Rio Salado College

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Rio Salado College
RSC Logo.png
Other name
TypeCommunity College
Established1978 (1978)
AffiliationMaricopa County Community College District
Higher Learning Commission
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
PresidentDr. Chris Bustamante
Students52,881 (2016-17)
Location, ,
33°24′46″N 111°58′26″W / 33.4127°N 111.9740°W / 33.4127; -111.9740Coordinates: 33°24′46″N 111°58′26″W / 33.4127°N 111.9740°W / 33.4127; -111.9740
Luke Air Force Base
Queen Creek
ColorsBlue, Sky Blue and Navy Blue
MascotSlash the Wave
WebsiteOfficial Website
Rio Salado College Logo RGB H.png

Rio Salado College is a community college headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers associate degree and certificate programs in online, in-person, and hybrid formats.


Rio Salado College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Rio Salado College was founded on March 14, 1978[1] as one of 10 Maricopa Community Colleges. At the time, the college offered remote classrooms in 180 facilities throughout the Valley of the Sun.[2] Rio Salado College offered its first online classes in 1996 and by 2006 had converted a majority of its course offerings to an online format. The school is recognized as a leader in higher education innovation,[3] specializing in online education and distance learning.


Tempe Headquarters[edit]

The administrative headquarters of Rio Salado College are in Tempe, Arizona. Rio Salado relocated from its original location in Phoenix to Tempe in 1996. The Tempe location houses three main buildings: The Conference Center at Rio, the Tower at Rio, and the Rio at Hohokam administrative building.[4]

Satellite Locations[edit]

Rio Salado College is affiliated with 15 physical locations across Maricopa county including 11 RSC locations, two Communiversities, SPOT 127 Youth Media Center and the East Valley Veterans Education Center. Services and hours of operation vary by location. The college also provides educational services through its incarcerated re-entry program at ASPC-Lewis and ASPC-Perryville.[5] In addition to College Bridge Pathways programming[6] that includes: Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, Adults Achieving a College Education, High School Equivalency preparation, English Language Acquisition for Adults and STAR-Path Model options at RSC Avondale, RSC Lifelong Learning Center, and RSC Thomas.

School of Dental Hygiene[edit]

The Rio Salado College School of Dental Hygiene offers the highest accredited dental hygiene program in the state of Arizona. The school has been training students since 1998. It is a partnership between Rio Salado College, The Arizona Dental Association and Delta Dental Insurance. The School of Dental Hygiene moved from the West Valley to its current location at the Tempe HQ in 2012.[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]

One of Eight Highly Productive Higher-Education Institutions in, Winning by Degrees, a report which profiles cost effective best practices by McKinsey & Company [8]

Rio received a Sloan Award for exemplary workplace practices by the Families and Work Institute in 2011 and 2012.[9][10]

Recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for innovative delivery of postsecondary education in the HCM Strategists report,"Beating the Odds:What It Means and Why It's important"[11]

Recognized by Forbes magazine as a "Visionary Higher-Education Leader."[12]

Featured in Focus Magazine for "Using High Tech Tools to Open Doors."[13]


  1. ^ "Rio Salado Historic Achievements and Recognition: 2008". Rio Salado College Office of Institutional Advancement. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ [1], Maricopa County Community College District (2012), Maricopa Timeline
  3. ^ [2], Noer,M., Aug 3, 2011, Forbes, Maximizing your College Investment, page 2.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Locations". Rio Salado College Office of Institutional Advancement. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  6. ^ "College Bridge Pathways". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  7. ^ "RSC Dental Clinic". Rio Salado College Office of Institutional Advancement.
  8. ^ "Winning by Degrees: The strategies of highly productive higher-education institutions" (PDF). McKinsey and Company. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  9. ^ "2011 WINNERS OF THE ALFRED P. SLOAN AWARDS FOR BUSINESS EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY". When Work Works. Families and Work Institute. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Beating the Odds: What it means and why it's important" (PDF). HCM Strategists. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-17.
  12. ^ Noer, Michael. "Maximizing Your College Investment". Forbes Online. Forbes. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Noted 'college without walls' uses high-tech tools to open doors". Focus Magazine. The Lumina Foundation. Retrieved 19 April 2013.

External links[edit]