academics snowbird main art

Professional Licensure Disclosure: Higher education institutions in receipt of federal financial aid are required to inform prospective students whether a degree program
will qualify them to work in the state where they are located. For more information on your program and state, click here.

Academic Policy 


Our students are expected to demonstrate the competencies outlined in the institution-wide learner outcomes (critical thinking, problem-solving, oral communication, and written communication) as well as demonstrate learning the fundamental vocabulary, concepts, and proficiencies of their specific programs. In addition to the college’s institutional outcomes, three other outcomes articulate the expected general education for all students and are integrated in both the curricular and co-curricular student experience.

Connections – Students will develop personal and resource relationships which lead to professional and personal success.

Multiculturalism – Students will demonstrate the ability to successfully live and work in a multicultural world.

Authenticity – Students will demonstrate a commitment to standards, codes of conduct, and core principles that define successful professionals within their chosen academic field of study or career path.

transcript request 1 icon

Academic Honors

A full-time student (12 credit hours or more) whose grade-point average is 3.5 or better is considered an honor student. Full-time students who compile a perfect 4.0-point average during a semester will be named to the President’s List, while those students compiling GPAs between 3.5 and 3.9 will be named to the Vice-President's List. A student must have successfully completed all courses during a semester to be included on the President’s List or the Vice-President's List. Academic honors are announced shortly after the end of fall and spring semesters.



Students are expected to attend all sessions of each class in which they are enrolled. When a student is absent for reasons of illness or emergency, he or she is responsible for course work missed and should consult with the instructor prior to the next class meeting following the absence. Each instructor sets his/her own attendance policy. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the attendance policy for each class.

Campus Parking

Parking lots on campus are available to faculty, staff, students and visitors. The college reserves the right to ticket illegally parked vehicles and/or tow them at the owner’s expense.

There is a speed limit on all the entrance drives and roads around the campus. Penalties for parking violations are fines that may be paid by mail or in person to the cashier in the Business Office, located in the Administration building.

Students needing a handicap parking sticker should contact Security. 

College Prep / Placement


Students shall be placed into appropriate college preparatory classes based upon their placement test scores. Students may not re-take placement tests after classes begin and may test a maximum of two times. Students may be placed into English ALP or Integrated Reading and Writing.

English ALP Option

Students with Reading and Writing scores below the established qualifying ENGL 1101 cut scores may be placed into ENGL 1101 with an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) class. Students should be enrolled in ENGL 1101 / ALP within the first 12 credit hours attempted. The ALP class will meet three hours per week. In order to be considered successfully completed, a grade of “C” or higher is required in both ENGL 1101 and ALP. Students earning a “D” or “E” should repeat the classes the following semester. A student may not withdraw from ALP unless the student is enrolled in a certificate program, or unless the student is withdrawing from all credit courses.

Integrated Reading & Writing Policy

Students with Reading and Writing scores below the established qualifying ENGL 1101 cut scores may be placed into PREP 1404, Integrated Reading and Writing. If a student chooses the PREP 1404 option they must register for, attend, and complete the course with an “A,” “B,” or “C” within the first 12 credit hours attempted; this course will fulfill reading and English Review requirements. Students completing with a “D” or “E” should repeat the course the next semester they are enrolled in classes. A student may not withdraw from PREP 1404 unless the student is enrolled in a certificate program, or unless the student is withdrawing from all credit courses.

Course Numbering

All courses offered by Rend Lake College are identified by a prefix followed by a four-digit number (excluding Community Education classes).

Prefix - This indicates the broad subject area of the course; i.e., mathematics.
First Digit - This indicates the level of the course
Second Digit - This refers to the general curricular division
Last Two Digits - These indicate the sequential order of that course within the program

course numbering pop out
    Example: Click to Enlarge

Freshman-level courses, for the most part, begin with the digit "1" followed by three more digits. Courses generally recommended for second-year studies begin with the digit "2" followed by three digits.

The second digit may be interpreted thusly:

1 - Academic (Pre-Baccalaureate and Occupational)
Traditional academic courses equivalent to the first two years (lower-division) of baccalaureate study and the academic courses in occupational curricula.

2 - Technical and Applied (Pre-Baccalaureate and Occupational)
Courses are postsecondary technical or applied in nature. Although most courses were designed primarily for AAS degrees and occupational certificate programs, technical courses in certain fields (e.g., graphic arts, drafting, surveying and child care) are acceptable in specific AA/AS degrees.

3 - Community Education
Non-credit courses.

4 - Remedial Education
Courses are designed to remedy basic skill (i.e., reading, writing and arithmetic) deficiencies of high school graduates. Course credit is non-transferable and does not count toward associate transfer degrees.

5 - General Studies
Courses are very broad in nature and are designed to meet individual student goals for personal improvement and self-understanding. Course credit is non-transferable and does not count toward associate transfer degrees.

