Message from the President


As Rend Lake College approaches its 50th anniversary, our reason for being here remains the same as it was in the summer of 1967. We are here to help put higher education and career training into the hands of the people of our community, and we will continue doing that same thing into the far future.

Even though economic times have been tough in recent years, we have continued to innovate and grow to provide the programs and curricula our area needs. RLC continues to be the starting point each year for many students who want to transfer on to a four-year university or to train for a career without incurring a heavy debt load. We believe education should be available to everyone. Many of our students receive financial aid in some form, and Rend Lake College’s low tuition rates make college education much more affordable.

In addition to price, we have made it a point to improve access over the years. This includes the establishment of the RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus and the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon, and just as importantly, the implementation of a growing number of online offerings. These things have resulted in increased convenience for our students.

I believe in the mission of community colleges, and Rend Lake College and its counterparts nationwide are being recognized for the service and value they provide. We are regarded more and more as the first choice for college-bound students, and we also are the place to which people turn when they need a new start.

As educators, we want and expect great things from our students, but it’s also our job to hold ourselves accountable to you. This will sound familiar to some of you, but it’s worth saying again: You’re not a number to us. We want you here. We want to help you get to where you’re going. Never doubt it.


Terry Wilkerson

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 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.

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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We are Award Winning



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


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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