Education Pathway RPS students 2018The Rockford Public School District 205 School Board recognized 20 seniors at last night’s board meeting who have committed to participation in the Education Pathway program at Rockford University. The students come from high schools East, Jefferson, Auburn and Guilford.

First introduced in the spring of 2016, Education Pathway students could first began enrolling in the program in the fall of 2017. The Education Pathway program’s goal is to attract RPS 205 students to the teaching profession specifically to stay and work in RPS 205. The program begins in the middle school with seventh and eighth graders discussing a teaching career. It continues in high school with an education pathway, then transitions into a college degree program through Rockford University at a significantly reduced cost. If hired in RPS 205, program graduates can also receive a master’s degree in urban education cost-free from Education Pathway RPS Students 2018_2Rockford University. 

Rockford University congratulates the incoming Education Pathway students and commends them on their decision to pursue a career in education. 

Read more in Rockford Register Star’s article – Rockford Public Schools celebrates first full class of future teachers




Get To Know Me

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Department Information

Communications Office
Rockford University
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Rita Elliott, Director of Communications

Share your stories

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Rock Solid Student Achievements

merit-logo-200px_0RU students are actively engaged and involved in a variety of high achieving scholastic, co-curricular and athletic activities. RU proudly shares their good news on our Rockford University Merit page. Merit is a media platform that helps RU publish online news about student accomplishments through students’ hometown newspapers and via social media. News can also be shared with students’ high schools and elected officials.

Just some of the Rock Solid achievements shared include academic honors, NCAA student-athlete recognitions, athletic conference recognitions, Rock Solid Regents, honor society inductions, performing arts cast lists, and scholarship awards.


These achievements will appear on personalized Merit page that students are encouraged to claim and share! Pages can be customized by adding pictures and listing academic and extracurricular activities, including any experience gained at work or from being involved in the community. Students can also add any associations, memberships or additional honors earned outside of RU.

Having a collection of college achievements in one place is a benefit to students as they progress through their academic career. It serves as a great repository of valuable information that can be shared with potential employers and businesses, and by graduate school admissions representatives.

How does Merit work?

Faculty or staff members notify the University Communications office of an exceptional achievement or news (and if applicable, a list of those who have earned the accomplishment). The office will then write a brief article and awards a “badge,” which is published on the Merit profile. In some cases, the information is sent to one’s hometown newspaper as a news release. Learn more by watching this video.


Your Merit page helps people who make decisions about internships, grad school and jobs find the “good stuff” about you and get a better picture of what you’ve done and what you’ve been recognized for. Because your Merit page is updated by Wisconsin Lutheran College, it’s got credibility that a resume alone can’t match. And better yet, it’s updated for you! It’s like a resume or a LinkedIn profile that builds itself and that you don’t have to remember to update. The Office of Marketing and Communication writes and publishes the stories; you just have to share them!

For Parents

Merit makes it easy for parents to share your accomplishments. With a simple “like” or “share” your parents can spread the word to coworkers, grandparents, neighbors, and friends.

For Prospective Employers

Merit can help you succeed in the next stage of your life journey. Since Merit profiles are public and can be linked to your LinkedIn profile, it can help you stand out!

Claim your Merit page

Students can claim their page using email, Facebook or Twitter. When a student clicks on the link to view their Merit page from an email notification or recently granted achievement, they will enter a claim workflow.

Email Claim

If a student opts to claim their Merit page by connecting through email, they will be asked to create a password, at least six characters in length, then click “Sign In” to connect to their Merit page.

Facebook Claim

If a student opts to claim their Merit page by connecting through Facebook, the student will need to click “Okay” when asks to access their public profile. A second popup will appear asking if the student would like to post to friends on their behalf. Students can click “Okay” or “Skip.”

Twitter Claim

If a student opts to claim their Merit page by connecting through Twitter, the student will be asked to sign in to their Twitter account and connect Once a student clicks “Sign In,” their Merit page will be connected and they will be redirected to a page where they can customize their Merit page.

Opt Out

We believe that Merit is a beneficial tool for our students, but we also value your privacy. If for any reason you wish to opt-out of Merit, you can click the “opt-out” link on your claimed Merit page. Once a student opts out of Merit they will never receive another achievement notification.

Contribute a Story

Our Merit Contribution Form allows faculty and staff an opportunity to share student accomplishments on our Merit page. As a contributor, your goal is to share stories about the students and programs that you’re involved with at RU. These stories are vital to painting a picture of each student’s college career.


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Policies & Practices

Brand Standards Guide – This brand standards guide was developed by the Marketing department as a helpful tool and resource for our campus community. The purpose of this guide is to establish and convey guidelines for how RU positions and expresses itself as an institution.  

