RLC gets decorated for the holidays with elaborate outdoor lights display

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INA, IL (Dec. 3, 2021) --  It's beginning to look a lot like the most wonderful time of the year. Rend Lake College employees spent the morning Thursday decorating the trees outside the Administration Building. The outside lights follow the landscape surrounding the Pathway to Successway walkway into the building and continue on the lawn next to the Student Center. The RLC campus will be all a glow in the days and nights leading up to the holiday season. (Click on image for printable photo)

Auditions set for RLC's "Little Women: The Broadway Musical"

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INA, IL (Dec. 2, 2021) – Rend Lake College is seeking to cast a few “Little Women” – as well as other roles – for its upcoming spring musical.

Auditions for “Little Women: The Broadway Musical” will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the RLC Theater.

The auditions are open to all RLC students and community members who are at least 16 years old. The process will consist of both a song and a dance portion. Anyone interested in coming to the auditions will need to prepare one to two minutes (about 16-32 measures) of a song that reflects their vocal range and ability and bring the sheet music. An accompanist will be provided.

Potential cast members should also dress professionally for the auditions. They should also bring in an extra set of comfortable clothes to learn the dance numbers.

Callbacks will be held on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. Not everyone will need to attend callbacks. During callbacks, actors will be required to do a cold reading and perform song selections from “Little Women.”

The musical will open on Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. and will have additional shows on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9. A matinee will take place on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m.

Once the cast is finalized, rehearsals will be held every Monday through Thursday evening starting Jan. 24.

“Little Women: The Broadway Musical” follows the four March sisters during the 1800s. It is based on the beloved semi-autobiographical novel written by Louisa May Alcott, chronicling Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they pass from childhood to womanhood.

RLC had originally planned to perform the hit show in 2020 but the event had to be canceled because of COVID restrictions. Getting the opportunity to showcase this family story about life, love and the moments in between is something that has been a long time coming.

“At its core, 'Little Women: The Broadway Musical’ is a story about family, friendships, and above all, hope, which is something we all need right now,” said RLC Music Professor Sara Alstat-Sanders. “This musical has been two years coming, but I think its overall message is more important now than ever before, that through our connections to each other, we can support, heal and grow with one another and grow as a supportive community.”

The musical was written by Allan Knee with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Music was written by Jason Howland. The show opened on Broadway in 2005 and it ran for 137 performances.

Alstat-Sanders said she believes the relatable musical will have something for everyone.

“I'm ecstatic to bring this story to Rend Lake College, and I believe it will really resonate within our own community,” she said.

For more information about the audition process, contact Sara Alstat-Sanders at 618-437-5321, extension 1817, or email [email protected]

RLC to host Truck Driver Training Career Fairs

 Truck Driving Career Fair

INA, IL (Nov. 28, 2021) – Does a career on 18-wheels appeal to you? Find out how you can get in the driver's seat and get started as Rend Lake College hosts a couple of truck driving career fairs.

The first career fair is set for Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.at the Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville campus. The next event will take place on Jan. 21 at the Rend Lake MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon, also from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Trucking companies from all around the area will be recruiting potential employees. Those who are planning to come out to the career fairs include:

• Marvin Keller
• Barr Logistics
• E.T. Simonds
• Fare Foods
• Gilster Mary Lee
• Schneider
• Hucks
• Coca-Cola
• Southern FS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to grow 6 percent over the next decade.

Learn more about how to get started on this in-demand career path by visiting rlc.edu/drive.

First CNA classes of 2022 starting soon

Register today for this tuition-free program!

INA, Ill. (Nov. 29, 2021) – The first sections of Certified Nurse Assistant will start in January at three Rend Lake College locations. With courses beginning every eight weeks, it’s time to jump into the fast-paced and rewarding realm of health care.

Ina Campus

Three CNA sections are being held on the main campus in Ina

  • Starting Jan. 11: A 16-week section on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 8:15 p.m.
  • Starting Jan. 10: An 8-week section on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Starting March 14: An 8-week section on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


A section of CNA is being held at the Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus

  • Starting Jan. 11: A 16-week section on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 - 8:15 p.m.

Mt. Vernon 

Two CNA sections will take place at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon.

  • Starting Jan. 10: An 8-week section on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Starting March 14: An 8-week section on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.


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BNA classes at RLC are tuition-free to in-district residents and now is the time to start the registration process. Before enrolling in the program, students must take a reading placement test and submit to a background check as mandated by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, students must be at least 16 years of age before completion of the course. This means high school students are able to take BNA as dual credit if their in-district high school offers it. This is a great way to get a head start on a career in nursing.


