|Submission Date||Aug. 12, 2011|
Rio Salado College
PAE-19: Community Sustainability Partnerships
Director of Community Partnership Program
Does the institution participate in community sustainability partnerships that meet the criteria for this credit?:
A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with the local community:
• Community Development – Rio Salado’s sustainability efforts are enhanced by the community development model of establishing college locations and educational partnerships in various communities of the Valley where potentially underserved populations reside, thereby creating Educational Empowerment Zones. Such communities may include those of low-to-moderate income, families with first-generation college students, areas with high drop-out rates, and concentrations of second-language learners unfamiliar with navigating the educational system. This model of providing programs and services within local neighborhoods reinforces the MCCD Chancellor’s goals of extending education to those who most need it, creating a culture of inclusiveness to assist diverse residents in pursuing their educational goals. Such locations provide many of the same programs and services (ABE, Testing, Computer labs, Advising, Credit online) as Rio Tempe, but in a nearby location. These sites provide opportunities for lifelong learning, workforce development, and postsecondary programs for a broad spectrum of the community; they also meet the “triple bottom line” goals of sustainability.
• Green Learning Campus - Rio Salado College, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, the nonprofit organization Brighten a Life, and Cause and Effect Evolutions, is building a “Green Learning Campus” that will bring the first green charter high school to downtown Phoenix. Students at the campus will have the option of receiving high school and college credit simultaneously through dual enrollment, giving them a very affordable head start on a bachelor’s degree. Free Adult Basic Education programming, including basic skills, GED preparation, and English language acquisition, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, will also be offered.
• Communiversity Model (A New Model for Higher Education) – The Communiversity @ Surprise brings together a vocational high school, community colleges, and universities all at one location. The Communiversity is technically equipped, flexible, and designed to contribute positively to student success. Students can earn certificates, associate degrees, bachelor, and master’s degrees in one convenient location. Classes at the Communiversity are offered in-person, online, and in hybrid modalities. Through public and private partnerships, increased articulation agreements add value and flexibility for students. This ensures that valuable resources such as time and money are used efficiently. This model contributes to student success and greater rates of degree completion. The Communiversity Concept will be replicated in Queen Creek, Arizona. Communiversities in Arizona are located in those areas of Maricopa County previously underserved by higher education. Six educational pathways are supported at the Communiversities, and these include Business, Education, General Education, Healthcare, Information Systems, and Public Safety. The selected educational pathways are high-demand subject matter areas and serve local business and workforce needs in support of strong communities.
• Educational Service Partnerships - Rio Salado is a recognized leader in forging successful long-term alliances with corporations, government agencies, and community organizations. Through customized educational partnerships, Rio Salado combines industry-specific training with our own high-quality academic component to create customized certificate and degree programs. These classes are provided at the organization’s facility so employees save the commute time and can learn new skills together in an in-person cohort model. In addition, online cohorts are offered to give employees the opportunity to complete a degree when their work schedule or personal life does not allow time to attend traditional in-person classes.
• IA Outreach Programs – Rio’s Institutional Advancement program also partners with the community. Rio sponsors “Kid of the Week” with Mix 96.9 to reward kids who are doing exceptional things in their communities. “Re-Vibe Your Education” is a program in which Rio partners with Club 95.1 to award scholarships to deserving listeners. Rio and Club 95.1 also partner to reward exceptional mothers in the community through “Mami of the Month.” KEZ 99.9 and Rio team up for “Excellence in Education” to recognize outstanding teachers who go above and beyond. Rio and KNIX 101.5 have teamed up on a literacy outreach campaign to promote the importance of teaching children. Rio Salado and 98.7 The Peak have been partners for several years on “Project Give,” which raises awareness about local non-profits and the need to volunteer. This past year, Rio and The Peak joined together to support “Operation Santa Claus” to raise funds and solicit donations for needy organizations during the holidays. Rio also sponsors “Kiss a Hero” with 104.7 KISS FM to reward community members that are making a difference and have overcome obstacles. Finally, through “Spotlight on Success,” Rio and Mix 96.5 recognize successful Rio students.
• Incarcerated Re-Entry - Since 1983, Rio Salado College has partnered with the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) to teach the incarcerated population the skills necessary for integration into society upon release. Occupational and educational programs are currently offered under contract at ASPC-Perryville and ASPC-Lewis. Rio provides valuable Workforce Development training (WFD) opportunities for men and women. Providing on-site classes at the prison locations encourages 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. The WFD classes are designed to provide customized learning (lecture and hands-on labs) to improve job readiness and employability in demand occupations. Distance learning courses are offered in a print-based or mixed-media format and provide students with the opportunity to earn certificates of completion and degrees in specific areas of study.
• Project Green – The City of Phoenix in partnership with Wells Fargo, Arizona Public Service, and Rio Salado College is launching a demonstration project in the Sunnyslope neighborhood of Phoenix. This pilot project provides residents of the neighborhood with an opportunity to learn innovative green construction technology by building a compressed earth residential home. The project also provides additional training to the community on how to implement simple energy conservation actions and offers a multitude of civic engagement activities to involve the community in sustainability.
• Pay 30 Forward – Rio launched Pay 30 Forward in 2008 in honor of its 30th Anniversary. Pay 30 Forward focuses on social sustainability by promoting 30-, 60-, and 90-hour levels of public volunteer service for administration, faculty, and staff. The college also promotes college-wide campaigns that support the local community during the fall and spring semesters.
• The Environmental Fund for Arizona (EFAZ) - EFAZ is the only green workplace giving organization in the State of Arizona. Rio Salado College partners with EFAZ and holds annual workplace giving campaigns which yield funds for 29 environmental organizations in the state.
• Leadership West – Leadership West is a non-profit organization that cultivates leadership capital for the West valley. Rio Salado College is actively engaged with Leadership West. Rio Salado College works with Leadership West primarily to support education, community connectivity, and to cultivate regional leadership development. The partnership is a collaborative effort that supports sustainable communities through actively engaging programs for Workforce Development in business, industry, and government. The partnership is centered on creating positive social change with programs focused on cultural enrichment and community service, and supported though regional cooperation.
The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
Information available upon request
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