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Customized programming helps District 205 teachers earn valued state special education endorsements

Wednesday, December 11, 2013  
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For immediate release – 12/2/2013
Contact: Director of Communications, Rita Elliott: 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill., – Rockford University’s Department of Education has partnered with Rockford Public School District 205 to create a new customized education curriculum for district teachers. Funded by a district grant and tuition discounts from the University, the professional development programming allows district educators to earn additional endorsements from the Illinois State Board of Education to further their skills in instruction in a changing classroom environment. The first cohort of teachers is receiving additional education to prepare them for a supplemental endorsement in special education.

Steven Siconolfi, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs at Rockford University explains, "This kind of specialized programming differs slightly from our traditional MAT offerings because it targets a specific need and does not end with a degree. The special cohort helps us to maximize collaboration by providing course work that allows working teachers to attend while also meeting needs stated by the district. In addition, it helps expand teacher’s credentials, thereby, increasing the effectiveness of student learning at all levels.”

An initial cohort of 20 teachers from District 205 is currently piloting the one-year program that fulfills requirements to for teachers to take the exams needed for special education endorsement from the state. The endorsements allow teachers to teach a wider variety of courses for students, thus increasing learning opportunities for students with special needs. Similar programming through the University is being developed to assist educators with Reading, ESL and Bilingual endorsements.

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