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Cover: Shane Cahill, Dual Enrollment Student 2013 graduate of Xavier Preparatory High School and Rio Salado College

Summer 2013

“By offering innovative educational opportunities and pathways to certificate and degree completion and career advancement, Rio Salado College is helping students of all ages get in the game.�

Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. The college, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, is the fastest growing community college in the nation, serving 67,000+ students annually. Rio Salado is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable access to education through; adult basic eduction, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning.

Dr. Chris Bustamante

Contact us at 480-384-9817 or

Rio Salado College President










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Creating A RISE Learning Winning Schedule For Life

Dual Enrollment

Faculty All-Stars

2013 Graduation Speaker Starting Lineups

2013 Graduation Roster

2013 Commencement By the Numbers

Heard In The Club House

EVVEC Helps Veterans Stay in the Game


Your Neighborhood Learning Arena



(SUCCESS+BALANCE) Just as a coach doles out


important advice to athletes, Rio Salado’s academic advisors offer tips to help students create a successful and balanced schedule.

balanced schedule can have a huge impact on your college experience. Take too many classes, and you can get overwhelmed. Taking classes out of order can lead to confusion. Here are a few simple tips to get started with creating a winning class schedule. • Take ENG 101 and 102 (First-Year Composition) as early as possible. These classes are a requirement for almost all majors, and they teach the writing skills needed to be successful in other classes.

• Some classes will be harder than others based on the individual strengths and weaknesses of each student. Students who know they will struggle with a specific course may want to combine it with one in which they are likely to excel.

• Students should be realistic about their abilities and available study • Meet with a Rio Salado College time when planning their schedule. advisor to create a customized Taking three research-heavy courses academic plan. and a math class while working full For live chat, email or phone support time and raising two kids is probably visit: not the best way to go about it. • Boardwalk and Park Place. Mario

Get Your Education Here!

Tuition Comparison / Average Annual Tuition

$2,430 $10,044*

and Luigi. Jay and Silent Bob...some things are just better when they’re paired together. Scheduling related classes at the same time can make both classes easier. (Examples: Sociology and Psychology, American Government and US History, or Business and Marketing).

Source: *ABOR, **University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, Ottawa University Tuition Calculators (May 2013)

Maricopa Community Colleges AZ State Universities AZ Private Universities

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Faculty Chair: Computer Technology Faculty Senate President

Faculty Chair: Languages


Years @ Rio

Why did you pursue computer technology? I started as an end user and caught on pretty well. Before I knew it, I had completed Rio’s Computer Technology Certificate of Completion and started working on from there. Best thing about Rio is: The team of great people. Everyone works extremely hard – with a pleasant attitude! Favorite tech gadget or app: I love Dropbox! Even though I back-up my hard drive at home, I save all important docs to Dropbox for safe keeping and easy access. Advice to adjunct faculty: Rio adjunct faculty members often teach multiple sections that can overlap due to weekly start dates, so keeping communication organized makes it much easier to stay on top of things. Favorite game: Blackjack – especially when I’m winning! How do you define happiness: Seeing my daughters happy – it’s the best feeling in the world! Best teaching moment: I love to see the light bulb come on for students. Sometimes it’s just a matter of explaining something in a slightly different way.



Languages you speak: Spanish and English Why did you pursue a languages education? In my 20s, I worked for a contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Bolivia. I fell in love with the language and culture, and wanted to share my passion with others. Best thing about Rio is: Our employees! Our awesome students! The Café food! Favorite foreign language word or saying: Es lo que es… (It is what it is).

Recommended reading: “Enrique’s Journey,” “Devil’s Highway,” “Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir,” and anything by Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. Favorite game: Scene It Sports. I may not answer the NFL and NHL questions as well as my husband and sons, but I am an Olympics savant! A perfect day is spent: Eating, running, eating, watching a movie, eating, reading a book outside with my Golden Retriever, eating, going to happy hour, eating! Advice to students: Actively engage with your schoolwork every day to stay in the game!

