The Raising Aspirations through an Inclusive Student Experience (RAISE) program is an inclusive and supportive post-secondary program for young adults who have intellectual disabilities and who desire to participate in an inclusive college experience.
RAISE at RVC
RAISE is a one-year, two-semester program that allows students to participate in an inclusive college experience. Students participate in a course of study that includes career readiness, college prep, and life-skills-focused coursework. The program has a strong emphasis on social inclusion. This is accomplished through the engagement of participants with same-age peers and the general campus community through a combination of coursework, activities, and social opportunities.
RAISE creates pathways for students to achieve life and career success through the development of educational, personal, and vocational skills while fostering personal growth and social engagement within the campus community.
The specific objectives of RAISE are to provide students with:
- An enriched collegiate experience
- An interactive and inclusive environment
- Learning activities that transfer to lifelong independent living skills
- Work ethics necessary for gainful employment
- Self-respect and knowledge of individual strengths
- Empowerment through education
- Rachel Boge
- Program Coordinator
- (815) 921-4125
RVC's RAISE program is one of only a handful of programs in the State of Illinois that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a Comprehensive Transition & Postsecondary (CTP) Program. Under this designation, students enrolled in the program are eligible to apply for Federal financial aid.
About the Program
Prospective students who wish to be considered for the RAISE program must complete an application and screening process to ensure that they are appropriate for the program and can meet all established program objectives. Final candidate selection will be at the discretion of the Program Coordinator. Please note that one’s admission into the program does not guarantee success. Program progression and individual student outcomes will be dictated by the student’s overall performance and ability to meet the established program goals.
Appropriate candidates for the RAISE program are those who:
- Are between the ages of 18-22 (exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Program Coordinator)
- Have a history of receiving special education services;
- Have a documented intellectual disability;
- Have reading, math, and written language skills at or above a third-grade level;
- Are able to follow the required college code of conduct;
- Are able to manage all self-care needs;
- Have sufficient emotional stability to participate in and adjust to all aspects of the program; and
- Are motivated and have realistic and tangible career and outcome goals
Course of Study
Students enrolled in the RAISE Program will complete four courses. Students must be motivated and want to work or attend college, as this program is to prepare individuals for gainful employment and/or a successful transition to college. To complete the program requirements and obtain a RAISE Certificate of Achievement, students must satisfactorily complete Financial Literacy, Planning for College and Career Success, Personal Empowerment, and Technology for College and Beyond.
The RAISE certificate program consists of four classes that emphasize building skills that are essential for student success. These courses teach students how to self-advocate for themselves, how to work toward their goals, how to be self-sufficient, and how to build the soft skills that are crucial for employment success. The RAISE Program includes the following classes:
- STU 015 – Personal Empowerment
- STU 017 – Planning for College and Career Success
- FIN 015 – Financial Literacy
- CIS 015 – Technology for College and Beyond
All RAISE classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during the fall and spring semesters during the time periods of 9-10:15 and 10:30-11:45.
The RAISE Program is a one-year (two semester) program. Once students complete the RAISE Program, they are eligible to move into the Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). The CTP is a two-year, 30 credit hour program. The Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) Certificate is intended for students with intellectual disabilities who desire to participate in a comprehensive college experience and have a vocational goal. Completing the CTP Certificate enables students to document that they have completed coursework in a designated college pathway. The CTP Certificate allows students the option to enroll in courses for credit or audit.
As the student progresses through the program, they will be awarded the following:
- Individual certificates of completion for each course successfully completed
- A RAISE Certificate of Achievement (granted upon successful completion of all program requirements)
This certificate does not offer higher education credits towards a college degree.
How to Apply
Students and their school case manager (if applicable) must complete the RAISE Program Application. There is a student and school portion of the application. Once the application has been received and reviewed, the Program Coordinator will notify the applicant of their acceptance status. In some cases, students may need to complete an informational interview with the Program Coordinator to determine acceptance into the program. After acceptance into the program, students will need to complete intake paperwork before they can begin classes. If you are interested in applying, please contact the Program Coordinator to receive a link to the application.
Program Cost & Funding
Tuition for RAISE courses is $300 per class, which typically includes all instructional materials.
Students are eligible to apply for scholarships through the Rock Valley College Foundation.