The program is designed to teach students how to provide a number of health care needs to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. CNAs work under the supervision of a registered nurse or other nursing professionals. Upon completion of the RLC program, students will be eligible to apply for the state CNA registry examination. For those who want to develop their skills even farther, the eight-week CNA program also acts as a prerequisite for RLC’s Nursing program.

There are more than 1.3 million nursing assistants across the country. About 30,000 are in Illinois. The average annual salary across the U.S. is around $32,000 with the top 10 percent of nursing assistants making more than $40,000 annually. This data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To enroll in the BNA program or for more information about Allied Health programming at RLC, call the Allied Health Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251, or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Spring Schedule:


Course No. Course Title Cr. Hrs. Time  Section Day(s) Location Instructor Start Date End Date
CNA 1201  CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  16:00-20:15 D1  TH  SCI 120  STAFF 1/11 5/17
CNA 1201 CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  7 08:30-14:30  D2  MWF  ACA 208  FANN  1/10 3/14
CNA 1201  CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  7 08:30-14:30  D3 MWF  ACA 208  FANN  3/14 5/16
CNA 1201  CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  08:30-14:30  DM MWF  RL3 343  FANN  1/10 3/14
CNA 1201  CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  08:30-14:30  DM1  MWF  RL3 343  FANN  3/14 5/16
CNA 1201  CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTING  16:00-20:15  DP  TH  PNK 113  FANN  1/11 5/17

2021 Form 1098-T Electronic Consent Instructions

Rend Lake College is offering you the opportunity to retrieve your 2021 Form 1098-T online in January 2022.

Please note that if you have previously consented to receive your 1098T electronically then you can disregard this email.

IRS regulations state that each student who wishes to receive their 1098-T electronically must also provide his/her consent. Therefore, if you wish to take advantage of this you must visit www.tsc1098t.com.  The instructions are outlined below:

Go to www.tsc1098t.com

Enter the Site ID: 11453

User Name: 9-digit Warrior Tag Number

Password: Last 4 digits of your SSN (FOR FIRST TIME USERS ONLY)

  • The last 4 digits of your SSN will only work if it is the first time logging into the site. If you have forgotten your password you may click on the Forgot Password link and an email will be sent to the email address on file. If there is no email address on file then you will receive a message stating no information found.
  • For security reasons, you will be prompted to change your password. Enter your current password (last four digits of your SSN) and then enter a new password.
  • The new password must be at least 8 characters and contain at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter, one numeric character and one special character. This will be your new password for future logon attempts. The last 4 digits of your SSN will no longer work.

*Do not have an SSN? - Enter 0000 for the temporary password.  After clicking Log in, an automated email will be sent to your email address on file and allow you to reset your password.

Once you have entered your new password, you will be presented with the online consent form.  If you agree, click on “Consent”.  If you consent, you will NOT be mailed a 1098-T and must return to the site after January 30, 2022 to view/print a copy of your 2020 Form 1098-T.  Your consent will apply to 2021 and subsequent years.

We ask that you take advantage of this service to reduce costs here at Rend Lake College and lessen the environmental impact.

If you have any questions, please contact John Gulley at 618-437-5321 x 1216.

RLC to host virtual workshops on dealing with test anxiety

Test Anxiety Workshop Flyer

INA, IL (Nov. 22, 2021) -- Are you dreading taking your upcoming final exams? You are not alone. Studies have shown that anywhere between 10 and 40 percent of college students experience test anxiety.

To help you across the semester finish line, Rend Lake College is hosting an event to help. Sarah Draper, RLC Student Services and Wellness Coordinator, will be offering an online workshop on how to deal with test anxiety in the weeks leading up to final exams. Students can choose any of the following dates and times to attend the workshop over Zoom:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 23 1 to p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 2 11 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, Dec. 3 10 to 11 a.m.

Students are asked to register in advance for the workshops, and they will receive a confirmation meeting once the registration is processed. To register, click here.

The Full Ride: RLC contest returns to waive costs for one lucky student

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INA, IL (Nov. 22, 2021) — Fuel up for your exciting career with a full ride to Rend Lake College. Rend Lake is waiving tuition, books and fees for one lucky student for one full year.

The contest is open to new students. Go to college for free. Choose from more than 100 degrees and certificates. You can save $3,300 in tuition alone. And that does not account for your savings in fees and books/supply costs. To enter, fill out a form on the contest page. 

The contest is open until Thursday, March 31, 2022. A winner will be drawn during the first week of April.

