Celebrate National Community College Month With Rio In April


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Monday, April 1, 2024
Celebrating Community College Awareness Month

April is National Community College Month! The theme for this year’s celebration of all things community college is “Cultivating Skills for the Future.” When it comes to forward-thinking and making moves that will help make your dreams a reality, going back to school and furthering your education is one of the best ways to make that happen.

The first National Community College Month was recognized in 1985. Started as part of an initiative launched by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) called “Community Colleges: The Best Deal Going,” the AACC wanted to promote the financial accessibility and scheduling flexibility that community colleges can offer working adults (especially for those who don’t have the bandwidth to go back to school full-time). 

Community colleges have often been underrated and misunderstood; it’s often undervalued how the smaller class sizes of community college courses can offer a more personalized and involved learning experience for students. Community colleges also provide:

  • A socioeconomically and demographically diverse student population 
  • Affordable college credits that can be transferred to other institutions 
  • A faster & more accessible admissions process 
  • An affordable tuition rate
  • Close ties to local employers and organizations that can offer networking and scholarship opportunities to students 

Community colleges are actually a fairly “young” innovation in learning. The first community college opened in 1901 when the Joliet Junior College was established. The first two-year institution of its kind in the United States, the Joliet experiment proved to be successful enough to inspire the opening of two-year schools across the country. As of 2024, there are 1,026 community colleges in the U.S. (this figure includes public, independent, and tribal colleges).

Established in 1978, Rio Salado College is proud to honor the core values of affordability, accessibility, and flexibility that have been hallmarks of two-year education in the U.S. since 1901. We’re also proud of our early adoption of online learning, evolving into the kind of institution that can better serve the 21st century’s changing educational landscape.

Hear From Students Like You

If you’re wondering if community college is right for you, check out some of our alumni and scholarship winner stories. Hear firsthand from current and former Rio Salado students what it’s like to learn online and how their time at Rio prepared them to make bold moves in their professional and personal lives.


Article by Austin Brietta