Rock Valley College

Fall Open House for the RAISE Program at Rock Valley College

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018

Media Contact: Dave Costello, 815-921-4516

Event Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Event Contact: MaryAnne Ax, 815-921-2371

The Rock Valley Academic Institute for Successful Employment (RAISE) invites area young adults with a documented intellectual disability and their parents/guardians to attend an Open House on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Student Center Atrium on Rock Valley College’s main campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL.

The open house event will educate those in attendance about “RAISE” as an alternative postsecondary education program for those with intellectual disabilities at RVC while also having the opportunity to meet RAISE staff, obtain additional information about the program, and register for spring classes.

RAISE’s goal is to give students with disabilities a college experience while gaining independent living skills and working toward gainful employment.

Students enrolled in the 2-year program will take two classes each semester, culminating in a “Certificate of Achievement in Career Readiness” after successful completion of 32 credit hours of core coursework.

Courses available for the spring 2019 semester include Work Readiness Skills and Safe & Healthy Living.  Both classes meet Wednesday and Friday mornings at the RVC main campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road, from January 16 – May 10.

“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. In addition to preparing students for independent and semi-independent living and working, students are also empowered to take advantage of the social aspects of campus and community life.

Enrollment is 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 & Belvidere North High Schools, Pecatonica High School, Genoa Kingston, Winnebago, South Beloit and the Ogle County Educational Cooperative.

To inquire about enrollment through your school district or independently, please call 815-921-2371 or visit

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.