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It’s back to school already for many area teachers

Thursday, June 19, 2008  
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For about 390 statewide school teachers and prospective teachers, summer is not vacation time. On the contrary, its time for them to go to class.

For the 9th straight year, Rockford College is hosting Camp Rockford, a chance for teachers to pick up classes required for certification or advancement on their district’s salary schedule and complete requirements for their Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The teachers are here mainly from area school districts but some have come from as far away as Harrisburg, Ill., some 7 hours away.

“The camp gives teachers the latest in classroom strategies and technology,” says Michelle McReynolds, camp coordinator and director of the MAT program at Rockford College. “What the participants take away is practical, hands-on experience that can be applied immediately back in the classroom in the fall.”

The camp offers some 22 face-to-face courses and 12 online courses, all through a partnership with Performance Learning Systems, a private firm. And although the atmosphere may be a little laid back, it is still work. Classes typically run from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.  In return, the students can earn anywhere from 3-9 credits during the camp, which runs until June 27.

Among the course titles are such varied subjects as: “Building Communication and Teamwork in the Classroom,” “Behavioral, Academic, and Social Interventions for the Classroom,” and “Successful Teaching for Acceptance of Responsibility.”  McReynolds notes that the diversity of teachers in these classes adds richness to the learning experience.

“One of the benefits of Camp Rockford is that local and distant students take classes together and learn from each other,” she says. “That’s true learning through collaboration and networking.”

Most classes offered are at the graduate level, though some are undergraduate classes for individuals seeking teaching certification. Rockford is one of 28 sites in the state offering this professional development opportunity.

For more information about upcoming classes and other opportunities, visit www.rockford.edu/graduate/mat/camprc.asp

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