MARIA ELISA RIOS, ACS, CCS, CPC
Medical Billing and Coding instructor/ Program Director
I am grateful for the turn of events that lead me to become a teacher and the program director, otherwise I would not have found my calling.
I was born and raised in Philippines. As a young girl I always dreamed of becoming a doctor, as time passed by I realized with 8 siblings it was hard for my parents to send me to Medical school. Therefore, I got associate degree in commercial science instead. I began traveling around the word as a care giver and helping others. I ended up residing in Africa. Living in Africa changed my perspective in life.
My time in Africa taught me to be open to new experiences because I had no idea what it would be like. I learned that if I was open-minded, my outlook in life will change, as well. Embracing other cultures, the people around me and my experience in Africa altogether helped me to become a better person.
Living in Africa helped me to realize how much I can contribute to impact life of those who are less fortunate.
I came to the United States, continued my work as a caregiver and learned how taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Seven years ago I enrolled at Career College Consultant, Inc. (now Eagle Rock College). I took the Medical Billing and Coding Course, graduated, passed several certification examinations and was hired immediately as an instructor.
This is my sixth year teaching at Eagle Rock College. Each day I wake up excited to get to school and help our students reach their potential through fostering a love of learning. I know that instilling a love of learning in students ensures a brighter future for them and all mankind.
When I teach, I get carried away, and my students will always tell me “Miss Maria, we can see passion and genuineness in you”. I love this job because I can change people’s lives. My reward is when any student passes the certification exam or finds a job after graduation. The students use me as their references. They have trust and confidence in me. They are the fruits of my labor. My students know they can come to me with any problems or concerns or even to share a funny story.
I think, I am able to bring out the best in my students by challenging them to think for themselves, be creative and live up to a high level of self expectations and for this, I am eternally grateful.
Recently I got promoted as MBC program director. In this role I’m in charged with all aspects of program’s curriculum. I have significant responsibility in the recruitment and retention of students, student advisement, and the development and maintenance of internal and external partnerships.