Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Alan Torvie
Submission Date Aug. 12, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Rio Salado College
PAE-8: Support Programs for Under-Represented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Elizabeth Cole-Fay
Director of Community Partnership Program
Community Development
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Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, affinity groups, academic support programs, or other programs in place to support under-represented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support under-represented groups within the student body:

The leadership of Rio Salado College has developed a Mission Statement and adopted Core Values and Purposes that promote Inclusiveness, Access, and Responsiveness to the diverse populations served by the college. Rio Salado reaches out to the community to offer convenient, accessible, flexible, and affordable learning opportunities. Based on these values and purposes, Rio Salado College also offers a climate of high expectations for the success of current and future students, customers, and employees.
Rio’s commitment to diversity supports the Maricopa County Community College District’s vision to work “collectively and responsibly to meet the life-long learning needs of our diverse students and communities.”
Rio Salado excels at personalized service. Classes are offered in both online and hybrid formats. Online classes can be taken at any time and anywhere. Rio Salado reaches out to historically underserved and unrepresented populations to promote education through programs such as dual enrollment for high school students, distance learning for the incarcerated, and employee professional development through corporate and government partnerships.
Rio Salado’s core value of inclusiveness directly addresses the college commitment to astonishing customers in local, national, and international communities. Rio’s view of the diverse, world-wide society served by its educational services recognizes and values the individual and his or her learning experience. The core value of sustainability, which subsumes social sustainability and social equity, likewise affirms this commitment. By tailoring education to meet the needs of communities and through emphasizing exceptional customer service, individuals feel respected and worthy.
Rio Salado provides the following services and opportunities for under-represented groups within the student body, including:
Academic Advisement – Rio Salado College offers advisement in a multitude of ways to meet the diverse needs of the student population. Advisement is offered by phone, in person, and via chat and e-mail, making this essential service convenient to access. Advisement also has evening and Saturday hours. Additionally, advisement is available in person at the locations which offer ABE/GED preparation. Students in these programs can meet with an advisor to learn how to transition into college programs. Group advisement is also available at these sites to provide an initial orientation to advising at Rio Salado College and the other services provided, and group advisement is also available online.
Counseling Services - Counseling Services at Rio Salado College are an integral part of the total educational process. Counselors assist students with setting personal, educational, and career goals through high-quality and accessible services to meet the needs of diverse student populations. Counseling is provided in the following areas: academic success, career exploration, personal counseling, career information, and job hunting skills.
Disability Resources and Services - The mission of Rio Salado’s Disability Resources and Services (DRS) is to ensure a successful learning experience for all students with documented disabilities by providing appropriate accommodations (according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reliable services, and helpful resources designed to foster self-advocacy and independence and support achievement of educational, career, and personal goals. Rio reaches those students who may not otherwise be able to attend college through their 24/7 accessible online courses, flexible schedules, and variety of programs and classes. Since Rio Salado serves a diverse population of learners, services are provided for all Rio students with disabilities across the Valley and throughout the world, whether they be online, in-person, incarcerated, in a partnership or ABE/GED program, or a high school student taking classes through Dual or concurrent enrollment,.
Adult Basic Education – Rio’s ABE program was established in 1979 and today has over 13,000 students enrolled. Rio Salado has extensive experience with developing programs for adult populations including adults who did not complete high school, high school graduates who need to brush up on their basic academic skills for job retention or advancement, and non-English speaking adults. The ABE program is open to students 16 years of age and older, and the classes are offered at no charge. Students have the option to review for their GED diploma, enhance literacy skills, or practice English language skills. Services are offered to students regardless of race, ethnicity, and income level.
Achieving a College Education Program (ACE), ACE Puente and Adult ACE - ACE is a nationally recognized program that targets those students who may not consider going to college to attain a baccalaureate degree. ACE is designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school through the community college and then on to a university and completion of a bachelor’s degree. The ACE Program looks for high school sophomores who have taken at least six high school credits and who are the first generation to attend college in their family and/or who come from a single parent home or an underrepresented group, and who have experienced economic hardship. Rio Salado’s ACE Puente Program provides students with a scholarship to earn up to 24 college credits during their participation in the program.
