50th Fridays – 1990

Posted on Jun 26, 2015

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Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years right here on our blog and on social media. Be sure to check here every Friday and follow us on all of our social media platforms as we will be posting unique content across all media throughout the year!

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Today’s 50th Friday covers the year 1990.



RVC Tech Center Serves as “Role Model”

In preparation for designing an Applied Technologies Center in Rochester, Minnesota, officials from Rochester visited Rock Valley College’s Tech Center in February 1990. RVC’s Tech Center was viewed as a role model for the Rochester project and was considered a great example of a successful technology training center.

A movable, articulated arm robot and two computer-controlled machining centers in the RVC Tech Center were observed by proponents for an Applied Technologies Center in Rochester, Minnesota.


Enrollment Boom

The spring 1990 enrollment at RVC was up 6.4% over the previous spring. RVC President Karl Jacobs noted the high unemployment rate and rising costs of four-year institutions as possible reasons for the increase. The College also saw an 8.4% rise in credit hours taken that spring.


Genetic Turmoil

RVC student Randy Kays took second place at the College’s annual Juried Student Art Exhibit in May 1990 for his terrifying project entitled “Genetic Turmoil,” which depicted in Kays’ words “a genetic experiment that went kind of crazy.” It took Kays an estimated 200 hours to construct the paper-mache monster housed in a life-support system. Kays had dreams of working as a special effects artist in Hollywood and was set to transfer from RVC to NIU to major in computer graphics.


Women in Technology

In the summer of 1990, RVC offered a unique summer program that encouraged women to consider careers in technology. This was the second summer in a row that the program was offered after 66% of the previous summer’s 32 participants went on to enroll in a technology course at RVC the following fall. In 1989 the Illinois State Board of Higher Education, Department of Adult and Vocational Education selected RVC’s Women in Technology program as a “Showcase of Exemplary Programs.”


RVC Expands to Oregon

On June 28, 1990, RVC opened an extension office in Oregon, IL, at the remodeled Nash Recreation Center. The office served a dual purpose of being able to offer continuing education courses while also providing Oregon residents easier access to RVC staff for information on the College without having to drive to Rockford. The Oregon location was one of about 25 locations where continuing education classes were offered. By 1990, RVC Continuing Education had seen its enrollment rise 42% since 1985 and was offering over 500 adult and continuing education classes.


Before Smartphones and YouTube

In September 1990, RVC offered a class on how to use a camcorder. Despite the rise of smartphones, camcorders still exist today, however most of them are not much bigger than your hand. As opposed to 1990 when you had to lug something like this around…

In related and interesting video news from 1990, USA Weekend ran a blurb in September 1990 on how colleges were starting to take advantage of videos to help in the recruiting process, making it easier on students to not have to visit every school that interested them. About 60% of the USA’s top colleges said they were using “slick videos to tout their campuses.”  A Beloit College representative was quoted as saying “kids don’t read” in response to why he was for the new video trend. Of course this was long before YouTube was born, meaning back then the VHS video tapes had to be mailed to students who requested them and the cost was $4 per tape.


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50th Fridays – 1989

Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years right here on...