Showing posts with label online college. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online college. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Explore Teaching Workshop Aug 6!

image of people attending a workshop

Have you ever considered a career in teaching? If so, Rio Salado's Teacher Education team is offering a free Explore Teaching Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Rio Salado Conference Center.

The workshop will introduce students to the teaching profession and address:
  • Administrative and classroom expectations
  • Course planning and preparation
  • Student assessments
  • Salary and benefit expectations

The workshop is designed for undergraduate students as well as career professionals who are transitioning to become teachers.

The workshop will address many of the concerns of potential teachers before they fully commit to a certification program and a career in education.

Register Now

For more information call 480-517-8140.

See related blog about the pressing need for teachers in Arizona.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Student Spotlight: 2016 Commencement Speakers

photos of Cristales and Hammerle

Rio Salado College’s 2016 commencement ceremony takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. The two student’s chosen to speak at the event are Elizabeth Cristales and Lorna Ann Hammerle.

image of Elizabeth CristalesCristales graduated from high school in 2001 in Florida, and moved to California to pursue a nursing degree. She successfully completed her nursing program requirements, but then hit a roadblock.

“Because of financial difficulties, I was unable to continue my education,” Cristales said.

Several years later, she found herself in Arizona working in the legal industry, and realized that this was her true calling. But to further her career, Cristales knew she would have to finish her college degree.

“I enrolled in the paralegal program at Rio Salado, and for the past 3 years, I've worked full time while taking classes,” Cristales said.

Even with the support of family and friends, she faced challenges in realizing her dream.
“There were several times where I doubted my own capabilities and where the stress was too much,” Cristales said. “I had to find strength within myself to keep going. It took a lot of planning and a lot of sacrifice but I pushed myself, and I am extremely proud for that.”

Cristales is graduating with an associate degree in paralegal.

“Obtaining my degree at Rio Salado has brought me extreme joy and a proud sense of accomplishment,” she said. “It has also brought thoughts about furthering my career and educational goals. I am now considering the possibility of obtaining a bachelor’s degree and going to law school in the future.”

Cristales has already seen her hard work pay off.
“Being in the paralegal program has already helped me advance my career,” Cristales said. “I am now a senior legal administrative assistant for a large corporation in Scottsdale. With my degree, I plan on advancing my position within the company as a corporate paralegal.”

With her educational and career success, Cristales realizes that more opportunities await.

“Now that I'm aware of my own potential, I know that I can accomplish whatever goals I set for myself, whether they be big or small.”

image of Lorna Ann HammerleLorna Ann Hammerle has spent 10 years trying to complete her college degree. She tried many schools and community college, but nothing stuck. She didn’t know what career to pursue, and grew frustrated. Then she and her boyfriend welcomed a son, and that was just what she needed to finish what she started.

“My son was my main motivation,” Hammerle said. “Over the last year, there were many nights I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. But then I would remember who was watching - my son. He has kept me focused.”

Hammerle, who is completing a certificate and associate degree in general business, also credits her family for being supportive and offering encouragement.

“When I told my mom about my plans at Rio Salado, she offered to babysit every night if that’s what it took for me to finish my classes,” Hammerle said. “She has always been my rock and my backbone. She believed in me when no one else did.”

Her boyfriend also stepped up as chief motivator.

“He took no excuses,” Hammerle said. “He would keep our son occupied so I could focus on my studies. When I tried to push off my homework, he was there making sure I would get it done.”

Hammerle also credits Rio Salado College for being the right fit, the one college that helped her realize her educational goals.
“I have never met a better more helpful staff in my entire 10 years of trying to complete a college degree,” Hammerle said. “Rio Salado has been nothing short of amazing, from the instructors to my advisor, Jessica, who was always there to guide me in the right direction.”
Hammerle’s future plans include earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

“Without Rio Salado, I doubt I would have ever finished college,” she said. “Rio gave me the drive and push to show my son that anything is possible.”

