Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Illustration of Earth and mascot Splashh on a surf board.  Text: Earth Day, 22nd April.

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 in support of environmental protection. The movement began in 1970 and is now celebrated by more than one billion people around the globe-- making it the largest civic observance in the world!

Learn more about the history of Earth Day, the impact it has had and what the movement is trying to do today by visiting www.earthday.org.

Rio Salado College is committed to its Sustainability Pledge. The college has incorporated sustainability as a core value and has developed several programs and practices that embrace the sociocultural, environmental and economic facets of sustainability. It’s not just a matter of teaching others how to be sustainable-- Rio Salado strives to be a leader in environmental responsibility by incorporating earth-friendly practices throughout its daily operations. We hope you will join us in this effort.

snapshot of azcentral web page for Earth Day events.  Photo of a big horn sheep by Michael Chow
Here are some suggestions from azcentral on ways to celebrate this special day-- along with captivating images to remind you of how beautiful our landscape and natural wonders can be!

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!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Geeks Night Out is Today - March 3!

Geeks Night Out poster.  Text with geeky glasses
Today is the day, when you can roam freely with your light saber, cape or Spock ears-- and explore the newest frontiers in science, technology, engineering and math!  It's the City of Tempe's 5th annual Geeks Night Out at Tempe City Hall, 4:30-7:30 p.m.!

Rich Cuprak with 2015 attendees
Rio Salado College STEM Faculty Chair Rick Vaughn and Faculty Chair of Applied Technology Richard Cuprak will host an information booth to give attendees a glimpse into some of the latest, emerging technologies—and Rio Salado's Energy System Technology and Nanotechnolgy programs. See related RioNews blog.

We hope you enjoy this free, family event!

‪#‎STEM‬ ‪#‎Geek‬ ‪#‎Nanotechnology‬ ‪#‎AZsciTechFestival‬
www.riosalado.edu/energy
www.riosalado.edu/nano

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Chancellor Reflects on Our Community Colleges

image of Dr. Glasper in front of Camelback Mountain

This azcentral story features reflections about the evolution and possible future of Maricopa Community Colleges from outgoing Chancellor Rufus Glasper as he prepares to wrap up a 30-year career with the District.

The economic and financial benefits are critically important to Arizona taxpayers.  But the value of Maricopa County Community College District is more important today and for our state’s future than ever before. Employers across the nation and here in Maricopa County aggressively seek skilled workers, and Maricopa Community Colleges play an outsized role in educating, training and preparing the talent that they need.
                                                                                                --Rufus Glasper


image of Dr. Harper-Marinick
Learn about MCCCD's Interim Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of Maricopa Community Colleges Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick-- and the process of finding a permanent replacement for Dr. Glasper in this this azcentral story.




Friday, February 12, 2016

Join Us for Tempe Geeks Night Out!

poster for Geeks Night Out

Explore the wonderful and wacky world of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and much more at the 5th annual Tempe Geeks Night Out, Thursday March 3 at Tempe City Hall! 

photo of Rich Cuprak at 2015 Geeks Night Out
Cuprak at 2015 Geeks Night Out
Among the many exhibitors will be Rio Salado College STEM Faculty Chair Rick Vaughn and Faculty Chair of Applied Technology Richard Cuprak, who will give participants insights into some of the latest, emerging technologies and hopefully spark an interest in young people to consider a STEM career.


“Technology evolves very quickly. We want to encourage the type of curiosity and drive for lifelong learning that will allow students to evolve with it,” Cuprak said. “It’s also a lot of fun.”
Vaughn at 2015 Geeks Night Out
Vaughn and Cuprak will provide participants with information and access to fun gadgets to better understand the latest developments in Nanoscience and Energy Technologies-- including access to a scanning electron microscope and thermocouple and infrared devices-- to show how these new technologies can improve our way of life.

"The best part is that we get to play with really cool toys, meet new people who share our interest in science and geek out about the things we love,” said Cuprak.

Vaughn and Cuprak will also introduce attendees to careers in emerging technology fields and educational opportunities through Rio Salado's Energy System Technology and Nanotechnolgy programs.

“While these events are educational, they also provide an opportunity for Rio Salado to show the public that learning is fun and can happen in many different ways,” Cuprak said.
image of young attendee playing a video game
Forget what you think you know about science! Geeks Night Out is all about discovering what makes science fun! Check out this City of Tempe video with Richard Cuprak and you'll see what we mean.

