Monday, August 31, 2015

Student Sucess Tip: Build Relationships!

Image of a student looking at camera, holding books.  Sign in back reads: Tips to a successful start...

Looking for student success tips and advice? Look no further.

The Maricopa Community Colleges have compiled a list of common things successful students do-- to help you succeed!

Today's tip: build relationships! 

Poster for tip: Build Relationships.  1. Get to know your professors.  2. Connect with peers in your classes.

Don't forget about connecting with your advisor!

Engage in the dialogue by sharing your ‪#‎tips‬ ‪#‎successfulstudent‬ ‪#‎iwillgraduate‬

Save Big with 90/30 Transfer Programs

If you're like many community college students, you maybe thinking about transferring to a 4-year college. This re: THINK blog feature by NAU-Extended Campuses will introduce you to the benefits of its 90/30 transfer program, which allows you to transfer up to 90 community college credits toward a bachelor’s degree. That means considerable savings for you!

NAU offers 90/30 program opportunities in Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Public Administration and more at the Communiversity at QC. Visit this web page to to learn more about our pathway programs and options.

Your NAU Transitions Coordinator is Gina Stephens.  Schedule an appointment via email at or by phone at 602-776-4677.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rio Salado & CGCC Bookstore Price Match Promise

The Price Match Promise: We'll match the lowest advtertised price on your college textbooks

Take advantage of the Rio Salado and Chandler Gilbert Bookstore Price Match Promise-- to meet the lowest advertised price on your college textbooks!

Purchased or rented, new or used-- show the bookstores a better advertised price and they will give you the difference on a gift card.

To receive a one-time price adjustment:

● Bring your original receipt and advertisement for the better price to one of our bookstores within 7 days of your original purchase.

● The book must be in stock with the bookstore and with the retailer advertising the lower price.

● The lower priced item must match the exact book and edition purchased or rented, including accompanying CDs, online access codes, student manuals, etc.

● Excludes: Digital books, peer-to-peer marketplaces and online aggregator sites.

Free shipping to the store or $7.50 to your home.

*Offer valid through 12/31/2015, in-store only. If, within 7 days of the original transaction, you find a cheaper price for the book you bought from this store, we'll give you the difference in price on a gift card. The price must come from another local bookstore or Neebo, Amazon (excluding its marketplace), Chegg or Barnes and Noble. Peer-to-peer marketplaces, aggregator sites, digital books and publisher direct prices are excluded. The item being price matched must currently be in-stock with us and the local competitor or online site. The price advertised has to be for the exact book and edition in our store, including accompanying components such as CDs, online access cards, student manuals and the like. Original receipt must clearly state whether the book was purchased new, used or rented. Additional rules and restrictions apply. See store associate for more details.

Brookings Now Tips on Applying to College

Here are some interesting findings from The Brookings Institution to consider as you plan for your educational journey.

Included is analysis of the actual value of a college degree in today’s economy, how your choice of school or major affects your future opportunities, whether the return on your investment will pay off and more.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rio Salado New Student 101: Need to Know Terms

photo of Rio Salado Tempe headquarters

Monday starts, Block Calendar and other systems that are unique to Rio Salado can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the related terminology. Here are a list of words and phrases that will help new students understand what they must do to meet academic, registration and financial aid requirements.

Academic Program
A prescribed series of classes designed for a specific degree, certificate, or other credential. See your Academic Advisement team for support.

  • Program Seeker – Students who have declared a Rio Salado certificate, degree or transfer program in, ESF (Electronic Student File) or by meeting with an advisor.
  • Non-Program Seekers – Students who take classes for personal or professional gain, to supplement a degree program at another college or university and students who have not declared a Rio Salado certificate, degree or transfer program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
To keep your financial aid, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, which is measured by three criteria: Progress, Grade Point and Maximum Time-frame. Here’s a clever video to introduce you to this concept and what these terms mean. Visit your Financial Aid team for more details.

Block Calendar System
Unique to Rio Salado College, the block calendar system uses semester blocks to provide students with flexibility in class scheduling. The importance of you understanding how this system works is critical to your success at Rio Salado. Here is an introductory video that makes it easier to understand this system. 

