Continue Your Story

04/13/2017 11:25 am

Continue Your Story

Your Rock Solid Future Awaits.

I’m ready now:
First-Year Application
Transfer Application

Take advantage of the opportunity to pursue more than 80 majors, minors, and programs, and experience all that a small, close-knit community of communities can offer including: practical experiences, global perspectives, and one-on-one research with faculty members.

Transferring Credit to RU

One you apply to Rockford University, send your official transcripts, and receive your admission decision, you will receive a form that details which of your credits transfer in to the university. Students may transfer credit from colleges accredited by regional accrediting associations as recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

If you have completed your associate of arts, associate of science, or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college in the United States prior to becoming a student at Rockford University, you will have met all of your lower-division general education requirements for graduation from Rockford University, and will enter at junior status.

The full transfer credit policy can be found in the Rockford University Academic Catalog.

Learn more about transferring to RU.

Rock Solid Affordability

Over 99% of full-time students receive financial aid, and every full-time student receives a scholarship. We also offer competitive scholarships that range up to 100% of tuition, and several grant and loan programs. Read on for full details.

Visit Campus

You have to see Rockford University for yourself — sign up for a campus visit. Meet with your personal admission counselor, chat with financial aid, have lunch, meet with a coach, meet with a faculty member or sit in on a class–we’ll create a day just for you.


Office of Admission
Nelson Hall--2nd floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Fax 815-226-2822
Office of Admission

Mon-Thurs - 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sat - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm -- Please call to reserve an appointment on Saturdays.

Chat with an Admission Counselor

I transferred to Rockford University because I didn’t want to be a number or a person filling a seat in a packed auditorium. I can ask professors questions and speak with them face-to-face; I can get involved. Plus, the admission process was seamless!

Tim Woods

Veteran and RU Transfer Student

Loan Processes

02/20/2017 11:07 am

Loan Processes

Rockford University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program for all Stafford loans.  

New Students:  
The Office of Student Administrative Services (SAS) will originate your Stafford Loan once you are registered for classes and have completed the following: Master Promissory Note (MPN), entrance counseling, award letter, 2016-2017 Federal Direct Loan Request Form or 2017-2018 Federal Direct Loan Request Form, and Standards of Academic Progress Policy‌.  The MPN will be used for all subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.  Subsequent Stafford loans accepted by you will be automatically processed under the same MPN in future academic years.  

Please note, federal regulations require that all new borrowers have a 30-day hold (after first day of classes) placed on the disbursement of loan funds.

Current Student borrowers:
The Office of Student Administrative Services (SAS) will originate your Stafford Loan once you are registered for classes and have completed a signed award letter and direct loan request form.  You will not need to complete a new MPN, entrance counseling, or SAP as long as you have an active one on file with Rockford University. 

Upon completion of all required documents, loan funds will be disbursed through an electronic funds transfer (EFT) to your student account.  Loans cannot be processed after a student becomes ineligible or after the term has ended.

Parents: Rockford University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.  If you wish to borrow on behalf of your son or daughter in the federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) program please complete the following the steps.

Current/New Parent Borrowers:  All NEW and PREVIOUS parent borrowers will need to complete a PLUS loan application after June 1st. The application process determines credit eligibility. You will be required to use your FSAID to log-in and complete the federal PLUS application.  If approved for the loan, SAS is not able to originate a Parent PLUS loan until a completed PLUS MPN is on file and the student has completed the financial aid process. If a completed Parent PLUS loan MPN is on file, a new one may not be needed. 

Utilizing An Endorser:  An endorser is someone who will pass the credit check and who agrees, similar to a co-signer, to repay the PLUS Loan if the borrower is unable to do so. Almost anyone can serve as an endorser. However, the student cannot serve as an endorser for their parent.

If you choose to obtain an endorser, the endorser should complete the endorser addendum at The endorser will need the PLUS Endorser Code (if a Direct PLUS Loan Request was completed) or Loan Identification Number to connect the endorsement to the denied PLUS Loan. Completing the endorsement online also requires a Federal Student Aid ID (username and password).

