2023-2024 College Catalog

Career and Technical Education Programs

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degrees

Rock Valley College has developed career and technical programs in response to employment needs of the college’s district. All of the career programs have been developed in cooperation with program advisory committees. Upon successful completion of a career program, students will receive an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree or a Certificate. Although these programs are not primarily designed for transfer to a four- year institution, RVC has established articulation agreements with a number of colleges and universities and many Associate of Applied Science degrees may transfer. If transferring to a four-year college or university is your goal, please consult with your Academic Advisor, the Dean, or Academic Chair of the career program.

Requirements for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree

The Associate in Applied Science Degree is awarded to students who successfully complete a career and technical education curriculum. Attainment of this degree is evidence that the student possesses the competence for entry-level employment in their field of study. An Associate in Applied Science Degree usually requires two years for full-time students. Part-time students may complete the degree over a longer period of time.

All technical curricula leading to the Associate in Applied Science Degree have both specific program and general education core course requirements. The general education requirements typically will include a minimum of 15 semester credit hours.

Requirements for all A.A.S. Degrees include:

  1. Completion of one of the career education curriculums listed in this catalog (beginning on page 55), including a minimum of 64 semester credits. Courses numbered from 100 through 299 can be used toward the 64 semester credits.
  2. Students can only use a maximum of four (4) credits of 100-level (activity-based) FWS credits. These courses are repeatable.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 cumulative (“C” average on a 4.0 scale).
  4. Since the Summer of 1999, students must receive grades of “C” or better in ENG 101 and ENG 103 (if ENG 103 is required for the program). A grade of “C” or better is also required if a student completes MGT 170 (formerly ENG 105).
  5. Successful completion of at least 15 semester credits at RVC.

Perkins Programs of Study & Career Clusters

Rock Valley College, in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Community College Board, has adopted the national Career Cluster Framework. This initiative complements other state level efforts to enhance workforce and career development.

Career Clusters are groups of occupations and industries that have in common a set of foundational knowledge and skills. There are 16 nationally recognized clusters and within are multiple Career Pathways. Career and Technical Education Programs of Study are aligned with these clusters and lead to employment in high-demand industries. For more information about the Career Clusters initiative visit: CareerTech.org.

Requirements for Certificates

Career education certificate programs are developed and offered in areas where job-entry training and educational requirements usually can be met in less than two years. These short-term programs are excellent options for the student who is interested in quickly gaining skills for employment.

A number of certificates are offered either as part of career education degree programs or stand-alone certificates.

Requirements for all Certificates include:

  1. For certificates with less than 30 credit hours, a minimum grade of “C” is required in each course required in the certificate.
  2. For certificates of 30 or greater credit hours, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (“C” on a 4.0 scale) is required.
  3. Substitution of appropriate, approved courses may be made in certificates to a maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours in the respective certificate.
  4. Successful completion of a minimum of one-half the credits of the Certificate at RVC. Note: Certificate residency credits will exclude AP, CLEP, and proficiency credits.

Upon successful completion of the requirements for a specific certificate, an application for the certificate must be completed with an Academic, Career, and Transfer Advisor and submitted to the Records and Registration Office.

Career Education Guarantee

Rock Valley College guarantees that career education graduates will perform competently in positions for which their degrees or certificates are intended. An employer who perceives that a Rock Valley College graduate does not possess appropriate entry-level skills encompassed in the degree or certificate curriculum, and can specify such deficiencies, may request that the student be permitted to retake a specific course or courses up to nine (9) credit hours without additional tuition and fee charges.