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What does HSE stand for?

HSE stands for High School Equivalency and replaces the terminology for general educational development (GED).

When does the HSE Graduation take place?

The 2017 HSE Graduation will take place in May. The ceremony begins at 7:00 p.m. each year.

Where will the ceremony be held?

The ceremony will be held at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 North Central Avenue, Phoenix 85012. If you are traveling on the I-17, you will exit on Bethany Home Road and head east. If you are traveling on the I-51, you will exit on Bethany Home Road and head west. The venue is located on the southeast corner of Bethany Home Road and Central Avenue in Phoenix.

Who is eligible to participate?

HSE students who officially enrolled in and completed Rio Salado College’s College Bridge Pathways in-person or online HSE preparation classes.

Why should I participate?

Participating in the HSE Graduation gives you an opportunity to reflect on the challenges you’ve overcome during your time as a student, and it allows your family and friends to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments. Walking across the stage to receive your degree or certificate creates a memory of this important milestone as you take the next step toward your future.

Can I receive my HSE diploma without participating in the HSE Graduation?

You are not required to participate in the HSE Graduation in order to receive your diploma.

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is by 12:00 noon on May 17th. Please call the office at 480-517-8183 to let us know you are attending.

How do I apply to participate in the HSE Graduation?

Go to your class location and fill out the HSE Graduation form.

  1. Go to
    Click on “How to Participate”
    Scroll down and choose the location where you completed your HSE classes
    Click on the link and the dynamic form will come up.  Fill this out to complete the registration process
  2. You can return to your HSE class to share your important news with your teacher and classmates. Then your instructor or the location staff will assist you in filling out the official HSE Graduation form.
    Note: If you have not been progress tested, your instructor will ask you to do a progress test so that we can document your success.
  1. You can call your respective locations to fill out the form over the phone.
    • RSC Downtown – 480-377-4050
      RSC Avondale – 480-377-4403
      RSC Thomas – 480-377-4300
      RSC Northern/RSC Orangewood – 480-377-4200
      RSC Lifelong Learning Center – 480-377-4260
      RSC Southern – 480-377-4150

You will then receive additional information by regular mail or e-mail on how to graduate. Please make sure that you return all required forms back to the office per the instructions that will be sent to you. Please remember to include your latest e-mail address so that we may send you updates by e-mail.

Do I need a ticket?

Ticketing is not required for this event. It is an open seating for the Rio graduates and their family and friends.

How do I request special accommodations?

The venue used for the event is an ADA compliant facility. Interpreters will be available for the hearing-impaired. To arrange for additional accommodations, please contact Kelly Stewart at 480-517-8183 or

What should I wear to the ceremony?

Students who participate in the ceremony MUST wear the official cap, gown and 2017 tassel which will be distributed to the graduate after check-in at the auditorium. Appropriate attire should be worn under the cap and gown. The cap, gown and tassel will be distributed to the graduate after check-in at the HSE Graduation venue – North Phoenix Baptist Church.

How do I get my cap and gown?

Graduates will be able to pick up their cap, gown and tassel at the venue on the day of the graduation. After check-in at the venue, graduates will be directed to the robing area where the caps, gowns and tassels will be handed out.

How much does it cost and what is included?

There is no charge for graduates to participate in the ceremony. Graduates may keep the cap and tassel, however gowns need to be returned after the ceremony. Gowns may be purchased for $20 at check-in on the day of the graduation.

What should I expect to happen the night of the event?

Graduates are asked to check in at 5:30 p.m. Please proceed to the main entrance where you will be directed to go to the registration table, then to the robing room. Caps and gowns will be provided for you at no cost after you check-in. At 6:30 p.m., students will line up and prepare for the processional. At 7 p.m., Rio Salado College president, Dr. Chris Bustamante, will lead a procession of administrators, and graduating students to the stage.

Dr. Bustamante, guest speakers and a student speaker will address the 2017 graduating class.

Graduating students will be asked to stand one row at a time and approach the stage. Graduates will hand their postcard with their name to the master of ceremonies. The emcee will introduce the student as he or she crosses the stage. A photographer will take a photo of each graduate as they shake hands with Dr. Bustamante. A second photo will be taken as the graduate exits the stage. The student will then return to his or her seat.

After all graduates have been recognized, the emcee will introduce the graduating class of 2017 followed by a recessional led by the people on the stage. The graduates will follow. Once all of the graduates have exited the hall, the audience will be dismissed.
It is best to arrange a meeting spot with your family prior to the ceremony as the post-ceremony crowd can be difficult to navigate.
NOTE: Please return your gowns at the designated boxes in the lobby before exiting.

How do I order graduation photos or DVDs?

Visit to view proofs of the photos taken during the ceremony. Photos can be purchased directly from GradImages by calling 1-800-261-2576.

Orders for DVDs of the ceremony will be taken before the event by the preorder forms sent by letter or at the event. You may reserve your copy prior to the start of the ceremony or shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony. DVD's cost $20 and must be paid for at the time the order is placed.

Is free parking available?

The venue has a large parking lot available. However, it is first come first served. Plan to arrive early for the best parking and to avoid traffic delays. If possible, consider taking the public transportation or carpool.

For additional questions, please call the College Bridge Pathways/Adult Basic Education Department at (480) 517-8183

Attend HSE Graduation