Rock Valley College

RAISE Course of Study

Students enrolled in the RAISE certificate program will complete a total of forty-five (45) credits which includes core, transitional & work-based, and pathway-specific coursework. Students must be motivated and have the desire to work, as the intent of this program is to prepare individuals for gainful employment.

To complete the program requirements and obtain a RAISE Certificate of Achievement, students must satisfactorily complete the following:

  • A total of 45 credits of approved coursework and
  • At least one (75 hour) internship

Program Core (Phase 1)

The RAISE certificate program is organized into two distinct phases. Phase 1 is the core, which consists of six courses (15 credits) that strongly emphasize the building of 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. Students who complete the program core (Phase 1) classes are not obligated nor automatically eligible to enroll in pathway development (Phase 2) classes, however all students must complete these courses prior to moving into any elective or pathway-specific coursework (phase 2).  These “core” classes include the following:

  • STU 015 – Personal Empowerment
  • STU 106 – Community Integration
  • FWS 018 – Safe & Healthy Living
  • FIN 015 –  Financial Literacy
  • BUS 013 – Career Exploration
  • BUS 014 – Career Skills Development

All core 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.

Pathway Development (Phase 2)

It is important that students learn some foundational skills that will allow them to successfully manage a college course load. Once students have met the “core” requirements and successfully demonstrated their ability to move into more challenging coursework, they will be ready to transition into career preparation and transitional coursework. This coursework will align directly with the student’s chosen vocational pathway. A total of 30 credits of coursework must be completed to meet the program requirements and may include a combination of transitional & work-based, elective, and pathway-specific courses. 


All students will complete one 75-hour internship that will align with the student’s selected vocational pathway. Internships typically are unpaid and may be completed on or off campus. Selection of the internship site and identification of the specific performance objectives that must be met will be done in collaboration with the program Advisor and the internship site supervisor.  Students must satisfactorily meet all identified performance objectives in order to complete this program requirement.  Internship experiences may be repeated with prior approval of the Program Coordinator.

Program Length

The RAISE certificate program is typically a three year (6 semester) program. Although it is recommended that students take between 6-9 credits per semester, program progression and time to completion will vary depending on each student’s individual goals, abilities and circumstances.  Students should work closely with their Advisor to develop a course plan that fits within the parameters of the program while meeting the needs of each individual student.


The RAISE program was intentionally designed to offer stackable credentials. 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 of the program requirements); and
  • An endorsement on the certificate indicating completion of the required coursework for the applicable pathway program.

The RAISE Certificate of Achievement recognizes the student’s accomplishment in completing all of the program requirements as well as gaining essential work preparation skills in their chosen vocational pathway. All courses completed will be included on the student’s RVC transcript. This certificate does not offer higher education credits towards a college degree.