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Due to recent changes in Maricopa Community College District payment processes, stipend payments to Mentor's and Supervising Practitioners (formerly Cooperating Teachers) have been delayed. We are working diligently to ensure all payments are successfully processed and received.

As a reminder, as long as a Mentor or Supervising Practitioner has successfully completed the Supplier Registration and uploaded a W9, the stipend will begin processing once the Field Experience or Student Teaching has been completed AND the student has been assigned a grade for their course.

We appreciated your patience.

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Mentor Teacher/Supervising Practitioner

Rio Salado College (RSC) thanks you for taking part in elevating and enhancing the profession of teaching. Your expertise and generosity are appreciated.


Your time and expertise is highly valued and Rio Salado would like to provide you with a small token of appreciation. Rio will give you a $25 stipend each time one of our pre-service teachers spends 3-15 hours in your classroom and  a $35 stipend when our student spends 6-5 hours in your classroom.

All approved mentors and supervising practitioners (formerly cooperating teachers) must complete an online Supplier Registration for Maricopa County Community College District and submit the electronic W‐9 form in order to be paid stipends.

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In 1998, the Arizona State Board of Education revised the state rules and regulations for teacher certification. These new revisions allow other institutions, besides state universities, to provide training for pre-service teachers. RSC moved forward with this opportunity and began collaborating with current practitioners in the field. Rio held multiple focus groups and met with superintendents, principals and teachers to determine what skills were necessary for someone to become a fabulous teacher. After polling the community and discovering that there were many people who had always wanted to teach, but for various reasons had not fulfilled this desire or dream, Rio made a commitment to meet this community need.

After much study and research, reviewing existing educator preparation programs, and interviewing teachers, Rio designed a Post-Baccalaureate Online Educator Preparation Program that would make it possible for working adults to have a flexible and convenient way of achieving their goal of becoming a teacher. Rio's next step involved the identification of master teachers in the field. Practicing teachers were recruited and trained in how to design and write online courses. We believed that they had the expertise in their field and helped them put their knowledge into a format where it could be accessible to those wanting to become teachers.

Who are our students

This program has attracted very diverse and motivated individuals. Many of the students are re-careering. Many have former careers as dentists, lawyers, nurses, retired military, and mothers. Some of our students have MBA's, law degrees, master's degrees and Ph.D's. Accordingly, you will find a very high caliber of individuals choosing to become teachers. Because this program is delivered via distance learning some participants may reside in other states and countries, but all participants are receiving an Arizona teaching credential. 

Program Design

As previously stated, this program was designed with much input from multiple experts in the field, those who teach our children. Rio would now like to partner with another expert in the field - you!

The coursework for this program is delivered online. In addition to this online delivery of courses, there are two in-person components: "hands-on" field experiences and capstone/student teaching program.  Rio weaves course content together with application through required school observations and interaction in K-12 classrooms. Field experience's in a K-12 classroom  give our students a "real world," "real life" perspective and an opportunity to apply pedagogy and strategies within an environment of support and growth.




Field Experience

Rio Salado College has developed partnerships with over numerous school districts, which enables students to come into classrooms and experience "hands-on" education so they can better understand what it is really like to teach. As a Mentor Teacher, you are a valuable and integral component of our program. You possess "real life" experience. Rio appreciates you allowing students to come and participate in your classroom. The field experience has four components: observation, tutoring teaching and reflection.


Students will have an observation form that is unique to each course in which they enroll. For example, if a student is enrolled in Classroom Management (EDU276), they will be observing the techniques used in organizing and managing the classroom. If enrolled in the course Introduction to the Exceptional Learner (EDU222/235), they will be noting how the special needs student functions in the classroom. Each observation form has two sections.


In addition, please allow the Rio student(s) to tutor one of your students (or a small group of 2-4 students) who may be in need of extra instruction time. Please do not confuse "monitoring and adjusting" during instruction as tutoring. We would appreciate your help in identifying a student(s) who is in need of remediation in a specific subject area and allow the student(s) to pull them aside or keep them in during lunch period, etc. to give further instruction. This can be something you structure, something our pre-service teacher designs (once you have identified the topic), or something you design together.

As you noticed in the Program Plan (link above under field experience section) the Rio Educator Preparation Program has two levels: Level I (introductory foundation courses) and Level II (methods courses). The field experiences in Level I include: observation and tutoring only. Level II field experiences include: observation, tutoring and teaching. If the pre-service teacher who comes into your class is enrolled in a Level II course, please allow them to present a lesson in your classroom.  Each field experience also requires reflective journaling regarding the classroom experience.


Please identify a time and subject you would be willing to allow our pre-service teacher to present. Most lessons should be approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration. You may structure this with Rio's pre-service teacher or just give them a topic. While the Rio student is teaching a lesson in your classroom, we would appreciate your willingness to observe and evaluate his/her performance. It is important that you fill out an existing form we call a Teacher Evaluation Form and then mail it to Rio Salado College. The Rio Salado student will need to provide this from for you.

Again, Rio Salado appreciates your willingness to impact the quality of future teachers. When asked why she taught school, Christa McAuliffe (the teacher on the Challenger Space Shuttle) stated, "Because I want to touch the future." You too will touch the future in more than one way. Certainly by teaching the children in your classroom, but also by partnering with Rio Salado College in educating future teachers.