Rio Salado College: Partnership With Guild Education to Upskill America’s Workforce

Michelle Reese
Member Spotlight

America's workforce now has greater access to Rio Salado College classes, micro-credentials, and degree programs through a new partnership with Guild (n.d.), “a Career Opportunity Platform that enables forward-thinking employers to invest in their employees, unlocking life-changing opportunities for personal and professional growth through learning programs, career development, and one-on-one coaching” (Who We Are page).

Rio Salado College is among Guild’s newest academic partners, and one of the only community colleges to join Guild’s growing Learning Marketplace. The Marketplace provides a learning space “made-up of courses, programs, and learning experiences that help working adults garner the skills and knowledge they need” (Rio Salado College, n.d.). Through the initial launch, eligible employees at participating companies will have access to more than 25 certification and degree programs aligned with the future of work.

“Employers are competing for a talented workforce right now, and strategically investing in education and career pathways is a proven approach to attract, retain, and upskill their employees,” said Janelle Elias, Rio Salado College Vice President of Strategy and Advancement. “Rio Salado College has a long history of offering foundational and transferable online education that will be a strong addition to the Guild Marketplace.”

Employees from companies such as Discover Financial Services, Kohl’s, and Target will have access to a selection of Rio Salado College’s online classes and services, which are available to students in all 50 U.S. states. The college, which serves as the primary online provider for the Maricopa County Community College District, offers more than 600 online classes and 135 certificate and degree programs, with classes starting almost every Monday so that students can begin their educational journeys at the right time for them.

“Our shared mission is to increase economic mobility and remove the barrier of cost for higher education for thousands of employees at some of the nation’s largest companies,” said Dr. Kate Smith, Rio Salado College President. She continued:

We are partnering with Guild’s innovative network of employers to create new offerings that meet the needs of their employees, wherever they may be in their educational journey, while providing the flexibility that supports the demands of their busy lives.

Click here to read more about the collaboration.


Guild. (n.d.). Who we are.

Rio Salado College. (n.d.). GUILD Education and Rio Salado College: Empowering learners across America.

Michelle Reese is Program Manager, Communications, at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona.

Opinions expressed in Member Spotlight are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.