Friday, January 30, 2015

Saturday Service Hours, Jan. 31

Image of a Rio Salado employee at front reception desk.

Take advantage of Saturday services at Rio Salado Tempe headquarters, January 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.   

Students Services Available:

We are providing these extra hours of service to help you meet the increased demands that normally occur at the start of a new year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Student Profile: Dante Sands

photograph of Student Dante Sands
Dante Sands

Meet Dante Sands. Sands is a Communiversity at Queen Creek student and a recent Arizona transplant.

After enrolling at the Art Institute of Phoenix, Sands determined the cost of tuition would not meet the constraints of his budget. Instead, Sands decided to satisfy his general education requirements at the community college level, and signed up for classes at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

"I was told about the Communiversity at QC as I was enrolling at Chandler-Gilbert, and I remember thinking to myself, what is a ‘Communiversity?’” said Sands.

“I learned that the Communiversity is a collection of educational partners offering courses that transfer toward my degree at Chandler-Gilbert,” Sands said.
Sands, whose idols are communication masters Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, is pursuing a media communications degree, which he plans to complete at Arizona State University.
Sands is currently taking two in-person communication classes at the Communiversity.
“These classes are preparing me to talk to the world,” said Sands. “It’s huge to have a local education option, especially because I work just down the road. Not to mention how much it benefits local students who aren’t able to commute to class.”
Sands also credits the intimate class size and the attentiveness of his instructors as additional reasons to take classes at the Communiversity at QC.
"It's been a great experience thus far, and I look forward to completing more in-person courses,” Sands said.
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 to schedule a tour and meet.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Early Childhood Parent 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 February's session is "Facing the Challenge (Part 2)".

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:

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.

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 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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Educator Resource Fair Feb. 10

Educator Fair Resource logo featuring a stack of books with an apple on top.

The Town of Queen Creek invites you to attend the 2015 2nd Annual Educator Resource Fair, February 10, 4-6 p.m. at the Communiversity at QC.

Registration is FREE

This event is an opportunity for teachers and school staff to learn more about available grants, environmental education, reduced and free materials and supplies, in-class instruction and presentations, assemblies, field trips and educational resources.

Hospitality and food will be provided by the Queen Creek Olive Mill. There's also a chance at winning several prize drawings.

Interested in being a vendor? Please submit an Educators Resource Fair Vendor Application.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Informational Interviews Provide Perspective

illustration of two people communicating with iconic images of communication platforms  floating above their heads.

Many students begin college without a clear major, career, or professional goal in mind. Students will often hear various suggestions about how to navigate the career exploration process.

The most popular recommendations are to experiment with taking a variety of courses, acquire an internship in an area of interest or volunteer at an organization that entices you.

Informational interviewing is another option, but often a foreign concept to many people. Informational interviews entail seeking out individuals who are currently working in a career or a related field you would potentially like to pursue, to gather information about their occupations.

We suggest you prepare at least ten or more questions that specifically address the kinds of details you think you should know about, including common trends in their profession and how they acquired their position. Here is a helpful website to find potential informational interview questions.

image of cork bulletin board with post it that reads: Ask the right questions.

Engaging with someone through an informational interview who is actively employed in a profession that is appealing to you can offer you a “real-world” perspective you would not receive through online research.

This is just one of many tools that can assist undecided college students in choosing a satisfying career.

Contributed by Rio's Counseling Services, helping students with their personal, educational and career goals.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 University Transfer Fairs this Spring

Image of woman in a lab.  Text reads: Meet Pilar Ramos, Cancer Researcher and a graduate of a Maricopa Community College.  Complete your Associate Degree with us, then Transfer to a University Partner.   Learn more.

The Maricopa Community Colleges are hosting university transfer fairs across the Valley, February 17 - March 25.

More than 40 of our partners will share information about transferring from a community college to a four-year college or university, including how to apply, earn scholarships and maximize transfer credits.

Visit this University Transfer page for the latest dates, times and locations for these events.

Check out this page to learn more about the partners.

Friday, January 16, 2015

It Pays to Investigate Nina Mason Scholarship

Photo of Patrick Andrew, Psychology Major, cohort 11.  Quote: Because of the generosity of the Nina Scholars Program, I am extremely grateful to not feel the added pressure of financial burden.  The staff is alwys helpful and available to answer questions, so I can focus on my classes.

