Showing posts with label Rio Salado College. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rio Salado College. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rio Salado Welcomes Two New Faculty Chairs!

Welcome to Gina Pinch and Julie Cober, Rio Salado College’s two newest faculty chairs!

Gina Pinch is the new faculty chair for Business, Management, Public Administration, and Corporate/Government Programs. She has been at Rio for six year, previously as an instructional designer for business, CIS, part of STEM and Library Services. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance. She also holds a master’s in adult education and online learning and is an alumna of Rio Salado College with certificates in public administration and e-Learning.

She has a strong belief in solid business principles and has “enjoyed helping people learn so they can work more efficiently in the short-term and expand their possibilities for career opportunities and work/life balance in the long-term.”

Gina’s initial focus will be “to meet and connect with other chairs, staff and department faculty to truly understand the role of the chair and identify any issues currently facing the Business Department.  Through the knowledge gained, I can begin to make informed decisions to grow and improve the Department in the future.”

Julie Cober is the new faculty chair for Communication. She has been an adjunct faculty since 2011 and the COM discipline lead for more than two years. Julie has a B.A. in communication from Arizona State University and a M.S. in Leadership from Grand Canyon University (GCU). She is also currently working on a doctorate in Organizational Leadership also from GCU.

“I like to bring up different ways of thinking, and encourage students to see life from a different perspective,” Julie said about teaching. “I love that every student is different and I get to learn from students, just as much as they learn from me.”

She went on to say, “I hope to continue the student-focused culture of my department and want to support my faculty in helping students to become better learners and critical thinkers.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

Labor Day Closure, Sept. 7

Rio Salado College will be closed in observance of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. 

All services will be closed, unless noted in Special Service Hours listings on locations pages.

Do you know the historical significance of Labor Day? Learn more here

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sustainable Food Education Courses

Rio Salado's Sustainable Food Systems program is offering non-credit community education courses throughout the year to help you get ahead in the kitchen!

Cooking the Perfect Pizza at Home
Thursday, Oct. 1
6-8 p.m.
Rio Salado Thomas Kitchen
Class fee: $39

Learn to make delicious pizzas at home from a professional chef. This 2 hour hands-on workshop will cover all of the basics of making a great pizza including making and proofing dough, making sauce, how to properly stretch a pizza, loading a pizza into the oven and a pizza toppings discussion.

Desert Gardening: Soil Building
Saturday, Oct. 10
9-11 a.m.
Rio Salado Tempe Garden
Class fee: $20

Tired of your clay soil? Do your plants die every summer? Not sure when or how much to fertilize? Join us for a soil building workshop. Learn how soil forms naturally and how you can facilitate the process in your garden. Familiarize yourself with the benefits of microbes in your soil, and how to employ no-till techniques turning your hard clay into rich, loamy earth by allowing nature work for you.

Sushi Basics for Beginners
Thursday, Oct. 15
6-8 p.m.
Rio Salado Tempe Kitchen
Class fee: $39

This class is designed for students with no sushi making experience. Class will cover essential sushi ingredients; how to properly steam and season sushi rice; how to roll a basic sushi roll, inside out roll and hand roll; and how to make classic sushi rolls such as spicy tuna, California roll and vegetarian rolls.

Thanksgiving Cooking Essentials for Beginners
Thursday, Oct. 29
6-8 p.m.
Rio Salado Thomas Kitchen
Class fee: $39

Are you tired of boxed stuffing mix and canned cranberry sauce? If so, come hone your skills in Thanksgiving meal cookery! This class will cover how to roast the perfect turkey; make silky smooth pan gravy; prepare a perfect holiday stuffing; and create a wonderful butternut squash, pomegranate and local greens side dish.

Thai Cooking at Home
Thursday, Nov. 12
6-8 p.m.
Rio Salado Tempe Kitchen
Class fee: $39

Thai cuisine is filled with wonderful flavors from the very spicy to sweet and sour. In this class, you will learn to make a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly known as Pad Thai. Another Thai favorite, Tom Kha Gai, is a sweet and savory chicken soup made with coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal and Kaffir lime leaves. Finally, you will prepare made from scratch vegetarian green curry with perfectly steamed Jasmine rice.