  • Academic Terms – Like traditional semesters at other colleges, Rio Salado has fall, spring and summer terms.
  • Semester Block – Each Academic Term is divided into Semester Blocks, with a definitive start and end date. Students choose a block that works best with their schedules and complete classes within the specified time-frame. Semester Blocks must be completed within a specified Academic Term.
  • Term Block – Synonymous with Semester Blocks.
  • Class Start Date – When a class begins, which is typically Monday. Students can choose multiple class start dates within their Semester Block, as long as they complete all classes by the Semester Block end date.
  • Class End Date – The last day course materials can be can be submitted.
  • Monday Starts - When Academic Terms, Semester Blocks and most classes begin.
  • Out of Block – Classes that do not start and end within a Semester Block, which will automatically be dropped if not completed by a student’s Semester Block end date. 

This Block Calendar Planning Tool will help you determine which Academic Term, Semester Block and Class Start Dates will work best for you!  If you need additional support, call on your Admissions and Records team.

Visit Rio Salado's student orientation web pages for more student success tools.

NAU & CGCC Grad Appointed to Serve as New Rio Salado VP

photo of David O'Shea

We are pleased to announce that David O’Shea has been appointed to serve as Rio Salado College's Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Information Services

O’Shea, who has served Rio Salado for the last two and half years, is eager to help the college expand its reach and impact through innovative technologies and strategies.

“I am very proud to be able to serve the students, faculty and staff of Rio Salado College and MCCCD,” said O’Shea. “I think that post-secondary education is the key to success for our community, and I am looking forward to helping Rio Salado deliver that education and to making our college and our community a better place.”

O’Shea has been serving as Rio Salado’s Acting Chief Information Officer for nearly a year. Preceding that, he served as Rio Salado’s Chief Technology Officer.

O’Shea has worked in the information technology field for nearly 20 years, most recently in the higher education sector. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, in business administration with an emphasis in economics, and an associate degree in information technology from Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

We hope you'll join us in congratulating Mr. O'Shea on his new appointment, which began August 24, 2015.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Review of Addiction Counseling Requirements

Photo of Kirk Bowden

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden published an editorial called My Big Concern for the Addiction Counseling Profession (Part II) for the summer edition of Advances in Addiction & Recovery, a professional journal published by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

This is a follow up to a spring 2015 editorial published by Bowden about the same subject.

image of fall Advances in Addicition and Recovery magazine

Bowden calls on state behavioral health regulatory/licensing boards to implement a requirement that behavioral health professionals have addiction-specific education and experience before practicing addiction counseling independently. Most states do not have this requirement.

Rio Salado College is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders.

“We have a lot of highly-qualified faculty who are experts in the field,” Bowden said. “For example, one adjunct is the author of a textbook that is used nationally and another works as a policy writer for President Obama.”

Bowden himself is well known in the field.

In addition to serving as NAADAC’s President since October 2014, Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for NAADAC’s Advances in Addiction & Recovery magazine. While serving in many capacities for NAADAC through the years, Kirk has also served as Chair of the Chemical Dependency Counseling Rio Salado College, Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon University, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (IN CASE), and as a steering committee member for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Partners for Recovery, and the Higher Education Accreditation and Competencies expert panel for SAMHSA/CSAT.

Bowden was recognized by the Arizona Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as Advocate of the Year for 2010, and by the American Counseling Association for the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award in 2013, the Fellow Award in 2014, and most recently for the Outstanding Addiction/Offender Professional Award in 2015.

For additional information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit or call Academic Advisement at 480-517-8580.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

College Savings Tips & Traps for Parents

image from U.S. News Education feature.  4 College Savings Strategies for Parents with Student Loans
Here’s a story by U.S. News Education reporter Deborah Ziff that includes some great advice for parents who are trying to save for their children’s education—while managing their own student debt—and how to avoid common college savings mistakes.

Earn College Credits with an Internship

New! Business & Public Administration Internship Opportunities.  Apply Now.

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

Internships are a great way to earn college credits, attain professional experience to include in your resume and help you prepare for a career after graduation.

A qualified internship is a structured, practical experience in which you apply all that you've learned throughout your coursework at Rio Salado. An internship should also further your knowledge and skills in an area that specifically relates to your current program of study and future career goals. 

Internships can be paid or voluntary assignments. Once an internship is established, it can be arranged for one, two or three credit hours, depending on work hours. Students can use up to six internship credit hours toward approved degrees and certificates.

Students must be currently enrolled at Rio Salado with a freshman or sophomore status and have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible for an internship. It is the student’s responsibility to secure an internship opportunity.

To learn more about this program, including application guidelines, visit

Friday, August 21, 2015

Labor Day Closure, Sept. 7

The Communiveresity at QC and all Rio Salado College locations will be closed in observance of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. 

