Rock Valley College

Fall Enrollment Open in RVC Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Posted: Monday, April 9, 2018

Media Contact: Dave Costello, 815-921-4516

Event Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Event Contact: Lynn Shattuck, 815-921-2371

Rock Valley College announced its fall course line-up for “RAISE” (Rock Valley Academic Institute for Successful Employment), a special program in its eight year at RVC that give students with intellectual disabilities a college experience while gaining independent living skills and working toward gainful employment. Students enrolled in the two-year program take two classes each semester, eventually earning a “Certificate of Achievement in Career Readiness” after successful completion of 32 credit hours of core coursework.

Courses available for the fall, 2018 semester include Personal Empowerment and Cooking & Nutrition.  Both classes meet Wednesday and Friday morning at the RVC campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road, from August 22 through December 7. 

The RAISE Program is having an Open House on Tuesday, April 24 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.  Potential students, families, school personnel, and others interested in the program will have the opportunity to meet program staff, obtain additional information, and register for fall classes.  The Open House will be in the Atrium of the Student Center on the Rock Valley College main campus at 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford IL.  To inquire about enrollment through your school district or independently, please call 815-921-2371 or visit

“The RAISE program gives students with intellectual disabilities a chance to increase their independence, promote lifelong learning and improve work readiness skills,” said Lynn Shattuck, the program’s Director.  “We have seen an increase in student enrollment in the last few years so we know there is a need for meaningful post-secondary education for those with disabilities.”

The RAISE Program is particularly interested in reaching those individuals who have left high school and are looking for the next step in transitioning into adulthood.  The program helps the individual prepare for independent or semi-independent living as well as increasing their ability to get and keep a meaningful job.  The program has been designed with a focus on inclusion and individuals benefit from increased socialization and the development of friendships with other RVC students.  The cost of each course is low, however individuals may qualify for scholarship funds to help offset the course fees.

The program currently accepts approximately 40 students each semester.  Participants aged 18-22 typically participate in RAISE at no cost as the RVC program is part of their public school district’s individualized education plan that lets those with disabilities attend public school until age 22.  RAISE currently has students participating from several school districts including Rockford Public Schools, Harlem High School, Belvidere High School, Pecatonica High School, and the Ogle County Educational Cooperative.

The Rock Valley Academic Institute for Successful Employment (RAISE) College for Life program is a collaborative initiative involving Rock Valley College, local not-for-profit organizations and local school districts to provide opportunities for adults who have intellectual disabilities to participate in inclusive post-secondary educational opportunities, gain independent living skills, and to obtain competitive employment. The program is designed to address student's unique learning needs by providing a comprehensive approach that includes career exploration, specialized vocational and academic instruction, and individualized accommodations.