Thanks to Speaker Candidates!
Image of student speaker candidates
Rio Salado Student Speaker Candidates
Rio Salado College would like to thank all the students who applied to be commencement speakers: Kate Beale, Colleen B. Koblinski, Charity McDaniel-Little, Kari Pollock, Amber Roberson and Vanessa Williams. Congratulations! We look forward to celebrating your success at this year’s commencement ceremony and wish you well in your future endeavors.

We encourage you to share your student graduation stories and photos using #RioGrad!

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich

Friday, January 15, 2016

Class cancelled or full? No problem!

Image of a young woman holding up a tablet that reads: Never cancel a class, EVER!  The Valley's leader in online education: Rio Salado College, a Maricopa Community College. 480-384-3352.  600+ online clasees.  Classes start Monday.  $84/credit
Many of you are on a time schedule-- to complete your program of study by a specific time.  Rio Salado can help you stay on track if you discover your class is full or cancelled.

Many of our online courses transfer directly to our 40+ partners including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and The University of Arizona.

Classes start most Mondays. Enroll today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Demo for Students New to Rio & Online Learning
New to Rio Salado College and online learning-- or thinking about enrolling?  This new demo was made for you!

Explore the options and convenience of our online learning platform and see why more than 40,000 online students have taken classes at Rio Salado College.

Start your demo now.

#onlinelearning #onlineclasses #tutorial #onlineeducation  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Full or Cancelled Class? We Can Help!

Full Class?  No problem!

Need an alternate to a full or cancelled class so you can stay on track? We can help! 

With more than 600 online classes, flexible Monday start dates, 8-week and 16-week options and credits that easily transfer-- Rio Salado is a convenient and affordable option to help you complete your program of study-- on your timeline!

The seating capacity is unlimited and we never cancel an online class—ever. 

Visit our online class schedule and then register at

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Orientation Tips for New Rio Waves

Image of Splash the Rio Waves Mascot.  Text; Here's to a successful fall 2015 Rio Waves

Many of you will begin taking classes tomorrow. Here’s to a successful fall 2015 and a big welcome to all of the new Rio Waves

Are you ready?

If you haven't already, get acquainted with your student systems. This video will give you an introduction.

You should check your RioLearn account to see whether you have any assignments due on the first day of class.

Visit and search the RioNews archives for more student orientation tips.

Want to engage with other students?  Join RioLounge.  It's a place where you can chat, ask questions, share perspectives and buy, sell and trade books. Log into or create a Google+ profile using a personal Gmail account.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Meet Jenna Leahy, Teacher Extraordinaire

Jenna Leahy surrounded by grade school children.

Here's a terrific success story from the team at Maricopa Matters about Jenna Leahy, who benefited from Rio Salado's Teacher Education program, which helped her become a co-founder of a local charter school. 

"Being able to work full time and take courses at my convenience really fit my personality. Getting my certificate while I was teaching allowed me to learn in real time."

To learn more about Rio Salado's Teacher Education programs, visit

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rio Salado a Top 30 Online Community College

360 Career named Rio Salado as a top 30 online community college for 2014-15!

We are pleased to share this recognition with Mesa Community College and the Maricopa Community Colleges. Together, we're making education affordable and accessible to a greater number of people.

Thank you for the recognition.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ASU Transfer Webinar March 30

Banner that reads: Guarenteed admission to ASU Degree Programs.  Start here, Go There!

Learn about transferring to Arizona State University in our 30-minute webinar.

You’ll get information about ASU, including admission requirements, pathway programs (MAPP), and important dates and deadlines for fall and spring.

photo of Ally Archer

You can ask ASU Transfer Specialist Ally Archer questions during the webinar through live chat. 

Here is the link to the webinar:

To view the presentation you’ll need to create a login. We recommend making it firstnamelastname.

