What’s the deal with Rio?

Xavier students are taking advantage of Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program.


Tori Tanigawa '17

Alex Gburek ’17 stands in front of a Rio Salado promotion poster.

Helen Innes and Abbey Alexander

When just walking around campus, the possibility of Rio Salado Dual Enrollment is portrayed  through constant announcements, emails galore, and flyers handed out by teachers. Most students are unsure about the all of the potential opportunities within dual enrollment. Besides the fact that high school students can earn college credits while in high school, the amount of money and time saved participating in this program are immense.

Rio Salado Dual Enrollment is designed for hardworking high school students who are enthusiastic about getting a head start in college. According to riosalado.edu, “Rio Salado Dual Enrollment is the only NACEP (National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships) accredited college in Arizona.” Students may be able to qualify for dual enrollment with classes that they are already taking for a small percentage of the price of college tuition.

The application process is easy and the payoffs are significant. For example, students participating in this program are able to graduate from high school with a head start in college. Sister Joanie Nuckols, BVM, the adviser for Rio Salado Dual Enrollment at Xavier, has some experience with this topic. Sr. Joanie, who has taught history classes for many years, said, “You can spend other time in really interesting [history] classes [instead of a survey class] and…classes that are more beneficial for you.” She also described dual enrollment as a “huge saving for parents.” Not only can the cost for college be cut in half, but a lot of time is saved spent in college itself when a lot of the class requirements are already completed in high school. “It allows students to be able to double major or in four years of college to come out with a masters degree instead of a bachelor’s,” said Sr. Joanie.

With more time to travel abroad or expand educational horizons, dual enrollment helps students to understand that they are capable of doing college work. With a little hard work and determination, getting a jumpstart into college can be easy. Sister Joanie described an experience in which a high school student would not have been accepted into her college of choice based on her SAT scores. However, since she was considered a college transfer student due to having dual enrollment credits, the college did accept her. These credits are very appealing to colleges as it shows a students who is willing to take their future into their own hands.

With many popular colleges accepting Rio Salado Dual Enrollment such as Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona), Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona), and the University of Arizona (Tuscon, Arizona), it is hard to find a reason not to participate in dual enrollment. Additionally, many out-of-state colleges are also participating such as Colorado State University- Global Campus (Greenwood Village, Colorado) and Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, Illinois).