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About RISE

Mission:  RISE is a grassroots community based educational organization created for and by seniors to afford them the opportunity for stimulation, enlightenment and interaction with peers in an environment which encourages lifelong learning.

"RISE is not just bricks and mortar; RISE is its membership. RISE is people who come together for a purpose."
  • 1993 - Maricopa Community College District (MCCD) Bond Issue was formulated and the Rio Salado Sun Cities Educational Advisory Committee to provide input on "what seniors might want."  
  • 1994 - Bond passed in November and Marti McCorkindale was chosen by the Maricopa Community College District to head an effort to locate a site, build a center, and plan programs to fill it. 
  • 1996 - Charter member, Phyllis Orsi, and the Advisory Committee researched researched Institutes for Learning in Retirement throughout the country, and worked with the Elderhostel Institute Network.
  • August 1996 - the new building was completed, a fall class schedule was in place and the beginnings of organized volunteers began to form.  Rio Salado hosts RISE through the supply of space, phones, copying, supplies, message taking, secretarial assistance, etc. RISE is a self-directed organization governed by its elected officers in accordance with its constitution.   Membership dues assist in funding the efforts.
  • 2004 - New Bond passes and plans beginning for Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center building expansion.
  • 2007 - New Lifelong Learning Center opens with a newly renovated space of 19,600 square feet of space, thus lending further expansion of RISE Learning for Life.

Lifelong Learning Center

The Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center offers many services to meet the needs of the community. For more information click here.


12535 Smokey Drive Surprise, AZ 85378
(just south of Bell Road)
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With the increase of population in the West Valley, there is an increase in demand for educational opportunities by all ages. RISE benefited greatly when the Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center expanded.   

From its small storefront beginnings to its present 1,000 member status, RISE Learning for Life has fulfilled the vision of Rio Salado College and become the premier lifelong learning center of the Northwest Valley.