Distance Learning for Inmates: Rio Salado College

Distance Learning for Inmates: Rio Salado College

Rio Salado

Rio Salado College offers distance learning classes for incarcerated students in print-based or mixed media formats. Incarcerated Distance Learning Schedules may be requested by calling (instate) 480-517-8345, (out-of-state) 877-517-8345, or by submitting an information request form by mail. Please remember that ADC policies must be followed and all courses must be approved through the Correctional Education Program Manager/Supervisor at each location. That person will have the correct ADC forms as well as any other ADC policies that need to be followed.
The total cost of the class will vary depending on the total number of credits the student enrolls in and the price of the book/s. Other costs include an $11 course packet cost for each course, and a $15 one-time per semester registration fee. For information on book pricing please call Incarcerated Re-Entry @ (480) 517-8345 (in-state) or (877) 517-8345 (out-of-state).
If a student is incarcerated with the Arizona Department of Corrections, the student’s tuition and fees must be paid with a check from the student’s inmate account. If a family member or outside party is paying the educational costs (tuition, fees, registration, books) on behalf of the student, it may be paid by cash, check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express card.
If a student is incarcerated out-of-state or at a federal facility, tuition and fees must be paid according to the rules at the student’s facility. If a family member or outside party is paying the educational costs on behalf of the student, it may be paid by cash, check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. Payments can be made by calling Incarcerated Re-Entry at (instate) 480-517-8345, (out-of-state) 877-517-8345.

Placement & Testing

All students are required to complete an approved MCCCD placement test (ASSET) when the following conditions apply:

  • The student is taking his or her first college credit English, reading and/or math course, or any college course for which English, reading or math is a prerequisite.
  • The student is pursuing a degree and does not have a current valid district approved placement assessment on file or does not have previous college credit in English, reading, and/or math.
  • When English is not the primary language, the student is required to take a test of English proficiency.

Overview of Rio Salado

For more than 25 years, Rio Salado College has enrolled incarcerated students in distance learning classes funded through student-generated resources. In recent years, student interest and enrollment have increased from local facilities to penal institutions throughout Arizona and in other states. Because of the special conditions inherent in serving students housed in security settings, we have developed a process at Rio Salado designed to provide customer service standards that are efficient and timely.
While many incarcerated men and women do not have the resources to pursue a degree, some do have monetary support from families or sponsors, as well as scholarship opportunities that cover tuition costs, and in some cases, cost of books and materials. These inmates participate in continuing education opportunities to attain higher degrees without financial assistance from ADC.
Providing educational opportunities to incarcerated students supports the College’s mission to serve the unserved and underserved student populations. With that in mind, the education process not only benefits the student, but also the community who is eventually impacted by the return of these individuals as tax-paying citizens. Rio Salado College is responding to an ongoing community need in its effort to make educational opportunities available to this population.