Showing posts with label RSCAwards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RSCAwards. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rio Students Awarded Civic Leadership Medallions


Meet Angela Lopez and Anne Prafada, the two Rio Salado College students who received the 2016 Chancellor's Civic Leadership Medallion.

The chancellor awards medallions each year to Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) students for their engagement in and contributions to the community. To be eligible, students must demonstrate proof of the completion of qualifying civic leadership activities during the academic year.

photo of chancellor and Lopez
Chancellor Harper-Marinick and Angela Lopez
Lopez participated in a number of community activities during the past two years. These activities included being a member of the Tempe Historical Museum Advisory Board, the Tempe Neighborhood Advisory Commission, and serving as a bilingual (English and Spanish) docent of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

“I am both humbled and grateful to be recognized for service to the community,” Lopez said. “I am also honored to be among those who are passionate about giving to others and who strive to make a positive difference.”

Additionally, Lopez is active in the written and visual arts. She has served as both a subject matter expert and a peer reviewer for Grand Canyon University in the areas of English composition, critical theory, and the process of writing.

photo of chancellor and Prafada
Chancellor Harper-Marinick and Anne Prafada
Prafada was recognized for her participation in the MCCCD Student Public Policy Forum (SPPF) during which she advocated before elected leaders for better student loan rates for college students.

She also developed an interest in mental health awareness, especially for youth in the criminal justice system.

“Being part of SPPF helped me to explore what I want to focus on down my career path,” Prafada said. “I have an intrinsic motivation to care for those with mental health challenges through advocacy.”

Prafada attributes her interest in civic leadership to wanting to be a role model for her three children.

“My greatest aspiration is to be a mom who inspires and encourages her children to strive for greatness realize their full potential,” Prafada said.

image of medallion
For more details about the Chancellor's Civic Leadership Medallion award and Student Public Policy Forum, visit this web page or contact John Bastian at 480-517-8656 or john.bastian@riosalado.edu.


By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich.

Photo 1 left to right: MCCCD Center for Civic Participation (CCP) ambassador Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo, Angela Lopez, MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Anne Prafada and CCP ambassador Lawrence Robinson.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Insurance Studies Program Successes

poster with text: Ensure Your Future

Rio Salado's new Insurance Studies program, which is the first of its kind in Arizona and for community colleges, was developed in direct response to the insurance industry’s need for qualified workers. The new program, which launched in fall, is celebrating a couple of recent successes.

Rio Salado Welcomes First State Farm Scholarship Cohort
Photo of Rio Salado staff with new scholarship awardees
State Farm has provided full scholarship awards to 18 students to complete the Insurance Studies Certificate of Completion (CCL). Half of the awardees are veterans and taking their courses at the East Valley Veteran Education Center. Congratulations to our scholarship winners!  Learn about scholarship opportunities.

Rio Salado Wins SITE Innovation Award

Rio Saldo was honored with the prestigious Lois A. Markovich Innovation Award from the Society of Insurance Trainers and Education (SITE) in recognition of its "creative and unique approach in meeting training needs for the insurance industry."

Rio Salado collaborated with Glendale and Mesa Community Colleges and 35 insurance professionals from 20 different insurance companies to develop the Insurance Studies CCL.  This collaboration demonstrates the effectiveness of higher education and industry partnerships.

To learn more about Rio Salado's new Insurance Studies program, visit: www.riosalado.edu/insurance

Check out this blog for additional backstory about the program, employment opportunities and needs of the industry.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Faculty Chair Bowden Leads Addictions Field

photo of Kirk Bowden

Rio Salado Faculty Chair for Addiction and Substance Use Disorders Dr. Kirk Bowden has served as a national leader in the addictions field for years (see related RioNews story).

Newly Appointed NASAC Chair 
NASAC logoBowden is expanding his role once again by serving as the newly appointed chair of the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), the national organization that accredits college and university addiction studies programs.

The NASAC Board of Commissioners is made up of six members, including three members from NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals and three members from International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE).

APA 2016 Teaching Resources Award
APA logo
This May, Bowden and Rio Salado Instructional Designer Joan Fay received the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Associate Baccalaureate Education (CABE) 2016 Teaching Resources Award for their work in developing Rio Salado’s Beginning Clinical Documentation Skills course, Lesson 2 HIPAA and National Standards to Protect Privacy.

The APA contest was developed to recognize and encourage community college instructors to share high quality instructional and assessment techniques. Winners are chosen for original demonstration, an individual or group class activity, an interactive teaching/learning module or other pedagogy designed to illustrate a psychological concept or theory.
Latest Publication
cover of Avances in Addiction and Recovery Magazine spring 2016
Bowden publishes regularly in Advances in Addiction & Recovery Magazine, which recently featured his article, Learning About the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) in the Spring 2016 issue.