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

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sustainable Food Education Courses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rio Joins Industry Leaders to Reinvent Higher Ed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Test Anxiety - What You Need to Know

Test anxiety is that bubbly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a test is looming. Symptoms may include sweaty palms, trouble sleeping, increased caffeine intake, and/or irritability. These symptoms can range from the very mild to severe.

Although a certain amount of anxiety before taking an exam is normal and expected, if your anxiety is causing you to forget learned information or if it becomes debilitating, you may need to seek professional advice.

Mild to normal levels of test anxiety can be managed simply by making sure to be adequately prepared for the exam. This means regular study sessions to review the material, completing homework on time, keeping up with assigned reading, and attending class if it is an in-person class.

Waiting until the last minute to study and/or spending all night cramming for a test is not only bad for managing anxiety, it also will result in little to no information retention. Typically, if a student is confident regarding content knowledge, test anxiety is kept at a minimum.

On the day of the test, in the moments just before the test is supposed to begin, anxiety is typically at its height. Fortunately, using that energy to create positive results rather than negative ones is relatively easy with a little practice. 

First, practice positive self-talk. Running a short phrase through your mind like the screen saver on your computer such as, “I have mastered the knowledge. I am prepared. I will successfully pass this exam,” will put success at the forefront.

Taking a minute or two to practice relaxation breathing is another simple tool to keep the mind calm and focused on the task that needs to be completed. Inhale slowly—count to 10--through your nose, hold the breath for a two-count, and then exhale just as slowly—count to 10 again. 

This can be repeated as many times as needed and can be used in a variety of situations. Finally, taking time to form a mental picture of success in your mind can be a simple, yet powerful weapon against anxiety.

Minor anxiety can be tackled using one or more of these strategies, in many cases. 

A Rio Salado Counselor is available to help you refine these strategies. Call 480.517.8785 for an appointment. If your anxiety is more serious, a counselor can help locate a behavioral health professional that meets your needs.

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Amberly Lebeck-Brown on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Hybrid Course for Law Enforcement Pros

image of crime scene tape and investigator's hand in front of it.
Rio Salado College Hosts Investigator Training Course for Law Enforcement Professionals at the Communiversity at Queen Creek.  

Fall 2015 Classes: Aug. 27 – Dec. 10.

Rio Salado College is now offering its Investigator Training course in a hybrid format. Also known as, Detective School, this course has been taught to Valley law enforcement since 1994. Many agencies require officers attend this training prior to testing for a detective position; however, this training is equally beneficial to patrol officers who desire to enhance investigative skills and report writing.

A hybrid course is a blend of in-person and online classes. There are three lessons during the 16 weeks, which require in-person attendance. The remainder of the course is conducted online.

This hybrid course offers more flexibility to those who cannot attend in-person on a weekly basis such as officers who live and work in neighboring counties. 

Investigator Training Classes:
  • CRIME SCENE MANAGEMENT: Manage an investigation, collect evidence, and re-construct a crime scene.
  • INVESTIGATION REPORT WRITING: Write quality reports that gain convictions.
  • INTERVIEW AND INTERROGATION: Ask effective questions in an interview or interrogation.
  • SEARCH WARRANTS AND COURT ORDERS: Write thorough search warrants and court orders.
  • DEATH INVESTIGATIONS: Investigate a death investigation from beginning to end. Other investigations include property and other violent crimes.
  • COURTROOM TESTIMONY: Testify as the primary investigator in a homicide.
  • INVESTIGATIVE RESOURCES: Learn about DNA, blood stain patterns, and information sources used to develop and analyze intelligence.

Instructor: Detective Paul Dalton, Phoenix PD. 

Officers will receive 16-hours of continuous training from AZPOST per college credit.  Through this program, participants can earn up to 64 hours of AZPOST training hours.

image of sign for Communiversity at Queen Creek
Communiversity at QC Schedule
In-person classes will meet at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, Thursday evenings, 4:30-9 p.m.
August 27, 2015
October 15, 2015
December 10, 2015

Communiversity at Queen Creek
21740 S. Ellsworth Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

To enroll, contact Sylvia Anderson at 480-517-8461

This course is open to sworn and civilian law enforcement personnel only and closed to the general public.

Rio Salado Library eBooks on Business

Image of CRiSP 50, one-minute tips to better communications cover.