Current // A Rio Salado College Publication // Summer 2013 // Take the Next Step // //



Mira Radovich

Kicking off both the Rio Salado College Commencement and GED Graduation ceremonies are three student speakers whose hard work, dedication and determination are truly inspirational.




or Romell Alexander, commencement represents not only success, but a celebration of healing. One of the main reasons he wanted to complete a degree was to put a smile back on his mother’s face.



tephanie Carroll dropped out of high school at age 15, after her brother was killed by a drunk driver. The next two years saw the births of her son and daughter. Soon after, her son was diagnosed with autism.

“I wanted to bring a sense of healing to the heart of my dear mother who tragically lost two of her sons to gun violence,” Alexander said.

“It was devastating,” Carroll said. “I’ve worked with my kids every day since, and have managed to get my son to the highfunctioning end of the autism spectrum.”

Alexander has done that and then some. He will be the first in his family to graduate when he receives his associate degree in addictions and substance use disorders.

Carroll also decided to work on herself by going back to school to earn her GED.

“I was able to complete my entire program online,” said Alexander, who juggled husband, father and work responsibilities while taking classes. “Rio Salado made the impossible possible for me.” He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and hopes to work as a psychiatrist in the mental health field.

“I wanted to bring a sense of healing to the heart of my dear mother.“



“I wanted to further my education to set a good example for my children,” she said. “They are my inspiration and motivation for every step I take toward a better future.” Carroll is currently taking classes through Rio Salado’s ACE program. She hopes to one day earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

“I wanted to further my education to set a good example for my children.“



ylicia McPhea wanted her life to follow a structured, precise path into the working world, but things didn’t go according to plan. “My life unfolded differently,” McPhea said. “I dropped out of high school only to reenter and graduate a year late.” Soon after, McPhea became a mother and spent the next 10 years raising her daughter. However, she desired to return to her original path and get a college education. “I thought that my late start would prove too great of an obstacle,” McPhea said. However, she persevered by taking online classes at Rio Salado, and squeezing in her homework after hours. “What I have earned is more than a degree – it is a milestone,” said McPhea, who is graduating with an associate in arts degree and continuing her studies at Arizona State University.

“What I have earned is more than a degree – it is a milestone.“

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2013 GRADUATION ROSTER Get to know a little more about a few of our 2013 graduates.

Phyllis Ary

Malu Cota

Cody Critzer

Cecilia DuBose

“Being married to a marine, raising children and moving around the country made it challenging to complete my degree. It may have taken 20 years, but thanks to Rio Salado, I have done it!“

“Rio Salado has opened up the doors for me to even greater opportunities, not just academically, but in life. Most importantly, I can be a role model to my son by teaching him the importance of an education.“

“Earning my LET degree was a proud moment for me and my family. I believe everyone needs that moment when they are put up against insurmountable odds and come out the other end a victor.“

“Rio Salado’s large selection of online classes made it much easier to go back to college and prepare me for my future academic life at a university level.“


Phoenix Convention Center 100 N. Third St. Phoenix, AZ 85004


Current // A Rio Salado College Publication // Summer 2013 // Take the Next Step // //

Ariel Harter

Erica Joshevama

Joan Linder

“I’m proud, grateful and excited to be attaining my degree through Rio Salado! I feel like a kid at Christmas, which is silly, but this has been so important to me for so long.“

“Rio Salado is an amazing institution. I found flexibility at Rio, which helped me attain my educational goal and allowed me to work full-time to provide for my family.“

“I am honored to be a graduate and member of Phi Theta Kappa. I started my college career much older in life. It has been a long, hard, and bumpy road, but it was well worth it.“

Cynthia SchraglHarding “Rio’s flexibility has been phenomenal. As a single mother of four children, online classes allowed me to take the classes I needed on my own time and work around my busy schedule.“

33°26’57.65”N 112°4’9.10”W

599....... Associate Degrees 48......... Academic Certificates 3,392.... Certificates of Completion

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28,000 Size of the Convention Center’s South Ballroom

Sq. Ft.

