Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

UPDATE: Online courses continue as scheduled. Currently, in-person services are limited. Online registration is available for classes. Check here for the latest service hours and www.maricopa.edu/coronavirus for the latest COVID-19 updates.

Where are They Now…2019 Rio Graduate Helen Ly

Meet Helen Ly

Where are They Now…2019 Rio Graduate Helen Ly

Looking for an online education? Consider Rio Salado College, where more than 90% of our alumni say we met or exceeded their online learning expectations!*

In 2019, Helen Ly proudly walked across the stage at Rio Salado College’s commencement ceremony to celebrate earning a certificate in Early Childhood Education. (See video).

The certificate was part of the college’s Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Education Program, for those who already have a bachelor's degree and want to become a teacher.

“My instructor in a community college inspired me to pursue teaching career,” said Ly, who is originally from Vietnam.

“After getting my B.A. degree at a state university, I pursued elementary education at the same university. But I dropped out after an instructor told me that I could not become a teacher because I speak English with an accent.”

It took more than 10 years for Ly to return to school. When she did, she chose Rio Salado College, where she excelled as a Phi Theta Kappa honor student.

Ly now works for the Litchfield Elementary School District where she helps teach middle school students with autism.

“I like to interact with autistic children,” Ly said. “Finding a way to approach them, learning about their learning styles, and trying to meet their needs are very interesting.”

Ly credits Rio Salado’s flexibility and online learning for helping her realize her teaching aspirations.

“I chose Rio because of the Post-Bacc program and affordable tuition,” Ly said. “Learning at home was flexible. I could learn on my own pace and was able to go to work while taking online courses.”

Ly’s favorite Rio Salado class was a teaching internship.

“I learned new things, job-related skills, and I use knowledge from this hands-on experience in my current job,” Ly said.

Another reason Ly enjoyed learning at Rio Salado College was the support she received from faculty and staff.

“My instructors at Rio were very supportive and gave me feedback to help me improve,” said Ly. “They looked at me as the whole person rather than looking at a person with a language barrier.”

Ly encourages future students to take advantage of Rio Salado’s robust student support services.

“You may use all the services offered to Rio students such as advising, personal counseling, student success coaching and tutoring to help you succeed,” Ly said.

For now, Ly is enjoying working with autistic students but furthering her own education is still a priority.

“I will commit to continuing my education by attending professional development courses and am considering higher education,” Ly said.

*Source: Survey of 554 Rio Salado College graduates from 2014-2019.

Share this article