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 you need to have a 4.0 GPA and a long list of achievements. Think again.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. 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.

It is available to all Maricopa Community Colleges students who meet one of these criteria:

  • Adults 25 years or older with dependents
  • College-age youth and adults living with physical disabilities
  • Incoming freshmen ages 18-25, raised through the child welfare system and have no form of financial support

Visit the application page for additional requirements. The deadline is March 1.

Need help applying? Visit this Maricopa Colleges web page to watch a video tutorial about successful tips and strategies to consider in all of your scholarship applications. You can also call on our counseling services team for help.

Get a start on your application now.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Special Saturday Service Hours, Jan. 24 & 31

Image of Rio Salado Employees welcoming guests

Rio Salado Tempe headquarters will provide special Saturday service hours for several student services, January 24 and 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., to help meet the increased demands that normally occur at the start of a new year.

Students Services Available:

The Testing Center, Knowledge Commons and Technology Support Helpdesk will have normal Saturday hours.

Visit our online listings for more details about important dates, closures and extended service hours.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid lines and hold times:
  • Take advantage of self-serve options like the financial aid steps and to-do list.
  • Avoid the lunchtime rush between 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and try to call before 10 a.m. You can always leave a message requesting a callback.
  • Avoid calling or coming in on Mondays and consider a mid-week visit.
  • Come prepared before you call or come in to see an advisor by reviewing your program at

For a step-by-step guide on how to get started at Rio Salado, visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Communiversity at QC and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed on Monday, Jan. 19 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This includes the Rio Salado Testing Center.

We encourage you to learn more about Dr. King and the impact he had on the American Civil Rights Movement.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hit & Kiss: Attachment and Intimate Violence Free Workship Jan. 21

The Communivsersity at QC is featuring a free, community workshop, Hit & Kiss: Attachment and Intimate Violence, January 21.

This workshop will discuss the role of attachment as it relates to:

  • Behavior that can lead to aggressive actions in intimate relationships
  • Improving relationship quality to reduce aggression
  • Family dynamics that activate threat responses in the body
  • Therapy for intimate violence
Behavioral health professionals and counselors, clinicians, administrators and family members are all encouraged to attend.

Call (480) 384-9000 to register now.
This event is limited to 50 participants. We encourage you to register as early as possible.

Hit & Kiss: Attachment and Intimate Violence Workshop

January 21, 2015

9a.m. - 12p.m.

Communiversity at Queen Creek – Community Room

21740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

About the Presenter:

Dr. Robert Rhoton, CEO of Arizona Trauma Institute, LLC, possesses a rich history of experience in the mental health field. Dr. Rhoton has supervised multiple outpatient clinics, juvenile justice programs, and intensive outpatient substance abuse programs for adolescents, day treatment programs for children and youth, adult offender programs, child and family therapeutic services, advanced training in child and adolescent trauma treatment, family therapy, and family trauma.  Learn more.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Close to Home and In Person

Photo of a Communiversity at QC classroom with students and instrutor.

No matter what challenges life throws at you, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Like many time-worn adages, this might sound corny, but it expresses a very profound and valuable message. It is precisely the message that Veronica Barbieri, a Northern Arizona University (NAU) student, strives to impart on the residents of her local Queen Creek community.

“To me, success looks like a bachelor’s degree in a frame hanging on my wall,” Barbieri said. “It’s coming home from work when I’ve spent my day working for the Federal Government.”

Having worked her way through a range of very different jobs-- from ranch hand to office worker-- Barbieri remained committed to do whatever it took to land her “dream” position-- working at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Achieving the requisite educational qualifications presented an early and formidable challenge.

The first critical step: complete a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, without needing to relocate or commute. The new Communiversity at Queen Creek (QC) enabled Barbieri to take in-person classes towards her bachelor’s degree, close to home. 

The Communiversity at QC is the product of a unique educational alliance, which includes Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Northern Arizona University, the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences and Ottawa University. It provides a broad selection of in-person and online class options and opportunities to earn progressive certificates and degrees with seamless transfers. 

The Communiversity at QC and its partnership with NAU provided just the right learning environment for Barbieri to complete her bachelor’s degree.

“I am very much an in-class learner,” Barbieri said. “When I saw that the Communiversity was an option on my NAU class list, I knew I had to grab it. I wanted to have a teacher in front of me.”