Holiday Cookies
Tuesday, Dec. 8
6-8 p.m.
Rio Salado Thomas Kitchen
Class fee: $39

What says the holidays more than fresh baked cookies? Learn to make four different holiday cookies including gingerbread, thumbprint peanut butter jam cookies, Chai Tea Eggnog cookies and chocolate peppermint cookies.

Proper kitchen attire is required. Please come prepared with close toed shoes, long pants and a long or short sleeved shirt. Hair must be pulled back. 

Register now online or call 480-517-8540 for assistance.

Rio Joins Industry Leaders to Reinvent Higher Ed

Rio Salado College joined nine educational institutions in Washington D.C., July 28-31 to reinvent higher learning and the student experience as part of the EDUCAUSE/Next Generation Learning Challenges 2015 Breakthrough Models Incubator funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This is the third Breakthrough Models Incubator hosted by EDUCAUSE and NGLC, which is designed to bring leadership teams of forward-thinking colleges and universities together to develop and explore the latest innovations in new business and learning models for higher education.

The primary charge for the 2015 cohort is to create competency-based education (CBE) models, which reward students for skills they acquire rather than time spent in class. Other anticipated outcomes include solutions to improve accessibility, affordability, student academic success and the overall student experience through personalized student services and technological innovations, especially for students who do not have access to or have difficulty learning in a traditional college.

Rio Salado was chosen to take part in the cohort because of its expertise in non-traditional learning.

“As a pioneer in distance learning, Rio Salado College has a rich history of creating innovative solutions that positively impact access, persistence, retention, and completion for students through scalable technologies, said Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante. 

“Participation in the Breakthrough Models Incubator will help us to plan and implement competency-based initiatives and learn from the best-practices of others who are creating next generation learning models.”

Holly Morris, director of post-secondary model development and adoption for EDUCAUSE said, “Rio Salado College has so much to share with the cohort from its experience developing student-centered approaches and achieving operational flexibility that other institutions often believe is impossible. They are a great example of how to execute on an ambitious goal.”

Northern Arizona University another NGLC grant recipient from 2012 now offers “direct assessment” competency-based academic programs. These self-paced programs, which are untethered by the credit hour standard, assess what students know and can do. Students can earn a Personalized Learning degree by completing assignments and assessments that measure proficiency in cross-disciplinary concepts.

This is the kind of innovation EDUCAUSE and NGLC expect from the 2015 cohort.

“We are hopeful that the 2015 cohort can build on the success of other NGLC grantees and take advantage of the momentum building in the field to make CBE an option for any institution that wants to offer it and any student who wants to experience it. Rio Salado and the other nine participating institutions are poised to do just that, by driving toward their individual programmatic goals while collaborating with others--where a common effort will serve us all. “

“Our participation in the Breakthrough Models Incubator gives us a chance to collaborate with institutions that have broken ground with competency-based education,” said Rio Salado Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs Shannon McCarty. 

“Rio has an opportunity to learn from their best practices and difficult challenges. It gives us a chance to leverage ideas and network with colleges and universities, creating a collective resource for higher education to provide continued momentum to develop competency-based education.”

NGLC and EDUCAUSE have been partnering with Rio Salado for some time. They provided a generous grant of $970,000 in October 2012 to help fund RioAchieve, the college’s student success program, which is designed to target five specific interventions that support student success, retention, and completion through technological innovations that help students and instructors track academic progress and personalized, ongoing communications with coordinators, advisors, and peer mentors.

The July 28-31 meet in D.C. is the first phase of the year-long Breakthrough Models Incubator program, which will provide 2.5 days exposure to new problem-solving approaches, and uninterrupted quality time to think, design and plan. 

Phase two will focus on model design, whereby teams work with coaches and content experts to reinforce new ways of thinking and to create action plans. Phase three will focus on design launch, feedback and reporting. The result for each institution will be a launch-ready plan by January 2016. 

The other participating institutions are: Central Arizona College, Coppin State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, Metropolitan State University–Denver, National Louis University, Northeastern University, Simmons College and University of Central Oklahoma.

This is one more way Rio Salado is fulfilling its vision to "reinvent the learning experience to change lives."

Pictured above: Rio Salado Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs Dana Reid and Rio Salado Director of Financial Aid Nanci Regehr. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Teaching the Art of Sustainable Food Systems

Last month, Rio Salado and Benevilla celebrated another successful Intergenerational Sustainability Program in Surprise!