Webinar: Transferring from Rio Salado to ASU
Monday, March 30, 2015
12 – 12:30 p.m.

News courtesy of Rio Salado Academic Advisement

Rio Announces Choice for New Mascot

Image of Dr. Bustamante making announcement, balloons falling from cieling.

After weeks of reviewing entries, tallying votes and deliberation, Rio Salado College has decided on a new mascot concept.

“We are the Rio Waves,” announced Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante at today’s college wide meeting for staff at the Tempe headquarters.

While the actual Rio Wave mascot and name are still in development, the inspiration is clear.

The Rio Waves will help us tell our story by representing the water of the Salt River and how the college cuts through barriers and navigates around obstacles in order to find innovative ways to serve non-traditional students,” said Bustamante.

The process has drawn quite a bit of community engagement.

The college invited the public to submit mascot concepts last January, which motivated 134 people to submit more than 200 ideas, including things like the Salty Dogs, Sun Storks, Rio Salt Shakers, Rip Tides and Beach Buoys.

After sorting through the most popular entries, the college Mascot Committee chose seven finalists: Beaver, Mouse, Raven, River Rat, Roadrunner, Surfer and Wave/Splash.

The college called on the public to choose the final three. More than 1,300 people responded and narrowed the search to: Raven, Roadrunner and Wave/Splash.

The college Mascot Committee and Executive Team decided the Rio Waves was the clear choice.

 Bustamante receives top secret briefcase with final decision.

The committee was comprised of faculty, staff and students. Their primary objective: to find a mascot that relates to Rio Salado’s unique mission, flexible learning format, innovative practices and college culture.

Artists from the college’s Institutional Advancement creative services unit are already drafting design concepts for a Rio Wave mascot. Once complete, the college will call on the public once again to help name the mascot.

One thing is likely certain, the mascot will be responsible for leading event attendees in the wave!

Rio Salado employees practicing the wave at college wide meeting today.

This clever video highlights Rio Salado staff predictions and President Chris Bustamante's declaration of what the mascot will be.

You can find additional photos from our college wide meeting and mascot announcement on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winslow Student Inspires Success

Photo of Bill Gates with Shawn Lee

Here's a great story by Arizona Journal Reporter Linda Kor about Rio Salado student Shawn Lee, who had an opportunity to meet with Bill Gates in November. 

Lee has become a great source of inspiration for us. We encourage you to read this story and to watch this video profile produced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so you understand what we mean: 
"I believe that anyone can succeed, no matter your age, no matter where you come from. First you have to make the decision and know that every day you are striving for something better for your family and your children.” -- Shawn Lee

Photo above of Bill Gates with Shawn Lee, courtesy of (c) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Mark Makela.

Friday, October 31, 2014

RSC Named a Top 40 Online Community College

Afflordable Colleges Foundation seal for 40 Top Online Community Colleges

The Affordable Colleges Foundation (AFC) just added Rio Salado to its 40 Top Online Community Colleges list for 2014.

The list is comprised by two-year schools offering the best online learning opportunities at the most affordable price. Rio Salado is listed as number 18

AFC, which is a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information, based its decision on data from thousands of community colleges across the country. You can see our college's ranking and related data on this ACF web page.

This new analysis focuses on affordability and online learning. Each community college on the list has tuition and fees less than $3,000 per year and at least 10 full online degree programs available to students.

Rio Salado is committed to making education affordable and accessible to anyone with a passion for learning.

We can help you get started right now. 


Affordable Colleges Online has an expert-driven resource guidebook for students seeking advice and information about affordable programs from community colleges that offer flexible online learning classes. It's available free of charge online. Check it out now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MAPP Guarantees Transfer to ASU

You wouldn’t take a road trip without a map, right? The Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program (MAPP) is an ideal navigational tool for Maricopa Community Colleges students on their way to Arizona State University.

