Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Testing Center Schedule Changes

image of testing center at QC

Rio Salado's Testing Center at the Communiversity is closed tonight and hours of service for Wed., Nov. 26 will be 8 a.m. - 5p.m.  It will also be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday, November 27-28.

As of Monday, January 5, new hours of service will be:
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Register Now! Spring Course Schedule

The Communiversity at Queen Creek has just rolled out its spring in-person class schedule!  To view a full listing of the upcoming partner classes, visit this web page.

Earn credits towards degree and certificate programs through Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Northern Arizona University and Ottawa University!  
To register for courses, please sign into your my.maricopa.edu dashboard.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Federal Work Study Jobs at Rio Salado

image of Rio Salado Student

Rio Salado College has several, part-time student Federal Work Study (FWS) job opportunities.  We hope you will consider joining our winning team.

To be eligible, you must:
  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
  • Complete a verification process (if required) 
  • Complete all “to do” items in your my.maricopa.edu Student Center section 
  • Demonstrate financial need (Awards are based on the student need and can vary. Maximum award for 2014-15 is $2,500/semester)
  • Have U.S. citizenship, U.S. national residency or permanent residence with an Alien Registration card 
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours
  • Work a maximum of 20-hours per week while school is in session
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Enroll as a degree-seeker at Rio Salado College   
Federal Work Study opportunities are based on student need and do not have to be repaid.

For a list of job openings, visit www.riosalado.edu/jobs and look for listings under Part-Time Student Federal Work Study Opportunities.

For more information, contact Jose Robles at jose.robles@riosalado.edu.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Culture of India Brown Bag Presentation


Join us as celebrate the fourth day of International Education Week. Today, we journey to India for a brown bag presentation, Indian food specialties and a selection of international documentaries.

Culture of India Brown Bag Presentation
Join Rio’s own Harpreet Maan and her friend Rashmi Kwatra for a “Celebration
of India” cultural presentation. The brown bag takes place from 11:30 a.m. –
1 p.m. in the Café at Rio Dining Room.

Indian Food Specialties in the Café @ Rio:
Curried vegetable kabobs with lamb meatballs, rice Birianni, and cucumber yogurt salad.

International Documentaries:
The following Rio Salado College Library documentaries will be shown in the Café @ Rio dining room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m:

•    A Most Unlikely Hero
•    My Mother India
•    Geronimo and the Apache Resistance

They are also available online to staff and students who are logged into RioLearn.

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, and is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

Immerse yourself in culture this week and take advantage of all the unique activities. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bill Gates Reflects on Visit with Rio Salado Students

image of Shawn Lee and Bill Gates

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day Two: International Education Week


Join us as we begin day two of our International Education Week celebrations. Today, we explore the many wonders of Germany through an engaging presentation and trademark lunch special.

German Culture Brown Bag Presentation

Join Dierk Seeburg and Doris Neyestani of the German School Phoenix, for a  presentation on German culture. The brown bag takes place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Rio Amphitheater, outside the Café at Rio.

Dierk Seeburg, director of the German School Phoenix, grew up in Marburg, Germany, and came to the U.S. via the German American Exchange Student Club scholarship program. He attended Bowling Green State University (BGSU) where he received an M.S. degree, and also holds a college teaching certificate from Maricopa Community Colleges.

Doris Neyestani comes from Hamburg, Germany. She recently joined the German School Phoenix faculty. She has an M.A. in German from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Professional Clinical Counseling from Ottawa University.

German Food Specialties in the Café @ Rio:
German style brats, sauerkraut, caramelized onions, potato salad ($5.95)

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, and is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

Immerse yourself in culture this week and take advantage of all the unique activities. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

We're Hiring! Part-Time Site Support

Image of two Rio Salado employees at a reception desk looking at the camera
The Communiversity at Queen Creek is looking for a part-time employee to serve as Site Support. Job duties include diligent customer service, internal administrative support and assistance, event coordination and operations maintenance.

