Providing lifelong learning for more than five decades, Rend Lake College has achieved a lot. It's all credited to the quality and devotion of our students, faculty, staff and administration. RLC remains committed, every day, to every student. Below is a collection of achievements that have made us a regional leader through higher education.


Student Insights Dashboard
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The National Student Clearinghouse Student Insights Dashboard provides data about educational institutions in Enrollment, Outcomes, Retention, Credit Accumulation, Time to Credentials, and Transfers of students. You may use this link ( to access the most recent data submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse by selecting Rend Lake College in "Select an Institution".

Academic Achievement


FY22 Honors Lists Honors Lists

About 400 RLC students earn a spot on the President's List (4.0 GPA) or Vice President's List (3.5 - 3.9 GPA) each semester

Source: RLC Fact Book FY22

FY22 Earned ChartCredit

Our students' recent success rate is about 93% in gaining credit for classes they take. 

  • Spring 2022 – 93.46%
  • Fall 2021 – 92.96%
  • Spring 2021 – 94.27%
  • Spring 2017 = 95.5%
  • Fall 2016 = 95.6%
  • Summer 2016 = 96.7% 

Source: RLC Fact Book FY22

Class Sizes FY22 pie chartClass Size

Keeping class sizes small allows us to give each student the attention he or she deserves. Our average instructor-to-student ratio is 17 to 1.

Source: RLC Fact Book FY22




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The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) Key Findings report provides benchmark comparisons between RLC, top-performing colleges, and the CCSSE cohort. It also highlights aspects of highest and lowest student engagement at RLC, as well as results from five CCSSE special-focus items.

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RLC submits its annual Resource Allocation Management Plan (RAMP) to the Illinois Community College Board. This is a type of "wish list" for possible state funding. Projects on RLC's RAMP list currently include a new Allied Health Building, and additions to the Student Center and Applied Science Center.

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Master Plan

The purpose of District Site and Construction Master Plan is to provide direction in the growth of the College’s built environment. The plan shall serve as the guideline for acquiring new sites and facilities and for the construction of new facilities on the existing Rend Lake College campuses.



RLC Achieves Career Services

Faculty Excellence

From "The History of Rend Lake College: Excellence in Faculty at Rend Lake College" in 2017 by Bob Kelley

Can’t have one without the other

The question begs of an age-old answer, much like the chicken-or-egg debate. Which comes first? Quality students or a first-rate faculty? A high-caliber instructional staff or bright, eager-to-learn minds which belong to teenagers and adults of all ages? Forget the debate. As Frank Sinatra told us about “Love
and Marriage” many years ago, thanks to songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van-Heusen . . . This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.

The two have gone hand-in-hand since the inception of Rend Lake College in 1967. Love at first sight – RLC students and staff. The perfect marriage – RLC’s competent faculty and classrooms full of eager learners. You can’t have one without the other.

“Faculty Excellence” has been recognized by the RLC Foundation with an annual award since Spring 1980. [Prior to that, Phi Theta Kappa presented a “Distinguished Educator” Award annually. In 2019, the name of the award was changed to the RLCF Oustanding Faculty Member Award.] 

When the first 36 recipients of the RLC Foundation “Faculty Excellence” Award are considered, with one exception, most college departments divisions have been well-represented. But we would be remiss if we did not admit there are no-telling-how-many more outstanding instructors there are not on the list, or not yet on the list, or not on the list because they preceded the award, or for some unknown reason never nominated, or . . . well, you get the point. The rewards for many other deserving instructors are realized in diversified ways. Persistent reorganization of programs into different departments/divisions over the years muddies the results . . .
• Math and Science-related instructors have accounted for seven winners, starting with Dr. Eugene Estes (Biology/Botany) in 1982 and most recently with Larry Williams (Zoology) in 2006 and Tina Grounds (Early Childhood Education) in 2013. In-between are John Fisher (Chemistry) in 1996, Linda Denton (Physics/Physical Science) in 1998, Sandra Cox (Mathematics) in 2000 and Diane Metzger (Mathematics) in 2003.
• A half-dozen representatives from Arts and Communications-turned Liberal Arts, from Dr. Barbara Luchsinger (English) in 1985 to Sarah Capps (Art) in 1987, Dr. John Homan Jr. (English) in 1988, Joseph H. Rust (Speech/Theatre) in 1993, Mike Mullen (English/Journalism) in 1994 and, after a lengthy gap, Rob Little (English) in 2009.
• Six “Outstanding” designations have been earned by Allied Health Instructors/Professors, with an 18-year drought between early honorees Shirley Yeargin (Practical Nursing) in 1984 and Sandra VanCleve (Practical Nursing) in 1986 and a trio who dominated a recent five-year stretch, Trish Bennett-Minor (Practical Nursing) in 2004, Debbie Benns (now Hamplemann) (Associate Degree Nursing) in 2007 and Bonnie Tolbert (Practical Nursing) in 2008. Barbara Crouse (Practical Nursing) joined the ranks in 2014.
• Four Mining and Industrial Technology award-winners have been well spaced from Gary Wade (Welding) in 1983 and William Dill (Mining Technology) in 1992 to D.J. Johnson (Industrial Health and Safety) in 2005 and Chris Nielsen (Industrial Technology/Mining) in 2010. 
• More recently, back-to-back Applied Science and Technology reps Ricky Robinson (Computer Networking) and Shari Carpenter (Computer Science) in 2015-16.
• Four others would swell the Liberal Arts ranks today but were Business and Social Science Department members at the time they were saluted – honorees No. 1 Eleanor Hall (Anthropology/Sociology) in 1980 and No. 2 Vincent Cain (Social Sciences) in 1981, Dr. Susan Santoro Tomlin (Anthropology/Sociology) in 1995 and Carolyn Stewart (Psychology) in 1997.
• Business Professors Janet Miller (Secretarial Science) and Larry Sidwell (Accounting/Economics) followed in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
• Two Health and Physical Education Instructors had set a similar precedence a decade earlier – best friends Wayne Arnold in 1989 and Jim “Hummer” Waugh in 1991.
• Believe it or not, David “Father” Scott (Agriculture) was the only member of the AAA faculty – Agriculture, Automotive and Architecture – to be chosen, although several other candidates over the years were on fast-tracks to administrative positions.

Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Educator Award 1968-1979

1968 Art Samford
1969 William Hazelbauer
1970 Eleanor Hall
1971 Dr. Eugene Estes
1972 Dr. Evelyn Claxton
1973 Cheryl Foley
1975 Keith E. Drayton
1976 Dr. Richard Doherty
1977 Max Brandon
1979 Vincent Cain
2007 Greg Hollmann
2008 Carrie Ragan
2009 Terry Wilkerson
2010 Nathan Brouwer
2011 Sarah Draper
2012 Dr. Jeannie Mitchell
2013 Paul Sandrock
2014 Larry Williams
2015 Emily Jones
2016 Joe Ervin 
2016 Terry Wilkerson (Honorary)
2018 Cindy Caldwell
2019 Tim Wills
2022 Tracey Webb
2023 Dr. Elizabeth Bailey-Smith

Rend Lake College Foundation Faculty Excellence Award 1980-2018

1980 Eleanor Hall
1981 Vincent Cain
1982 Dr. Eugene Estes
1983 Gary Wade
1984 Shirley Yeargin
1985 Dr. Barbara Luchsinger
1986 Sandra Van Cleve
1987 Sarah Capps
1988 Dr. John Homan Jr.
1989 Wayne Arnold
1990 David Scott
1991 Jim Waugh
1992 William Dill
1993 Joseph Henry Rust
1994 Michael P. Mullen
1995 Dr. Sue S. Tomlin
1996 John Howard Fisher
1997 Carolyn Stewart
1998 Dr. Linda Denton
199 Ro Hoar
2000 Sandra Cox
2001 Janet Miller
2002 Larry Sidwell
2003 Diane Metzger
2004 Trish Bennett-Minor
2005 D.J. Johnson
2006 Larry Williams
2007 Debbie Benns
2008 Bonnie Tolbert
2009 Rob Little
2010 Chris Nielsen
2012 Kevin Weston
2013 Tina Grounds
2014 Barbara Crouse
2015 Ricky Robinson
2016 Shari Carpenter
2017 Carrie Ragan
2018 Cindy Caldwell 

Rend Lake College Foundation Outstanding Faculty Member Award 2019 - Current

2019 Brenda Heinzmann
2020 Dr. Jeannie Mitchell
2021 Nathan Brouwer
2022 Mike Meinert
2023 Jeff Keen 

Staff Excellence

Rend Lake College Foundation Outstanding Staff Award 1981 - Current

1981 Betty Herbert
1982 Rosemary Carnes
1983 Jerri Ruemmler
1984 Jean Estes
1985 Jim Peeples
1986 Jill Colvin
1987 Sherry Somers
1988 June Sanders
1989 Roger Treece
1990 Connie Sample
1991 Conetta Swift
1992 Paul Ossig
1993 Dennis Carnes
1994 Glenda Atkins
1994 Jane Spencer
1994 Mary Ann Lewis
1995 David Davis
1995 Julie Oxford
1996 Carl Helverson
1996 Cathy Cross
1996 Jean Huie
1997 Janice Dillon
1997 Ron Somers
1998 Becky Williamson
1998 Danny Broy
1999 Gib Sink
1999 Phyllis Rice
2000 Mike Sevenski
2000 Shari Carpenter
2001 Dennis Richards
2001 Kim Davis
2002 Frank Hughey
2002 Sue Scattone
2003 Lori Ragland
2003 Randall Shively
2004 Dawn Gibson
2004 Dorothy Feira
2005 Beth Mandrell
2005 Bob Kelley
2006 Kelly Downes
2006 Trudee Wynn
2007 Brent McLain
2007 Lisa Price
2008 Cheri Rushing
2009 Chad Copple
2009 Ed Ruffino
2010 Brenda Garvin
2011 Angie Kistner
2011 Donnie Millenbine
2011 Stephanie McKinney
2012 Brian Clark
2012 Kristina Shelton
2013 Beth Stevens
2014 Rachel Sveda
2015 Nathan Wheeler
2016 Joy Fitts
2016 Kent McKown
2016 Ronald Murray
2017 Susan Cunningham
2017 Wesley Rush
2018 Jena Jensik
2019 Lynne French
2020 Shari Carpenter
2021 Taylor Hutchens
2022 Heather Adams