6 - Vocational Skills
Courses provide vocational skills training that is not part of occupational certificate or AAS degree programs. Credit is non-transferable and does not count toward associate transfer degrees.

7 - Adult Basic Education
Courses are designed to bring non-high school graduates to a competency of eighth-grade equivalency. Credit is non-transferable and does not count toward any degree or certificate.

8 - Adult Secondary Education
Courses are designed to bring non-high school graduates to a competency of 12th-grade equivalency. Course credit is non-transferable and does not count toward any degree or certificate.

9 - English as a Second Language
Courses are designed to assist non-native English speakers to speak, read, write and understand the English language.

The third digit in the four-digit sequence indicates prerequisites or degree of difficulty in an ascending order. In general, the fourth number will indicate first-semester work if it is an odd number and second-semester work if it is an even number. The purpose of such a numbering system is to facilitate record keeping and to provide an easy means of identifying various courses as to their degree of difficulty, general curriculum, etc.


Background Checks

Rend Lake College reserves the right to perform criminal background checks on students participating in certain programs that may place such students into contact with vulnerable populations or as otherwise mandated by external agencies in accordance with state and federal law. Examples of such course offerings are, but are not limited to, cooperative education, internships, practicums, volunteerism, community service, clinicals and observations. Students with relevant criminal histories are hereby notified that their ability to participate and/or complete certain classes, degree programs and post-training employment may be affected by this policy. Degree programs affected by this policy include:

• Associate Degree in Nursing
• Certified Nurse Assisting
• Child Development
• Criminal Justice
• Practical Nursing
• Other programs as necessary

Other courses that may be affected by this policy include:

• COOP 1101 ~ Cooperative Education
• SOCI 2101 ~ Social Problems
• COOP 2101 ~ Cooperative Education
• EDUC 1101 ~ The Teacher’s Role in Education
• VOL 1100 ~ Volunteerism
• Other courses as necessary

Written procedures shall be provided to students which explain the criminal background check requirements and processes for each particular program.

Students not majoring in an Allied Health Department field and attending courses for which background checks are required shall have until the end of the second week of classes in Fall and Spring, first week of classes in Summer, to provide written verification the background checking process has been initiated. Failure to do so will result in the removal of the student from the course or courses involved in the program requiring the background check. The Division Chair shall advise Allied Health students of verification deadlines. Written evidence of the results of a non-disqualifying criminal history is required prior to participation in any practicum, observation or clinical experiences. Records maintained as a result of criminal background checks shall be available for student inspection upon request. Any student experiencing delays in the background check process will be granted a withdrawal with a refund of tuition and fees paid for the term up to the last advertised date of the class or classes being taken for the program requiring the background check.

Documents pertaining to criminal background checks for applicable students (except Allied Health students) shall be maintained in confidential files in the Vice President of Instruction’s office. Allied Health student files will be maintained in the Allied Health Division office.


Students wishing to register for 20 or more credits during the Fall or Spring Semester or 10 or more credits during the Summer Term must have the Registration form signed by a Vice-President or Dean.

Academic Probation

A degree or certificate-seeking student who is enrolled in three or more credit hours during the Fall or Spring Semester and whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation.

While on Academic Probation, students may continue to enroll at Rend Lake College. However, they:

• Must register with an Academic Counselor in the Academic Counseling Center.
• Must maintain at least a 2.0 grade-point average per semester for courses taken while on Academic Probation.
• May be required to seek tutoring assistance through the Learning Enhancement Center upon the recommendation of a counselor/academic advisor.
• May only enroll in a maximum of fifteen credit hours during the following Fall or Spring Semester, and one course in the Summer term.

A student will remain on Academic Probation until a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher is attained.

Academic Suspension

A degree or certificate-seeking student who was on Academic Probation during the previous Fall or Spring Semester of enrollment and has a current semester and cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.0 will be placed on Academic Suspension:

• Must register with an Acedemic Counselor in the Academic counseling Center.
• Will not be allowed to attend during the following Fall or spring semester and will be withdrawn from classes,. However, a suspended student may enroll in one course during the Summer Term to attempt to raise his/her cuulative grade point averae. If the suspended student sucessfully raises hes/her cumulative GPA to 2.0 after the summer Term, he/she may enroll in fall classes and the academic standing will be chnaged to Academic Probation.
• May enroll in Adult education, community education and non-credit courses during the Academic suspension period.
• When the student enrolls after the suspension period of one Fall or Spring Semester, he/she will again be placed on Academic probation.
• if a student is placed on Academic Suspension more than two times, he/she will be placed on a one year suspension period each time he/she is suspended.

Student Classification

Freshman – Student having less than 30 semester hours of earned credit.

– Student having 30 or more semester hours of earned credit.

 – Student registered for 12 or more semester credit hours.

 – Student registered for less than 12 semester credit hours.


