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Professional Testimonials

From my perspective, Rio Salado's initiative in police education is distinguished from other traditional criminal justice degree programs by these five critically important characteristics:

  • First, the degree path captures and reflects the value of police academy learning.
  • Second, the transition from the associate degree program to the baccalaureate level is seamless and requires no course repetition.
  • Thirdly, the associate program within the police academy setting has been a demonstrated success for more than a decade.
  • Fourth, the baccalaureate degrees have been designed by and specifically for police practitioners and reflect the perspective of the national law enforcement community.
  • Finally, the exploitation of technology allows the entirety of the post-academy learning experience through the baccalaureate level to be accomplished entirely by distance education if that is the choice of the student.

These five strengths make this program stand alone in the effort to advance the opportunity for higher education in American policing.

Dennis A. Garrett
Former Director
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Former Chief of Police

Rio Salado College allows our deputies and detention officers to get a head start on their education by providing them with college credit for their respective academies. These credits act as an impetus for our academy graduates to continue to improve themselves through higher education - a benefit not only for them as individuals, but also for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which gains better educated and better trained officers and deputies. I strongly support higher education for my employees. I arranged for tuition reimbursement and, further, negotiated pay incentives for various college degrees. Higher education has proven to be a sound investment in our most valuable resource - our employees. Rio Salado College has been invaluable in helping us make this long-term investment.

Joseph M. Arpaio
Maricopa County Sheriff


Student Testimonials

I would definitely recommend online learning through Rio Salado College, because it allows individuals who have demanding work and family schedules to become successful students.
It was an easy process with regard to registering, because I was able to do this over the telephone and the class information was sent to me in the mail. Taking courses online also allowed me to complete the work at my own pace.

Kim Mehlhouse
Phoenix Police Department


"I just found going to a traditional class with my hours was pretty hard, because usually you have to go Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Distance learning was great, because it was very flexible, and I could work around my schedule. As far as computer experience, I didn't have that much. You don't really need that much, it's pretty user friendly. I would recommend the Rio Salado program to any of my officers."


Angela Kwan
Phoenix Police Department


"Rio Salado was able to give me the classes I needed, when I could take them. When I got home at three in the morning, if I wanted to do a class I could; or when I woke up in the morning, or on Sunday, or whenever I had a day off or whenever I had the time. It was easy for me to get on the Internet. It was real easy for me to set up, log on, and log off. Homework assignments were there, some reading. The best thing about Rio Salado education is the fact that it's so flexible. It pertains to your job. It's taught by people who actually do the job, not by someone who doesn't know what's going on in police work."


Michael Thompson
Mesa Police Department