This 3-part series was a collaboration with Benevilla, and the college's Lifelong Learning Center and Sustainable Food Systems program. Students also had the opportunity to work hands-on in the Surprise Community Garden.

The programs goal is to teach multigenerational learners how to choose, grow and cook their own super foods.

Classes were broken into three main focus areas:
  • Introduction to Nutrition: A sustainable approach - Class focused on major body needs such as micro and macro nutrients and also talked about how to obtain these from the foods we eat.
  • Introduction to Gardening: A sustainable approach - Class was focused on soil building, composting and seasonal planting.
  • Introduction to Healthy Cooking - Recipes made in class were vegan dishes such as Thai noodles, vegan curried quinoa, hummus and sautéed Swiss chard with lemon.
“Students commented that the classes have helped them to make healthier food choices and increased their knowledge of sustainability, especially when related to the food system," said Michael Hodgins, director of the sustainable food systems program.

"Students are now more aware of their body's nutritional needs.”

The Intergenerational Sustainability Program is supported by a grant from the City of Surprise's Community Outreach Program.

Learn how you can benefit from Rio Salado's Sustainable Food Systems Program.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tips for Writing a Research Paper

As you progress through college, especially if you choose to transfer to a university, you will be required to write papers either solely based on research or a combination of research and opinion.
Here are some guidelines you may find useful for such a task:

Create a Schedule
Plan a daily schedule several weeks in advance to decide what components you will work on and when. Writing a research paper is a task that cannot be completed successfully in a few days.

Choose a Topic & Begin Research
  • Develop a research question or questions
  • Choose short phrases from your question to conduct your research
  • Brainstorm alternative phrases that relate to your topic to increase your research results.
  • Ask a librarian for help with using keywords associated with your topic:
Evaluate Research
Construct Your Outline
  • You can create a formal outline or a simple list of how you think you will organize your paper based on the research you found
  • Remember this outline may continuously change as you begin to write your paper, and this is ok as the outline is not going to be graded. Keep in mind it is merely a tool to help you structure your writing
Familiarize Yourself with Format Type
Begin Rough Draft, Edit, Submit
  • Use your outline to begin your rough draft. You can also refer to online resources such as: and
  • Dedicate blocks of time each day to writing
  • Highlight or mark sentences in your paper you wish to cite using APA or MLA
  • Proofread your paper and ask at least two other people to review your writing for grammatical errors
  • Submit your paper on time

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Elena Matus McDonald on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rio Salado Testing Center Services

Did you know that Rio Salado's testing centers serve thousands of Valley residents including U.S. military personnel, U.S. Postal Service workers, FBI agents, GED® test-takers and college students?

Each of Rio Salado’s nine Valley-wide testing centers offers 33 CLEP exams, which assess subject matter proficiency and provide an opportunity for students to receive college credit with qualifying scores. Students can apply knowledge they’ve gained through prior coursework, independent study, internships, job training, professional development and personal pursuits.

There are also 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.

Rio Salado testing centers also offer exams that assess English language skills, Adobe Certified Associate and Microsoft Office Specialist Certiport exams 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:

Earn a Certificate or Degree in Retail Mgmt.

Interested in pursuing a career in retail management? Rio Salado’s certificate and associate degree in retail management are helping dozens of local employees get the training needed for management careers in the retail food industry!

The curriculum will provide you with the background and knowledge to develop the judgment skills you will exercise as a business manager.

Certificate & Degree Programs
Many local retailers, such as Fry’s Food Stores, Basha’s, Safeway, Albertsons, Smart & Final, have begun paying for employees to take retail management classes for the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) certificate.

The WAFC is an organization that serves the food industry by providing educational programs for food industry associates. Many of the large grocery chains are WAFC members.

Watch a short video on the many benefits of Rio's retail management certificate.

To learn more about Rio Salado’s retail management degree and certificate, visit

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rio Salado Bookstore Sale - 40% off Clearance
Valid 7/27 – 8/30 in-store and online on already reduced merchandise while supplies last!