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 is leading a team of faculty who are experts in the field to help expand the college’s efforts.

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.

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Rio Salado PTK Team 2016 Regional Awards

photo of PTK team members holding up awards
Rio Salado's Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Theta Omicron chapter participated in and co-hosted the 2016 PTK Regional Convention at Mesa Community College March 4-5, 2016 and took home several awards and recognitions.

Rio Salado students Vanessa Williams, Theresa Maheux, Evea Morrow, Oliva Mendez, Daniel Mott, Joy Georgette Jimenez, Dulce Penalosa, and Rodney Falberg attended the event with Rio Salado advisors Melanie Abts and John Bastian.

Awards and recognitions:
· Arizona Distinguished Chapter Award
· Outstanding College Project Award
· An Honors in Action Award
· Apex Award for membership growth
· Outstanding Chapter Officer - Theresa Maheux


As part of their 2015 student project, the chapter produced a video focusing on why working adults are returning to school and the obstacles they have overcome. We encourage you to watch this inspiration video.


 


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 or contact John Bastian at john.bastian@riosalado.edu and 480-517-8656.




Photo above, left to right: Dulce Penalosa, Joy Georgette Jimenez, Vanessa Williams, Evea Morrow, Melanie Abts and Theresa Maheux.

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.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The 2016 ITC Outstanding eLearning Student is...

Photo of Williams

Congratulations to Rio Salado College student Vanessa Williams who received the Outstanding eLearning Student award at the national Instructional Technology Council (ITC) eLearning conference held in Scottsdale Feb. 15-17, 2016.
Williams with Rio Salado President Bustamante
“I have achieved what I thought to be impossible ten years ago,” Williams said of her award. “This honor means that I have exceeded my own expectations of balancing home, work and school, and being successful in doing so.”

Williams is currently the president of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) student honor society chapter, and vice president of the college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

She was nominated for the eLearning award by Dr. Melanie Abts and John Bastian, PTK chapter advisors.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award than Vanessa,” Bastian said. “She is a reliable student leader now and shows great potential to do great things for our communities in the future.”

Williams credits Rio Salado’s online classes with her academic success.

“Online learning has been very beneficial to me,” Williams said. “It has allowed me the opportunity to go to school full-time while working full-time, and has taught me to manage my time more effectively.”

image of panelists
Panel with Rio Salado Communications Faculty Chair Corey Pruitt

At the conference, Williams participated in a student panel with other Rio Salado students to discuss the online learning experience.

“Online courses also helped me to stay on track and achieve my goal of obtaining an associate degree,” Williams said. “And thank you to Rio Salado College, for going out of your way to support the students and their dreams.”

Photo of Rio Salado team with Dr. Bustamante and Faculty Chair Pruitt

“When we listen to our students and try to meet their needs, we are all more successful in our roles as higher education leaders,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College.

Williams plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in management. In the future, she hopes to create a non-profit organization to assist peer support specialists in behavior health. When she is not working or with her family, she is an advocate for the homeless.

image of event web banner

Rio Salado College served as the host college for the ITC conference. The ITC is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges. Its mission is to provide leadership and professional development in higher education by advocating, collaborating and sharing innovative practices in educational technologies.