Enter the contest

Official Contest Rules:

The winner will receive up to two semesters — maximum of 15 credit hours per semester — of tuition, plus fees and book costs. Contest runs through Thursday, March 31, 2022. To enter, fill out the entry form at www.rlc.edu/fullride. The applicant must provide all of the required information on the form for eligibility. The winning contestant will be announced the first week of April 2022. The winner will be contacted with the number/email provided on the entry form. The contest is open to new students only. Dual credit and dual enrollment students are eligible to win. The prize is redeemable from June 1, 2022 to May 13, 2023.

RLC to host Nursing Information Sessions

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INA, IL (Nov. 22, 2021) -- Learn all you need to know about getting started in the Rend Lake College nursing program by attending an upcoming information session.

RLC will be hosting the first of several in-person meetings, starting later this month. Nursing officials and faculty will be attending to answer any questions interest students might have about the program.

All of the Nursing Information Sessions will be held in the Learning Resource Center Room 114. The dates include:

• Nov. 29 at noon
• Dec. 3 at 9 a.m.
• Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.
• Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

For more information, you can call 618-437-5321, extension 1763 or visit rlc.edu/nursing.

RLC offers free Google IT support course in Spring 2022

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INA, Ill. (Nov. 22, 2021) — Want an opportunity to break into the information technology industry? Rend Lake College is offering a free Google IT Support Professional online class for interested students residing within the state of Illinois. The class will begin on Jan. 10.

CSCI 1237 IT Support Professional is a free 16-week course giving students an introduction to the fundamentals of IT support. The class introduces students to troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration and security. Participants will be engaged in learning using online interactive assessments developed by Google. Successful course completion leads to an industry-recognized certificate as well as six college credit hours.

Rend Lake College is offering this course through a grant funded by the Illinois Community College Board. The course is only open to Illinois residents and seating is limited. The Google IT Support Professional certification is a pathway to an apprenticeship in IT for students who wish to pursue a career in information technology. 

Around 84 percent of participants who completed the course reported a career impact, according to InsideHigherEd. Companies across the nation are looking for IT Support applicants. See if a career in IT is the right fit for you. Enroll in the free course today. Email [email protected] to enroll or to learn more. 

Interested? Fill out this quick form and we'll be in touch!


RLC hosts Apprenticeship Round Table and Career Fair

 INA, IL (Nov. 18, 2021) -- To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Rend Lake College hosted a special on-campus event where employers were able to discuss why the apprenticeship training program works and the benefits such a program provides.

The RLC Apprenticeship Round Table and Career Fair featured opportunities for students and local job seekers to learn about local opportunities. After the discussion, those interested were given the chance to discuss apprenticeship openings with the local employers.

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Above: Allison Allgaier, far right, of Phoenix Modular Elevator talks about the growing need for apprentices in her industry during the RLC Round Table event. Below: Students and community members listen in to the panel about how important apprenticeships are to local companies. (Click images for printable photos)

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Full Ride Winner Miranda Simmons reflects on her first semester at RLC and the 'pretty wild' past year

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RLC President Terry Wilkerson presents Miranda Simmons of McLeansboro a big check last spring. Simmons was last year's Full Ride winner. "This year has been pretty wild," Simmons said. (Click image for printable photo)


INA, IL (Nov. 17, 2021) – Miranda Simmons is having one of the best years of her life.

Simmons, who is from McLeansboro, was the grand prize winner in last year’s The Full Ride Scholarship where it was advertised that one in-district student will receive a year of free tuition and fees to attend Rend Lake College. During the photo opportunity, RLC President Terry Wilkerson made the announcement to extend the award to cover tuition and fees for two full years.

Simmons had first enrolled at RLC in the early 2000’s, and while the online instruction was not without its adjustments, she is happy to report that her semester back at RLC is “going really well."

“Rend Lake offers a very helpful online tutorial to familiarize yourself with the online learning process, so I caught on quick,” Simmons said. “My teachers have all been so amazing, and I currently have straight A’s after the midterm!"

Simmons decided that she wanted to pursue early childhood education after she received a job at the Hamilton County Preschool and Daycare. She knew she wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of the children.

“I was encouraged by our Principal Christina Epperson to look into furthering my education, and that encouragement really made all the difference in my life,” she said. “Christina believed she saw in me the patience, imagination and love of learning that it takes to be a good teacher, and it gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step.”

Simmons recalled looking into the costs of college on the RLC website when she stumbled upon The Full Ride Contest. She submitted her entry on a whim, thinking it would be fun. She didn’t even think about winning.

“I was actually working and playing in the gym with the kids when someone texted me and said they heard my name on the radio,” Simmons said.

More exciting news was also in store for her in 2021. Earlier this fall, Simmons became engaged and found out she is expecting the arrival of her son William August this spring.

“This past year has been pretty wild!” Simmons said. “One of the best years of my whole life!”