The free program helps students transition to and complete their bachelor’s degree at ASU through a prescribed sequence of coursework, specialized academic advisement and guidance from an ASU transfer specialist. Rio Salado College students are guaranteed admission to certain ASU degree programs when all MAPP requirements are met.

“This is ideal for new and returning students, especially those who may not be familiar with college and university requirements or cannot afford the tuition of a four-year university,” said Rio Salado Director of Academic Advisement David Hall. “We work hand-and-hand with ASU Transfer Specialists to make sure students meet requirements, stay on-track and transfer seamlessly.”

Rio Salado and ASU graduate Andrew Allred credits MAPP for opening doors to his education.

Allred dropped out of high school at 17 and spent the next five years of his life working and volunteering but thoughts of pursuing an education nagged at him.

“I saw how higher education empowered people to do greater amounts of good in the world, so I knew I had to go back to school,” he said. “I got my GED just shy of my 22nd birthday and found out about the MAPP transfer program shortly thereafter.”

The birth of Allred’s first child solidified his educational and career path.

“She came into this world with several life threatening health complications,” said Allred. “The medical staff exercised an incredible amount of expertise in treating her conditions and ultimately saved her life. Having my beautiful and perfectly healthy daughter come home, caused me to realize I would settle for nothing less than paying forward compassionate and competent health care to other individuals and families in medically vulnerable situations.”

Allred earned an Associate of Arts degree with high distinction from Rio Salado in 2012 and transferred to ASU to study Nutrition that fall.

“I chose to attend ASU because of their dedication, as is evident in the MAPP program, to help students in community colleges take their education to the next level with a seamless transition,” said Allred

Allred graduated summa cum laude with a with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from ASU in May of 2014 and will begin his Master of Science Physician Assistant program at Baylor College of Medicine this fall.

ASU Transfer specialist Erika Camarillo
is available for in-person meetings on
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Tower
at Rio in Tempe. Contact Erika now

MAPP is designed for students like Allred who have chosen a major and can complete their community college program of study within three years. There are select degree programs available, which include the most popular ASU majors for community college transfer students. More will be developed over time. Visit for eligible degree programs.

Students pay community college tuition and fees while attending Rio Salado and then ASU rates upon transfer. MAPP participants are also eligible for the Tuition Commitment Program, which limits tuition increases that may occur during a student’s program of study. Visit for more details.

For additional details about MAPP and to begin the enrollment process, visit or call 480-517-8580.

This story can also be found in the July 26 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.

Monday, June 2, 2014

10 Student Success Strategies

Tips from a Real Student 
By Samantha Hill, Rio Salado College student and peer mentor

While every student is unique, there are common challenges many new students face. Samantha Hill understands that from the perspective of a student and peer mentor serving Rio Salado’s academic advisement team.

Hill helps new students get started on their educational pathways, find resources, stay on track and succeed.

Here are Hill’s top ten success strategies for online students.

1. Set Goals
Goal-setting is a powerful process that can turn your vision of your future into a reality. Start by creating a “big picture” of where you see yourself in the future. Then, break that down into small, manageable steps and create a plan to hit those goals.

2. Manage Your Time
Build a realistic schedule or time budget that allows you to reach your goals. Review how you spend your time now and what you will have to do to make your education a priority.

3. Live Smart
Make a to-do list and stick with it. Prioritize items from high to low importance. Break major projects into small pieces and tackle them one at a time.

4. Ask for Help
It can be hard sometimes to ask for help, but if you sit back in silence you are only hurting yourself. Instructors are there to help and want to help you. Take the time to get to know your instructor and be active in your learning.

5. Take Notes
Take notes about what you are reading and review them often. It might take some time to know what information is important and what is not. Does your instructor repeat certain facts many times? Most likely that’s something you will need to remember. Summarize important concepts in a way that makes sense to you, and if you don’t understand, ask!

6. Don’t Cram
Preparation begins with day one. Begin reviewing information daily and review old tests if available. Making flash cards is a great way to review for test ahead of time. Be sure to get enough rest before you take the exam.

