Empowered Minds Learning Together

Rockford University offers several approved programs of study that meet the professional requirements for teachers in Illinois. We pride ourselves in creating the next generation of educators. Countless graduates have gone on to be Golden Apple Award winners, including an Illinois Teacher of the Year!

Initial Licensure Programs

Early Childhood

Serve children and families in early childhood programs. Prepare to teach in a Birth through Grade 2 classroom and enable children to be successful students. As an Early Childhood teacher, you will serve a critical role in the development of young students.

Coursework includes: Guiding Young Child Social Development & Behavior; Science, Tech, Engineering, Math in EC; Foundations of Language & Literature for Diverse Learners; and Curriculum & Instruction Plan Pre K & Early ELEM.


Be a building block for fundamental skills, such as reading, writing, math, and critical-thinking. Prepare to teach problem-solving from Grade 1 through Grade 6. As an Elementary teacher, you will help young students develop social skills and positive learning habits.

Coursework includes: Literacy Methods & Beginning Reading Instruction; Methods for Students with Disabilities in Elementary; Measurement & Assessment of Learning; PE & Health, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Math & Sciences Methods.


Foster students’ abilities to learn independently. Prepare to teach a specific subject to Kindergarten through Grade 12. As an K-12 teacher, you have the choice to teach either French, PE, Spanish, or Visual Arts.

Coursework includes: Measurement & Assessment; Integrated Technology in the Classroom; and Effective Classroom Management.

Middles Grades

Impact who students become later in life, and cultivate positive experiences in school. Prepare to teach a specific subject to Grade 5 through Grade 8. As a Middle Grades teacher, you have the choice to teach either Math, Literacy, Science, or Social Science.

Coursework includes: Literacy Methods for Middle School; Adolescent & Child Literature; and Accessing Content Area: Students with Disabilities.


Help students dive deeper into specific subject areas. Prepare to teach Grade 9 through Grade 12. As a High School teacher, you have the choice to teach either Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Math, or Theatre Arts.

Coursework includes: Accessing Content Area: Students with Disabilities; Content Area Methods; and Effective Classroom Management.

Special Education

Be a student advocate and create the best educational plan for students. Prepare to teach in a Preschool through Age 21 classrooms. As Special Education teacher, you will serve a critical role in identifying and solving academic, functional, and behavioral problems.

Coursework includes: Positive Behavior Supports: Chronic Behavior; Adapting Instruction for Diverse Learners; and Communication & Language Disorders.

Master’s Degrees for Teachers

Master of Education

Add a subsequent endorsement in Bilingual, ESL, LBS1, or Reading Teacher to your current teaching license, while increasing your pay through earning a master’s degree. Earn your endorsement in Year 1 and finish your M.Ed. in Year 2.

Year 1:

  • Semester One: 2 courses (based on endorsement of choice)​
  • Semester Two: 2 courses
  • Semester Three: 2 courses

Year 2:

  • Semester Four: EDUC 605 Philosophical Foundations, EDUC 541 Data Analytics, Assessment, & Measurement
  • Semester Five: EDUC 620 Psychological Foundations, EDUC 615 Introduction to Research
  • Semester Six: EDUC 649 Action Research, Elective of your choice
MAT Reading Specialist

Help students advance their reading skills and lay the foundation for success in high school, college, and adult life. As Reading Specialist, you will coach teachers and aides to help improve reading instruction throughout the school.

Coursework includes: Leadership Roles Reading Specialist; Multicultural Children’s Literature; Reading Diagnosis; and Reading Curriculum Design & Implementation.

Length of the Programs

  • 2-3 years dependent on program requirements.
  • Pace you take courses. You decide how many classes you take each semester.
  • Students have up to five years to complete all degree requirements.

Department Information

Adult and Graduate Admission

Nelson Hall - first floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
After hour appointments available by request

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