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Get Connected, Stay Connected

Rockford, IL – Rock Valley College has launched “Get Connected, Stay Connected,” a summer program geared toward easing the transition from high school to college for recent high school graduates. Alignment Rockford is funding the program through a Lumina Foundation grant received to increase postsecondary attainment for the region. The YMCA of Rock River Valley is providing a location at the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA where potential or incoming Rock Valley College students can meet with student ambassadors and college advisors.   

“Get Connected, Stay Connected” was developed by Alignment Rockford and Rock Valley College as an intervention to address a prevalent issue known as “Summer Melt.” Students who leave high school with college plans, yet do not attend in the fall are said to have melted during the summer. Nationally approximately 10 to 20 percent of college-eligible students melt away over the summer, most of whom are low-income minority students and/or first generation college-going students.

“While some students may plan to enroll in college, research shows once they have left the support structure of high school, they often do not know how to navigate the postsecondary system,” stated Bridget French, Executive Director of Alignment Rockford. “This is especially true for students who lack a support structure at home.”

Alignment Rockford worked with Rockford Public Schools to obtain cell phone numbers from graduating high school seniors planning to attend Rock Valley College in the fall. These students will receive text messages throughout the summer, reminding them of key dates and deadlines for fall enrollment at Rock Valley College.

Students will also be encouraged, via text message, to visit the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA. Rock Valley student ambassadors and college advisors will be stationed at the Y Blvd. location throughout the summer to answer questions about financial aid, fall enrollment, orientation sign-up and other college details.

“We’re thankful for the opportunity to reach students who may need extra support over the summer to get them across the starting line to college,” stated Melvin Allen, Executive Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Rock Valley College. “We’re also grateful the YMCA has offered their downtown location as a drop in center convenient to students who don’t live near our main campus. This is just another great opportunity that shows RVC’s commitment to the community through partnerships.”

Rock Valley College ambassadors and advisors will be at the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA Monday and Wednesday 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; and Tuesday and Thursday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. through the end of July.