RU Education Pathway

​​​Rockford Public Schools has partnered with Rockford University to recruit teachers and build a workforce from its own student body. The Rockford University Education Pathway begins in middle school and continues in high school with an education pathway. Students then enroll in a college degree program through Rockford University. The hope is to continue the program through teacher certification and employment with RPS 205. Then graduates can continue as RPS 205 teachers in a graduate program through Rockford University.

​9th Grade​College & Career Readiness
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​10th Grade
​Intro to Child Care Development
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​11th Grade​Education & Child Care Careers
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​12th Grade​Intro to Teaching/Ed Psych*

​Industry Certification: Child Development Associate (Early Childhood), Paraprofessional Cert
Dual Credit: Intro to Teaching/Ed Psych
*Note: Only students enrolled as seniors are eligible to receive college credit



Program Timeline

Phase 1: On Ramp: Rockford Public Schools will work with community partners to ensure that our youngest students have opportunities to learn about the teaching profession through a variety of career awareness activities in preschool and elementary school. RPS 205 will work with students to develop their leadership skills through student ambassador programs and other opportunities that will allow students to think about teaching as a future career possibility.​

Phase 2: Pathway: Students will follow a teaching pathway as part of the high school academy model. Students can participate in one course each year in grades 10, 11 and 12. This pathway includes a senior capstone course for dual credit – high school and college credit – taught by both Rockford University and RPS 205 staff.

Phase 3: Post-Secondary: RPS 205 graduates of the Education Pathway who meet admission criteria can enroll at Rockford University and receive a special financial aid package that allows for discounted tuition toward a four-year teaching degree. For students with high financial need (determined through the FAFSA), the cost would be $5,000 a year; stud​ents with no financial need would pay $10,000 a year. While attending Rockford University, students will be able to work with RPS 205 for summer school or extracurricular activities to help pay for tuition. After completing the required coursework, participants would student-teach at an RPS 205 school. When they complete their degree, these 20 alumni would be given priority for teaching positions in RPS 205.

Phase 4: Employment: If hired in RPS 205, program graduates could receive a master's degree in urban education cost-free from Rockford University. The program includes an agreement for teachers in the program to continue working for RPS 205 for a specific amount of time.

How to Apply (Deadline for Fall 2020 is January 17, 2020)

  1. Apply and be accepted into Rockford University.
  2. Submit three letters of recommendation and an essay (Why I Want to Be a Teacher!) to RPS 205.
  3. Complete an interview with a team of RPS 205 administrators.​
For more information contact:
Tabitha Sims, ​Recruitment Coordinator, 815-966-3103
Matt Zediker, ​Chief Human Resources Officer, 815-​966-​3221

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