Master promissory notes (MPNs) are used for PLUS Loans and allow for multiple year borrowing under the same terms. However, when an endorser is used, the terms of the MPN used for that loan is specific only to that loan. Therefore, a borrower who has previously received a PLUS Loan without an endorser will need to complete a unique MPN for the endorsed loan. Also, any additional PLUS borrowing will require a new MPN and endorser addendum (though the same endorser can be used).

Finally, when the borrower is initially denied and approved through use of an endorser or appeal, the borrower will need to complete the Parent PLUS counseling requirement before the PLUS Loan can be disbursed. This counseling is a review of loan and repayment obligations available at

In cases of a parent credit denial or when an eligible endorser is not available the student will be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan. Rockford University will be notified and a new award letter with required documentation will be mailed to the student.

Visit Day

01/17/2017 10:09 am

Future Regent Days

Not only can you and your family see the campus, but you will also have access to your Admission Counselor who can help you through every step of the Admission process – from answering any questions you may have to helping you apply that very same day. In addition, your application fee will be waived when you fill out an application during Future Regent Day.

Upcoming Future Regent Days

Each year, the Office of Admission hosts several Future Regent Day events from September through February. In addition, personal visits can be scheduled throughout the year, and we invite you to contact the Office of Admission to schedule your customized visit to campus as soon as possible.

Register for an upcoming Future Regent Day >>

Future Regent Day Schedule

Once you’ve confirmed your Future Regent Day spot, here’s how you will spend your time with us:

Check in. Registration will be held in the Burpee Student Center. Park in Lot A and follow the sidewalk to the Student Center. Staff members from Admissions will be there to welcome you and get you checked in for the day’s events.

Academic Fair. Trying to decide what major you are interested in? Talk with the faculty one-on-one and they will share the ‘ins and outs’ of their academic specialty. Take this chance to get to know our faculty members and see how dedicated they are to creating the optimal experience for your college education.

Financial Aid. Meet our courteous and knowledgeable Student Administrative Services staff at the Academic Fair.  Receive first-hand knowledge about the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and Rockford University’s scholarships.

Meet Admission Staff and Students. You have questions and we have answers. Chat with an admission counselor and current students to find out everything you wanted to know about Rockford University.

Campus Tours.  Receive an in-depth look at the beautiful campus that encompasses the Rockford University Community. See why our 150-acre campus is one of the hidden jewels of Northern Illinois.  One of our Regent Guides will give you a taste of the Rockford University Experience from a student’s perspective while you get to know the places that will be a part of your college life.Lunch. Lunch is on us! Enjoy a delicious meal in the cafeteria from our on-campus dining service.

Additional Information

Directions. Rockford, Illinois, is located approximately 90 miles from Madison, Milwaukee and downtown Chicago. Directions to Rockford and Rockford University.

Parking and campus. You’ll find that Rockford has ample parking. We think it’s best to park in Lot A – the large parking lot to the east of the main university road after you enter the campus from Business 20/East State Street. View our Parking Map.

Not only is there easy accessibility to numerous shops, restaurants, malls and local events in Rockford, but you can enjoy them and return to the secluded ‘park-like’ setting that is Rockford University. View our Campus Map.

Overnight accomodations. We invite prospective students to stay overnight in a residence hall. You’ll meet other students and get a feel for what life at Rockford is really like. To make arrangements, contact the Office of Admission. Or we invite you to stay at one of the area hotels.


Office of Admission
Nelson Hall--2nd floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Fax 815-226-2822
Office of Admission

Mon-Thurs - 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sat - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm -- Please call to reserve an appointment on Saturdays.

Chat with an Admission Counselor

Guidance Counselor

12/09/2016 4:01 pm


Guidance Counselors and Admission Staff alike strive to provide the support necessary to ease the transition from high school to a university. Providing information on the vast amount of opportunities is part of the process.

Below is a helpful resource about Rockford University to assist you as you serve and change the lives of students.

