Note: These FAQs are answered here for your convenience.  The answers are not provided to replace or supersede the Rockford University academic catalog. 

Q. What is the all-university rhetoric sequence?

A. The rhetoric sequence comprises three courses:  two 100-level courses, and one 300-level course. The two 100-level, three-credit courses of the sequence are:

  • RHET 101, Introduction to Writing and Rhetoric
  • RHET 102, Rhetoric and Research Writing

The 300-level, three-credit course of the sequence can be satisfied by:

  • RHET 351, Applied Rhetoric
  • Courses offered in other majors that have been formally approved as Writing-Intensive (WI) courses (beginning Fall 2022)

Q. Can I graduate from Rockford University if I do not fulfill the rhetoric sequence?

A. No. The rhetoric sequence is an all-university, general education graduation requirement. To earn the B.A., B.F.A, B.S., or B.S.N. degree, all-university general education requirements must be fulfilled. 

Q. May I waive the all-university rhetoric sequence requirement?

A. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for instructions on seeking a waiver of any degree requirement. 

Q. What is the “Upper-Division Rhetoric Requirement”? 

A. The “Upper-Division Rhetoric Requirement” is a phrase that refers to one of two things: RHET 351, or any other course that has been formally approved as a Writing-Intensive (WI) course (beginning in Fall 2022).

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 101?

A. RHET 101 has no prerequisites. 

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 102?

A. To enroll in RHET 102, the prerequisite is completion of RHET 101 with a final grade of C or above or by departmental approval of transfer credit.

Q. What are the prerequisites for RHET 351?

A. RHET 351 has two prerequisites, both of which must be met in order to enroll: A grade of C or above in RHET 102 or equivalent, and forty-five hours of college coursework.

Q. How do I know which Rockford University courses can satisfy a rhetoric requirement? 

A. All courses in the rhetoric sequence as taught by the English Department use the four-letter course designator “RHET.”

The course description for courses that fulfill the rhetoric requirement also include the course listing code “Rh” (fulfills rhetoric sequence requirement). 

Courses that have been formally approved as Writing-Intensive and are taught by departments other than English will also be marked with the course listing code “WI” in their course descriptions.

Q. Is there a test I can take to place out of any rhetoric classes? 

A. Yes. If you received a 4 or 5 in the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition exam, you will place out of RHET 101.

Q. May I use transfer courses to fulfill the 100-level rhetoric courses?

A. Yes. If you are a new transfer student, registering for the first time at Rockford University, your transcript will be reviewed to determine whether or not you have fulfilled the requirements for RHET 101 and/or RHET 102.

If you are a continuing student at Rockford University and want to take a course at another school to satisfy the RHET 101 or 102 requirement here, you must have approval on file with SAS before you take the course. To secure approval, pick up a “Transfer of Credit” form at SAS and return the completed form with the appropriate authorizing signatures to SAS before you take the course. 

Q. Can transfer courses fulfill the 300-level rhetoric course (RHET 351 or another formally approved Writing-Intensive course)?

A. No. Transfer credit is not accepted to satisfy the upper-level required writing course.   

Q. When is the best time to take the rhetoric courses?

A. For most students, two options seem to work equally well. Most students take RHET 101 and RHET 102 in their freshman year and RHET 351 at the end of their sophomore or in their junior year. Some students take one course per year: RHET 101 in freshman year, RHET 102 in sophomore year, and RHET 351 in junior year.

Q. What if I am not a very good writer? 

A. At Rockford University, we set high standards and work with you to achieve them. To complete RHET 101 and RHET 102, you have to earn a “C” or above in each course, but should you happen to fall short in either, you can repeat the course. If you think you might need to take advantage of this repeat opportunity, do not put off taking these courses. In other words, especially when you are not confident about your writing skills, take these courses as early and as soon after each other as possible. As any smart coach knows, steady and focused practice works. 

Q. How do I get help with writing outside of class?

A. Three great resources are available:  

  • Take advantage of one-on-one discussions with your professor about your writing. Your professors hold office hours that they set aside to work with their students.
  • Check out free peer tutoring available in the Writing Center.  
  • Visit the Center for Learning Strategies in Starr Science, which provides yet another approach to individualized instruction.

Q. Are all the sections of a rhetoric course the same?

A. Yes and no. Every rhetoric course has a core syllabus that explains the shared descriptions, policies, goals, requirements, or assignments that students taking any section of that course may expect. Uniformity is greater in RHET 101 and 102 than in RHET 351 courses. For example, RHET 101 and 102 use the same readings and the same core assignments.

While all the RHET 351 courses share core goals, types of assignment, and policy, they deliver this core through different content. The RHET 351 courses provide an interesting menu from which students may choose the topic in rhetoric that they will be investigating over the course of the term. The best way to learn about the focus of recent, current, and future RHET 351 course sections is to search the Self Service “Find Courses” screen for “RHET 351.”

Q. How do I take a rhetoric course that includes community-based learning (CBL)?

A. Refer to the individual section descriptions of RHET 351 in Self Service to determine if it contains a CBL component. 

Q. Which 300-level course fulfills the all-university, general education rhetoric requirement? 

A. All RHET 351 courses fulfill the 300-level, all-university, general education requirement. 

Additionally, beginning in Fall 2022, some Rockford University departments will begin offering Writing-Intensive (WI) courses that are accepted as upper-level writing courses for graduation; students who take these WI courses will not be required to take RHET 351 as well. Check with your department chair to see if your department offers a course that has been formally approved as a WI course.

Q. When are RHET courses offered?

A. RHET 101 and 102 are offered during fall and spring semesters, though there are generally more RHET 101 sections offered in the fall and more RHET 102 sections offered in the spring. RHET 351 is offered equally in fall and spring semesters. RHET 102 and RHET 351 are occasionally offered in the summer, when staffing allows.

Q. What if I want to take a rhetoric class that is closed?

A. The course instructor cannot add you to the waitlist or to the roster of a class; you need to add your name to the waitlist through Self-Service. Once you are waitlisted, plan to attend class as if you were enrolled; otherwise you risk being dropped for non-attendance. When spots open in a section, students are enrolled in accordance with their position on the waitlist (first on the waitlist, first off the waitlist). The English Department discourages over-enrollment in rhetoric classes.

Q. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the content, grading, or teaching in a RHET course?

A. We hope that speaking to the course instructor will address your concerns, but when it does not, you are strongly encouraged to speak to the English Department Chair (listed on the English Department homepage) or to the Arts and Humanities College Dean (listed on the College of Arts and Humanities homepage)

Q. What if I have more questions about the rhetoric sequence?

A. Please contact any full-time faculty member of the English department with your questions and suggestions.

Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

Kyle Stedman, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of English