We sat down with past and current leaders of Rend Lake College. They talked about their experiences, looking back over 50 years since RLC was established in 1967.

Smoke-Free Policy

Rend Lake College campuses are smoke-free as of July 1, 2015.
The Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act, signed in 2014 by former Gov. Pat Quinn, does not allow smoking on any public college or university campus, whether that is indoors, outdoors, or in parking lots. Staff, students, and visitors are prohibited from carrying, smoking, burning, inhaling, or exhaling any kind of cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette, or other smoking equipment. The one exception is for those who wish to smoke inside a privately owned vehicle.  

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We Are Nationally Accredited

Rend Lake College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1969. Accreditation is extremely important because it ensures that RLC programs are effective and that we are delivering on our guarantees of educational quality. It also helps us identify things we do well, things upon which we can improve and how to go about making those improvements. Accreditation is critical for participation in many state and federal programs which benefit higher education.


RLC History

Rend Lake College has been the place “where learning never ends” for many years, serving thousands of in-district residents annually.

The college was founded in 1955 as Mt. Vernon Community College and officially became Rend Lake College when it was organized December 20, 1966, under the Illinois Junior College Act (Illinois Revised Statutes, 1967; Chapter 122, Sections 101-1 to 108-2).

Mt. Vernon Community College initially was approved by an overwhelming 25-to-1 vote and was under the supervision of the local high school board, with boundaries the same as those for High School District No. 201. The purpose of this two-year college was to provide postsecondary educational experiences, primarily university-parallel curricula, for the graduates of Mt. Vernon Township High School. Faculty and facilities were provided by the high school.

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RLC Mission Statement


Rend Lake College provides educational opportunities across cultural and economic boundaries to the diverse student population we serve. We are committed to our students’ success in achieving their educational goals and to meeting our community-focused program objectives. With Rend Lake College, student journeys start here.

Value Statement

In serving our students and community, we strive to be student-focused, authentic, and resourceful.

Institutional Outcomes

Rend Lake College has adopted four essential learner outcomes, fundamental learning objectives embedded in every program of study, that all degree-completing students should be able to demonstrate. They are as follows:

Critical Thinking: Demonstrate the ability to think in a self-directed, reflective manner when understanding, evaluating and solving problems.

Problem-Solving: Demonstrate the ability to resolve computational problems.

Oral Communication: Demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively through verbal and non-verbal language.

Written Communication: Demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively through written language.

Who We Are and Who We Serve

Who We Are and Who We Serve

Who We Are

The College history defines the College from the perspective of organization and assets; however, the personnel who operate within the college systems and manage those assets are the primary element for successful education. Rend Lake College believes all employees, regardless of their job description, are part of each student’s education. Administrative, community outreach, student service, and physical plant personnel all support the student learning process. Our instructors are primary points of contact with the Rend Lake College educational experience. These educators are generally organized into five divisions: Allied Health; Applied Science & Technology; Community & Corporate Education; Liberal Arts; and Math & Sciences. Whether in a supporting role or as a direct point of contact, each college employee draws upon professional expertise and academic accomplishment to promote the success of every student.

Who We Serve

Student-centered colleges are best defined by who they serve. An understanding of the distinctiveness of our College’s student population allows us to effectively meet the goals of our programs and succeed in our mission.

Diversity of Culture

Traditionally, Rend Lake College can be characterized as serving a relatively homogenous, rural, small-town culture. This population’s cultural distinctiveness is centered on age and socioeconomic status more than diverse ethnic origin. As global connectivity broadens, so too do Rend Lake College’s program offerings. We continue to serve groups with diverse characteristics, such as:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • National origin
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Special populations

Diversity of Purpose

Rend Lake College provides general, transfer, and career technical education to both traditional and non-traditional students through the use of reciprocal agreements; regional, state, and national education programs; dual-credit high school classes; and the endorsement of international students to help broaden our base. Rend Lake College offers skill and trade opportunities for students seeking employment and economic mobility. Additionally, Rend Lake College provides professional and personal fulfillment as well as growth through community and corporate education classes.

Often, an individual’s purpose for engaging with the college is a combination of factors such as:

  • Discovery/Curiosity
  • Educational Requirements
  • Enrichment / Hobby
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Life-long learning
  • New/Enhanced skills
  • Retraining
Common Outcome

Regardless of the diverse cultural backgrounds, purposes or origins of our constituents, Rend Lake College serves each individual equally with an open admission policy and an opportunity for success. Furthermore, Rend Lake College is united by the shared commitment of students, faculty, staff, and community to meet its institutional, educational, and program objectives.

Message from the President



This year, Rend Lake College celebrates its 50th anniversary. It is a privilege to be part of this institution, which has served our area with dedication over the past decades.

Rend Lake College continues to remain an excellent option for those wanting to earn a higher degree or train to go to work. Regardless of the challenges we face in today’s economy, we continue to look for new opportunities to serve you and new educational and training programming demanded by today’s working world.

Rend Lake College remains a cost-effective choice for higher education, with access provided not only at our main campus in Ina, but also at our satellite campuses in Mt. Vernon and Pinckneyville. Making education even more accessible are the options for online and hybrid classes.

Rend Lake College has been recognized for its achievements at the state and national levels as well. In 2016, RLC was ranked seventh in the nation and first in the state based on factors ranging from cost and finances to education and career outcomes. We have made the list of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute four consecutive times, most recently in 2016.

As I’ve said in this space before, we want and expect great things from our students, and we also expect to hold ourselves accountable to you. We want to help you get to where you want to be, and we welcome you to Rend Lake College.


Terry Wilkerson


terry wilkerson dir 2

Terry Wilkerson

Administration Building Room 126
Phone Ext. 1242


angie kistner dir 2

Angie Kistner
VP - Finance & Administration

Administration Building Room 163
Phone Ext: 1221

lisa price dir 2

Lisa Price
VP - Student Services

Administration Building Room 110
Phone Ext: 1205


lori ragland dir 2

Lori Ragland
VP - Career Technical Instruction

Administration Building Room 136
Phone Ext: 1367


We are Award Winning