Joint Agreement Program

What is a cooperative agreement?

Certain Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificate programs might not be available at Rock Valley College.   Because of this, the college has contractual agreements with other community colleges for specific programs at specific colleges.  Students take all specialized courses at the cooperative college and pay tuition and fees according to the in-district rate at that institution.  Related technical and general education courses required by the cooperative programs may be taken at Rock Valley College or the community college offering the program.  The cooperating college will issue all degrees or certificates for successful completion of the individual program.

Community colleges often have comparable programs.  Cooperative agreements and chargebacks are granted at the discretion of your community college and will not be granted for programs that are the same as those offered at the home institution.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is similar to a cooperative agreement. If Rock Valley College does not offer a program of study and does not have a cooperative agreement with another institution for that program, students may be eligible for a chargeback.  This allows them to enroll in the program at an out-of-district community college and pay that college's in-district tuition rates while RVC will pay the difference between in-district and out-of-district rates. 

Important Steps to Obtain Cooperative Agreement or Chargeback Approval:

1. Submit the Cooperative Agreement Application to Career Services to confirm that Rock Valley College does not offer an A.A.S. degree or certificate in the subject you wish to study.

2.  If approved, your approval letter of authorization will be sent to the Cooperative Agreement & Chargeback office at the school you plan to attend, and you will pay the in-district tuition and fees charged by them.


Additional Notes:

  • Cooperative agreements and chargebacks are not applicable for enrollment in individual courses (A.A.S. degree and certificate programs only).
  • A.A.S. degree and certificate programs must be recognized by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to be eligible.
  • Approval is given for one academic year.  Therefore, if you continue in your program of study you must renew your agreement prior to the start of the next academic year.
  • If you enroll in courses outside your program of study, you will be charged that school's out-of-district tuition rate.
  • For non-required courses, contact Rock Valley College for approval before registering for the class.
  • Courses under 100-level and/or repeated courses are not covered by cooperative agreements and chargebacks. Prerequisite courses may be covered on a case by case basis.
  • You must obtain approval if you change your program or course of study. If this procedure is not followed, you may have to pay that school's out-of-district tuition rates. 

Current Agreements

Rock Valley College has cooperative educational agreements with the following two Wisconsin institutions: Blackhawk Technical College and Gateway Technical College.

Rock Valley College participates in the “Comprehensive Agreement Regarding the Expansion of Educational Resources” (C.A.R.E.E.R.). This cooperative agreement includes the following Illinois institutions:

  • Black Hawk College
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Danville Community College
  • Elgin Community College
  • Heartland Community College
  • Highland Community College
  • Illinois Central College
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • John Wood Community College
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Kishwaukee Community College
  • Lake Land College
  • Lewis and Clark Community
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • McHenry County College
  • Morton College
  • Prairie State College
  • Richland Community College
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • Spoon River College
  • South Suburban College
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Waubonsee Community College

Rock Valley College also has individual Cooperative Agreements with the following Illinois institutions that are not included in C.A.R.E.E.R.: Blackhawk Technical College, Gateway Technical College, Harper College, Oakton Community College, and Parkland College.

Popular college contacts for cooperative programs are as follows (please contact Student Development Office for additional information):

Blackhawk Technical College
6064 Prairie Rd., P.O. Box 5009
Janesville, WI 53547
(608) 758-6900

  • Culinary Arts (A.A.S.)
  • Dental Assistant (Diploma)
  • Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician (Diploma)
  • Electric Power Distribution (Diploma)
  • Electromechanical Technician (A.A.S.)
  • Food Service Aide (Certificate)
  • Landscape and Turf Services (Diploma)
  • Machine Tool Operation (Diploma)
  • Medical Assistant (Diploma)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (A.A.S.)
  • Radiography


Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Ave.
Kenosha, WI 53144-1690
(262) 564-3300

  • Aeronautics - Pilot Training (A.A.S.)
  • Air Conditioning - Heating and Refrigeration Technology (A.A.S.)
  • Culinary Arts (A.A.S.)
  • Graphic Technologies - Designer (A.A.S.)
  • Health Information Technology (A.A.S.)
  • Horticulture (A.A.S.)
  • Interior Design (A.A.S.)
  • Interpreter Technician (A.A.S.)
  • Judicial Reporting (A.A.S)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (A.A.S.)
  • Technical Communications (A.A.S.)


Harper College
1200 West Algonquin Rd.
Palatine, IL 60067-7398
(847) 925-6000

  • Cardiac Technology (A.A.S)
  • Cardiographic Technology Certificate
  • Culinary Arts: Culinary Arts Certificate
  • Bread and Pastry Arts Certificate
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (A.A.S and Certificate)
  • Paralegal Studies (A.A.S. and Certificate)


Oakton Community College
1600 East Golf Rd.
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 635-1600

  • Facilities Management and Engineering (A.A.S. and Certificates)
  • Health Information Technology (A.A.S. and Certificates)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology (A.A.S.)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (A.A.S.)


Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave.
Champaign, IL 61821-1899
(217) 351-2200

  • Communication Technology (A.A.S.)
  • Radio-TV/Video (A.A.S.)