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Volume 4 No.1

Summer 08 / Spring 09

Inside This Issue

USAA and Rio Salado’s Partnership Expands USAA has grown its Valley staff nearly 10 times since becoming a Rio Salado College partner in 2002. The company expanded from 300 employees when it came to Arizona in 2002 to 2,800 today. “Good habits of life-long learning and continuous individual improveBill Putnam, ment are becoming core Senior Vice-President competencies for any USAA’s Phoenix and Regional person in today’s rapidly Operations changing workforce,” Bill Putnam, Senior Vice-President of USAA’s Phoenix and Regional Operations said. “Creative agreements such as USAA’s partnership with Rio Salado College in granting college credit for demanding job-skill training help lay a firm foundation for continuous learning by rewarding new employees for their efforts in personally meaningful ways,” Putnam added.

“USAA has been a great partner,” Karen Stigers, Rio Salado Director of National Accounts for Corporate and Government Programs said. “The company has a large presence in the Valley with state-of-the-art training facilities on a beautiful green campus.” Rio Salado College, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, also does its part to reduce its global footprint. The college provides 450 online classes that save time, money and gas. Nearly 3,100 USAA employees have earned a significant amount of college credit through Rio Salado. USAA provides more than 150 products and services to active and former military members and their families. A pioneer in online education, Rio Salado has forged partnerships with businesses and industry around the nation.

And like Rio Salado, USAA is growing green. Sustainability is part of planning, values and everyday practices at the two organizations. USAA’s 575-acre North Phoenix campus was honored with Leadership in Environmental Excellence and Design certification for New Construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. Valley Forward Association recognized USAA with two Environmental Excellence Awards of Merit.

USAA North Phoenix campus

Page 1 • USAA and Rio Salado’s Partnership Expands Page 2 • Rio Salado, DES Inspire Employees to Advance Education • New eLearning Program Teaches Tools to Design Exciting Training Page 3 • Celebrate 30 Years of Learning, Innovating & Partnering! • Grow ‘Green’ with Rio Salado and Save Money, Time as Partner Page 4 • The Rio Salado Institute for Employee Development


Rio Salado, DES Inspire Employees to Advance Education When Lovette Donaldson started her new job she didn’t know she’d be getting an education too.

soon after she graduated from high school but had to quit 18 months later and go to work.

In May, Donaldson received her certificate of completion in Human Services-Assistance: Customer Service from Rio Salado College along with 3580 certificate completers. Her certificate’s a product of a unique partnership between the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), her employer, and Rio Salado College.

Her new certificate has given her the push to go on and finish her degree. Many of those who are enrolled in the program go on and finish a college degree at Rio Salado, earning an associate in arts or science. “I haven’t been to school since I was 18. At 39 years of age I am finally able to get back in school,”said Donaldson, who plans to take as many classes as she can online through Rio Salado and then transfer to Arizona State University to finish a bachelor’s degree in communications.

The industry specific training providing college credit is offered to new DES employees to help improve their job performance. Donaldson earned 18 college credits in the program.

Class for Donaldson and her co-workers included eight weeks of training eight hours a day.

Donaldson was thrilled with the training and the chance to earn some college credit. “I think it was a great opportunity for us. And it’s a grand statement about DES and how they want their employees really educated about the services we provide for the public,” she said.

“The longstanding partnership between DES and Rio Salado College has been helping employees continue their education since 1994. The inspiring stories at graduation are a true testimonial of how beneficial our partnerships are to both the employees and the organization,” said Susan Lawrence, Rio Salado Manager of Corporate and Government Programs.

