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 adults who have intellectual disabilities to participate in inclusive post-secondary educational opportunities, gain independent living skills, and obtain the skills needed for competitive employment.
RAISE is designed to address student's unique learning needs by providing a comprehensive approach that includes career exploration, specialized vocational and academic instruction, and opportunities for social integration. The RAISE program is based on a learning environment which takes advantage of the social aspects of campus and community life, and as such most courses are held on the RVC main campus.
All individuals with disabilities deserve to live rich, meaningful lives and to be integrated into their community as fully as possible. RAISE prepares students with intellectual disabilities for higher education and workforce opportunities through academics, work skills development, and social skills training.
The specific objectives of RAISE are to provide students with:
Students MUST meet the following eligibility requirements:
Courses offered through RAISE are designed specifically for individuals who would find traditional post-secondary educational opportunities challenging. As such, 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.
Coursework focuses on specific independent living, vocational, and social skill development, with the goal of helping students to live and engage in the community independently and/or to obtain competitive employment. Students who successfully complete all required coursework receive a Certificate of Achievement in Career Readiness.
RAISE program topics include:
• self-advocacy & civic engagement
• basic computer skills
• healthy relationships
• cooking & nutrition
• independent living
• public transportation & community safety
• healthy environment
• community resources
• career exploration
• work readiness
• career skills development
Courses are offered on Wednesday and Friday mornings during the fall and spring semesters. Courses are typically held on the RVC Main Campus, but on occasion may be held at RVC satellite sites and other community locations. All credits earned will be listed on the student's RVC transcript.
Click here for the Spring Course Schedule
A limited number of scholarships are available through the Rock Valley College Foundation. The application deadline for the Spring 2019 semester is December 20, 2018.
To apply, or for more information on scholarships, contact the Foundation office via telephone: (815) 921-4500, Email: RVC-Foundation@RockValleyCollege.edu, or visit their website: RockValleyCollege.edu/Scholarships.
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 expertise and/or backgrounds in special education and working with individuals with disabilities.
For more information on the RAISE program:
Disability Support Services: (815) 921-2371.