Educator Preparation Program Graduates Look Forward to Teaching


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Thursday, May 12, 2022
photos of students with Congratulations Rio Salado College Class of 2022
Myla Kazim
Rochelle Yazzie

Educator Preparation Program Graduates Look Forward to Teaching

The next generation of Arizona’s teachers will soon be heading to the classrooms. Among the 3,548 students who earned certificates and degrees at Rio Salado College’s commencement ceremony on May 4, 2022, were 36 graduates receiving educational degrees or certificates, including two future early childhood teachers.

Meet Myla Kazim

Originally from Detroit, Myla Kazim began her Rio Salado College journey in 2018.

“I was referred to Rio Salado from my student advisor at another college,” Kazim said. “After doing research I found that Rio offered an Early Childhood Education program fully online.”

Kazim found Rio’s online classes worked well with her busy schedule.

“I'm a mother of three and have two jobs,” Kazim said. “Rio has benefited me by offering online classes to complete at my own pace, along with helpful instructor support through multiple channels.”

Of all the online classes Kazim took in her early education program, one stood out.

“My favorite course of the program was EED215 where I learned about child safety, health, fitness and nutrition,” Kazim said.

Now that Kazim has completed her associate degree, her next goal is continuing her education.

“My next step is applying for early childhood positions in my area so that I can gain more experience while working on earning my bachelor's degree at Western Governors University,” Kazim said.

Kazim’s career goal is to become a certified elementary school teacher. She is grateful that Rio Salado put her on the path to realize her dream. She advises other students who are considering their educational options to try Rio.

“Take that step of faith in Rio and know that no matter what program you pursue, you have full support both in-person and online to help you be successful,” Kazim said. 

Meet Rochelle Yazzie

Rochelle Yazzie exemplifies achievement and perseverance. 

While taking classes to complete her associate degree in Early Childhood Education at Rio Salado, Yazzie also participated in the college’s National Society of Leadership and Success and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Yazzie began taking classes at Rio Salado in 2017. She continued when she moved back to Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. 

“I chose Rio Salado College because I am a single mother who works full-time and wanted to pursue my education in early childhood,” Yazzie said.

She enjoyed the flexibility of Rio’s online classes, but especially appreciated the support offered by college staff.

“The best thing about Rio is the services they provide to help students maintain a steady college experience online,” Yazzie said.  

Ironically, Yazzie’s favorite course was not related to early childhood education.

“My favorite course program had to be Chemistry because it challenged me even more through the online experience,” Yazzie said.

She believes in the benefits of online learning and encourages others to give it a try.

“Rio has given me the opportunity to live life as a college student, obtain my degree, work, and still be there for my kids,” Yazzie said. “I know it will for others as well.” 

Yazzie plans to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program next year.



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