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Coffee Talk & Building Community

Coffee Talk & Building Community


Posted on Nov 12, 2018

What happens when you bring together 80 adult language learners, hailing from 32 countries, to share food, culture, and conversation? In short – the magic of community. At least, so say the Adult Education Instructors who work with our Rock Valley College English language learners (ELL) attending classes at RVC’s Stenstrom Center for Career Education.

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In 2011, Rock Valley College launched Running Start, a program that allows select, qualified, academically motivated students enrolled in Illinois District 511 public high schools an opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and associate degree concurrently by attending Rock Valley College full-time during their junior and/or senior years of high school. Since its inception nine years ago, over 500 students have graduated from Running Start. Currently 242 students from 11 high schools are participating in the program.

We recently caught up with Janet Saldana, a graduate of the Running Start program, to talk about her experience. Janet graduated from Belvidere High School and with her Associate in Science degree from Rock Valley College in 2012. She went on to attend Duke University in the fall of 2012.

Janet was happy to share the story of her journey with us.

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