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Tempe mother and son to graduate Rio Salado College together

Post Date:05/02/2019 9:00 AM

Today, many students Corona del Sol, McClintock and Tempe high schools are getting their college degrees - a few weeks before they get their high school diplomas. And one mother and son team will receive their degrees together. 

Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program is helping more than 100 students graduate with their associate degrees while still in high school this semester. Dual enrollment provides in-person, college-level instruction so students can get a jump start on earning college credits, certificates and degrees. The credits transfer to Arizona's public colleges and many universities across the country.

McClintock High School dual enrollment student Dylan Mitcham will receive an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in General Studies. At the same time his mom, Gigi Dixon Mitcham, will receive her Associate of Arts in General Studies.

“My mom convinced me and we both thought it would be a great opportunity,” said Dylan. “I’ve been able to get my degree very early.” Dylan plans to attend Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering as a computer science major.

Dylan’s mom said she was inspired to return to school because of her son. “I thought it would be wonderful to have that experience together and to graduate together,” she said. She has been teaching K-5 reading intervention at Tempe’s Nevitt Elementary School for the last ten years and has enjoyed a lifelong career as a musician. 

Dylan Mitcham is a Rio Salado Achieving a College Education (ACE) Youth Scholar, a program designed to help high school students  who may not otherwise have the means to attend college. 

“We feel extremely blessed to be part of this family and part of Rio Salado and the ACE Puente program,” said Dixon Mitcham. “I just don’t know where we would be without it right now. And because of Dylan being part of it, he encouraged me at my age to finish something I started many decades ago.  My road led me to a different place but I ended up back here with my son which is amazing. It’s heartwarming.”

Dylan and his mother represent nearly 2,500 Arizona graduates and more than 100 graduates from across the country who are expected to earn more than 3,000 degrees, certificates and credentials from Rio Salado College during the 2018-19 year. 

For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, visit

Contact: Annette Flores, Rio Salado College, 480-517-8467 


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