 2016 Geeks Night Out - Science the Tempe Way Share https://youtu.be/C9uIj1yb0h8

5th Annual Tempe Geeks Night Out 
Thursday, March 3, 2016  
4:30-7:30 p.m.
Tempe City Hall


Tempe Geeks Night Out is part of the statewide Arizona SciTech Festival, which takes place in February and March each year. Cities across Arizona host a variety of events and activities to promote STEM in local communities.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Live Google+ Hangout with White House Nov 18!

Image of Initiative Google+ page

Rio Salado College Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) staff will be taking part in a live discussion about college access with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and other Bright Spot organizations via Google + Hangout on Wednesday, November 17 from 12-1 p.m. Arizona time (2-3 p.m., EST).

The Initiative named Rio Salado’s Adult ACE program a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education last month. 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.

Tomorrow's Google + Hangout is one of several conversations the Initiative will host throughout the coming year, to give educators and the public a chance to learn what Bright Spot organizations are doing to help close the achievement gap for Hispanic students-- and to learn ways in which we can continue helping Latino students and families progress forward. It's also a chance for you to pose your questions and concerns about the future of education and access for Hispanics.

We encourage you to engage in the dialogue via Google+ and Twitter using #BrightSpots and #CollegeAccess.  You can begin posting questions and comments now.

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.

See related blog story.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Renewed Commitment to ‪#‎ClimateLeadership!

Image of MCCCD Executive Council signing sustainability commitment

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Chancellor Rufus Glasper and his Executive Council reaffirmed the Maricopa Community Colleges' commitment to sustainability. Each member signed the 2015 Climate Leadership Network (formerly ACUPCC) Integrated Climate Leadership Commitment.

Rio Salado College is proud to join MCCCD and the Network in their commitment to building a sustainable global future and to renew our pledge to develop innovative, sustainable solutions as a college!

At Rio Salado, sustainability is more than just "thinking green," it's a way of life! 

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children ~ Native American Proverb 


To learn more about our commitment to sustainability, visit www.riosalado.edu/about/news-resources/sustainability

#‎ClimateLeadership #‎ClimateChange‬ ‪#‎HigherEd‬ ‪#‎Sustainability‬ ‪#‎ActOnClimate‬

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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rio Gets 2.6 Million First in the World Grant!

monument of rio wave logo

Rio Salado College is one of 17 schools nationwide to be awarded a First in the World (FITW) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The $2.6 million grant will be dispersed over the next four years and will be used to support innovation and improve student outcomes.

President Bustamante with 2015 workplace training graduates.
“I am excited about the opportunities this funding brings to the college and the support it will provide to our students,” said Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “This recognition validates our innovative practices and reflects our commitment to help underserved students achieve their educational goals.”

Michael Medlock photosAccording to Michael Medlock, interim dean of instructional technology at Rio Salado, the grant award will be used to design and implement an innovative model to improve teaching and learning for at-need students.

“The grant will allow Rio Salado College to pursue new research-supported initiatives that will help students by using three strategies: creating a clear course pathway, personalizing the learning, and providing a success coach to meet student needs along the way,” Medlock said.
Shannon McCarty photo
Shannon McCarty, dean of instruction and academic affairs at Rio Salado, said the target population will be new students pursuing an associate degree or transferring to a four-year institution.

“Rio Salado is known for being an innovator in higher education,” McCarty said. “We look forward to continuing that tradition and redesigning the college experience for our students.”


image of three female students working at computers.
The new model joins other notable student success initiatives at Rio Salado College: RioCompass, a completion portal that allows students to monitor progress toward degree completion, and RioPACE, a predictive analytics system that tracks student login frequency, site engagement, and course progress to increase student awareness and accountability.


Image of a Rio instructor offering guidance to students in a student lab About FITW grant and program
The FITW grant program was created in 2014 by the Obama Administration to drive innovation and keep a higher education within reach for all Americans. Of the Rio Salado College grant award, 100% of the $2.6M project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education - Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

The FITW program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rio Introduces New Insurance Studies Program

Summit banner: Rio Salado Arizona 2015 Insurance Summit

Rio Salado College hosted the Arizona 2015 Insurance Summit to introduce a new Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Insurance Studies and to discuss the program’s importance and potential economic impact on the state with community leaders and insurance industry experts on September 23 at the Rio Salado Conference Center in Tempe.

The CCL, which is the first of its kind in Arizona and for community colleges, was created in direct response to industry need—to help local employees prepare for a career in the fast-growing insurance industry, while helping the industry fill current positions and projected employment shortfalls with qualified candidates.

otis white photo

“There were no programs like this in Maricopa County to prepare graduates for jobs in the insurance industry, which has a significant presence in Arizona,” said Otis White, Rio Salado’s faculty chair for business programs, who played a key role in the development of the program. “So we consulted with local industry professionals to design a certificate that addresses those needs.”

