Monday, December 22, 2014

Shining Star Early Childhood Workshop

Two women pose for a picture outside of the Shining Star Learning Center building.
Take part in a free community workshop series at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, Jan. 20, 2015 through June 23, 2015. The topic of January's session is "Facing the Challenge (Part 1)".

The monthly classes are based on a training program developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University, which promotes the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and school readiness by the age of five.

Rio Salado adjunct faculty member and co-owner of Shining Stars Learning Center Victoria Diforte will serve as the instructor. Learn more about Diforte at: http://ow.ly/BHKYD

Participants will earn a two-hour training certificate upon completion of each class. The classes meet Arizona’s Children Association and A Place to Call Home training requirements.

Workshops take place 6-8 p.m.

Jan. 20, 2015 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 1
Feb. 18 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 2
Mar. 24 – Infant/Toddler development
April 21 – Kindergarten Readiness
May 19 – Health and Safety
June 23 – Community Resources and Services

Child care available through Shining Star for $20. Scholarships are available.


Register online at www.sslcaz.com or call (480) 888-9545.

Child care provided by Shining Stars Learning Center, 21805 S. Ellsworth Road, Suite B101, across the street from the Communiversity at QC, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road.

Time to Apply for Graduation May 2015

photo of a 2014 grad in cap and gown, smiling, holding his children.

If you're close to completing the coursework for your certificate or degree at Rio Salado College, then it's time to apply for your diploma-- and to register for graduation

Graduation applications are due March 1, 2015

Get a jump start before the New Year. Submit your applications now online.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Student Profile: Jennifer Colazo

photo of Jennifer Colazo


Meet Jennifer Colazo. Jennifer is a Chandler-Gilbert Community College student who recently discovered the benefits of the Communiversity at Queen Creek, and she’s taking full advantage.

“The classrooms are small and I’m able to get a lot of interaction with my instructor,” Jennifer said. “I love the access to computers, and the study rooms that are available for students to reserve.”

Jennifer is currently enrolled in five, in-person classes at the Communiversity at QC to complete her general education requirements and then plans to transfer to Arizona State University.  She is interested in software development, but is also considering a business degree.

Jennifer expressed how exciting it was to be one of the first students to experience the new facilities. She enjoys the natural light and open floor plan. There's also the benefit of not having to commute.

“There isn’t much offered in the Queen Creek area as far as higher education," Jennifer said. "The Communiversity is a welcomed addition!"

“I’ve also had the chance to make new friends through the Communiversity at QC,” Jennifer said. “It’s been a very rewarding experience.”

The Communiversity offers a variety of in-person seminars and classes. Call on one of our student services specialists to learn how we can serve you. Give us a ring at 480-384-9000 or drop us a line at  CommuniversityQC@riosalado.edu to schedule a tour and meet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Hours and Closures

A cluster of purple and red christmas ornaments.

Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community College District will be closed for the winter holiday break beginning Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 12 p.m., through Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015.  There will be special hours of service for some locations, including the Communiversity at QC.

Holiday Hours for the Communiversity at QC:
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 25 - Sunday, Jan. 4: CLOSED

Please note, the Communiversity at QC Testing Center will be closed during the winter break starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 5, re-opening on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. 

Holiday Hours for the Rio Salado Testing Center at the Communiversity at QC:
  • Monday, Dec. 22:  Closed
  • Tuesday, Dec. 23: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: Closed

The Testing Center at the Communiversity at QC will offer Saturday hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., beginning Jan. 10, 2015.

For additional information regarding Rio Salado College closures and holiday hours, please visit this web page.

We're Hiring! Part-time Testing Technician

Image of Rio Salado Testing Employees
 

Rio Salado College is looking for a part-time employee to serve as a Testing Technician at the Communiversity at QC. Job duties include administering paperwork and computer-based exams to students, providing general clerical assistance, greeting visitors and directing traffic.

The ideal candidate will have experience working with computers, including a knowledge of spreadsheet and digital data management. A strong detail to attention is a must, as is the ability to follow written and oral directions.

Are you the right fit for the job? We'd love to hear from you!  Apply Today!

image of SCNM students on campus

The Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM) is also hiring! SCNM is looking for a part-time Community Education Coordinator at its Tempe location.

The primary focus of this position is to develop a community education program with courses that educate and empower participants to make health-promoting and life enhancing changes.

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree in a nutrition or health-based area of study, posses three years of relevant experience and the ability to acquire knowledge of SCNM and all of its programs.

To learn more, visit this SCMN web page.

SCNM is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. SCNM is a Smoke Free campus.

For full-time and other employment opportunities with Rio Salado College and all Maricopa Community College District locations, visit www.maricopa.edu/hrweb. The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Benefits of Internships


As a counselor, I have met with numerous recent college graduates who are seeking their first professional job after finishing school. A common problem many students encounter is a lack of related work experience. This is especially an issue when most job postings list “experience required” as one of the qualifications.