Lovette Donaldson received her certificate of completion in Human Services-Assistance: Customer Service

Earning a college degree has been a long-time dream for Donaldson. She started community college in Washington State

New eLearning Program Teaches Tools to Design Exciting Training Looking for a way to create professional, interactive, online training that will hold your employees’ attention? Rio Salado College’s new eLearning Design program teaches training managers how to create online staff instruction that can include compelling video, flashy graphics and interesting audio that will hold participants’ attention. It’s one of the first programs in the country to be offered at the undergraduate certificate level. Your trainers can earn 21 credits and a certificate of completion in the program. “This program is designed for people in training who want to put their training online in a professional, interactive format,” Jennifer Freed, faculty chair for the new program said. “The focus is on the students to design training using the new technology that is out there.” Your staff members will be pleased, too! They can learn how to do everything from designing curricula and multimedia presentations to teaching their students to use wikis, blogs, video-sharing and social networking. They will be able to use 21st century skills to create exciting training in eLearning Design, one of the hottest fields in the job market today. Carrie Finke, of AdvancED which is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, says she has really benefited from the class.

For more information contact Jennifer Freed, faculty chair, at 480-517-8384 or academic advisers at 480-517-8540 or visit www. riosalado.edu/elearning/. 2


Celebrate 30 Years of Learning, Innovating & Partnering! Rio Salado College is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Established in 1978 as one of seven “colleges without walls” in the nation, Rio Salado has been partnering with corporate and government organizations since 1990. Thank you to all our partners for growing with us over the years! To learn more about Rio Salado’s history visit www.riosalado. edu/30years.

Grow ‘Green’ with Rio Salado and Save Money, Time as Partner Rio Salado College is more than a smart choice in online education. When your organization becomes a partner with Rio Salado, you are joining a leader in the sustainability movement. Rio Salado has adopted “green” thinking in its values, strategic plan and everyday living.

Socially just & equitable

When your organization becomes a partner, you can provide customized training to your employees at your sites, saving gas, time and money. That adds up to more sustainability and gives your staff the opportunity to learn the skills they need to advance in your company.

Economically robust

If your staff members continue on to earn degrees through Rio Salado, they can take advantage of the college’s more than 450 online classes, an effective way to reduce the carbon footprint. As students, they can also buy new, customized textbooks that save paper and reduce costs by 50 percent through the Textbook Savings Program.

The Triple Bottom Line

In 2007 Rio Salado’s President, Dr. Linda M. Thor became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an effort to address global warming. Rio Salado is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and hired a sustainability consultant to help reduce its global footprint. Our goal is to try to meet the needs of the present generation while taking care of the future. To learn more about Rio Salado’s green practices visit www.riosalado.edu/ci/sustainability.

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Environmentally viable


The Rio Salado Institute for Employee Development Choose the Best Program for Your Organization Educational Partnerships: Get the best of both worlds by combining your industry-specific training with Rio’s high-quality academic component to create customized industry certificate and associate degree programs. Customized Training and Professional Seminars: Keep your employees up to date with the most current knowledge and future trends in management, leadership, customer service and a variety of other areas. In addition to being cost-effective, Rio’s programs are tailored to fit your organization’s specific needs and culture. Online Business Advantage: Save your organization time and money by converting your in-person training to an online format. Let Rio standardize and upgrade your training so it is easy to educate employees at multiple sites. Susan Lawrence, Manager of Corporate and Government Programs and Karen Stigers, Director of National Accounts, Corporate and Government Programs

The Rio Salado Institute for Employee Development consists of a team of dedicated individuals who work with corporations, government agencies and community organizations to establish customized educational partnerships. Why partner with Rio Salado College? Through a partnership with Rio Salado College your organization can access quality education and customized training to develop a more highly educated workforce. Rio Salado’s programs empower adults to earn certificates and college degrees in a variety of fields, usually right at their places of employment. Other benefits for employers include:

Foreign Language Training: Open the door to a whole new customer base by providing foreign language training to your employees. Classes can be customized to your industry’s specific vocabulary. Also, online classes are available in Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

For more information on these programs please contact us at 480-517-8460 !

• Experiencing a positive impact on employee recruitment and retention • Providing opportunities for your employees to receive college credit for employer-based training • Having employees with increased confidence when they obtain new skills and knowledge

Rio @ Work is published by: Rio Salado College, c/o Institutional Advancement | www.riosalado.edu | 480-517-8460 The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA Institution.

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Rio Salado College 2323 West 14th Street Tempe, AZ 85281 480-517-8000 www.riosalado.edu

Rio@Work - Summer 08  

Rio Salado, DES Inspire Employees to Advance Education

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