Located in Tempe, Arizona, United States, Rio Salado College (RSC) is a community college established on March 14, 1978 by the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Governing Board. It offered its first online classes in 1996 and within a decade had converted a majority of its course offerings to an online format. The school is recognized as a leader in higher education innovation, specializing in online education and distance learning. It is affiliated with 15 physical locations across Maricopa county including two Communiversities, SPOT 127 Youth Media Center, 11 RSC locations, and the East Valley Veterans Education Center. Rio Salado College is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) through the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ). The college also provides educational services through its incarcerated re-entry program at ASPC-Lewis and ASPC-Perryville. Celebrating 30 years of excellence, RSC now serves more than 60,000 students per year offering associate degree and certificate programs in online, in-person, and hybrid formats.
Rio Salado College has a variety of online programs, certificates, academic certificates and degrees in various courses such as Accounting, Adolescent Development, Early Childhood Administration and Management, Entrepreneurial Design, Professional Addictions Counseling, Teacher Endorsements, Sustainable Food System, Dental Assisting and many others. It provides District-wide Associate Degrees in Arts, Elementary Education, General Requirements, Special Requirements, Liberal Arts, Business, Science and General Studies. Furthermore, it provides test preparation classes online for individuals wanting to advance their career with a professional certification in Pharmacy Technician, Bookkeeper, Apartment Manager and Professional in Human Resources. The General Education classes help to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for an associate degree and transfer those credits to complete the Bachelor’s degree in Maths, Humanities, Language and more. learning opportunities and pathways with programs such as Career & Technical Education for Teacher, Certified Bookkeeper Test Prep, College Bridge Pathways, Property Management and among others. The Rio Salado College School of Dental Hygiene offers the highest accredited dental hygiene program in the state. The school has been training students since 1998 and is a partnership between The Arizona Dental Association, Rio Salado College and Delta Dental Insurance. Rio Salado College also offers RioLearn program which means e-learning at Rio Salado College. It provides online teacher certification to eligible adults (age 50 and older) interested in re-careering and pursuing teaching positions in early childhood, elementary, secondary, special education and arts education.
The college has made financial aid is available to help qualified students pay for college expenses. The aid comes in different forms such as scholarships, grants, and student loans. It offers scholarships such as Be a Leader Scholarship, Bill Sullivan Memorial Scholarship, Ruth Everman Memorial Scholarship, Soroptimist Mesa, Asian and Pacific Islander Association, Boys and Girls Club Scholarship, Hispanic College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and many others. It offers financial aid programs such as Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant, Private Student Loan, are a few among others. Rio Salado provides resources, information, and services to promote a successful learning experience for students with disabilities who may receive accommodations such as sign language interpreters, readers/scribes, text in alternative format, and extended test taking time. The Honors Program at Rio Salado College provides intellectually stimulating learning opportunities for academically outstanding students. The program includes distinguished multidisciplinary classes, Scholarships, the Honors Forum Lecture Series, and cultural opportunities including Symphony Connections and free admission to the Phoenix Art Museum.
RSC makes learning interesting with a happening student life which engages students in activities and organizations outside of their academics. Although the college does not offer a traditional “campus” life, it provides many ways for students to stay connected via RSC’s official networking site, RioLounge. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges with the purpose of recognizing and encouraging scholarship while also promoting leadership, service, and fellowship. Alpha Theta Omicron is the Rio Salado chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. It has a large library containing books, articles, journals and media items available to the students. Being an online institution it does not need a residence or dining facility but has computer labs throughout the Phoenix area. It also provides counseling and career services to help students with choosing a career path or deciding on the college major.
From the beginning, RSC has often been the first to offer a new service or educational program and now offers over 200 Internet courses with a broad range of student services such as tutoring, registration, library services, academic advising and counseling online. Known as "the college within reach," Rio Salado Community College has expanded to include four buildings and houses many college services like Academic Advisement, Cafe @ Rio, Bookstore, Administration, Knowledge Commons (Library, Tutoring/Computer Lab), Cashier's, Financial Aid, Rio Salado Dental Clinic, Technology Helpdesk, College Bridge Pathways (ABE/HSE), Registration & Records, Instructional Helpdesk, Faculty , Human Resources, Testing Services and Tutoring. Widely recognized for its forward thinking approach, culture of innovation and innovative approach to accessible learning to higher education, Rio Salado College, has been the choice of many students all over the world. It also offers a range of community-based programs and services to help the varied student populations achieve their educational goals. With the motto, Take the Next Step, Rio Salado College not only gives quality education but also helps the student prepare themselves for the outer world. Detailed and recent information on Rio Salado College is available on its official website.