The Rio Salado Library provides students with access to the CRISP 50-Minute Series, available via the EBSCO eBook collection

These short, easy-to-read books cover the most critical aspects of business topics in a minimum amount of time. 

Please note, you must be logged into RioLearn to access.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“Fall” into Good Habits

Fall semester is typically the start of a new school year for students. While Rio Salado offers more flexibility to go to school year round, fall is still a good time to develop new and improved habits to increase your chances of success.

Here are 5 tips to help you kick off the fall season with your best foot forward!

1. Touch base with an Academic Advisor
It’s good to talk with an expert occasionally to ensure you are taking the right courses for your long term goals. If you are still unsure of your educational and career goals, consider talking to a Counselor or taking a Career Exploration course like CPD 102AB.

2. Set a study schedule
Find a time management tool that works best for you. For example, the calendar app on your phone! Input all important dates both personally and academically. Next, schedule time each week to study, work on homework, and prepare for larger projects or papers. If you have a well-organized plan on how to spend your time, you will conquer procrastination and the stress of last minute assignments.

3. Get to know your instructors
Your instructors are experts in their subject matter. There is no better resource to get help in your courses. You have to take the initiative in an online class to develop a relationship with your instructor. It can be well worth your effort. Instructors can recommend additional resources like websites, articles, books and more to help you tackle topics you are struggling with!

4. Use Student Services
Rio Salado offers a plethora of services to help you navigate your college career such as Tutoring, Career Services, and the Library. The most successful people know you need to ask for the help of others. Asking for help is not a weakness but a strength to know when you can’t do it alone.

5. Refresh or improve your study skills
Have you ever taken a study skills course or given any thought to how you can improve your grades by working smarter not harder? Try reading some online articles about different study techniques or take a college success course like CPD 150 or CPD 115. It may just help you use your time more wisely and improve your grades!

Contributed by Rio Salado Counselor Kamela Craig on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services.

Book Advances: FAQs & Your Responsibilities

shelf with books

As a friendly reminder-- Rio Salado, CGCC and other Maricopa Community Colleges students will receive book advance funds through the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP), which will be issued nine business days before the start of a semester. 
MSRP began issuing advances as of yesterday, August 12 through the Money Network®, which lets  you choose how to receive your payments, through direct deposit, a Visa prepaid card or paper check.

Student Responsibilities:

  • 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 this My.Maricopa web page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Free Admission to Phoenix Art Museum!

image of Phoenix Art Museum gallery

The Phoenix Art Museum is offering free general admission to all Maricopa Community Colleges students, faculty and staff from now until June 30, 2016.  

All you have to do is show a current MCC identification.

The Phoenix Art Museum believes that one of its primary functions is to make art accessible to everyone in our community.  The museum offers a variety of programs including tours, a full art research library, and unique programs in conjunction with their exhibitions.

If you're a faculty member interested in leading a group of students on a tour, please contact the school tour line at (602) 257- 4356 at least two weeks prior to the visit date.

This special admission offer does not include family members or specially ticketed events.

For information on current exhibitions, please visit the Phoenix Art Museum at

For additional details, please contact Don Jensen-Bobadilla at or by phone at (480) 731 - 8296.

Thank you Phoenix Art Museum!

Fall In-Person Courses, Register Now!

Check out the latest fall course offerings at the Communiversity at QC!

Ottawa University is now offering courses in early childhood education, addiction & disorders, counseling theories, professional & ethical issues counseling and more!

In-person classes are also offered by Northern Arizona University, Rio Salado College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Chandler-Gilbert and Rio Salado College course offerings will help students fulfill undergraduate requirements for just about any degree.

Unsure about what courses you need to complete your certificate or degree? Take advantage of our advisement services.

In-person classes start Aug. 24, 2015 and registration is now open. To view the full course list, please visit this web page.

To register for courses, you must log into your My. Maricopa student dashboard.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Take Latin Classes Online This Fall

Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy
Discover the ancient language of Latin this fall at Rio Salado College! 

LAT101 is available online and will cover basic grammar and vocabulary, the influence of Latin on the English language, and Latin/English translation. Students will also learn about the Roman Empire and how it has influenced our contemporary society. 

LAT102 will also be offered for students looking to further advance their Latin language abilities.

Why Choose Latin?