7. Have a Computer Backup Plan

Prepare for the unexpected! Don’t let the first time your computer crashes leave you panicked. Ask a family member or friend to borrow their computer in a pinch. If Internet connection is the issue, several fast food restaurants and coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi access.

8. Attend Orientation
Online orientation and training sessions give you the chance to become familiar with the college and available resources. You can explore different programs, classes, and ways to get involved in student life. These courses give you the foundation to become a successful student.

9. Know your Advisor
Advisors know exactly what you need to graduate. They are a great source for information about your chosen major and university requirements. Advisors can help you set up an academic plan to keep you on track and avoid unnecessary courses.

10. Take a College Success Course
Rio Salado College has four college and career success courses to help students develop study plans, set personal and academic goals and improve job search skills.

Samantha Hill is one of four peer mentors hired last year as part of a grant funded initiative called RioAchieve, which is dedicated to increasing student completion rates.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rio Salado Adaptive Learning Experiment

Campus Technology Magazine writer John K. Waters explores the Renaissance taking place in adaptive learning at higher learning institutions funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant program in an article called The Great Adaptive Learning Experiment.

Included is an interview with Julie Stiak, associate dean of instruction and community development at Rio Salado College.

Rio Salado College is one of the 14 schools chosen by the Foundation to develop adaptive learning courses. Rio's first pilot program launched in January with two online writing courses that are being developed in collaboration with Pearson.

What is adaptive learning? In a nutshell, it’s a high-tech way of collecting and processing data that will help instructors determine what students know, how they learn and how to customize coursework that meets their unique needs.

Learn more in the April issue of CT Magazine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

RISE Learning for Life Winds Down 2010-11

There are only two free classes left in the 2010-11 membership year at RISE Learning for Life.

The classes are a part of the organization’s special summer session which allows the community to participate in RISE classes at no cost.

On June 28, Officer Doug Lynch of the Surprise Police Department will present easy, common sense solutions to home safety concerns; and on June 30, Tom Lombardo will relate new theories about the brain to traditional questions of consciousness and the physical world.

RISE, a community based educational organization operating in the Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center, uses a trimester scheduling system offering fall, winter, and spring sessions. Classes are not offered between July and September.

In-person classes will resume for members starting on October 3. They are presented in a variety of formats ranging from seminars that last only a few hours to multi-part series that can last as long as eight weeks.

RISE treated members to a diverse range of topics this year including:

Women and Happiness- Discussion group to help women identify their own personal and unique goals.
How the States Got their Shapes- Review of the political, economic and ideological factors involved in drawing state borders.
Creation Stories You’ve Never Heard- Exploration of creation stories/myths from a variety of sources.
History of the U.S. Navy- Lecture and discussion on major battles, technological innovations and a timeline of events.
The Decision to Drop the Bomb- Examination of influencers and events leading to President Truman’s decision to drop the Bomb.

RISE also offered traditional self-improvement topics throughout 2010-11 such as conversational French, efficient investing, and chair yoga.

RISE Members pay an annual fee of $45 which entitles them to take as many courses as they like. The Membership year runs from July 1 until June 30.

Any adult living in Maricopa County can join RISE by calling (480)377-4250 or visiting for more information.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Student Services Add to Students Success

Graduating from college is a major accomplishment for all students. It marks a new chapter in their lives as they transition from student to professional. But before they join the workforce the graduates need to go through the not-so-fun process of resume writing and interviewing.

For some graduates, resume writing and interviewing are not a problem. For others, it can be a daunting task. For all graduates, and current students, help is available.

“Just because a student has graduated it doesn’t mean the door at the college has closed behind them,” said Melaine Abts, faculty chair of Counseling at Rio Salado College. “Our student services are open to current students and graduates to help them with every aspect of career planning.”