RLC will soon be announcing a new The Full Ride contest, where another lucky contestant will receive their college education. Take a chance and see if RLC can possibly change your life. Visit rlc.edu/fullride for more information.


Simmons and family

The Full Ride winner Miranda Simmons is pictured here with her fiancé Jeremy Owen. Their family also includes children Mat, Ali, Henry, Leo and Georgia Grace. The couple is expecting a new bundle of joy, William August, in spring 2022. They also have three grandchildren: Kane, Cami and Ameliyah. (Click image for printable photo)

Get ready for break with this before Thanksgiving checklist


Take Care Of Business


INA, IL (Nov. 18, 2021) – With the end of the semester around the corner, there are probably a lot of things going through your mind as you head toward the finish line.

Rend Lake College students can do a few things to stay ahead before the upcoming break. Take care of business before Thanksgiving so you can enjoy the holiday and the extended break before the close of the fall semester. You will be glad you have these appointments already penciled in.

Stay prepared, get ahead of the pack and head into the holiday knowing the rest will be just gravy.

Seek out help

If you want a better grade on that last paper or need to ace that upcoming final, check out the resources provided by the Learning Enhancement Center. Those needing some extra help can look to the Writing Center. Located in the North Oasis in room 101, the Writing Center assists with essays, writing prompts, planning and outlining, rough and final drafts, grammar, revision and proofreading and other aspects of your assignments.

The current hours are Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 3 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It is preferred that students make an appointment to ensure that a tutor is present. Bring your student ID, the writing or assignment prompt and any written work you want to improve.

You can also send your drafts or any other questions to [email protected].

There is also a Math Lab, where tutors can help with those who are struggling in their mathematics courses. Students would need to bring any relevant material from their class, including their textbooks, worksheets, assignments and study guides. The Math Lab tutoring is done only on a walk-in basis.

Take time for yourself

Rend Lake is offering several on-campus and virtual events that could help mellow your anxiety levels surrounding finals.

A test anxiety workshop will be held in the weeks leading up to finals. Ran by RLC's Student Success & Wellness Coordinator Sarah Draper, there are three dates, including one before Thanksgiving break.

The dates are Tuesday, Nov. 23, from 1-2 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m.-noon; and Friday, Dec. 3 from 10-11 a.m.

If you find yourself in need, reach out to RL-Cares. Whatever you are struggling with, a representative can point in you the direction you need. Find out more by visiting rlc.edu/rl-cares.

Make a Spring 2022 advisement appointment

Get those classes you need to graduate on time before they are all gobbled. Open enrollment is going on now for both the spring and summer 2022 semesters, so students can set up either a virtual or in-person advisement meeting to ensure they are getting the classes they need.  Check out rlc.edu/advisement or call 618-437-5321, extension 1266, to make your appointment.

Metal rod work continues on RLC Event Center

INA, IL (Nov. 17, 2021) -- Workers from Heartland Mechanical Contractors continue to build metal rods along the walls inside the Event Center on the Rend Lake College campus on Tuesday afternoon.

 Metal Rods 1  Metal Rods 2


The interior work was not the only progress. Outside, the fencing around the patio has been removed.

The new RLC Event Center will be a multi-purpose building for meetings and other special events. Click on the images for printable photos.




Let RLC help you de-stress with mental health and wellness support

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INA, IL (Nov. 16, 2021) – Are you feeling overwhelmed by the end-of-semester stress? Are you anxious about what lies ahead?

Rend Lake College is urging all students to take care of themselves with a number of on-campus resources and events. Students who need someone to talk to can stop by the Wellness Room in the Slankard Learning Resource Center. Sarah Draper, RLC’s Student Success & Wellness Coordinator, is available to talk in a confidential setting. She can also make necessary referrals to help.

There will be a licensed clinical social worker on campus on several dates, where students can learn more about different topics or address their questions and needs. Melanie Downen has a passion to help children, adolescents, young adults and their families not only succeed but thrive on the path that they have decided to take in life.

All meetings with Downen will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Her dates on campus and topics include:

  • Nov. 17: Stress Management
  • Nov. 23: Guided Meditation
  • Dec. 1: Grounding Techniques to help with anxiety
  • Dec. 7: Learn more about trauma-informed mental health treatment

The RLC Wellness Room is in the LRC between the Children’s Library and the circulation desk. It is a designated quiet and safe space for students to relax, breathe and get centered. They can also engage in self-guided wellness activities, access free mental health resources and receive other options for the help they need.

Students can also reach out to the RL-Cares team for help. Check out rlc.edu/rl-cares for more information.

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Spring Classes Start January 10th. Book Your Advisement Appointment Today!