Fast Facts

  • Enrollment: 900 undergraduates (1280 total students)
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Admission requirements:
    • First-year students: 2.65 GPA, 19 ACT or equivalent SAT, top ½ graduating class
    • Transfer students (12 credits or more of 100-level college courses): 2.3 GPA
    • If academic records fall below standard, a student may be allowed to petition for admission.
  • Majors and minors: Learn more about our over 80 majors, minors and programs! Popular programs include: Education, Nursing, Pre-Med, Business, Psychology and Performing Arts.
  • Tuition and fees: $36,270 for tuition room and board. More info >>
  • Academic Calendar
  • Athletic Division: NCAA Division III; Northern Athletics Conference. More info >>
  • Distinctions: Rockford University is a Princeton Review “Best in the Midwest” university, a “College with a Conscience,” and a Phi Beta Kappa institution. More info >>

Campus Visits

We openly invite and encourage students and families to schedule a visit to learn more about Rockford University. We also offer appointments with an admission counselor and tours Monday-Saturday – give us a call at 815.226.4050 to schedule a visit!

High School Visits

We would love to have a group from your school visit us and experience Rockford University. In addition, Rockford University is pleased to visit your high school and provide financial aid presentations or classroom visits (either an admission counselor or Rockford University faculty member). Please contact Faith DeVries at if you would like to set up a group visit to campus or a program at your school.

Refer a student

Simply e-mail and provide a prospective student’s full name, address, phone number and/or e-mail address, and we will send information directly to him/her.

Admission Steps

Start the process with these first steps:

  • Complete an application – students can apply online for FREE
  • Submit official transcripts; transfer students should submit official transcripts from each institution attended
  • Submit ACT or SAT scores (first-year students)–ACT Code: 1122; SAT Code: 1665
  • Learn more >>


We award financial aid to 99% of our full-time students. Every year, Rockford University students receive more than $8 million in scholarships, grants, and other financial aid. We believe an education should be affordable. Through our scholarships, grants, and other financial aid, we work individually with prospective students and their families to determine the most beneficial financial aid package for them.

Clubs and Organizations

Rockford University offers a variety clubs and organizations to fit just about any interest. Students can also start their own clubs. Movies, concerts, athletics, intramurals and more are offered year-round, along with traditional events such as Homecoming and Family Weekend. The Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement provides outlets for service-oriented experiences, and students can become service fellows and earn scholarships while making a difference.


Rockford University is an NCAA Division III competitor and participates in the NACC conference.

  • Men’s sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Track and Field, Football, Golf, Soccer
  • Women’s sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball


Office of Admission
Nelson Hall--2nd floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Fax 815-226-2822
Office of Admission

Mon-Thurs - 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sat - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm -- Please call to reserve an appointment on Saturdays.

Chat with an Admission Counselor


The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that institutions participating in the federal student loan programs develop, publish and enforce a code of conduct with respect to student loans.

Rockford University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Stafford Loan Program.  Loans offered through this program are the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for students, the PLUS Loan for parents of dependent students and the Grad PLUS Loan for graduate students.  Rockford University is committed to the highest standard of ethics and conduct and has adopted the following Code of Conduct by which all loan programs directly administered by the Office of Student Administrative Services (SAS) must adhere.


Revenue Sharing

Rockford University prohibits all SAS employees from any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender, guarantor or servicer.  Rockford University prohibits all SAS employees from promoting or recommending any product from said lender, guarantor or servicer.



Rockford University prohibits any SAS employee from accepting or soliciting any gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer. The term “gift” is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other items valued at more than a de minimus  amount.  This also includes any services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance or by reimbursement.


Contracting Arrangements

Rockford University prohibits any SAS employee from accepting compensation for serving on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor or servicer.


Preferred Lender Lists

Rockford University allows students the freedom to choose any private loan lender and does not assign a specific lender nor will we prohibit or delay a certification based on the student’s choice.


Offers of Funds for Private Loans

Rockford University prohibits acceptance of offers of funds for private loans including funds for opportunity pool loans from any lender, guarantor or servicer in return for special concessions toward a lender, guarantor or servicer.


Advisory Board Compensation

Rockford University prohibits any SAS employee from accepting any form of compensation from a lender, guarantor or servicer for serving on an advisory board, commission or other group established by such lender, guarantor or servicer or a group of lenders /guarantors.