  • It is the root of many English words
  • Assists with learning Romance languages 
  • Help you understand a word’s origin
  • Prepares you for a variety of careers 
  • Fulfills language requirements at many universities 

Take advantage of Rio Salado's Monday start dates and search for classes now! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

New Foster Care Education Program

The Communiversity at QC is proud to join Rio Salado College in a new Maricopa Community Colleges program that will help children aging out of the foster care system transition into and succeed in college. The Bridging Success Initiative, which is funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, was introduced at an event on July 23 with partners from across the Valley.

The program focuses on three key areas: retention, degree completion, and transfer.

The initiative advisory board has representatives from Arizona State University (ASU), Children's Action Alliance, Arizona's Children Association, Arizona Friends of Foster Care, College Success Arizona, College Depot, Florence Crittendon, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

The Maricopa Community Colleges are creating supportive environments at all of their main campuses where students can get tutoring, academic counseling, career planning, skill development, and other support services. Bridging Success Program counselors at ASU will also work with students to help make the transfer to ASU seemless.

Finishing a program usually leads to greater earning potential for youth in foster care.

“Supporting youth who are aging out of foster care is core to our mission of access and student success,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Felicia L. Ganther.
Dr. Felicia L. Ganther

“We are extremely committed to this work and are thankful to our community partners for helping us to create a web of support for these students. Like other young people, youth in foster care have dreams. Yet we know that there are big challenges and obstacles in the way of these dreams. Our goal is to turn these dreams deferred, into dreams realized.”

Facts about Youth in Foster Care
  • Every year, more than 700 Arizona children age out of foster care when they turn 18.
  • One in four youth in foster care in the U.S. will finish a certificate or two-year degree.
  • Nationally, only 3% of youth in foster care finish a four-year degree. 
  • More than 25% experience homelessness and/or prison. 
  • One in three receives public assistance, and their unemployment rate is more than 50%.

Maddy Day is Director of Outreach and Training at Western Michigan University’s Center for Fostering Success and was the event’s keynote speaker.

“With well staffed, campus-based support programs and supportive collaborations between the education and child welfare sectors, our students will not just survive their journey through the education to career pipeline. They will thrive,” said Day. 

For more information about Maricopa’s Bridging Success Initiative and ways you can help a young person aging out of foster care with college completion, visit this web page and contact Stephanie Garman at 480-731-8093 or

Rio Salado College is one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Teaching the Art of Sustainable Food Systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Knowledge Commons

Rio Salado College library employees took a field trip to the Communiversity at Queen Creek on July 28 to deliver and set up the Knowledge Commons library book collection!

In addition to Rio Salado's extensive online library, all Rio locations now all have library collections of books and DVDs that are tailored to the needs of each local community.

The library team received a very warm welcome from Site Coordinator Renee Mesnik and her team, and enjoyed their tour of the facility.

Come check out the recent additions in our new Knowledge Commons!

Pictured above: Rio Salado Site Coordinator for the Communiversity at Queen Creek Renee Mesnik next to Rio Salado Library staff: Christopher Orf, Patricia Hansen, Sarah Hall, Melanie Fritz and Janelle Underhill.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tips for Writing a Research Paper

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

Celebrate Your Right to Vote

Fifty years ago on Aug. 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, permanently prohibiting any discriminatory election practices. It is this law that made voting equal to all American citizens, regardless of race.

"The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man...all Americans must have the right to vote, and we are going to give them that right." - President Lyndon B. Johnson

Your vote counts! Drop in to Rio Salado College's Tempe location to pick up your free Constitution pocketbook, containing everything you need to know about your rights and your duty to vote.

Voter Resources

Rock the Vote: Rock the Vote is the largest non-profit, non-partisan and privately funded organization in the U.S. that uses pop culture, art, music and technology to drive millennials to voting booths. Project VoteSmart is a nonpartisan, privately funded organization “working hard to strengthen the most component of democracy – access to information."

Maricopa County Recorder: The recorder’s office will have information about upcoming elections deadlines as well as links for people to register to vote, including sign-up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL).

Arizona Republic/AZCentral: The My Ballot guide on azcentral gives voters a place to peruse information specific to their locality by providing their zip code.

iSideWith: For those who are undecided, and need help cutting through the noise and hype to the heart of the issues, iSideWith provides an inventory of multiple questions related to political typology and public policy issues, and returns a report of which candidates and parties one “sides with."

Center For Civic Participation: If you require assistance with your voter registration/education drives in the form of materials or trainings, simply put in a request for service.

National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 22.

Want to get more involved? Check out Rio Salado's Student Life and Leadership groups for more engagement opportunities. Read more.