You think to yourself, “how am I supposed to get experience if I can’t get a job?” My best recommendation is to get an internship. It is the perfect way to get experience in your field and to apply what you’ve been learning in the classroom. Some academic programs require an internship as part of the curriculum but if your program doesn’t require it, you need to take the initiative.

Internships can 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.

This is an opportunity to gain experience you can’t get in the classroom. An internship should have parameters in place on what you will learn on the job and what the employer’s expectations are for your contributions. The length of your internship should also be agreed upon before starting.

If you are still trying to decide on your future career path, working as an intern is an excellent way to explore a career you’ve been considering. What better way is there to truly see what a future job would be like than to actually “test the waters?” The earlier you do this in your college career the better. You want to give yourself time to change your major if you decide this career is not a good fit.

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.

Finding a job is always a competitive process but with internship experience on your resume you are a step ahead of your competition! Or even better, your internship ends with a job offer!

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Kamela Craig on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services-- helping students with their personal, educational and career goals.

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 www.riosalado.edu/programs/business-internship.



Student Profile: Alejandro Garcia


Meet Alejandro Garcia! He’s enrolled at Chandler-Gilbert Community College where he is working to complete his Associate Degree in Business. Garcia aspires to transfer to Arizona State University where he will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in business, with an emphasis in global leadership.
 
Garcia also happens to be one of the first students who is taking advantage of the Communiversity at Queen Creek. In an attempt to save money and minimize travel, Garcia discovered that the Communiversity at QC makes completing his education more accessible than ever.
 
“When I was looking for classes, I really wanted something that was close by and didn’t require much travel," Garcia said. "The Communiversity offers exactly that."

Garcia was tired of commuting, and was looking for a cost effective solution within his own community.

“I much prefer in-person classes, and that’s the way I’ve always learned. Coming to the Communiversity has been great for me.”

When asked about his classes and the location, Garcia said that he loves the environmentally friendly building.

“Everything is so open, it allows for a lot natural light and has a great energy,” Garcia said. “It really is fun to be here.”

Spring registration is now open, and you can pursue certificate-to-degree pathways in:

  • Business Administration/Management
  • Communication and Liberal Arts
  • Early Childhood
  • Healthcare and Human Services
  • Justice Studies
  • Teacher Education

 To learn more, visit the Communiversity at QC on the web.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Register Now! Mediterranean Diet 101

image of several food items, including vinegar, pepper and tomatoes.

Join the Communiversity at Queen Creek and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) for a 3-week natural health and wellness course in Mediterranean diet.

  • Day/time: Thursdays from 12:00 -1:30 p.m. (beginning Thursday Feb 5th – Feb 19th)
  • Location: Community Room at Queen Creek Communiversity, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
  • Fee: $69 (includes book and lunch on the first day of class)

Taught by Dr. Paul Mittman, ND, SCNM President and CEO, this class is based on the now famous findings of a Spanish study published in The New England Journal of Medicine involving more than 7,000 people at high risk of having heart attacks and strokes.

Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts significantly reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables and is low in dairy products, red meat and processed food consumption. Learn the basics of this healthy diet and significantly improve your health!

Click here to REGISTER TODAY!

 
 During the Mediterranean Diet 3-Week Course, you will:
  
  • Attend weekly 90 minute classes on eating a Mediterranean diet
  • Learn successful dining out and shopping strategies
  • Discover important research on the relationship of diet and disease
  • Gain insight on how to replace addictive food habits with those that promote health
  • Learn how to plan delicious and healthy menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • After the first week, enjoy a weekly potluck where everyone shares recipes.

For additional information on this course, please visit SCNM on the web.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grant Helps STEM Pros Recareer as Teachers

a group of conference attendees pose for a picture beside a welcome banner.

Fifteen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals have a chance at recareering as secondary classroom teachers through Rio Salado’s Noyce Scholars Program. Qualified candidates will benefit from a generous $16.5K stipend provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Rio Salado’s fast-track teacher education program. The deadline to apply is Feb. 3, 2015.

Rio Salado’s Noyce Scholars Program is ideal for Valley STEM professionals who’ve been thinking about making the transition to teaching. The stipend funds are part of a $1.2 million NSF grant awarded to Rio Salado in 2011 as a way of encouraging STEM professionals to bring their industry experience to the classroom, combat the shortage of qualified STEM teachers and help Arizona teens prepare for high-need STEM careers.

It was a natural decision for Phoenix resident Katy Westersund to enter the program. “I started to think about my prior career as an environmental engineer, and about what I can do now,” said Westersund, a full-time mom who also volunteers at her children's school.

image of Catherine Westersund
Westersund joins other Noyce Scholars to talk about
the benefits of Rio Salado's Teacher Ed program.
“I attended Rio’s Post Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Orientation,” said Westersund. “The instructor put up a slide with three questions: Do you like math and science? Are you needing to recareer? Do you want to help others learn? And I said, yes, that’s me.”