Rio’s Adult ACE is an eighteen-month ABE-to- college bridge program for adult students from under-represented groups who have certain risk factors preventing them from being successful in college. The program allows GED students to begin specially created in-person college classes while completing the requirements for the GED diploma. Adult ACE students receive a broad range of support services including individualized advisement, tutoring in academic subjects, counseling, and enrichment activities in college competencies. This support allows them to successfully move through developmental and 100-level college classes while working towards the completion of their GED. The collaboration among service providers—GED instructors, Adult ACE advisors and counselors, adjunct faculty, and support staff—allows for a seamless transition from Adult Education into post-secondary education. Classes are held at Rio Salado College learning centers throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area, and most students receive scholarships based on financial need. Upon completion of the eighteen-month program, students not only have a firm educational base from which to pursue a degree, but also a better understanding of the workforce needs in their communities and the career opportunities available.
Adult Basic Education Transition Program - The mission of the ABE Transition Program is to provide information, support and guidance to Rio Salado College adult GED and ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) students as they transition into post-secondary opportunities within the Maricopa Community College District. This is accomplished through effective collaboration with ABE support staff, district-wide student service partners, and Rio Salado and MCCCD administration. The program pays for up to six credit hours at any Maricopa Community College in any two semesters, registration fees and any special fees connected to the class, and an additional class in college survival skills for GED students who desire more support their first semester. The program includes personalized advisement, start-up scholarships, free workshops in writing, computer skills, and other topics, and provides assistance with registration and orientation to college.
Military Partnerships - Rio Salado College is an excellent choice for military personnel because students receive an affordable college education with online flexibility and 48 start dates throughout the year. This is especially important for military personnel and their families who may be transferred while enrolled in a college course. Rio Salado College is also the host college for the East Valley Veterans’ Education Center in Tempe, Arizona. The center offers comprehensive educational and community resources in one convenient location for veterans and their families. The center has free Skype service which can help deployed personnel stay in touch with their families. Rio’s dedicated military advisement team has been in existence since 2000, and the college is recognized as a Service Member Opportunity College (SOC). G.I. Jobs Magazine continues to recognize Rio Salado as a military-friendly institution.
Community Education Computer Classes - Rio Salado College provides accessible, affordable computer classes for Spanish-speaking individuals. These classes develop skills in using a personal computer, e-mail, and MS Office software in a supportive, hands-on environment with bilingual instructors. The program, often the first higher education experience for many students, provides technical instruction and an avenue to gain exposure to the online learning mode. Courses are taught in Spanish and designed to maximize computer skills for those with limited English proficiency. Students are encouraged to continue their English studies and take additional courses for credit.
Incarcerated Re-Entry - Since 1983, Rio Salado College has partnered with the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) to teach their incarcerated population the necessary skills for integration into society upon release from the prison system. Occupational and educational programs are contracted at ASPC-Perryville and ASPC-Lewis. Rio provides valuable Workforce Development training (WFD) opportunities for men and women. By providing on-site classes at the prison locations, Rio encourages the development of hands-on occupational skills and lifelong learning in the incarcerated populations. On-site offerings include certificates in Automotive Technology, Computer Technology, Construction Technology, Graphic Arts, Horticulture, and Furniture Construction Refinishing.
RISE Learning for Life - RISE Learning for Life is a self-directed organization hosted by Rio Salado College's Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise, Arizona. The organization is governed by its own elected officers and operates in accordance with its own constitution. RISE is one of over 200 Institutes for Learning in Retirement in the nation. Learning in retirement provides participants with peer interaction, a beneficial and enjoyable experience. RISE classes are often discussion groups or workshops led by member facilitators, although some are presented by experts from hospitals, universities, and the community.
IBEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training) - Rio Salado College’s IBEST program enables students to receive intensive preparation for the GED exam along with occupational training in the construction electrical field. At the completion of the IBEST program, students learn the skills needed to obtain a GED diploma, a Workforce Development Certificate of Completion: Electrical Level I from Rio Salado College, and certificates from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) in Core, Introductory Craft Skills and Electrical, Level I. Students learn electrical fundamentals, how to operate electrical equipment, how to read blueprints, electrical codes, and safety. Students also attend job readiness workshops and receive job search assistance upon completion of the curriculum.
The Maricopa Minority Male Initiative – This MCCD district-wide program is designed to improve retention and degree completion rates for minority male students utilizing a multi-faceted approach that encourages academic achievement, promotes personal and professional development, and provides support for students to stay in college, graduate, and achieve their goals. The primary goals of the Minority Male Mentoring Initiative are to increase the access and persistence rate of minority males; to proactively connect minority males with academic and other support resources during their first semester in Maricopa colleges; and to enhance college environments to create a culture of success where minority males can develop a sense of belonging and a connection to faculty, staff, and other students.
Note: Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa Community College district, and although Rio Salado is individually accredited, many policies and procedures are shared through the District Office.