Staffing Assistance

Rockford University and the Office of Student Administrative Services will not accept any offer from a lender, guarantor or servicer for staffing assistance within said office.


This Code of Conduct will be the policy by which the Office of Student Administrative Services will conduct their student loan programs.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require Rockford University to establish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in the following three areas:  completion rate, cumulative GPA, and maximum time frame.  The Rockford University Office of Student Administrative Services (SAS) is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid (including any tuition remission, tuition exchange or graduate assistantships) are meeting these standards.  The standards of satisfactory academic progress apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Federal Direct Loans (Stafford and PLUS), assistance from the State of Illinois and Rockford University.


Rockford University (RU) has established the following criteria in compliance with federal regulations published on October 6, 1993, Federal Register Part 668.16 and in Higher Education Amendments of 1986.


1.  Completion Rate

Each semester, a student’s progress will be measured by comparing the number of attempted credit hours with the credit hours earned.  This includes any course for which the student has remained enrolled past the Drop/Add period.  Audited courses are not considered credits attempted.  A student must complete 70% of credits attempted to maintain satisfactory academic progress.


To complete a bachelor’s degree at Rockford University, a student must complete a minimum of 124 semester hours.  This can be achieved by averaging 31 semester hours per year.  A minimum of 36 semester hours is required to complete a master’s degree.  This can be achieved by averaging 18 semester hours per year.


2.  Cumulative GPA

Financial aid recipients are governed by the academic performance standards of Rockford University.  In order to retain financial aid eligibility the student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of:


  • 1.8 for 0-29 hours completed
  • 1.9 for 30-59 hours completed
  • 2.0 for 60+ hours completed
  • 3.0 for graduate programs


When you repeat a course, the most recent grade earned will count towards the calculation of your cumulative GPA.



3.  Maximum Time Frame

You will not be eligible to receive financial aid once you have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits    required for your degree or certification program.  At Rockford University, this means that students in programs requiring 124 hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid during the first 186 attempted hours as an undergraduate.  All Attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed.  The maximum time frame also applies to students who change their majors and/or seek to earn additional degrees.


4.  Semester SAP Reviews

Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.  Those students not meeting the requirements stated above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning during the next semester of enrollment and will receive a letter of warning.



The student may continue to receive financial assistance during the warning period which consists of one semester.  At the end of the warning period the student will either:


  1. Be removed from warning status because both cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate are met; OR
  2. Have assistance SUSPENDED from federal, state and institutional sources and will receive a Financial Aid Suspension letter.



If you do not meet either item one or two above you are no longer eligible for financial aid until you have taken classes, using your own funding, and have raised your cumulative GPA and completion rate to meet the above standards.


5.  Appeal Procedure

To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must, within 15 calendar days of notification, submit to Student Administrative Services a signed and dated letter of appeal explaining why he/she should not have his/her aid suspended.


A student may appeal for emergency condition (i.e. health, family, catastrophe, etc.).  Documentation verifying the situation may be requested.


The Financial Aid Committee will consider the appeal and render a decision, which the Financial Aid Specialist will convey in writing to the student.  If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on financial aid probation and will regain financial aid eligibility for one semester.  The decision of the committee is final.


6.  Reinstatement

You can raise your Rockford University GPA and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional course work at Rockford University without receiving financial aid.  You can eliminate credit deficiencies, but not GPA deficiencies, by successfully completing course work at another institution without receiving aid at that institution; course work must be transferable to Rockford University.  Transfer credits used to satisfy credit deficiencies cannot be credits that were earned prior to the term in which you incurred the deficiencies.  You can also submit a copy of your Rockford University transcript and an appeal form to verify grade changes, including the removal of incompletes, if this will result in the removal of your deficiencies.



7.  Additional Information

All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, remedial coursework, withdrawals, repetitions and incomplete grades (whether or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed).  ESL classes do not count towards SAP as they have no credit hours attached to them.  SAP will be recalculated once incomplete grades are converted into actual grades or withdrawals.


