Five Tips for Starting School from a Rio Salado Graduate


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Thursday, January 13, 2022
Concept illustration of a woman in graduation toga reach out for the stars by using books as the platform. Education concept.
photo of Rio Salado College graduate Samantha Hill

Five Tips for Starting School from a Rio Salado Graduate

Last month, we presented five strategies on how to add education into your life. Here are five more ideas for once you get started, shared by a Rio Salado graduate.

  1. Take Advantage of Online Orientation

    Online orientation provides the chance to become familiar with the college and its available resources. You can explore different programs, classes, and ways to get involved. These resources give you the tools to help become a successful student and reach your educational goals.  The Rio Salado College Counseling and Career Services Department has more information.

  2. Take Notes

    Take notes about your assigned readings and review them often. Write down key facts but don’t overdo it. At first it may take some time to know what information is important and what is not. Get to know your instructor’s style: are a lot of dates mentioned, but one more than others? Most likely that’s something you will need to remember. Summarize key concepts in a way that makes sense to you. And if you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.

  3. Prepare for Exams, Don’t Cram

    Preparation begins on day one. Flash cards are a great way to prepare for tests.  Carry them around to view when you have downtime, such as waiting for appointments or taking a break at work. Be sure to have enough rest before you take your exam and choose somewhere with little or no distractions to take your test.

  4. Get to Know your Academic Advisor

    Advisors know exactly what you need to graduate. They are a great source for information about your chosen program and university requirements. Advisors can help you set up an academic plan to keep you on track and avoid unnecessary courses. Fearing that you might receive a lower grade than planned? Talk to an advisor. They can help you determine whether or not to drop the course and cut your losses or to hang in there to turn the situation around.

  5. Enroll in a College Success Course

    If you are unsure about your career path, enroll in a college success course to learn about current occupational trends and explore careers that interest you.



After graduating from Rio Salado College with an Associate in Arts degree, Samantha Hill transferred to Arizona State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She also completed clinicals at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Want more tips? Read Samantha’s first column on RioNews.