40 TUHSD High School Students Earn Degree from Rio Salado College

40 TUHSD High School Students Earn Degree from Rio Salado College

A record 93 high school students are on track to graduate from Rio Salado College this month, earning associate degrees before their high school diplomas. Forty of these students are from the Tempe Union High School District.

Of all of the students graduating, 65 attended Rio Salado’s commencement ceremony at Comerica Theatre on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7 p.m. in downtown Phoenix.

“It is very rewarding to see so many high school students take advantage of early college options and achieve this great accomplishment,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College.

Taught by certified instructors at their respective high schools, dual enrollment students earn college and high school credit at the same time.

Cassie Riggs, a senior at Mountain Pointe High School, is earning two degrees at Rio’s commencement ceremony, an associate in arts and an associate in science.

“Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program helped me reach my academic goals because I was able to get ahead of the game,” Riggs said. “While all of my friends are getting their high school diplomas, I will already have two college degrees. I can’t wait to display my AA and AS degrees in my room.”

Riggs plans on attending Arizona State University to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“I believe dual enrollment has done a lot for me and I can’t wait for the new chapter in my life,” Riggs said.

Desert Vista High School senior Katherine Niemeyer credits her determination for her academic success.

“I took dual enrollment classes at my high school, and online classes at Rio Salado,” Niemeyer said, admitting that the process was rigorous. “Earning an associate degree was my biggest motivation.”

Niemeyer has earned a scholarship to attend Colorado Christian University in the fall, and plans to become a youth pastor and teacher.

“This jumpstart I have will allow me to step into the workforce much sooner than that of my peers,” Niemeyer said.

“Dual enrollment has so many wonderful benefit for students,” said EJ Anderson, director of Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program. “We are just thrilled so many students are taking advantage of this. Not only do students get a jump start on their college education, research has shown dual enrollment are more likely to stay in college, graduate from college and have better G.P.A. once they are in college.”

Along with improving academic achievement and graduation rates, dual enrollment courses also help with job placement, said Anderson. “This is one of the best things students can do to prepare for success in college.”

For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, visit www.riosalado.edu/dual.

Rio Salado College is one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges and one of the largest online public community colleges in the nation, serving more than 55,000 students annually with nearly 27,000 online. Founded in 1978, Rio Salado offers 600+ online classes, 100+ degree and certificate programs and general education courses. The college also provides support for dual enrollment, military and incarcerated students and serves as one of the largest providers of adult basic education in Arizona. The Maricopa Community Colleges are EEO/AA Institutions.

2017 Dual Enrollment Completers from Tempe Union High School District

Student taking selfie with cap, gown, and diploma Corona del Sol

David Ross
Isabella de Leon
James Miller
Kira Tucker
Mark Papala
Nicholas Tieri
Tyler Thompson

Desert Vista

Audrey Larson
Basia Adeleke
Carly Rogers
Elena Kalina
Erick Rivera
Garrett Penna
Jacob Fisher
Jason Rattner
Jenna Vanderhave
Jodi Kreiner
Joshua Caballero
Julia Ziesmer
Katherine Niemeyer
Kelly Tabarez
Nicole Trujillo
Olivia Pinkowski
Paige Martin
Rohit Dhole
Sabrina Spencer
Steven Oeberst
Travis Angell

Marcos de Niza

Rida Imtiaz


Emma Ryan

Mountain Pointe

Cassie Riggs
John Marshall
Madeline Greve
Noah Lopes
Payton Mackey
Sara Bacon
Saul Favila
Terryn McDonald
Valeria Smith
Vlada Markov

Source: Tempe Union High School District.

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