Student Administrative Services (SAS)
Nelson Hall--1st floor
5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
Fax: 815-394-5174

Mon-Thurs - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Chat with an Admission Counselor

Parent Resources

10/27/2016 1:18 pm

New Student Registration

10/27/2016 1:14 pm


Register for Orientation NowRockford University is excited to welcome you to our campus community. We believe orientation programs are the foundation for your success both in and out of the classroom and recognize your unique needs as a transfer student. Transfer Orientation is required and designed for you:

  • Become familiar with RU Technology prior to the first day of class.
  • Connect with other new students
  • Understand academic expectations
  • Meet Faculty, Staff and members of Administration

New Student Orientation Schedule 2017


Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement
Burpee Center, Student Life Suite
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

First-Year Orientation

10/27/2016 1:10 pm

First-Year Orientation

‌First Year Student Orientation Handbook (6,495 kB)

‌Mark Your Calendar!

Orientation is August 20 – August 23, 2016

We believe that orientation programs are the foundation for your success and, therefore, require all new first-year and transfer students with less than 20 credit hours to attend all orientation events. If an emergency or situation arises and you are unable to attend, you must contact your admissions counselor or the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (815-394-5143) immediately.

Throughout Orientation you will:

♦ Learn about academic expectations, including the knowledge, values and skills that contribute to your success at Rockford University
♦ Develop new friendships
♦ Participate in a variety of events
♦ Connect with your Orientation Leaders
♦ Get to know your First-Year Advisor
♦ Learn your way around campus
♦ Have Fun!
First Year Student Orientation Schedule

Session Descriptions

10/27/2016 12:46 pm


The Executive Development Program begins with a broad base of leadership training in communication, coaching, managing, messaging and teaming and moves to more specific disciplines for the remaining seminars. Participants can choose to take several of the seminars or all of them. For those who are pursuing the Leadership Charter, a total of 16 out of 20 must be taken in order to receive the designation.

While each seminar builds on the preceding seminars, there are no prerequisites to these subjects.

Seminar #1 

Leadership, Beyond Management – Participants will be introduced to leadership, both as a concept and as a series of actions and behaviors that one carries out. Discussions will include the differences between management and leadership, how to develop leaders, lessons to be learned from leaders and the relationship between leading and following. Leadership styles and situational leadership will also be addresses in this interactive session that will help the participants understand their strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

Recommended Books/Articles:
The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner

Seminar #2 

Communication for Leaders – This overview in communication styles handles all types of communications: interpersonal, written, oral and non-verbal as well as how to articulate messages professionally using positive message framing, questioning and listening techniques. This seminar is the foundational course for all communication related seminars to follow in the leadership program and an important primer for anyone in a leadership position. Skills and tactics learned in this seminar can help make a good leader clear and effective in critical communication techniques. How do good leaders ‘frame’ messages so as to be clear and effective? What questions does a leader make sure to answer in order to effectively translate to the audience both direction and the need for action? How do you deliver a difficult message? How do you gain organizational understanding? And finally, how, as a leader, do you move from understanding to action?

Recommended Books/Articles:
Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders by John Baldoni
Lead With Purpose by John Baldoni

Seminar #3 

Time Management and Decision Making – Participants will be introduced to the concepts of time management including prioritization, allowance for external factors beyond our control and the specific deliberate planning that is part of visioning and making specific goals a reality. Classroom discussions will engage the decision making skills of participants with their colleagues and assess their own time management style and the positive and/or negative effects it can have on leading their teams.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Decision Making – 5 Steps to Better Results by Harvard Business Essentials
8 Minutes – Find Your Focus, Master Distractions and Get the Right Things Done by Bregman

Seminar #4 

Team Building and Team Dynamics – Team environments and team development are often the cause of success or failure of a team. Stages of team development are explored and participants are asked to think of where their teams are in terms of growth and effectiveness. Also inherent in teams are the changing roles and responsibilities of each team member. This seminar deals with how to make smooth and effective transitions when those changes occur so that productivity is not lost. Emphasizing the benefits of teaming as well as avoiding the pitfalls of teaming are discussed to help leaders maximize their performance. Participants will talk about the critical elements of accountability, trust, followership, reward and recognition as they relate to effective teams.

