College Information

Rock Valley College is a comprehensive two-year community college in Rockford, Illinois, offering more than 100 courses for transfer, career programs, and certificates. Rock Valley College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). RVC is also recognized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

college mascot Arvee posing with students on campus bridge

Our Mascot: Arvee

Arvee the Golden Eagle is the official mascot of Rock Valley College. You'll often see Arvee at athletics events, campus social events, or community events.

You can also request an appearance by contacting Admissions at (815) 921-4250. All appearances are booked on a first-come, first-served basis and are dependent upon mascot availability. Requests must be made two weeks prior to the event.


College History

Rock Valley College empowers students and community through lifelong learning. Learn about our growth over the years, since our creation on October 10, 1964.

History of RVC

While at RVC, you may have encountered an acronym or two and wondered, "What does that mean?" Explore the ABCs of RVC.



RVC has had sustainable practices in place for a number of years in areas such as academic programs, facilities planning, and operational efforts.

Our sustainable practices include developing sustainability classes and programs, working in coordination with community groups and other community colleges, facilities planning that includes United States Green Building Commission (USGBC) “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) recognition for building projects, and operational efforts which include recycling, greener cleaning practices, handling of landscaping waste and the development of natural and rain gardens. We are committed to becoming a leader in academic programs and operational practices that model the sustainable use of resources so that the needs of current generations are met without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Our Sustainability Mission: Promote and support the integration of Rock Valley College’s sustainability core values into all aspects of learning within the college and throughout our community.

The college uses indicators to guide performance improvement through time in several areas: energy and water conservation; air quality, both indoor and outdoor; recycling efforts, waste audits, and support for new academic programs. Improvement begins with assessment of current practices, planning for future efforts, development of action plans and assessing periodically.

  • RVC was the first community college in Illinois to have two LEED Gold certified projects: the JCSM and PEC.
  • The RVC single-stream recycling program diverted 58.8 tons of waste from the landfill in FY-2014.
  • Rock Valley College was awarded LEED Gold Certification for the JCSM, which included the following technologies for energy savings.
    • Closed Loop Geothermal System: Earth absorbs 50% of all solar energy. Heat is stored in the earth. Remains a constant temp below the frost line. Uses constant temperature to exchange energy between your building and the earth. Winter: circulating water absorbs heat from the earth and carries it to the geothermal unit. It is compressed via heat pump to a higher temperature and sent as warm air to the indoor system. Summer: the system reverses itself and expels heat from your building into the cooler earth via the loop. The closed-loop Geothermal system includes (8) water-cooled heat pump units, primarily loop water pumps, a 164 vertical well geothermal bore field, and associated piping providing 420 ton cooling capacity. This system will work to create jobs, reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and leverage grant funding in a learning environment that can promote these initiatives to future generations.
    • Chill Beam Cooling System: Chill beams are not building structural elements. They are hydronic HVAC components that circulate chilled or heated water and are designed to induce room air flow to cool or heat the space. A passive chilled beam is simply a casing with a cooling coil inside. Chilled water at 59-63 degrees F circulates through the coil. The warm air in the room rises and passes through the cooling coil. The resulting cooler air – less buoyant than surrounding warm air – flows down into the space. This constant, gentle circulation is caused by natural convection.

The Rock Valley College Facilities Planning, Plant Operations & Maintenance department contributes to the college's sustainability efforts in numerous ways, including through energy savings, indoor and outdoor environmental efforts, water efficiency, and use of materials and resources.

  • Energy Savings: Geothermal Field, Water cooled heat pumps, Chilled beam cooling, Variable Air Volume Air Handling Units, Energy Recovery  on Air Handling Units, Thermal Efficient Glazing, White Membrane Roof, Geothermal Domestic Water Heating System, Green Power Purchasing, Variable Frequency Drives, Daylight Harversting, Occupancy Sensors, Multiple Switching Zones, Building Integrated Photovoltaic Modules, Co-Generation, Natural Gas, Solar Stop Signs, Relamping existing buildings with LED & Compact Fluorescents, and Solar Power Restroom Fixtures.
  • Indoor Environmental: IEQ Management Plan, Indoor Air Quality Program to include testing, Moisture/Water Intrusion Control, Record Keeping, and Low-emitting Adhesives, Sealants, Paints, Composite Wood & Flooring.
  • Outdoor Environmental: Prairie Plantings, Bioswales, Rain Gardens, Weed Control, Tree & Shrub Maintenance, Native Vegetation & Plantings, and Green Roofs.
  • Water Efficiency: Water Use Reduction of 20%, Water Efficient Landscaping, and Low Flow Plumbing & Fixtures.
  • Materials and Resources: Assist with recycling of paper, cardboard, plastics, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and computer/electronics, Construction Waste Management, Recycling of redwood and stone from building remodeling, Use recycled content materials during construction – Countertops, restrooms stalls, carpeting, lab flooring, drywall, concrete, structural steel, and Use at least 50% Regional Materials.

The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), is a vibrant and growing collaboration between the state’s 48 community colleges. An initiative of the community college Presidents, this Network brings community colleges together to expand employment opportunities, improve human and environmental health, foster community engagement and accelerate market competitiveness to drive Illinois’s emerging green economy.

Rock Valley College joined IGEN (then known as ICCSN) in March 2010. Starting with the January 2010 RVC Board of Trustees meeting, the college began disclosing sustainable and "green" activities as part of the update to the Facilities Master Plan. As a member of IGEN, Rock Valley College strives to infuse sustainability into curriculum, while taking green measures in operations, such as reducing printing and energy costs across the college.

SEED (Sustainability Education & Economic Development) is a leadership program and resource center created by the American Association of Community Colleges and ecoAmerica that will provide strategic guidance and detailed resources for community colleges to dramatically ramp up their programs to educate America’s 21st-century workforce and build the green economy. The SEED Center is designed to provide the information and national coordination needed for program development and implementation. Information sharing between SEED members will be facilitated through a community wiki and topical discussion boards. With a simple log-in, any community college faculty or staff member may use this feature. As a SEED member, Rock Valley College agrees to:

  • Incorporate the promising practices and curricula into programs
  • Develop and engage faculty and staff
  • Engage students and invite participation
  • Partner with employers and the community
  • Share resources and encourage other colleges to participate