The ideal candidate will be customer focus oriented, possess excellent organizational skills, effective oral and written communication, and have the ability to work successfully as a team player.

Interested in learning more? Read the full job description and details about how to apply.

Visit Rio Salado's Employment Page for details about all part-time and full time opportunities.

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

Kick Off: International Education Week

image of a globe showing a variety of international flags.
We begin the 15th annual International Education Week celebration with a series of documentaries and a specialty dish from the Café @ Rio in Tempe. Today, you will have an opportunity to explore the exciting destinations of China, India and Ireland.

Irish Food Specialties in the Café @ Rio:
Irish corned beef and cabbage, boiled red potatoes, spicy stone ground mustard ($6.95)

International Documentaries:
The following Rio Salado College Library documentaries will be shown in the Café @ Rio dining room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m:

•    Young & Restless in China
•    Shanghai Bride
•    Tapoori: Children of Bombay

They are also available online to staff and students who are logged into RioLearn.

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, and is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

Immerse yourself in culture this week and take advantage of all the unique activities. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bill Gates Visits Rio Salado College

Photo 1: Bill Gates, Rio Salado College President Dr. Chris Bustamante and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann.
Bill Gates, Dr. Chris Bustamante and Sue Desmond-Hellmann.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and other leaders from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation visited Rio Salado College on Thursday, Nov. 6 for a progress report on a student success program called RioAchieve, which is being developed by the college and supported by the foundation.

Maricopa Community College District Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper and Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante were among the key leaders from the District and college to greet Gates and foundation leadership.

“Having met with Bill Gates and members of his staff during their visit to Rio Salado College, I’m delighted that he and the Gates Foundation value their relationship with us so much that they personally visited Rio to see the college’s programs dedicated to student success,” said Glasper.

“It is not every day that Bill Gates pays you a visit,” said Bustamante. “This was a chance for us to give him a first-hand account about the innovative work we’re doing at the college and what we’ve been able to accomplish through RioAchieve.”

Round table discussion with Rio Salado and Gates Foundation leadership

The foundation leadership team included CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann, President of U.S. Programs Allan C. Golston, U.S. Director of Education of Postsecondary Success Daniel Greenstein, U.S. Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success Suzanne Walsh, and U.S. Program Officer of Postsecondary Success Art Seavey.

Gates and the foundation leaders attended meetings with Rio Salado and MCCD leadership, members of the President’s Advisory Board, Rio Salado faculty, staff and students who are benefiting from RioAchieve. They also had a chance to see demonstrations of RioAchieve initiatives at work and learn what progress is being made in their use and development.

RioAchieve is funded by a $ $970,000 Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant, which was awarded to Rio Salado in October 2012. NGLC is a partnership led by EDUCAUSE, which is primarily funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. RioAchieve is designed to target five specific interventions that support student success, retention, and completion-- supported through technological innovations that allow them to be delivered in a scalable, sustainable manner. They are as follows:

1. RioCompass, an online interface that gives students a way to monitor their progress toward degree completion, access valuable student success resources and communicate with a dedicated advisor, who can in-turn use the system to get a holistic view of student progress by having access to their course enrollments, degree plan, requests for help records, use of tutoring, placement scores and more.

2. The Intervention Dashboard, Guided Intervention and Response (GIvR) collects data from several areas of the college and then automatically alerts appropriate staff to implement an intervention. The data includes activities such as calls for technology support, grades and instructor notes.

3. RioPACE (Progress and Course Engagement) is a predictive analytics system, which tracks student login frequency, site engagement and progress in a course and compares this data to behaviors of successful students to determine probability of student success.

4. The Guided Evaluation Assessment Response (GEAR) is a technology-based, faculty-developed solution that assists faculty in providing customized, personalized, detailed feedback to students on their assessments.