4,039 2,000 301

BY T H E 170 21 40 NUMBERS Certificates and Degrees Awarded

Chairs in the Ballroom

Grad Badge Likes on Facebook

Students Participating in the Ceremony

Times Dr. Bustamante said “College” & “Degree”

Commencement Volunteers

INFINITE Smiles, Hoorays & other Spontaneous Displays of Elation


Current // A Rio Salado College Publication // Summer 2013 // Take the Next Step // //


(KNOW THE CALLS) “Monday start dates” and


“block calendars” can be unfamiliar concepts for new students and can create confusion for those who aren’t familiar with the terminology.

Semester Block – Each term is broken into semester blocks. Each semester block has a start date and a corresponding end date. Students choose from the available semester Academic Program – A prescribed series of classes designed blocks to customize when their semester will start and end. for a specific degree, certificate, or other credential. Term Block – Semester blocks are sometimes referred to Degree Seekers – Students who have declared a Rio Salado as term blocks. he following list of words and phrases are unique to Rio Salado College and will help new students navigate the registration and financial aid processes.

certificate, degree or transfer program in, ESF (Electronic Student File), or by talking to an advisor.

Semester Block Start Date – The date on which a semester block starts.

Non-Degree Seekers – Students who have not declared a Rio Salado certificate, degree or transfer program. Students who take a la carte classes for transfer to another college or university program are NOT classified as degree seekers at Rio Salado College.

Semester Block End Date – The designated end date of a semester block.

Excluded Program – Declared programs that are excluded from the program seeker qualification. Examples include: dual enrollment, educational service partnerships, and non-credit programs.

Monday Starts - Refers to multiple start dates available in the block calendar system.

Block Calendar – Exclusive to Rio Salado College, the block calendar system uses semester blocks to provide students with flexibility in class scheduling. Academic Term – Academic terms are similar to semesters at other colleges. Rio Salado has a Fall, Spring and Summer term.

Class Start Date - The designated start date listed for the class (typically a Monday). Students may choose multiple course start dates within their selected semester block.

Course End Date – The last day on which course materials may be submitted. Out of Block – Classes that do not start AND end within the timeframe of the selected semester block. Classes for the next term that are scheduled to start before the student’s current semester block is scheduled to end are also considered out of block.

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Matt Loper

(JUST ASK) Returning to civilian life


can be difficult for some veterans who struggle with adjusting to life outside the military.

hat is where the East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) comes in. The center offers a variety of services to veterans and their family members so they can get the assistance they need to transition into a successful career.

For David Scoggins, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the EVVEC was exactly what he needed.

For Lance Fredericks, a veteran of the Marine Corps, going back home to be a stonemason was a more difficult step than anticipated. He eventually ended up in prison, and then a homeless center where a case worker directed him to the EVVEC.

“It was like sunlight when you walk in,” Scoggins said. “The resources here are amazing.”

After being honorably discharged in 1995, Scoggins was at a loss for what to do with his life, until the day he walked into the EVVEC.

Scoggins has a bachelor’s degree in social work and is currently pursuing entrance to law school.

“It made me realize that someone actually cares about vets,” For Fredericks, the EVVEC gave him the opportunity to start getting an education and gave him something to focus on. Fredericks said. “School is my social life…it keeps me focused,” said Fredericks. At the EVVEC, Fredericks found someone willing to help “If it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t have anything.” him reintegrate into society and set a path for the future. His goal is to start his own business designing customized “It’s really a privilege to sit down with someone and help head stones, which combines his skills as a mason and his them navigate through these things,” said Darcy Breault, college education. office coordinator at the EVVEC. “To any vets out there, put your pride aside,” Fredericks said. Breault has a passion for helping others, and loves her job “There’s help out there.” because she gets to interact with veterans. “We’re here to listen and support, and be patient,” Breault said. Other services offered by the EVVEC include a computer lab, resume writing workshops, educational and workforce development, and referrals to community resources such as housing, medical care, and job listings.