Offer not valid on food items, Starbucks products, or graduation items. In-store discount automatically taken at register. Sale prices for purchases made online will reflect in the cart. Cannot be combined with any other offer. See store for details.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PTK Fundraiser for Homelessness

Students from Rio Salado's Alpha Theta Omicron chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society are collecting items to donate to homeless individuals as part of a community service project. Donation boxes will be available at Rio Salado locations through Thursday, Aug. 6.

"We chose this project as a way to directly help those who are homeless have some necessary items for personal use," said PTK Chapter President Vanessa Williams.

"Everyday there are homeless people out there who are unable to take care of some of their most basic needs. Washing their hair, washing their face. For someone who can’t do this, that little bit of dignity to stay clean can make a world of difference. Having sunscreen would help keep their bodies and skin from being sunburned."

Care packages will be distributed at Tempe Town Park.

Items Needed: 
  • Soap
  • Razor
  • Sunscreen
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Feminine Hygiene

Additional items needed include, band aids, baseball caps, ponytail holders, water bottles, AAA batteries, deodorant, laundry detergent pods, heavy duty combs, safety pins, mini sewing kits, body wash, wash cloths, shampoo, conditioner.
PTK will also accept monetary donations. Volunteers are welcome for the assembly of care packages as well as distribution.

To donate or volunteer, contact John Bastian at 480-517-8656.

Pictured above: PTK Officer Christy Neighbors and PTK Chair for Honors-in-Action Project Theresa Maheux.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Benefits of Internships

"Experience required." This is a common phrase on many job postings. However, many students and recent graduates don't have professional or industry-specific experience.

So, how can you get the experience you need to land a job in your field? By interning! Internships are the perfect way to gain practical experience and apply what you’ve learned in the classroom. 

If you are still trying to decide on a career path, working as an intern is an excellent way to explore various careers.

Internships come in all different “shapes and sizes.” They can be full-time, part-time, for credit or non-credit, paid or unpaid, but the goal is the same: gaining experience!

Finding an internship is just like the job search process. It takes an excellent resume, solid interviewing skills and networking. 

If you need help with these skills, Rio Salado offers Creative Job Hunting (CPD 102AC) as a two-credit course. The Counseling department is also available by appointment to discuss your career goals and to offer guidance on how to find an internship.

Now you can earn college credits toward Rio Salado’s many Business and Public Administration programs through our new Internship Program.

To learn more, including
application guidelines, visit

Monday, July 20, 2015

Intermittent Internet Issues

The Maricopa Community Colleges are currently experiencing intermittent Internet issues. This may affect your ability to connect to our Maricopa network. Technical teams are working to resolve.

Please be patient as you may have issues using email, directories, SIS and other student interfaces. While we do not expect this outage to affect RioLearn, please plan accordingly.

We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.

New Titles at the Rio Salado Library

Here is what’s new in the Rio Salado College Library!

This list is updated throughout the month as new books arrive. To view the complete list of new titles from previous months, please see the Library New Titles Archive.




Thursday, July 16, 2015

Social Media Strategist Needed

Put your creative genius to work as Rio Salado’s Social Media Strategist!

The ideal candidate will have a passion for education and confidence in developing dynamic, timely content and customer-driven conversations using multiple social media platforms that will engage and inspire people to pursue and support life-long learning.

Be a part of a fun, dynamic creative services team that takes pride in its college mission, ingenuity and collaborative spirit—while you enjoy the benefits of paid holidays, health and retirement benefits, professional growth funds and more!

Interested applicants must apply at by Aug. 9, 2015. Please reference Job ID # is 15691

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Faculty Chair for Physical Science

Rio Salado College welcomes Shawn Korman as the new Faculty Chair for Physical Science, Food and Nutrition, Sustainable Food Systems and Sustainability.

Korman has been a part of the Rio family for more than 10 years, serving as an adjunct faculty member in chemistry, a course developer, and acted as the ELN liaison to the EDU department to assist with adjunct faculty and student matters.

"I am excited to be a part of an institution that allows students the flexibility to continue their education even with the varying demands of life," Korman said.  

"My passions are teaching and science and this position gives me the opportunity to ensure that students are getting the very best they can from Rio Salado."

Korman holds a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, and a M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University.

