Local aspiring engineers now have greater opportunity to pay for their college education after Ringland-Johnson Construction announced a donation of $50,000 to the NIU-RVC Engineering partnership at Rock Valley College. The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois also announced it will give a matching grant to the program, bringing the total scholarship fund to $100,000.
Scholarships will be made available through the Rock Valley College Foundation to current and future students seeking to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering. RVC will distribute the donated funds over the next five years, giving engineering students the chance to earn $20,000 in scholarships each year until 2021.
“This innovative, four-year degree program will forever change the landscape needed to invigorate the manufacturing and construction industries in our region,” said Ringland-Johnson President and CEO Brent Johnson. “We’ll soon have a locally trained, educated workforce that can have a lasting impact on the job market and economic outlook in northern Illinois. Combined with one of the most affordable four-year engineering degree programs in the country, these scholarships will help many people develop their talents and become an asset to our local businesses and industries.”
Affordability is one of the program’s main appeals. A student attending an out-of-state college can expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bachelor’s degree in engineering. The same degree can be obtained through at RVC for just around $40,000. The close proximity of Rock Valley’s campus will additionally help students cut travel and living costs as they complete their degree.
NIU-RVC Engineering courses began this fall after Rock Valley College and Northern Illinois University announced plans for the collaborative program in August 2015. RVC now offers three bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree in engineering through the partnership. Students participating in the program will learn about the engineering trade from RVC and NIU professors as well as regional working professionals from Woodward, UTC Aerospace Systems and others.
For more information, visit rockvalleycollege.edu/foundation.