RVC Alums: Please Raise Your Hand!

It never ceases to amaze me at the number of people I meet in the community who share that they are alums of Rock Valley College and the overwhelmingly positive stories they share. In retrospect, that really should not be a surprise at all considering that RVC serves 8,000 degree or certificate-seeking students and provides some aspect of education/training to over 25,000 people every year! Traditionally, individuals have not thought of their local community college as their alma mater. Several of us on campus and others in the profession have contemplated the reasons for this and have not yet landed on the definitive answer. Could it be that some only planned to take a few courses here before going on for their baccalaureate degree, or perhaps that some received a certificate or credential versus a degree? Or what about those who took a few classes to move up at their place of employment? Perhaps the disconnect in thinking of oneself as an alum is somehow driven by the fact that many believe a degree is the defining factor of being an alum. The reality, however, is that no matter the reason you attended Rock Valley College, the organization has had a pivotal role in your life. Therefore, from our perspective, you are an alumnus. Congratulations! You see, I view life as a journey. There are many steps that I have taken to be the person that I am, both personally and professionally. Many factors have played an instrumental role in providing a solid foundation and providing the tools necessary for success. All of those experiences and the relationships that were formed, whether with individuals or organizations, are a part of the person that I am and the person I continue to become. I now ask you to take a moment to reflect on your life’s journey. What do you see as you look back? Do you remember a particular class or exceptional instructor who inspired you or affected your journey? If you are like the great many individuals who tell me about their experience at RVC, the answer is a resounding “yes”! If so, I ask you to “Raise Your Hand” so all can see that RVC made a difference in your life. You may have noticed that RVC is embarking on an exciting initiative to create the RVC alumni network. We hope to build a pool of stories and testimonials to share as we begin planning for our 50th anniversary celebration to share with the community. We invite all alumni to proudly “Raise Your Hand” and share your story by going to the website. In addition, “like” us on facebook and begin connecting to the thousands of other alums in the region and beyond. The ultimate goal is to create a renewed synergy among our alumni and to provide opportunities for you to interact with others, attend social and educational events, mentor current students, inspire others to follow your footsteps, and so much more. Together you can have tremendous influence over others today by inspiring them to take even one step now, to make the smart choice by looking at RVC to enrich their lives, too. “Raise Your Hand” all RVC...

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Meet the RVC Presidential Finalists

At the College we hear daily about the importance of our contributions and our impact on the region. We agree. The students we serve today are tomorrow’s employees, leaders, parents, and citizens. The person who will be selected as our new president will be asked to lead the College as it grows and evolves to meet the needs of our community. Whoever that person will be, he or she would welcome the opportunity to hear from you. We invite you to meet our remaining finalists on March 20 and March 26 from 6-8pm at community forums open to the public. See you soon! Meet the...

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Spring fever? Think summer and fall!

The warmth of spring has many of us thinking about planning vacations and spending time outside. I would like to invite you to also consider spending some time thinking about and planning your own education. Rock Valley College has a lot going on right now to help you explore your interests and your educational options. On April 22 and 23, we invite you to ‘Explore RVC’. Stop by to learn about our degree programs and the variety of student support services available to make your experience successful. You can also get tips for starting and completing your Financial Aid paperwork, tour our beautiful campus, and meet with college staff ready to assist you in completing all the necessary enrollment paperwork. Please call 815-921-4250 for more information and/or to schedule a group or individual tour. If you are ready to complete, or already have completed, the enrollment form and need some help figuring out how to get started selecting and registering for courses, please schedule an Educational Planning Session. These sessions are offered daily and are designed to introduce new students to all of our degree and course options and to assist you in selecting courses for your first semester. Registering is easy at 815-921-4094 or at our website. Finally, to ensure that your college experience gets off to a good start, most colleges and universities offer their students and first year student seminar course. At RVC, that course is Student Development 100 or STU100. This one credit hour course introduces our newest students to all of the tools and resources you will need to be a successful RVC student. Small class sizes and conversations designed to answer all the questions about college that everyone thinks about, but no one wants to ask. So, while you’re thinking spring go ahead and think summer and fall course registration while you’re at...

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The value of skills, and more skills

Community colleges are often expected to be all things to all people. They are designed to be nimble – adjusting quickly to the needs of the regions they serve. Economic and employment trends often drive these changes, and at Rock Valley College we are called to the table to discuss how we can help address issues in the community. We say it often: it’s our mission, and it’s our privilege. Last fall Inside Higher Ed published a piece based on a study by Northeastern University that discusses the “soft skills” sought by employers, regardless of the industry. Rock Valley College’s own Dr. Tom Lombardo, professor of Engineering and Technology, recently wrote a compelling article with a very similar perspective. Check it out here. For the past few years there has been a great deal of discussion both regionally and nationally about the value of liberal arts education and the need for a skilled workforce. It can be easily argued that our region needs both. The misconception is that the two are mutually exclusive.  ...

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RVC and Airport Partnership Great for Students, Community

The recently announced partnership between RVC and the Airport is great news for our students and our community. As the Editorial Board stated, this is a good example of the transformation this community desires. We are grateful for the months of discussion between officials from both entities, as well as for the support from Winnebago County. Naturally, some questions have arisen, which we’re happy to answer to the best of our ability. When will we break ground, and when will the facility be open for students? Like everyone, we would love to even see the ground under this snow. That said, our timeline is as aggressive as possible within the constraints of state and federal regulations. Without getting into the details of the necessary bidding and planning process, we anticipate breaking ground late this spring or early summer, and our target is to be open for spring classes 2015. As with any major building project, delays can happen, but we will strive to open the facility as soon as responsibly possible. How many students will we serve? Our goal is to have the capacity for up to 150 students in the program. That will mean locating additional qualified faculty. It will also mean discussions about additional curriculum and scheduling. All of this will take place during the construction period, with the plan to have the pieces in place when the facility is complete. What kind of job does a graduate from the RVC program get, and what can they earn? Graduates of the RVC Airframe and Powerplant program can find employment as FAA licensed entry level aircraft technicians working in the general, corporate, and commercial aviation maintenance industry. The skill sets of an Airframe and Powerplant technician are also recognized by other industries like alternative energy, robotics and medical equipment. Entry level technician starting wages range from $15 to $20 per hour with steady advancement to $30 to $40 by mid career.  This does seem like a big deal for our community. How big is it, really? It’s big. It’s no secret that our community partners have been working to attract an Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility at our airport. As these talks continue with officials, having the skilled workforce in training or in place is critical. This partnership is a great step for our region. Rock Valley College’s mission is to . . . “provide quality, accessible lifelong learning opportunities, cultural enrichment, and support for economic and technological development.” It’s our job to serve our students and our community to the best of our ability within our means. We’re delighted to be involved in this opportunity for significant change....

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RVC Foundation Scholarship deadline extended

In a recent blog we encouraged current and future RVC students to apply for scholarships from the Rock Valley College Foundation. The original scholarship application deadline has been extended to May 20, 2013. Only one application is necessary to be considered for all awards. For more information, check here or contact the RVC Foundation office at...

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