Recommended Books/Articles:
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Creating Teams with an Edge The Complete Skill Set to Build Powerful and Influential Teams by Harvard Business School Publishing

Seminar #5

Motivating, Engaging and Retaining Employees – Using both classic motivational theory and real world examples, this seminar deals with motivating and engaging employees so the organization has the best talent at its fingertips is one of the most challenging and critical jobs of a leader. Establishing a receptive environment, leaders must be in regular communication with their employees. Leaders must also assess performance and work with the employee to affirm solid career expectations. Most importantly, leaders must communicate that employees are valued and appreciated so as to prevent their most talented people from becoming flight risks.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Results-Based Leadership by Dave Ulrich; Jack Zenger; and Norm Smallwood
Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Seminar #6

Conflict Management and Resolution – In any work situation, there will be conflict. This seminar discusses how to manage and resolve conflict in a way that continues to encourage future discussion and exchange of ideas while leaving co-workers able to communicate productively. Concepts of active listening, clear explanations, asking and answering questions, working across generational and cultural differences, having difficult discussions while maintaining a professional demeanor are all key skills taught through discussion, role playing and exercises. This seminar is an especially good for teams for whom conflict has become a barrier to productivity and achievement of goals.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Leading Through Conflict – How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities by Gerzon

Seminar #7

Coaching Individuals and Teams – A critical part of getting the best performance from an individual or a team is to understand how to coach. Many leaders have strong management skills, but maximum performance comes through engaging the individual or team to look for and develop their own specific talents that move them forward. Class discussions center around the key differences between managing and coaching as well as applying practical examples of coaching from personal lives; the lessons from which can be directly applied in the professional arena. This is an excellent seminar for those who are both first time leaders and managers and those who have challenges getting their team to perform at a high level.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Coaching for Performance by Whitmore

Seminar #8

Assessment and Feedback – How does a leader assess the actions, behaviors and results of his team and how can feedback be given so it is constructive and results in changes and improved outcomes? This seminar deals with holding individuals and teams accountable to each other and to the organization in a way that keeps people motivated and interested in continuous improvement.

Recommended Books/Articles:
The Execution Premium by Kaplan and Norton

Seminar #9

Change Management Change is constant and strong leaders need to be able to prepare their teams to continue to perform despite changes in leadership, corporate policy, market pressures, team members, economics and positions. This seminar uses communication tools learned in the Communication for Leaders and Organizational Communications seminars to promote healthy transitions to new ways of doing business. Class discussions will focus on the resistance to change, why it is natural and how it can be overcome.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Leading Change by John Kotter

Seminar #10

Leadership, Strategy and Strategic Planning – Strategic leadership is challenging. In order to be truly strategic, you have to think outside the tasks that present themselves as urgent everyday and focus on the long-term planning that will position an organization to properly succeed. In addition to taking a longer term view, much strategic planning is centered around biases, pre-conceived notions, group-think and ‘we’ve always done it that way’ types of thinking. It is very difficult to get an entrenched group of upper-level managers to roll back their thought processes and focus on what really is important to the future of the business. This seminar will challenge leaders to really look at their organizations and ask the right questions in order that they can lead to a place of growth, success and stability.

Recommended Books/Articles:
The Four Disciplines of Execution by McChesney and Covey
Essentials of Strategic Management by Hunger and Wheelen

Seminar #11

Marketing and Managing Messages Reaching your audiences and earning trust is an important part of keeping and growing your customer base. This seminar deals with the kinds of questions you must ask yourself to understand the framing of your external message. Audience analysis, message framing, message distribution; all of these are elements of effective communications with your publics. This seminar deals with framing your message and using the optimal mix of communication channels to bring that message to your audience. Topics include: public relations, social media, advertising, printed material, direct mail, websites and word of mouth as well as how to optimize the useage of all the media together for maximum effect.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Light Their Fire by Drake et al

Seminar #12

Total Customer Service – Is it just a department that is responsible for customer service or is it the responsibility of everyone in the organization to ensure excellent customer service? The seminar deals with how good leadership has a strong role to play in a solid customer service mentality that runs throughout the organization. Other topics include the definition of a customer (anyone that needs something – whether internal or external to the organization – that you can provide) and a discussion on the limits of a customer’s power. What is a customer-centered organization and how can a leader instill that kind of customer-first attitude that gives some organizations a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace?