Rio Salado College collaborated with Glendale (GCC) and Mesa (MCC) Community Colleges, the Maricopa Community College District (MCCCD) and 35 insurance professionals from 20 different insurance companies to develop the program.

poster: ensure your future

As a result, an 18-credit certificate was created that focuses on general knowledge of the insurance industry, and touches on property and liability insurance, personal insurance and commercial insurance. Students have the option of taking online classes at Rio Salado, which offers flexible Monday start dates, and in-person classes at GCC and MCC. Students who complete the certificate can transfer in to a variety of business programs offered at the three public Arizona universities.

“The collaboration between Rio, MCC, and GCC, and the insurance industry demonstrates our responsiveness to the needs of businesses and residents in our community,” said Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante, who provided opening remarks during the summit. "This new certificate will help create a work-ready, knowledgeable workforce to meet the demands of an industry that currently has unfilled jobs for qualified residents.”


The summit included open remarks by and a panel discussion with MCCCD Associate Vice Chancellor Workforce Development Randy Kimmens; Arizona Insurance Council President, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company Rick Jones; The Institutes Director of Education Connor Harrison; and Arizona House Majority Whip and Representative for LD22 David Livingston. Otis White also served as a panelist and emcee at the event.

Rick Jones of CopperPoint
Summit panelists discussed how the insurance certificate will help fill a projected employment void in the industry due to many employees rapidly reaching retirement age and more Baby Boomers buying health and long-term care insurance and pension products.

According to a recent survey by the Arizona Insurance Workforce Initiative, hiring needs will grow moderately to significantly over the next two years.

Several insurance companies, such as Scottsdale Insurance, Nautilus and CopperPoint are based in Arizona. Other insurance companies such as USAA, State Farm, MetLife, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, GEICO and Farm Bureau have large regional operations in Maricopa County. State Farm in particular is currently expanding its operations in Tempe and will be hiring many new candidates in the coming years.


Among the industry leaders who expressed the importance for the CCL was Chair of Student Engagement for the Arizona Insurance Institute and Arizona CPCU Society Chapter Lamont D. Boyd.

“As the property and casualty insurance industry continues to view Arizona as a growth opportunity for regional office placement and expansion, we need to continue our work with Arizona’s education community to assure that the ‘best and brightest’ students fully understand the value of, and are fully prepared for, an insurance career,’ said Boyd, who also contributed to the development of this certificate.

“The Insurance Certification program now being offered by Rio Salado College, Mesa College and Glendale College has taken a great deal of collaborative effort in development, but efforts that will reward the students, the industry, and Arizona for years to come,” said Boyd.”

Program requirements and additional details are currently available at www2.gccaz.edu/insurance-studies and www.riosalado.edu/insurance. Information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attend this program will be available at gccaz.edu/gainful-employment, mesacc.edu/programs/gainful-employment and www.riosalado.edu/insurance_ccl.


Major support for this program is made possible by Rio Salado in partnership with GCC, MCC, MCCCD, Arizona Insurance Council, Copper Point, State Farm, MetLife and Arizona Insurance Workforce. Funding is made possible in part by The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and Surplus Line Association of Arizona Foundation.

The Maricopa Community Colleges are EEO/AA Institutions.

Friday, September 4, 2015

RSC President Lumina Foundation Champion

snapshot of Strategy Labs web page with quote from Dr. B: “  We have to continue to provide clear pathways [to credentials] that are affordable and accessible for students. We need to be bold and take risks in terms of coming up with solutions that really work for our students…The changing environment around our students and [institutions] really task us with adapting higher education to our students’ needs, rather than our needs. ”


The Lumina Foundation recently featured Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante as its newest Strategy Labs Champion.

Here is a video profile produced by Strategy Labs, which features Dr Bustamante addressing questions about Rio Salado's leadership, dual enrollment program, efforts to develop lower-cost pathway credentials and how we're fulfilling our vision to "reinvent the learning experience to change lives."

http://strategylabs.luminafoundation.org/champion/dr-chris-bustamante/


About Strategy Labs and the Lumina Foundation
Strategy Labs are an open platform for leaders and influencers in all 50 states to come together to share research, data and professional experiences to advance Goal 2025. That goal is to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. The Strategy Labs enable Lumina Foundation to connect and collaborate with state and system-level policymakers and higher education leaders to advance the State Policy Agenda and to focus on increased educational attainment.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Personalized Learning Trumps All

March/April 2015 cover of eCampus News

The March/April 2015 edition of @ecampusnews features a column called, College Presidents Predict New Institutional Models, which includes perspectives from Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante. 