Every day, Rio Salado’s counselors help people set personal, educational, and career goals. Counselors also are on hand to help students when they are experiencing obstacles that are interfering with their academic performance such as: lack of motivation, relationship issues, study skills, test anxiety, time management, and stress. Additionally, the counselors are available to students and graduates when they need assistance with job search skills, resume writing, interview preparation.

“We want students and graduates to be successful, and that means helping them with their resumes and preparing them for interviews, too.” said Abts. “The counseling services at Rio Salado College are an integral part of the total educational process, and this includes after graduating, too.”

Current and Incoming Students
For current and future students, Rio Salado offers three classes, which are geared toward helping students choose the career path that is right for them.

“Whether you're new to college or online learning, we'll give you tips on how to be a successful student,” said Abts. “We help develop study plans, identifying learning styles, and set personal and academic goals.”
The Career Exploration class focuses on current occupational trends and outlooks and is designed to assist students as they make informed career decisions.

“This class uses of various assessments to help the students explores career-related interests, values, needs, preferences, skills, and strengths,” said Abts. It will aid in the development of individualized educational goals, career goals, and action planning.”

The Creating College Success class offers strategies to help students succeed in college. It explores methods for selecting and developing effective academic strategies, increasing self-awareness, and developing self-management strategies. Elements of college resources and relationships with others are explored in support of the students' educational experience.

The Strategies for College Success class focus on increasing student success through college orientation and personal growth, study skills development, and educational and career planning.

“The college is successful if the students are successful,” said Abts. “With all of these tools available to students, everyone should be confident that they will be successful at Rio Salado.”

To see all of the counseling help that is available, visit

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rio Salado Offers Online Courses Including CPR Class

“I want everyone in the world to take this class,” said Angela Ambrosia, a faculty chair member at Tempe-based Rio Salado College.

It’s safe to say every teacher will say their class is the most important and that everyone should enroll in it. But not every teacher can say their class has the potential to save lives. Ambrosia’s cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class has the potential to save lives and that is why she wants more people to enroll in her class.

“If I can teach somebody so that they will feel comfortable and not panic when this occurs, it will be great,” said Ambrosia. “I think we can improve the survival rate for cardiac arrest patients.”

In the Rio Salado class, students will learn to identify signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest with emphasis on early action. They will learn how to manage a conscious and unconscious airway obstruction and the proper technique for performing one and two rescuer CPR on the adult, infant and pediatric victim. Additionally, the students learn to deliver effective oxygenation and ventilation using a bag- valve-mask device and how to perform automatic, external defibrillation as part of the resuscitation of the adult in cardiac arrest.

“Students will learn current American Heart Association standards for one and two rescuer CPR and obstructed airway procedures on the adult, infant, and pediatric victim,” said Ambrosia. “The students will also learn to use automatic, external defibrillation and resuscitation equipment.”

According to the American Heart Association, the use of CPR dates back to 1740. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t know how to perform it today.

Rio Salado College launched the classes in January and saw more than 100 students take the online class and pass the in-person exam. Among the students who passed the exam is Tempe resident Jennifer Phoebe, who is a mother of three young children.

“I’m taking classes to get my degree in nursing and because I have children,” said Phoebe. “I thought CPR is something I should know. It’s long overdue.”

With family and work already keeping her busy, Phoebe found it difficult to attend classes in a traditional setting. So she chose online classes where she could attend class when it fit into her schedule.

“I have time constraints with kids and it made it a lot easier to take the classes online,” said Phoebe. “People think it’s going to be easy because it’s online, but you really have to learn the material. It was a great format for me and it was easy to understand. There was a lot of material and I learned a tremendous amount.”

After taking the classes online, Phoebe was relieved to practice what she learned during an in-person test under Ambrosia’s supervision at the college’s main location in Tempe.

“I felt a lot better coming in and doing it on a mannequin,” said Phoebe. “It reinforced everything I learned online.