Barbieri was especially excited when her Public Administration professor brought in the Queen Creek Town Manager to speak to the entire class.

“It was a great experience because it applied everything we’d learned in the semester,” Barbieri said. “We got to see firsthand what happens in real life.”
Photo of Communiversity at QC student Nora William,
Nora William

Going to school close to home was also a draw for Queen Creek native, Nora Williams, who has been taking in-person classes at the Communiversity at QC since the fall 2014 semester.

William is a Chandler-Gilbert Community College nursing student, and she admits she wasn’t quite sure what to expect prior to enrolling at the Communiversity at QC.

“I was signing up for classes and stumbled upon something called the Communiversity, and I thought, wow, what is that?” William said. “I really like all of my instructors, and they really want to help you to succeed. “By the end of my first week I realized, hey, I really love college!”

Spring registration is currently open for in-person classes at the Communiversity at QC. Drop by to meet with an academic advisor and student services specialist, tour the facility and learn more about the academic partners and their program offerings. Call 480-384-9000 or visit for more details.

By, Aubrie Artiano, PR Coordinator at Rio Salado College

Save the Date! Geeks Night Out, March 5

Join Rio Salado College, the City of Tempe and the Arizona SciTech Festival for the 4th Annual Geeks' Night Out, Thursday, March 5, 2015 at Tempe City Hall.

This FREE, family-friendly event is a blend of science, technology, engineering, arts, math and much more.

Learn more about this exciting event by visiting the City of Tempe. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Attend a Teacher Ed Orientation Session

Interested in a teaching career?  
Rio Salado's Teacher Education team can help you get started. Take part in one of their orientation sessions on Monday, Jan. 12, 6-9 p.m. at the Communiversity at Queen Creek.

Enroll now 

Learn about Rio Salado's Teacher Ed
  • Bachelor's Degree Pathway Programs
  • Post-Baccalaureate Programs 
  • Teacher Preparation Programs
  • Teacher-In-Residence Programs 
  • Job Placement Programs 
  • Professional Development Programs

Schedule conflict? Click here to learn more and to view other dates and locations for future orientation sessions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Testing Center Hours

image of testing center at QC
As of Monday, January 5, Rio Salado's Testing Center at the Communiversity at Queen Creek will offer new service hours:
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For additional information, visit Rio Salado's Testing web page.

Join The RioLounge Community!

Icon of the Google plus account

Have you checked out RioLounge? It's a great resource for buying and selling used textbooks and engaging with other Rio Salado students.

You can also share photos and videos, plan and promote local events or just hangout. 

All students are encouraged to participate.  Here’s how:

  1. Log into or create a Google+ profile using a personal Gmail account.
  2. Visit
  3. Join the RioLounge Community on the right hand side of the page.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Advances: What You Need To Know

image shows small book shelf with array of textbooks.
Are you expecting a book advance for the upcoming spring semester? As a friendly reminder, the book advance funds are now issued through the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP) and will be issued no earlier than nine business days before the start of a semester.

How is MSRP Different From the Past Refund Process?

In the past, students received payments in the form of paper checks from the Maricopa District Office. As of November 12, 2014, Money Network® will begin processing all student refunds for the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP).

MSRP allows students to choose how they receive payments: direct deposit, Visa prepaid card, or paper check (if you previously designated this option).

Student's Responsibility

  • Opt-in to receive your advance if eligible. Meet all terms and conditions for your financial aid.
  • Spend the money wisely! Use the funds to purchase the required books and supplies for your classes. Remember to review your class schedule in your Online Student Center so you purchase the right materials.
  • If you receive a book advance and are later found ineligible, you are responsible for returning the funds back to your school.
  • If you receive a book advance and decide not to attend school, you are responsible for repaying the amount you received.

To learn more about book advances, please visit My.Maricopa on the web.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Help Rio Salado Choose a New Mascot!

image of MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper surrounded by Maricopa Colleges mascots and a sillouhette of a bear mascot with a question mark in it.

Have you ever wondered what Rio Salado's mascot is?  Get your creative juices flowing and help us choose a mascot that reflects our culture, brand and history-- and will fit in with our motley crew of Maricopa Community Colleges mascots.

Submit your suggestions for a name, idea or design concept to our Rio Salado College Mascot Contest committee, January 5–31, 2015.

The selected winner will receive a $100 gift card. 

Learn more by visiting