Media Policy Please reference this policy for information on news media access and the use of photo/video equipment on campus.

Media Requests Policy – All engagements with media representatives on behalf of RU are to be coordinated by the Communications Office in order to promote and protect the public image of the University, build openness and accountability, and respect the media’s legitimate and useful role. This policy provides guidance on official media spokesperson roles within the University and on working with various outlets.

Social Media Policy – To assist in best practices, this policy outlines steps to enhance, clarify, and protect any reputations involved when participating in social media platforms on behalf of the University. 

We can help you get the word out!

Communications exists to elevate the contributions of our campus community to both internal and external audiences, including students, faculty and staff, trustees, donors, the media and the general public. Do you have a story that needs to be told? Let us help you share it!

Post Your …


Get the word out to the campus community by posting your news items to the Portal’s announcements section. It’s the best way to spread internal RU news!


Have an event, deadline or other important information the campus community should know about? Ask us to design a Portal banner for you, or request the specifications and submit your own graphic!

Events on

Please submit your events to the online calendar so our campus community will know all the great activities and other happenings they need to attend!

For Faculty and Staff

Bio on website directory

Faculty and staff, please consider filling out our GET TO KNOW ME FORM to appear as a bio with your directory listing on The information you provide will help the campus community learn more about you and provide the public with information about your expertise. Students also are encouraged to fill out the Get to Know Me form for a chance at being featured in Rockford University’s promotional materials!

Blog posts on

Calling all wordsmiths on faculty and staff! Are you interested in writing blog posts to appeal to the digital (and possibly print) audience of the Rockford Register Star? Contact Jeniece (Smith) Packard at if you are interested in learning best practices for crafting blog content and joining our team of writers!

Guidance with building a Portal page

Still trying to get the hang of the new Portal interface? We’d love to meet with you, talk through your ideas for page content and help you implement them. Our new Web platform is highly customizable, and we encourage you to take ownership of your department’s page! Jeniece (Smith) Packard and/or website administrator Gale Wallace ( can even set up one-on-one training with you.

Media release, news item or feature story

Know of something headline-worthy or someone making news around campus? The RU community does amazing things every day, and if you have an extraordinary story about a student, professor or other campus topic, we may be able to help you tell it with an internal newsletter or Portal announcement, a press release to local media or article for, feature in Catalyst magazine or other campus publications, and more!

Fill out our SHARE YOUR STORIES FORM with the “who, what, where, when and why” and tell us how you see your idea being distributed, and someone from our office will follow up to confirm your submission and its potential uses.

Regent Weekly spotlight, campus-wide emails

Announcements submitted to the Portal automatically are included in the Regent Weekly newsletters twice a week, but if you have a specific request for your content, please contact us! In some instances, we may be able to help you distribute a separate campus-wide message to all students and/or faculty and staff.

Social media promotion, event coverage

If you need help promoting an event or have important information relevant to RU’s main social media audience on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and more, we may be able to share it with a following of more than 10,000 people. See our social media policy and guidelines to the right for more information, or set up a time to talk about best practices with us!

For Students

Students interested in being featured in Rockford University’s promotional materials are welcome to fill our our GET TO KNOW ME or SHARE YOUR STORIES forms.


If you make the dean’s or distinguished scholars list, receive an athletic recognition or are named to a performing arts cast list, we will share your good news through Merit, a digital platform just for student achievements. Recognized students can edit their Merit pages like a LinkedIn profile, and all accomplishments are easily shareable on social media. We can distribute the recognitions students receive to their hometown news outlets, former high schools and even elected officials.

Do you know of a student achievement that should be recognized through Merit? Reach out and let us know!

Student News and Happenings

Want to form a group for walking or disc golfing, invite others to a club or event, or maybe just sell some stuff? Post your items to Student News and Happenings on the Portal! Anyone can submit material for review.

About Communications

The University Communications Department is part of the Institutional Advancement division and manages internal and external communications for the University. The department leads the development and implementation of integrated communications strategies and tactics to advance the University’s strategic goals, visibility and reputation. Also housed within the Communications Department is the Scheduling Services office.

Contact Information

Rita Elliott, Director of University Communications

Shanna Zonta, Advancement Communications Specialist

Min Taber, Scheduling Services Coordinator

Char Scamihorn, Scheduling Services Assistant

Strategic Communications and Marketing Plan

Developed in FY15 and formalized in FY16, the Strategic Communications and Marketing Plan guides the priorities and efforts of our university-wide strategic initiatives. Below is a presentation encapsulating our progress to date and future priorities:


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