A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support under-represented groups within the faculty:

The Maricopa Faculty Internship (MFI) – The MFI Program is a nine-month internship program designed to provide teaching experience, mentorship, and professional growth opportunities for those interested in pursuing residential faculty positions in the Maricopa Community Colleges. Rio Salado actively supports this program as a college within the Maricopa system. Also, Rio Salado has been aggressively proactive in promoting residential faculty opportunities among under-represented groups and has made deliberate and intentional efforts to attract minority candidates for faculty positions.
Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning (AALL) - AALL is open to all professionals working in the field of adult education, elementary education, and college education. The organization provides members with opportunities for professional development, networking, and scholarship funding. Rio Salado College Adult Basic Education employees are actively involved as members of the organization and as officers and board members. Rio’s instructors and staff are encouraged to attend conferences and workshops periodically during the year.
Mountain Plains Adult Education Association (MPAEA) - MPAEA is an eight-state member organization that includes the state of Arizona. Professionals in the field of adult education, elementary education, and college education are strongly encouraged to join the organization. Although out-of-state travel to conferences is not supported by the Arizona Department of Education, MPAEA still provides members with valuable opportunities for professional growth, networking, and scholarship funding. MPAEA partners with AALL by providing professional development money to support in-state conferences and also provides members with a newsletter and an Adult Education Journal. Rio instructors and staff continue to be active members of the board.
Women’s Leadership Group (WLG) - The mission of the Maricopa Community Colleges Women's Leadership Group (WLG) is to provide for the continuous development of a strong, supportive work environment for the diverse women of the Maricopa Community Colleges. WLG membership is open to all district employees.
Creative Pathways – Maricopa’s Creative Pathways program offers eligible MCCCD employees a variety of opportunities to work toward their professional and personal goals, while advancing the educational objectives of the Maricopa Community Colleges. These opportunities have been designed with a dual purpose in mind: to provide employees with real-world learning experiences where they can acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities and to help employees consider career options and identify important career development activities.
Talent Management – Maricopa’s Talent Management ™ program is a deliberate and conscious process of preparing, developing, and retaining employees to meet the needs of MCCCD now and in the future. Through a system-wide initiative that builds a cadre of talent, when opportunities become available, current and potential employees are recruited and selected to fit the needs of MCCCD. TM integrates recruitment, hiring, development, and retention into a systematic process that cultivates new and current employees. TM Focuses on investing in the organization's human capital.
Note: Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa Community College district, and although Rio Salado is individually accredited, many policies and procedures are shared through the District Office.


A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support under-represented groups within the staff:

Campus Maricopa Council on Black American Affairs (MCBAA) Chapter - The Council focuses on the recruitment, retention, and success of African-American students and American employees and on collaborative partnerships.
Women’s Leadership Group (WLG) - The mission of the Maricopa Community Colleges Women's Leadership Group (WLG) is to provide for the continuous development of a strong and supportive work environment for the diverse women of the Maricopa Community Colleges. WLG membership is open to all district employees.
Creative Pathways – Maricopa’s Creative Pathways program offers eligible MCCCD employees a variety of opportunities to work toward professional and personal goals, while advancing the educational objectives of the Maricopa Community Colleges. These opportunities have been designed with a dual purpose in mind: to provide employees with real-world learning experiences where they can acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities and to help employees consider career options and identify important career development activities.
Talent Management – Maricopa’s Talent Management ™ program is a deliberate and conscious process of preparing, developing, and retaining employees to meet the needs of MCCCD now and in the future. Through a system-wide initiative that builds a cadre of talent, when opportunities become available, current and potential employees are recruited and selected to fit the needs of MCCCD. TM integrates recruitment, hiring, development, and retention into a systematic process that cultivates new and current employees. TM Focuses on investing in the organization's human capital.
Note: Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa Community College district, and although Rio Salado is individually accredited, many policies and procedures are shared through the District Office.


The website URL where more information about the programs in each of the three categories is available :
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Information available upon request

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