"We are excited to have Shawn join our Rio Salado family and our small faculty cohort," said Rio Salado Faculty Senate President and Faculty Chair of English & New Media Studies and Curriculum Development Jennifer Shantz. "Shawn has been a valued adjunct faculty member of the college and brings a wealth of experience with her as she transitions to her new role. The faculty look forward to collaborating with her on various initiatives, including student success and adjunct faculty support.

Friday, July 10, 2015

MCCD’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for Rio Salado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Former ELAA Student Pursues Career Dream

Rajab Zaza, a refugee from Syria, is a National Adult Education Honor Society member and former Rio Salado Southern student. Zaza began taking Rio Salado’s English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) classes last fall to improve his English while pursuing admission to a dental program.

Zaza was recently accepted into a dental internship in Dallas. He stopped by Rio Salado Southern to thank his teachers and the staff for their coaching and assistance.

“We are delighted that he will resume his 20 year profession upon earning his license to practice dentistry in the United States,” said Aliza Dodell, coordinator of instructional programs at Rio Salado.

Interested in learning about how Rio Salado's ELAA programs and services can help you get ahead? Classes and resources are available throughout the Valley. Visit this web page for more information.

Get to know some other Rio Salado ELLA students in this blog post.

News courtesy of Rio Salado Director of Community Development and Partnerships Charles Flanagan and Coordinator of Instructional Programs Aliza Dodell.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Noyce Scholar Teaches High School Science

Image of Matthew Ford
"The Noyce Scholarship program provided me with the opportunity to become a teacher," said Matthew Ford, one of 28 scholars who recently completed Rio Salado's Noyce Scholars Program.
Ford teaches earth and forensic science at Chino Valley High School.
"In addition to the stipend, the program provided me with registration and advisement assistance, and access to learning from qualified teachers,” Ford said.
The Noyce Scholars program is accepting applications for 15 qualified candidates who are interested in earning a secondary Arizona teaching certificate in math or science for grades 6-12.
Participants are also given a generous $16,500 stipend to help with expenses.
The program provides mentoring, assistance with job placement and first-year classroom support. The 15-month, post-baccalaureate program is online, making it accessible and convenient.
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, three or more years of experience in a non-education STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career-- and a passion for teaching.
Classes begin the first week of September.
Please note: The application process usually takes about one month to complete.
For more details, visit or call 480-517-8066.

Helpdesk Application Maintenance Thursday, July 9

image of a keyboard with hands typing
The Rio Salado Technology Helpdesk application will be offline for regular maintenance on Thursday, July 9, from 6-8 a.m. 

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Rio Salado's New Vice President of Student Affairs

image of Dr. LeRodrick Terry
Welcome Dr. LeRodrick Terry!

LeRodrick Terry, Ph.D., has accepted the position of vice president of student affairs at Rio Salado College effective July 1, 2015. He was selected following a national search. Terry brings a proven track record of results-driven leadership, teamwork and student success to the college.

Terry has worked in higher education leadership roles for more than 10 years. He previously served as dean of student services at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, and in director roles at Talladega College in Alabama, and Shorter University in Georgia.

“Dr. Terry is a passionate advocate for student success and has a strong reputation as a student-focused, collaborative leader who explores and implements innovative strategies to support student services, recruitment and retention,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College president.

“His wealth of knowledge and experience will benefit Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community College District through the many contributions he will make during his tenure here."

Terry’s work has focused on developing innovative recruitment and retention strategies, increasing completion rates, promoting student advocacy, and creating best practices that positively support student affairs and diversity.

“It is an honor and privilege to assume the role of vice president of student affairs at Rio Salado College,” Terry said. “I am eager to serve and contribute to the missions and values of Rio Salado by imparting my passion for supporting student success through innovation and teamwork.”

As vice president of student affairs, Terry will oversee the administration and strategic planning of the college’s academic advisement, ace puente/hoop of learning, admissions, records and registration, college copy center services, disability resources and services, financial aid, international education, institutional advancement, judicial affairs, quality assurance and training, student life and leadership, testing and assessment, and veteran services departments. In addition, he will have oversight of the strategic enrollment management initiative, commencement and the development of a welcome center for the college.

Terry’s academic background also includes teaching. He served as an adjunct faculty instructor for seven online universities. He has also taught in-person middle school, high school and GED classes in Alabama and Florida.

Terry holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University, and a M.A. in Leadership from Shorter University.