      1.   The student must request that the college or university attended send an official transcript to the Office of Student Records at Rend Lake College.
      2.   A minimum of two weeks is required for the Registrar to evaluate a student’s transcript. A student should contact the Office of Student Records to confirm that a transcript has been received and evaluated prior to registration.
      3.   Rend Lake College will accept transfer credit from post-secondary institutions which are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or from comparable regional accrediting associations. If Rend Lake College has no equivalent course, the credit may be accepted as undistributed credit and will be used as elective credit only at Rend Lake College.
      4.   Courses from post-secondary institutions which are classified as junior- or senior-level courses (300 or 400 level) will not transfer to Rend Lake College.
      5.   Credit earned in remedial or developmental courses will not be accepted.
      6.   Credit for orientation, freshman experience, or first-year seminars will not be accepted.
      7.   Grades in courses transferred from other colleges will NOT be counted in cumulative grade-point average (GPA) calculations along with grades earned in courses taken at Rend Lake College. Courses in which the student has earned a grade of “C” or greater will be accepted for transfer credit. A grade of “TC” will be shown on the transcript to indicate a transfer credit. Courses in which the student has earned a grade of “D” or below, a grade of “CR” or a pass / fail grade will NOT be accepted for transfer credit. In addition, courses from which the student has withdrawn will NOT be accepted for transfer credit.
      8.   The student will transfer the number of credit hours that were earned for a course at the student’s college or university even if the comparable course at Rend Lake College earns a different number of credit hours. However, if the student has transfer credit that is computed in quarter hours, the transfer credit will be converted from quarter hours to semester hours. Transfer credit hours will be counted in earned hours but will NOT be calculated in cumulative GPA calculations.
      9.    A copy of the student’s unofficial Rend Lake College transcript will be available to the student online at once the transcript evaluation process has been completed.
      10. APPEALS PROCESS – A student who wishes to appeal a decision on the awarding of transfer credit may do so by submitting a written rationale outlining his or her reasons to the Registrar.


Students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution should plan their first two years in a program offered by Rend Lake College in order to assure the smoothest transfer possible. The selection of a senior college should be an individual decision based on the compatibility of the student with the academic programs, facilities, size, student body, location, philosophy and cost of the senior college. It is the student’s responsibility to follow the recommendations of the institution to which he or she intends to transfer upon completion of work at Rend Lake College. Students preparing to transfer are advised to refer directly to the official catalog of the institution they plan to attend and meet those requirements and recommendations for a selected area of concentration. Assistance is available from RLC advisors.

Types of Credit

Credit toward a degree, certificate or program area can be earned in several ways acceptable to the college. 

University parallel credit – Credit earned in courses designed for transfer to another college or four year university and which count toward degrees and certificates at Rend Lake College.

Occupational credit – Credit which is specifically designed for entry into an occupation and may or may not be acceptable as transfer credit toward a four-year baccalaureate degree.

General studies credit – Credit in general studies courses which are not transferable and are unrelated to the pursuit of a degree; this is credit given in self-improvement courses designed to meet the needs of district residents.

Transfer credit – Credit earned at another institution. Students must request that official transcripts from other colleges previously attended be sent to the Director of Student Records for transfer evaluation at least two weeks prior to registering for classes.

Military service credit – Credit awarded for learning experiences during military service. Members and former members of the Armed Services, upon presenting separation papers (DD-214) or Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences During Military Service (DD-295), may be granted the following credits:

Military Service College Credit



Basic Training (Minimum 90 days)

2 credit hours – HEA 1101

Active Duty (Minimum 180 days)

2 undistributed credit hours Physical Education in addition to 2 credit hours of Health

Students should contact the Director of Student Records to have the credit evaluated and posted.

Rend Lake College also grants credit for certain experience and training in the military service. Students must request official transcripts be sent to the Director of Student Records for transfer evaluation at least two weeks prior to registering for classes.

You may request your military transcript here:

Illinois State Police Academy Credit

Based upon a recommendation by the Illinois Community College Board, Rend Lake College awards credit for training by the Illinois State Police. A student must present certification that he/she has successfully completed training to the Director of Student Records. A student may receive the following credits:

CRJS 2203 – Police Traffic Functions (3) 
CRJS 2205 – Police Weapons and Defensive Tactics (3) 
PYED 1160 – Aerobic Super-Circuit Fitness Center (1)

Credit by Examination

Students at Rend Lake College are able to earn college credit by examination through one of the following:

  1. CLEP – College-Level Examination Program (see the Registrar
  2. AP – Advanced Placement (see the Registrar)
  3. IB — International Baccalaureate Program (see the Registrar)
  4. Proficiency — Rend Lake College proficiency exams are available for specific Rend Lake College courses (see the Division Dean)

    note iconNo more than 25 % of the credit hours needed for a degree or certificate can be earned by examination, including CLEP, AP, IB or Rend Lake College proficiency exams, or any combination of credit by means other than classroom attendance.