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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the block calendar system?

Rio Salado College has an academic calendar that is divided into 16 blocks each term. Each block is 16 weeks long, and has a fixed start and end date. When registering for classes at Rio Salado, you select a start date for your classes. Your start date will determine your block for that term, and all coursework for that term must be completed within your block's start and end date.

2. Do I have to take my classes within a block?

If you are planning to earn a degree or certificate from Rio Salado College, you will need to select a start date, and complete all classes for that term within your block's start and end date.

3. What happens if I decide to become a program seeker?

If you decide to become a Program Seeker, you will not be able to start your next term as a Program Seeker until after all your current courses as a non-program seeking student have officially been scheduled to end. Please contact Academic Advisement if you have any questions.

4. What if I am not planning on earning a degree/certificate at Rio Salado?

Students who are taking classes at Rio Salado College but NOT seeking to earn a degree or certificate from Rio Salado can choose any of the 48 start dates a year without being placed in a block. This includes students taking one class a term and students picking up classes at Rio Salado but intending to earn their degree or certificate at another college.

5. What is a Specialized Block Calendar?

Some academic programs at Rio Salado College, will have a Specialized Block Calendar that differs from the Standard Block Calendar. Contact an academic advisor to learn about the block calendars associated with your program of study.

6. I am registering for a 16-week science class. Does this determine my block?

Yes. Because each block is 16 weeks in length, a 16-week course will take up the entire block, and therefore determines your block start date.

7. Can I add additional courses once my block has begun?

Yes, as long as all classes in your block are completed by the block's end date.

8. How many classes should I take at a time?

Most of Rio Salado's classes are 8, 14 or 16 weeks in length. The shorter the class length, the more time you will need to devote to your studies. Here are a couple examples for scheduling:

  • 6 credits per term - take two classes that are 14 or 16 weeks in length, or take two 8-week classes.
  • 12 credits per term - take four classes that are 14 or 16 weeks in length, or take four 8-week classes.

9. Why don't I have to select a block at other Maricopa colleges?

You do! Most colleges offer three blocks, or opportunities to begin classes each year - fall, spring and summer. At Rio Salado, you can choose from 48 blocks each year to start your classes.

10. What are the block calendar exclusions?

The block calendar does not apply to the following programs or student populations

  • Non-program seekers
  • Dual Enrollment
  • On-site incarcerated programs
  • Non-credit programs
  • Academic certificates

11. What if I need a course end date extension to complete my course work?

You can still request a course end date extension as long as it does not go past your block end date.   RioLearn will not allow you to request an extension if it is past your block end date.

Note: Extensions are given at the discretion of your instructor and are not guaranteed.

12. Still have questions?

Call 480-384-9814 regarding questions about the Block Calendar.