5. The Student Success Helpdesk is staffed with a Student Success Coordinator, dedicated advisors, and RioAchieve peer mentors—who are current students. The advisors regularly reach out to assigned students to monitor course and degree progress, ensure students are enrolled in the correct courses, assist with future enrollments and answer student questions. Mentors provide study tips, help students navigate student services and provide ongoing encouragement.

A luncheon was hosted with RioAchieve peer mentors and students who shared how their interactions and encouragement from advisors, faculty and staff have helped them persist in working toward their educational goals.

Shawn Lee and Brenda Moore

RioAchieve student Shawn Lee from Winslow, AZ attended the luncheon and spoke highly about RioCompass and peer mentors. “I use RioCompass as my guide,” said Lee. “I look at dashboard every day. It motivates me to go further. It provides a lot of info on where I need to be and what classes I need to take.”

Lee, who is pursuing a program of study in addiction and substance use disorders, also spoke at length about how positive his educational journey has been. “Rio has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Lee. “Working with advisors and peer mentors, they help me achieve my goals and get that quality education.”

RioAchieve student Brenda Moore from Scottsdale, AZ, who is finishing up her first semester, also attended the luncheon. “My advisors are awesome,” said Moore. “They have really been there for me and they took so much time out for me.”

Moore is returning to school after 31 years and studying addiction and substance use disorders. “I am thrilled to be back in school,” said Moore. She’s also benefiting from Rio Salado’s student support services and recommends other students do the same. “Take advantage of the people at Rio,” said Moore. “Go and ask questions. Get the info you need. Applied knowledge is power.”

photo of samantha hill
Among the RioAchieve peer mentors was Samantha Hill, who is also a Rio Salado student.

“Although I was a little nervous at first, having the opportunity to meet with Mr. Gates and to express my thoughts and opinions was such an honor,” said Hill.

Hill, who is studying medical radiography, said she and the students had a chance to talk about their backgrounds and the challenges they have faced. “We also talked about how an online education made it possible for some of us to go to school because driving to class every day is not something we’re all able to do.”

Another topic was the support system of advisors and peer mentors. “As a peer mentor and student, I’m able to relate directly with students I work with and share my experiences with them,” said Hill. “I can help share some of the mistakes I made early on and what I wish I had known first starting out. I believe so many students could benefit from a model like this and by having a peer mentor.”

“Student perspectives are crucial in the development of RioAchieve,” said Bustamante. “We were truly impressed by Mr. Gates’ request to meet with students and were honored to help bring them together today.”

Photo 1 and 2 credit: (c) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Mark Makela

Celebrate International Ed Week Nov. 17-21

logo header for the 15th Anniversary of International Education Week

International Education Week is an initiative led by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Rio Salado is taking part in the week-long celebration by hosting a series of activities, special events and discussions at the headquarters in Tempe, AZ. There will also be daily, multicultural culinary delights from the Café @ Rio.

Here is a brief of activities we have in mind: 

Title: International Education Week at Rio Salado Nov. 17-21 - Description: Schedule of Events   Monday, Nov. 17th  Flags of the World Email Contest; open to all Rio employees, students, and District staff.  Irish Food Specialties in the Rio Cafe.  Tuesday, Nov. 18th  Presentation on German Culture by Dierk Seeburg, Director, German School Phoenix, from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Rio Amphitheater, between the Tower and Hohokam Buildings.  German Food Specialties in the Rio Café.  Wednesday, Nov. 19th  Wear Your International Flair Day. Bring international cultures to life by dressing in the traditional style of your heritage or your adopted heritage.  Salsa Contest in the Rio Café Dining room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Taste the entries and vote on your favorite salsa. Top three vote getters will receive prizes.  Mexican Food Specialties in the Rio Café.  Thursday, Nov. 20th  Presentation on the Culture of India by Harpreet Maan and Rashmi Kwatra from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Rio Amphitheater between the Tower and Hohokam Buildings.  Indian Food Specialties in the Rio Café.  Friday, Nov. 21st  Cultures of the World Email Contest; open to all Rio employees, students, and District staff.  Pacific Islander Food Specialties in the Rio Café.