“I decided to pursue a career as a secondary math teacher because I loved my career as an environmental engineer, said Westersund. “I think I saw that as a mother I could advocate for my children, to give them the best opportunity and to love math and science. By me becoming a secondary math teacher, I can be an advocate for a classroom of students.”

Westersund completed a student teaching assignment at Tempe Union High School in November. By January, she will be certified and ready to teach high school math. She is one of 20 students currently participating in the program.

Qualified applicants will have an opportunity to earn a Secondary Arizona Teaching Certificate in math or science for grades 6-12. They will be provided mentoring, assistance with job placement and first-year classroom support.

The 15-month post-baccalaureate program is online, making it accessible and convenient. “Students are supported throughout the program with their coursework by a success coach and a mentor during the first year of teaching to assist with classroom management and other first-year teacher challenges,” said Noyce Scholars Program Manager Karen Nave.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, three or more years of experience in a non-education STEM career-- and a passion for teaching. The application process includes a subject knowledge exam, a teaching seminar and screening interview.

For more details, visit www.riosalado.edu/noyce or call 480-517-8066.

Pictured above: Rio Salado Teacher Ed staff accompany Noyce Scholars at February 2014 National Title I Conference for Educators Conference in San Diego.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rio Salado's Testing Services Make Valley-wide Impact

Linda Lukey, Rio Salado director of testing and prior learning assessment posses in front of the Rio Salado testing center.
Linda Lukey, Rio Salado director of testing and prior learning assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations

Recycle Your Old Clothes and Textiles

Do More Blue initiative logo. Features bold lettering and a city recycling bin.

The Town of Queen Creek, in conjunction with United Fibers, is bringing back the curbside textile recycling program. Special textile blue bags have been mailed to residents who receive the Town’s trash and recycling services. The special blue bag can be placed directly into the curbside recycling cart on the regular recycling collection day. Instructions are printed directly on the blue bag.

Additional textile bags are available for pickup at the Municipal Services Building, 22358 S. Ellsworth Road, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The bags are also available for pickup from the following textile program community partner locations:

· The Communiversity at Queen Creek

· Queen Creek Olive Mill

· Boys and Girls Club

If you don't have a blue bag, your textiles can be dropped off in the clothing recycling bin at the Neighborhood Recycling Center on Ellsworth Road and Crewse Lane, or at the Queen Creek Olive Mill or Boys and Girls Club.

Acceptable recycle materials include clothing, jeans, towels, sheets, blankets, and shoes. The textile recycling program will run through February, 2015.The first year’s pilot program collected more than 25,000 pounds of material. The Town anticipates diverting even more textile from the landfill in this second year of the program.

Important note: Only textiles placed in the blue bag within Queen Creek’s recycling bins will be recycled. Any textiles placed loose in the can will have to be thrown away.

After sorting, weighing, and processing the bags of textiles, appropriate materials will be used to manufacture eco-friendly, 100% post-consumer home insulation. So the benefits to our environment are truly exponential.


This recycling program helps the community as well as the environment. For every pound of clothing and textiles collected, the Boys and Girls Club of Queen Creek will receive support for their youth programs.

For information on all our recycling programs, visit QueenCreek.org/Recycling or call 480-358-3450.

Follow news, events and activities in Queen Creek, visit QueenCreek.org. Get social with the Town on Twitter @TOQC_Official orFacebook.com/QueenCreek.

For the latest news about this initiative, visit this Town of QC web page.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Early Childhood Program Pathways

a teacher sits at a small table with three young children as they complete an art project.
 
Interested in earning a degree or certificate in Early Childhood & Human Development? Rio Salado College is offering a certificate-to-degree program with in-person class options at the Communiversity at Queen Creek!
 
Learn more about the program here, and check out the latest schedule of in-person classes here.  
 
For additional information regarding Early Childhood undergraduate and professional development opportunities please contact Student Enrollment Services at 480-517-8580 or email us.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Early Childhood Workshop Series

Victoria Diforte and Cindy Radebaugh, Shining Stars Learning Center owners.

Take part in a free community workshop series at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, Dec. 16, 2014 through June 23, 2015.

The monthly classes are based on a training program developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University, which promotes the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and school readiness by the age of five.

Rio Salado adjunct faculty member and co-owner of Shining Stars Learning Center Victoria Diforte will serve as the instructor. Learn more about Diforte at: http://ow.ly/BHKYD

Participants will earn a two-hour training certificate upon completion of each class. The classes meet Arizona’s Children Association and A Place to Call Home training requirements.

Workshops take place 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 16 – Teach Me What to Do!
Jan. 20, 2015 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 1
Feb. 18 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 2
Mar. 24 – Infant/Toddler development
April 21 – Kindergarten Readiness
May 19 – Health and Safety
June 23 – Community Resources and Services

Child care available through Shining Star for $20. Scholarships are available.


Register online at www.sslcaz.com or call (480) 888-9545.

Child care provided by Shining Stars Learning Center, 21805 S. Ellsworth Road, Suite B101, across the street from the Communiversity at QC, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road.