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Rock Valley College
3301 N. Mulford Rd.
Rockford, IL 61114
Program Contact MaryAnne Ax
Phone 815-921-2365

The Rock Valley Academic Institute for Successful Employment (RAISE) Program is a collaborative initiative involving Rock Valley College, local not-for-profit organizations, and local school districts to provide opportunities for young adults who have intellectual disabilities to participate in a supportive and inclusive post-secondary educational program that allows them to develop independent living and work readiness skills.

The Program is designed to address student’s unique learning needs by providing a comprehensive approach that includes career exploration, targeted vocational and academic instruction, and reasonable accommodations.

The specific program goals are to:

• Increase independence
• Promote self-determination and self-advocacy
• Promote lifelong learning
• Improve competitive job placement

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 2-year community college or junior college
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? No
Students in this program:
  • Have graduated or exited from high school
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 43
School district or agency partner: 6 area districts are served
Deadline to apply to this program: July 27, 2020
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • 18+
Accepts out-of-state students?: Yes
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Specific Learning Disability, any student who would find traditional post-secondary education to be challenging.
Program length: 2 years
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Percent of students applying who are admitted: 93%
Retention rate: 44%
Cost of the program: Tuition is $300 per class; For students with Individual Education Plans in participating districts, tuition and transportation is provided by the district.
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? No
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Scholarships
  • Local School District funds
  • Grant Funding
Scholarships available:

Students can apply for several scholarships through our College Foundation.

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
More about course access:

Students MAY take typical college courses for credit or audit and/or typical continuing education courses in conjunction with required RAISE classes. However, typical college classes are not a required part of the program.

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Students complete a total of 30 credits in special coursework to receive a certificate of achievement in career readiness. Required coursework includes: Personal Empowerment, Community Integration, Safe & Healthy Living, Money Management, Work Readiness Skills, Work Preparation and Vocational Experience.
RAISE coursework focuses on specific independent living, vocational, and academic skill development, with the goal of helping students to live in the community independently and to obtain competitive employment.

Time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Certificate of Achievement in Career Readiness
The credential(s) is/are:
  • Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
  • Just for students in this program
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 5%
Other career development activities are:
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
We offer the following specialized credentials:


Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: All of the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Starlight Theater, Skills Clinic with Rock Valley College Men's and Women's Basketball team members

Last updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 12:15