EVVEC 480-384-9850

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WITH 100+ PROGRAMS (AND 600+ ONLINE CLASSES), RIO SALADO COLLEGE OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. Business Accounting Apartment Manager (Test Prep) Bookkeeper (Test Prep) Early Childhood Administration and Management General Business Human Resources (Test Prep) Organizational Management Public Administration Quality Customer Service Retail Management Small Business Start-Up

Adult Development and Aging Family Life Education Teacher Education Bachelor’s Degree Pathway Career and Technical Education Early Childhood eLearning Design for K-12 Elementary Education Endorsements Fine Arts Education Professional Development Secondary Education Special Education

Education Early Childhood Child and Family Organization Management and Administration Early Childhood Education Family Child Care Management Infant and Toddler Development Parent Education Early Childhood Administration and Management Early Learning and Development Human Development Adolescent Development

Healthcare Addictions and Substance Use Disorders Dental Assisting (Clinical) Dental Hygiene (In-person and limited start dates) Dental Office Management Healthcare Core Classes Maricopa Nursing Pre-requisites Pharmacy Technician (Test Prep) Professional Addictions Counseling

Service and Leadership Creative Writing (Academic Certificate) Language Studies (Academic Certificate) Law Enforcement Technology Military Leadership Organizational Management Paralegal Public Administration Sustainability Sustainability and Ecological Literacy Sustainable Food Systems Technology Advanced Computer Usage and Applications Computer Usage and Application Digital Design eLearning Design Specialist Networking: Design and System Support Programming Web Design: User Interface

For more information on our programs visit For a full list of online classes visit

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Avondale is a multifunctional educational facility serving adult learners and students in Avondale and the West Valley.

SC Avondale opened in 2008. The 12,000-square foot facility features five classrooms, a computer lab, testing center, two multi-use community rooms, and offers students a variety of educational services. Currently, RSC Avondale serves nearly 1,000 students annually through workforce development, partnerships and College Bridge programs. RSC Avondale is one of seven Rio Salado College Educational Empowerment Zones. The college partners with cities, civic organizations, schools and businesses to offer educational opportunities uniquely tailored to the local community. Partners include the City of Avondale Care 1st Resource Center and Maricopa and Phoenix Workforce Connections.


Classes and Services at RSC Avondale: • Adult Basic/Secondary Education and GED preparation classes • English Language Acquisition for Adults classes • Adults Achieving a College Education (ACE) classes • Transition services (career counseling, advising) • Bilingual/Spanish computer skills classes • Social Services referrals

Rio Salado College Avondale 480-377-4400

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Get in the Game at a Location Near You! Rio Salado College is establishing new locations and improving existing facilities to better serve and expand its educational offerings to students and the community. For the most current information, visit

College Location

Communiversity Coming Soon 2323 W. 14th St. 1. Rio Salado College - RSC Tempe, AZ 85281 Administrative Headquarters 480-517-8000 RSC Dental Clinic 1-800-729-1197 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Communiversity @ Surprise Communiversity @ Queen Creek East Valley Vererans Education Center RSC Avondale RSC Downtown RSC Lifelong Learning Center RSC Luke Air Force Base (LAFB) RSC Northern RSC Orangewood RSC Southern RSC Thomas / SPOT 127

Contact us at 480-384-9817 or RioSaladoCollege


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Rio Salado College is an accredited institution. Online classes may have in-person components, testing requirements, block calendar guidelines and require proof of legal residency. Tuition is $81/credit for Maricopa County residents. Payment plan options and financial aid are available to those who qualify. Verification with Academic Advisor is recommended.

Celebrating 50 years of new beginnings! Chandler-Gilbert I Estrella Mountain I GateWay I Glendale I Mesa I Paradise Valley I Phoenix I Rio Salado I Scottsdale South Mountain I Maricopa Skill Center I SouthWest Skill Center MCCCD is an EEO/AA Institution.


Rio Salado College Current Magazine: Summer 2013  

The summer graduation issue.