Images of students.  Alt text: Instructional Technology Council (ITC) eLearning Conference, Feb. 14-17, 2016 Rio Salado College Student Panel Bios    Ashley (Dani) Cross took her first class at Rio Salado College in the spring of 2011 and currently works as a part-time peer mentor there. She is on the waiting list for the nursing program through Maricopa Community College District. She plans to continue on with her education and earn a Master of Science in Nursing while working as a nurse. As single mother of her 7-year-old son, Eli, she finds e-learning to be a convenient way to complete her coursework while at the same time juggling life’s responsibilities.  Nathan Errington is a Rio Salado College student and an active duty member of the United States Air Force assigned to Luke AFB. He graduated with his Associate in Applied Science in Computer Technology, Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Web Design, and CCL in Computer Usage and Applications through Rio Salado in spring 2015. Nathan is currently pursuing an Arizona General Education Curriculum associate degree. He is scheduled to spend a year at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea for his next assignment and then a follow-on assignment to Misawa AB, Japan. He plans to continue his studies with Rio Salado College while being deployed overseas.  Samra Hausey started as a student at Rio Salado College in fall 2011 and became a part-time peer mentor in the Advisement department in 2014.  E-learning is a better fit for her than a traditional campus setting with flexible scheduling and delivery methods that meet her learning style. She currently is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with the goal to teach 4th grade and earn master’s degree through Arizona State University.  Samantha Hill is studying healthcare innovation at Arizona State University (ASU) and is on the waiting list for the medical radiography program at Gateway Community College. Before going to ASU, she took e-learning classes at Rio Salado to earn college credits while deciding upon her educational and career goals. She is employed at Rio Salado College as a peer mentor and volunteers at the Maricopa Integrated Health System in the radiology department. In the future, she hopes study radiography and work at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital or the Mayo Clinic.  Daniel Mott is a student at Rio Salado College and member of its Phi Theta Kappa. He is the father of two boys, a small insurance business owner and part-time student. He started taking classes with Rio Salado in spring 2014 and is working on an Associate in Arts. He sees his mother as an inspiration to complete his education and finds e-learning convenient for his schedule. He appreciates that he can take classes in topics he can apply to all areas of his life. Daniel plans to transfer to an Arizona university to pursue a bachelor degree in marketing or communications.  Vanessa Williams started with Rio Salado College in fall 2013. She is Rio Salado College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter president and vice president of the college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Vanessa works as a supervisor at Warm Line, a non-emergency peer-supported telephone hotline through the non-profit Crisis Response Network. She plans to earn an associate degree and transfer to Northern Arizona University to pursue a bachelor degree in management. In the future, she hopes to create a non-profit organization to assist peer support specialists in behavior health. When she is not working or with her family, she is an advocate for the homeless.Meet the ITC Panel
We appreciate the time and effort of the Rio Salado students who volunteered their time to take part in the ITC panel. Their input is invaluable. Learn more about who they are in this bio sheet.




By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich.

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, 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.

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, April 24, 2015

In the Spotlight: Rio Salado PTK

image of PTK pin. established 1918

Rio Salado's Alpha Theta Omicron chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society had a lot to celebrate this spring.

group shot of Rio Salado PTK advisors and members accepting chapter award

The PTK chapter attended the Arizona Regional Convention hosted by Paradise Valley Community College, March 27-28 and came home with several awards.

Chapter awards:
•    Five Star Level (highest level possible)
•    A Distinguished Arizona Chapter
•    Honors-in-Action Project Award
•    Honors-in-Action Award for Ideas and Ideologies as Frontiers
 
Individual Awards:
•    John Field - For serving as Arizona Region PTK President
•    Roberta Albinda  - Named an Outstanding Chapter Officer
•    Bethany Kartchner - Named an Outstanding Chapter Member
•    Melanie Abts - Outstanding Chapter Advisor

group shot from induction ceremony.  Above on screen is a quote: "Never stop looking for opportunities for personal and professional development, and pass on the wisidom you've learned.

On April 10, the PTK chapter hosted a reception and induction ceremony for 34 new students. Student President Lori Beasley presented open remarks and a program overview and then joined student leaders John Field and Jake Denison to induct the new members. You can view, upload and tag photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Image of Melanie Abts at podium.

Rio Salado Counseling Faculty Chair and PTK Advisor Dr. Melanie Abts was among 30 PTK advisors honored with a Paragon Award for New Advisors during the April 2015 NerdNation convention in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes advisors who have served less than four years and have made significant contributions to the growth of their chapter members.


On a side note, Arizona Regional PTK President John Field was chosen to serve as Rio Salado's 2015 Commencement student speaker on May 5

There are many benefits to joining PTK. It's a great way to engage in activities that will help you become more successful in the classroom and in life-- while you help others through service.

For additional details visit our PTK web page or contact PTK Advisor John Bastian at John.Bastian@riosalado.edu or 480-517-8656.


2014-15 Officers
  • President – Lori Beasley
  • Chair of Administration and Hallmarks – John Williams
  • Chair of College Project - Vanessa Williams
  • Chair of Honors in Action – Roberta Albinda
  • Officer at Large – John Field

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rio Salado Honors 2015 ALL-AZ Scholars

Photo: Rex Moore, Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante and John Field (l-r) pose after Moore and Field were honored as the schoolÕs top scholars at Rio Salado College.

Rio Salado College presented Rex Moore and John Field as its 2015 scholars at the 20th annual All-Arizona Academic Awards Luncheon on Feb. 18 to honor students for outstanding academic achievement, community involvement and leadership. 

Moore and Field were among 26 Maricopa Community Colleges students recognized at the luncheon and awarded full tuition to an Arizona state university of their choice, along with cash awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 dollars.

Learn more about Moore and Field in this azcentral.com story.