Recommended Books/Articles:
How Great Leaders Get Great Results by John Baldoni

Seminar #13

Cultural Adaptation – We tend to think of cultural adaptation in a narrower context of communication across national boundaries. But the kind of cultural adaptation that leaders need in today’s more complex world goes beyond physical borders. Issues such as cultural adaptation across language, generations, professional disciplines, knowledge bases, regions, plant locations and even departments can threaten the health of a team and increase leadership challenges. This seminar deals with identifying all the ways that culture changes and how to adapt, learn and lead with a complex variety of variables.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Intercultural Business Communication by Chaney and Martin

Seminar #14

Gender Relations in Organizations – Gender relations in the workplace are as old as the human race. We tend to take them at face value without understanding different perspectives and why they may exist. This seminar examines socio-cultural norms and compares those to how we guide our behavior both around the same and different genders. In order for leaders to be effective, they must understand how to work with these differences to communicate in a positive and meaningful way. Also incumbent on a leader is the responsibility of ensuring the team feels communicated and included. Differences between men and women are discussed in the following areas: communication, power structure, negotiation and leadership styles.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Different But Equal by Kay E. Payne
Leadership and the Sexes by Gurian and Annis

Seminar #15

Ethics – This model offers an exploration of ethics on a variety of different levels. It defines business ethics and discusses how that differs from personal and societal ethics. How do you ensure that you think ethically and how do you encourage ethical behavior from the people within your organization? In defining ethics, discussions focus on the five ways to think ethically 1) the greatest good, 2) rights and duties, 3) fairness, 4) virtue and 5) the common good. How do organizations manage ethics to ensure that everyone is following the corporate standard? And finally, what is a leader responsible for in the guiding of the organization? How far can a leader go to impose a value system and where are the boundaries?

Recommended Books/Articles:
Just Business by Sternberg

Seminar #16

Financial Management Anyone who is not an accountant, financial planner or bookkeeper is intimidated by business finances declaring that they ‘don’t DO balance sheets’. This seminar works with participants to deconstruct the tools of the financial world so that leaders can make sense of the reports and numbers coming out of accounting. Reading a balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows are all part of this refresher course in understanding the importance and the messages behind your business’s numbers. This seminar is an excellent way to help foster confidence and clarity for non-financial students.

Recommended Books/Articles:
How to Read a Financial Report by John Tracy

Seminar #17

Project Management Ensuring a project is completed on time, on budget and managed to a quality standard is a critical skill needed in leadership. Marshalling all of the talent necessary to achieve a single goal requires a variety of different skills and abilities. This seminar helps leaders to understand the risks and rewards of project management. It will also address how to manage scope creep, how to keep projects on time and how to balance the resources involved in the completion of the project.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Extreme Project Management by Doug deCarlo

Seminar #18

Human Resource Management Leaders need to understand the value of effective recruiting, developing and retaining crucial talent. This seminar will challenge leaders to consider strategies to develop and maintain enough people with crucial skills, now and in the future. The seminar will help talent-focused leaders understand basic HR principles and practices and provide insights into how to get more from HR.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Retooling HR by John Boudreau

Seminar #19

Negotiating – Many situations leaders face call for effective negotiations. This model will help the leader learn strategies for negotiating effectively. The leader will also be give specific tactics to use to outline an agreement or counter an attack. How to prepare for negotiations, how to negotiate to claim and create value and how to reduce biases and make proposals more appealing will be addressed.

Recommended Books/Articles:
Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury
Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman

Seminar #20

Forecasting – The seminar will help leaders understand the value and limitations of forecasting. It will look at why highly significant yet unpredictable events need to be understood and how leaders can see misleading patterns in data. Various forecasting techniques will be introduced along with important forecasting concepts such as correlation and causation.

Recommended Books/Articles:
The Future of Everything – The Science of Prediction by David Orrell
The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Office of Graduate Studies
PURI School of Business--Lower Level
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax: 815-394-3706
Michele Mehren, Assistant Director

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

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