Rock Valley College

Spring Registration is NOW OPEN!

For more information, please contact RAISE Coordinator,
MaryAnne Ax at

A Transition-Focused Educational Program


RAISE is an inclusive and supportive post-secondary program for young adults who have intellectual disabilities and who desire to participate in a comprehensive college experience. The program provides academic, vocational, and social opportunities for participants and has a strong  emphasis on social inclusion. This is accomplished by engagement of participants with same age peers and the general campus community through a combination of coursework, activities, and various vocational and social opportunities.

Mission Statement


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 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
  • Connections with post-21 employment and agencies

Program Eligibility

Ideal candidates for the RAISE program are individuals who are motivated, but who would find traditional post-secondary education options challenging without support.  All applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Submit Rock Valley College enrollment application and other forms required as part of the RAISE application process;
  • Have a documented intellectual disability;
  • Provide results of the most recent diagnostic testing specifying reading, math, and written language skills to be at or above a 3rd grade level;
  • Be able to follow the required college code of conduct;
  • Be able to manage all self-care needs and demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to participate in and adjust to all aspects of the program;
  • Be motivated and have realistic and tangible career and outcome goals; and
  • Be able to focus and participate in all program requirements.

    *Final candidate selection is at the discretion of the RAISE program staff.

Getting Started


If you are interested in participating in RAISE, please complete the RAISE Program Intake Questionnaire and return to MaryAnne Ax at  Upon receipt, the Program Coordinator will contact you to schedule an informational interview and provide direction on next steps.

Become a RAISE Instructor

Whether you desire extra income or wish to share your skills with others, teaching a RAISE class can be rewarding in many ways. Because of the nature of non-credit classes, instructors are not required to have degrees — just demonstrate expertise in their subject area. We are especially looking for individuals with skill and/or a background in special education and working with individuals with disabilities.

For more information on the RAISE program:

MaryAnne Ax
Program Coordinator
Phone: 815-921-2365
Disability Support Services: (815) 921-2371.