunities, visit www.riosalado.edu/programs/dual or call 480-517-8080.

Photos of tonight's ceremony and participating dual enrollment graduates will be available for download via www.facebook.com/RioSaladoCollege.

Check back with RioNews for more stories about Rio Salado 2016 graduates in the coming days.

Contributing writer Alyssa DeMember has served Rio Salado's Academic Advisement team since 2014. She is one of several academic advisors available to help you along your educational journey.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Rio President Bustamante Appointed to ACE Board

Image of Dr. Bustamante

Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante was recently appointed to the board of the American Council on Education (ACE).

"The landscape in higher education is changing," said Bustamante." I am honored to be invited to serve on the ACE Board with other university and college presidents from throughout the nation to be a voice and advocate for higher education. This is a critical time when we are all re-examining how to best serve 21st Century students and prepare them to succeed in higher education and beyond."

ACE is a national organization that aims to tackle the toughest higher education challenges, with a focus on improving access and preparing every student to succeed. More than 1,700 institutions are ACE members, including accredited, degree-granting two- and four-year colleges, private and public universities, and nonprofit and for-profit entities.

Because of its advocacy role, ACE is a key point of contact on higher education matters for congressional staff and members of the executive branch, and is frequently cited in the national media on higher education issues.

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich

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.