We encourage you to share your stories and photos on Rio Salado's Facebook page and the InternationalEdWeek page by using #RioSaladoCollege#PP2TW and #IEW2014

Check our blog for details about each day's events.

Want to learn more? Visit the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

RSC Bookstore Sale Nov. 18-19

image of the word sale, with a sticker that says 25% off apparel, gifts and more.
Take advantage of the Rio Salado Bookstore sale,  online and in-store on
November 18 and 19. Visit Rio's bookstore online here. 

Online Profiles Impact Jobseekers

Image of a group of people sitting around the table with networking icons interconnecting them.

Advanced technology has changed the world we live in and resulted in benefits that may not otherwise be possible. Keeping in touch with friends and family has become easier, access to information has increased, and, of course, what would the world be without online shopping!

Unfortunately, with all of these benefits, come a few negative consequences. Job seekers often forget how their online presence can negatively affect their prospects. Posting pictures of a wild party in college seems like a great idea until one considers that many employers complete Google searches when reviewing a potential employee. Although many consider their online activities to be personal in nature, employers see employees as ambassadors for their companies. This results in a blurring of the lines between personal and professional.

Ensuring a positive online presence is relatively easy

illustration of an ipad connected to social media icons.

Start by Googling your name. Take the time to do a little digging to see what comes up. Review all social media sites—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—and remove any posts and/or pictures that an employer may frown upon. Remove tags from friends’ pages that do not present you in a positive light.

Keep privacy settings as conservative as possible, but know that some employers request that potential employees log into personal accounts in their presence so they may review the content themselves.

It is much better to take a conservative approach when posting online in order to avoid scarring your reputation.

CPD102AC touches on these issues while teaching students creative job hunting skills.

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Amberly Lebeck-Brown on behalf of Rio Salado’s Counseling Services-- helping students with their personal, educational and career goals.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Online

Need a librarian? Stuck at home? Did you know that you can get live research help from a librarian 24/7? Ask a Librarian is a free service, connecting you to a librarian who can help you online, anytime with:
  • Starting your research
  • Finding journal articles, books, and media
  • Creating effective research strategies
  • Citing sources
  • And more!
Ask a Librarian now: http://ow.ly/BfWoi

Monday, November 10, 2014

Scholarships = Free Money

Among the greatest concerns of new and returning students— and families funding their education— is how to pay for college now and the debt after graduation. Scholarships are one of the best ways to cover expenses because you don’t have to pay them back, yet so many students don’t take advantage of them, leaving thousands of dollars unclaimed. Why?

There seem to be a few misconceptions about scholarships. Among the most common is that applicants need to have a 4.0 GPA, long list of outstanding achievements and awards or a great financial hardship. While others think they don’t have the time, know-how or ability to submit a good essay or don’t think a $200 scholarship is worth their time.

This is definitely one of those scenarios where you won’t know for sure unless you investigate and give it a try. The few hours you spend on a scholarship application will be well worth the investment, at the very least, a good learning experience and practice at mastering the application process.

Case in point— there are dozens of scholarship opportunities made available through the Maricopa Community Colleges District Foundation (MCCDF) and students only have to complete one application for multiple scholarships.

Included are many opportunities for U.S. citizens with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a record of volunteerism and a determination to pursue higher learning, especially students who have a financial need. There are also a few opportunities for students with lower grade point averages.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars (NMPLS) Program is also included. It is available to Maricopa Community Colleges students who are: college-age youth and adults living with physical disabilities; adults 25 years or older with dependents; and incoming freshmen ages 18-25, raised through the child welfare system and have no form of financial support. The program covers full tuition, fees and books, while providing each student with an academic advisor and mentor. It also includes a $2,750 annual living allowance. Visit maricopa.edu/studentaffairs/ninascholars for eligibility definitions and more details.

