StraighterLine Partners with Rio Salado College to Launch Readiness Academy

Beth Dumbauld

Readiness Academy Offers Low-Cost, Flexible Credit Pathways to Enter and Complete College

This fall, StraighterLine is excited to partner with Rio Salado College, one of the country’s largest community colleges, to give incoming, current, and returning students more affordable and flexible options to complete their general education courses. The Rio Salado Readiness Academy will offer low-cost, online, competency-based courses that help learners efficiently earn credit toward their degree.

Rio Salado College, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, serves nearly 50,000 students annually as one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges. It offers over 600 online classes and over 130 degree and certificate programs, with a particular focus on helping student populations that have historically been underserved. Rio Salado recently qualified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and as of the 2018-19 academic year, 73% of its students were at least 20 years old, making it the largest provider of adult education in Arizona. The Academy program therefore extends Rio Salado’s commitment to promote access, equity, and social mobility for underserved populations and to support and empower today’s learners.

"Rio Salado College is proud to partner with StraighterLine and offer the Rio Salado Readiness Academy to our national learners,” said Janelle Elias, the interim vice president of strategic initiatives and national division at Rio Salado. “The Readiness Academy provides an affordable and flexible ‘on-ramp’ to help students re-engage with our college, reduce the time and cost, and earn their degree. We are confident that this program will have a positive impact on our diverse student population.”

The Readiness Academy is open to incoming students who have yet to take courses at Rio Salado, current students, and those who were previously enrolled but stopped out before earning a degree. The courses generally take four to six weeks to complete but are self-paced, allowing students to progress on their own timelines.

All students who enroll in the Readiness Academy will be able to take up to four courses and earn up to 10 credits toward a degree. The subscription also includes access to e-textbooks, up to 10 hours of one-on-one tutoring, and other support services seven days a week.

“During these uncertain economic times, it can be harder than ever for aspiring learners to finance their education, and some learners are turning away from college because of the expense, time, and risk involved,” said Burck Smith, founder and CEO of StraighterLine. “The Rio Salado Readiness Academy addresses all of those concerns by offering a low-cost, low-risk pathway for students to enroll in and complete general education courses that count for college credit.”

More information about the Rio Salado Readiness Academy can be found at https://rioreadinessacademy.riosalado.edu/

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