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’s philosophy outlines the manner in which the college fulfills its mission:

The College is committed to offering programs and services of the highest quality that are affordable to its constituents. The College will maintain a student-friendly atmosphere, making its services as accessible as possible. Courses and programs offered by the College will be transferable or lead to attractive employment opportunities. The College will provide these programs and services in an effective manner while maintaining financial responsibility.


The mission statement is the essential purpose of the college from which all college activities originate:

Rend Lake College provides educational opportunities across cultural and economic boundaries to the diverse student population that we serve. In addition to our commitment to fulfill all our education and community-focused program objectives, we are committed to every degree-completing student demonstrating the fundamental skills of effective critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication, and written communication. In fulfilling its mission, Rend Lake College will be an active leader in our region’s development. Our students’ success is our own success.

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.

General Education Statement

To be educated and worthy of a diploma is not only a mastery of one discipline area or technical skill, but also includes learning a broad range of knowledge and skill sets. General Education is one way in which students prepare to function in a diverse and changing world. Upon graduation, a degree-completing student will be expected to demonstrate the competencies outlined in the college’s mission and by the student’s respective program outcomes as well as the following:

• Knowledge

It is important for students to have a knowledge base from a variety of disciplines. In addition to demonstrating an understanding of the fundamental concepts and vocabulary of their specific programs, degree-completing students will demonstrate basic and broad knowledge of science, social science, math and the arts.

• Skills

With a broad-based knowledge, students should have specific skills. In addition to the institutional outcomes of effective oral and written communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, degree-completing students will demonstrate an understanding of the modes of discovery, co-operate as a member of a team to complete assignments and use applicable technology proficiently.

• Values

In an evolving global society, students will benefit from the ability to formulate their own values while remaining open-minded to the views of others. Degree-completing students will demonstrate an awareness of a wide range of perspectives as well as have opportunities to appreciate and understand the fine arts and to explore individual values in a multi-cultural world.

Who We Are and Who We Serve

Who We Are and Who We Serve

Who We Are

The college history and other background documents define the college from the perspective of organization and assets; however, the personnel that operate within the college systems and manage those assets are the primary element for successful education. Rend Lake College believes that 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 in the hope of success for 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 was centered on age and socio-economic status more than diverse ethnic origin. As Rend Lake College has broadened its programs and the mobility of Americans has diversified the ethnic origin of district students, the college recognizes that many cultural distinctions are found in our student population:

• Age • Race / Ethnicity• Gender • Socioeconomic Status• Disability

Diversity of Purpose

Rend Lake College provides general education to traditional and non-traditional students who will transfer to universities after their first two years. We provide training to those wishing to learn a skill or trade that will ensure gainful employment and economic success. We also serve those wishing to find personal fulfillment and growth by taking community and general education classes at Rend Lake College. Often, a student’s purpose for attending is a combination of all of these:

• General Education, Transfer • Community Education
•Career-Technical Transfer, Certification, Retraining
• Personal Growth

Diversity of Origin

The majority of the student population we serve is comprised of in-district, on-campus traditional and non-traditional students; however, reciprocal agreements, state-wide educational programs, and expansion of our dual-credit high school classes have increased the scope of origin of our students:

• In-District High School Dual Credit Students
• Out-Of-District Students• International Students
  • Traditional & Non Traditional Students

Common Outcome

Regardless of the diverse cultural backgrounds, purposes and origins of our students, Rend Lake College serves each student equally with its open admission policy and an equal opportunity for success. Furthermore, the shared commitment by student, faculty and staff to meet all the expected institutional, general education and program objectives unifies all those that Rend Lake College serves.

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


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Lori Ragland
VP - Career Technical Instruction

Administration Building Room 136
Phone Ext: 1367


We are Award Winning