You can read Dr. Bustamante's article about the subject, Personalized Learning Trumps All on page 10 of the online issue.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Discover the Power of Data Analytics

EvoLLLution web herader Illuminating the Lifelong Learning Movement.  Image of a data floating above someone's palm.  the

Rio Salado Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs Shannon McCarty recently shared insights with The EvoLLLution team about the power of data analytics-- and how this tech strategy can help educational institutions predict future student performance and create a significant and positive impact on the student experience, especially for non-traditional learners.  

Learn more now.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Using Entrepreneurial Mindset to Serve Students

Cover or magazine.  Headline: The Entrepreneurial Method & PFEP in Action.  Working in the background fixing a machine.

The 2015 Winter/Spring edition of Community College Entrepreneurship features an article by Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante called, Using the Entrepreneurial Mindset to Serve Students.

You can read it now online. See page 11.


Whether an institution is public, private, not-for-profit, traditional, or non-traditional, an entrepreneurial mindset is critical as we redifine ourselves the ever-changing landscape of higher education.
                                    --Dr. Chris Bustamate


Monday, March 2, 2015

Geeks Night Out Discovers Fun Science


Don’t be fazed if you see Darth Vader, robots or strangely garbed beings descend on Tempe City Hall on Thursday, March 5. It’s not an intergalactic convention, or even a city council meeting. It’s the 4th annual Tempe Geeks Night Out.

Once again, science aficionados will gather in downtown Tempe to highlight interactive displays and sci-fi/pop culture exhibits that blend science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and more.

The event takes place from 4-7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Discover the Science.”

Among the many exhibitors will be Rio Salado College.

“We wanted our booth to include activities that educate and engage participants in emerging technologies,” said Rick Vaughn, faculty chair for STEM initiatives at Rio Salado College.

Booth highlights include:
  • Remote access to a scanning electron microscope that is located in Seattle. Visitors will be able to take away an actual image that they create using the microscope.
  • See a 3D printer at work! Take in the 3D printer exhibit and see how the additive manufacturing process enables the creation of 3D objects using a layered framework.
  • Infra-red camera activity where kids can see various heat signatures and how heat transfers from lights to surrounding materials. Energy systems lightbulb display. A three fixture lamp will hold one 25W incandescent bulb, one 25W CFL bulb, and one 25W LED bulb. Light meters, volt meters, ammeters, data-loggers, and temperature measuring equipment will be available to compare and contrast. Visitors can record temperature and light output.

While a light bulb display may not seem very scientific, there are many science-related concepts at work.

“The displays of the light bulb components and design of each lead into discussions of fabrication and micro/nano-technology,” said Richard Cuprak, Jr., faculty chair for Applied Technology at Rio Salado College.

Breaking down complex scientific concepts and making them understandable is one of the aims of Geeks Night Out. Another is extolling the importance of STEM as a career choice.

Vaughn cites a nationwide shortage of STEM educated workers and teachers as one reason Rio Salado College participates in events like Geeks Night Out.

“Students who are excited and engaged in STEM events early on are much more likely to select a STEM pathway throughout their education,” Vaughn said.

Another reason is the college’s reputation.

“Rio Salado College has accepted a leadership role in the state to promote STEM education through community events, career and technical pathways, emerging technology programs and professional development for teachers.”

Tempe Geeks Night Out is part of the statewide Arizona SciTech Festival, which takes place in February and March each year. Cities across Arizona host a variety of events and activities to promote STEM in local communities. You can find a full listing of events and the annual program online.

“While these events are educational, they also provide an opportunity for Rio Salado to show the public that learning is fun and can happen in many different ways,” Cuprak said.

For more information about the Energy System Technology program at Rio Salado College visit www.riosalado/energy.

Forget what you think you know about science, Geeks' Night Out is all about discovering what makes science fun!

Check out this City of Tempe video with Richard Cuprak and you'll see what we mean.


By Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator for Rio Salado College. PHOTO: Rio Salado College’s Rick Vaughn and Jeanne Ratliff at the 2013 Tempe Geeks Night Out event. 

 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Save the Date! Geeks Night Out, March 5

Join Rio Salado College, the City of Tempe and the Arizona SciTech Festival for the 4th Annual Geeks' Night Out, Thursday, March 5, 2015 at Tempe City Hall.

This FREE, family-friendly event is a blend of science, technology, engineering, arts, math and much more.