There are ten scholarship opportunities specifically for Rio Salado College students and employees, including the We Are Rio Employee Scholarship fund and the new Arizona Public Service Foundation I2teach Scholarship Fund, which is helping adults who have a bachelor’s degree transition into teaching careers, especially those interested in teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) related classes.

Time is of the essence for the spring 2015 application. The deadline for most of the current listings is Nov. 15.

The web site for the application is maricopa.academicworks.com. Type “Rio Salado” into the search engine to find opportunities unique to the college.

MCCCDF scholarships are available annually, in the spring and fall. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be required in order to apply. To learn more, visit mcccdf.org.

Visit this Maricopa Colleges web page: http://ow.ly/DMrPW to watch a video tutorial about successful tips and strategies to consider in all of your scholarship applications. Rio Salado students who need additional help can reach Student Life counselors at http://www.riosalado.edu/counseling/Pages/default.aspx.

There are dozens of other local and national scholarship opportunities—and other funding options to help reduce college debt. Visit this Rio Salado resource page to learn more: http://www.riosalado.edu/financial_aid/Pages/Scholarships.aspx.

This story can also be found in the Nov. 8, 2014 edition of the Tempe Republic. By Annette Flores, Manager of Rio Salado College Media Relations

Friday, November 7, 2014

Energy Systems Technology Information Session

Image of engineer examining an energy generator

To meet the demands of the growing field of building management, Rio Salado College offers a new certificate in Energy Systems Technology that begins January 12, 2015.

Interested in learning more? Join us for a free information session Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at RSC Downtown.

This session will provide students with a detailed overview of the certificate program and courses, and the tools you'll need to successfully complete all requirements.

To RSVP for this event, or for further questions, please contact:
Richard Cuprak

Information Session and in-person classes are at RSC Downtown:
619 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007

To learn more about this new Energy Systems Technology certificate, visit this blog post or www.riosalado.edu/energy.

Veterans Day Closure and Events

military serviceman holding flag, surrounded by family.
Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day. Normal business hours will resume Wednesday, Nov. 12.

We are committed to serving veterans and their families, and we honor your service. We hope you'll let us serve you by taking advantage of Rio Salado's Military Advisement and the East Valley Veterans Education Center, which are designed to help you make the most of your higher education experience.

All ten Maricopa Community Colleges have been designated as 2015 Military Friendly Schools® by Victory Media. Each year, more than 10,000 VA-approved schools nationwide are surveyed. The list informs military students about the veteran experience based on peer reviews from current students. This is the seventh consecutive year Rio Salado has been acknowledged.

We hope you and your family enjoy this Veterans Day. Here's a list of Maricopa Community Colleges events to help you celebrate.

Select Veterans Day Event Information
6th Annual Veterans Resource Expo. Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1:00 – 4:00pm.
Coyote Center Gym, Pecos Campus
District Office
2nd Annual Veterans Day BBQ. Friday, Nov. 7 at 11:00am – 1:00pm.
Governing Board Room (2nd Floor).
Estrella Mountain
Veterans Career Summit. Friday, Nov. 7 at 11:00am – 1:00pm.
Estrella Conference Center
Veterans Day Resource Fair. Monday, Nov. 5 at 10:00am – 1:00pm. Amphitheater
Veterans Day celebration. Thursday, Nov. 6 at 10:00am
GCC Central Mall
Maricopa Skill Center
Free Haircuts for Veterans – entire month of November
Main Campus, Northwest Campus and Cutting Edge Style Academy
Veterans Day Poolooza.  Monday, Nov. 10 at 11:00am – 2:00pm.
Center Courtyard
Paradise Valley
Veterans Day Barbecue. Monday, Nov. 10 at 11:00am – 2:00pm.
Annual Veterans Appreciation Day. Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:15am – 3:00pm.
Hannelly Center Lawn
Veterans Day Commemoration. Monday, Nov. 10 at 10:00am
Two Waters Circle