Learn more about this exciting event by visiting the City of Tempe. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rio's Testing Services Make Valley-wide Impact

photo of Linda Lukey at testing center in Tempe

Tucked away in each of Rio Salado College’s nine locations are testing centers serving thousands of Valley residents and visitors including U.S. Military personnel, U.S. Postal Service workers, FBI agents, GED® test-takers and yes— lots of college students. They also offer IT exams like the one passed by Ayan Qureshi, the five-year-old boy from the UK who recently became the youngest Microsoft certified IT professional in the world.

Rio Salado Testing Centers aren’t getting that kind of international attention-- but they’re getting a share of local and national merit.

“Rio Salado College Testing Centers were the first in Arizona to become Nationally Certified Testing Centers by the National College Testing Association,” said Linda Lukey, Rio Salado director of testing and prior learning assessment.

Lukey, who has been instrumental in the development and growth of the testing centers, is proud of that distinction— and the national recognition from the College Board, which has recognized Rio Salado since 2002 as a Top 100 College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) testing center. It also recognized Rio Salado as a Top 25 Military Testing Center for CLEP exams in 2013 - 2014.

Each of Rio Salado’s Testing Centers offers 33 CLEP exams, which assess subject matter proficiency and provide an opportunity for students to receive college credit with qualifying scores. For example, Spanish CLEP test-takers can earn up to 16 college credits.

Students can apply knowledge they’ve gained through prior course work, independent study, internships, job training, professional development and personal pursuits.

There are testing services for IT professionals who need to keep certifications up-to-date, including Pearson Vue CompTIA Certification exams, which are recognized by thousands of companies as a predictor of employee success. All Maricopa students, faculty and staff are eligible for significant discounts on these exams. Students pursuing A+ certification save about 55%. Network+ certification students pay approximately half the normal rate. Rio Salado students may also receive college credit for their certifications.

The Testing Center provides proctoring services for other educational institutions so students can take midterms and finals at a location that’s convenient for them. “We are also part of the Consortium of College Testing Centers, offering proctoring services for students worldwide,” said Lukey.

The Pearson Vue GED® test has become quite popular. More than 10,000 people have taken the exam since the college began offering it in October of 2013.

There are a series of tests you can’t fail. ACCUPLACER exams are free of charge and help new students gauge their current skill levels for Reading, English and Math. Academic advisors use the results of the assessments along with details about students’ academic backgrounds to determine appropriate college courses.

Rio Salado Testing Centers also offer Adobe Certified Associate and Microsoft Office Specialist Certiport Exams; exams that assess English language skills and more.

For a comprehensive view of the types of services offered, the locations, hours of service, forms of identification required and other details, visit: www.riosalado.edu/testing. 

Pictured above: Linda Lukey, Rio Salado director of testing and prior learning assessment.

This story can also be found in the December 6 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bill Gates Reflects on Visit with Rio Students

image of Shawn Lee and Bill Gates

Bill Gates visited Rio Salado earlier this month to learn about the college's progress with a student success initiative called RioAchieve-- and to meet with students to learn about their successes and challenges.   

Gates took to his blog today to reflect on that visit and his meetings with Rio Salado students like Shawn Lee. This heartwarming video profile produced by the Gates team features Lee as he discusses his life, his hardships, his inspirations-- and what he hopes to achieve as a Rio Salado student. 



You can learn more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation visit to Rio Salado in this RioNews feature.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Improving Student Information Literacy Skills

High five to the Rio Salado Library team for its efforts to improve students’ Information Literacy skills!

In 2010, when Information Literacy was formally adopted as a college-wide student learning outcome, the Library Faculty Chair began collecting baseline data on students’ online research proficiency by administering the Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA). This test measured how well students could obtain and evaluate online information, as well as their understanding of plagiarism.

Baseline data indicated that students were performing below college-level (college-level is defined as 70% or better). Armed with these data, the Library Program developed and initiated several interventions to help improve Information Literacy student outcomes.

In cooperation with Faculty Chairs, all online course syllabi were modified to include links and information for library resources and services. Additionally, the Library Instructional Coordinator assisted with the design or modification of content and assignments in 31 online courses across disciplines to require more rigorous research, and the use of qualitative, validated library materials in lieu of “Googling.”

After the interventions were in place, Rio Salado students scored higher in all Information Literacy categories. 

The overall score of the pre-intervention cohort was 67.87%, while the post-intervention cohort scored 71.1%. This score exceeded the college-level benchmark, and demonstrated that the interventions were a success!

The library team continues to explore ways to further develop students’ information literacy skills and to prepare them for success in college and beyond. 

News courtesy of the Rio Salado Library.  

Image by rdubois under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.