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Residence Life

Meet The Staff

10/12/2017 4:20 pm

Meet Our Staff

The Residence Life team consists of professional staff members and selected student leaders (Resident Assistants) who work hard to help you make the most of your residence life experience. Through a variety of programs and services, the team works together to develop a partnership with our residents. This partnership provides many opportunities for personal growth, intellectual and leadership development, and maturity in your learning-living environment.

Professional Staff

Scott Mitchell
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life
M.S.W., University of North Dakota
B.A., Wartburg College

Scott Mitchell is the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life and joined the Rockford University staff in September 2016.  Scott is originally from Nevada, Iowa and received a Bachelor of Arts in social work with a minor in psychology from Wartburg College (Waverly, IA).  He holds a Master of Social Work degree with an emphasis in health from the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND).  Scott is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University (Lisle, IL).  

Scott brings over twenty years of professional experience in residence life and college student affairs to Rockford University.  Upon completion of his Bachelor of Arts degree, he began his professional career in residence life serving as a hall director and residence life coordinator at multiple institutions:  North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota, and the University of Northern Iowa.  Scott went on to serve as an Assistant Director of Education and Development at Missouri State University and most recently as the Director of Campus Student Affairs at Ashford University (Clinton, IA).  These positions also allowed the opportunity to gain experience in academic advising, as well as an instructor of Liberal Arts courses focusing on resident assistants and student development.

Scott is a member of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I); American College Personnel Association (ACPA); Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA); Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO); and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). 


John Nicholson
Residence Hall Director – Small Houses Complex
M.S.E., Fort Hays State University
B.S. Truman State University

John Nicholson is the Residence Hall Director for the small houses, he joined the Rockford University staff in June of 2017. John is originally from Glenview, Illinois and received a Bachelor of Science in justice systems and a minor in economics from Truman State University (Kirksville, MO). He also holds a Master of Science in Education from Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS).

As a new professional John is actively engaged in multiple associations including Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) and the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention (NODA). John is a new member in Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO).


Molly HutchcroftMolly Hutchcroft
Residence Hall Director – Cummings Complex and Olson Hall
M.S.W., University of Denver
B.A. Psychology, DePaul University

Molly Hutchcroft is the Residence Hall Director for Cummings Complex and Olson Hall. She joined the Rockford University staff in August 2017 after graduating with her Master’s Degree in Social Work, with a concentration on mental health, from the University of Denver. Prior to living in Denver, CO, Molly lived in Chicago for four years while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at DePaul University. She is originally from Hiawatha, IA.

Working with many different populations over the past six years, Molly brings a new perspective to Rockford University. Molly began working with college students when she was at DePaul University by being a Resident Advisor and being on the executive board for Residence Hall Council. When she graduated and moved to Denver, she began working with children 5-17 years of age with behavioral and mental health concerns in a residential setting providing crisis response. She also worked with college students who had experienced interpersonal violence, brought in discussions about interpersonal violence into the classrooms, and assisted with many other events to bring awareness about interpersonal violence to the college environment. Molly has also worked with adults struggling with substance use and mental health. Molly is a recent member of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO) and hopes to become a member of other Student Affairs organizations.

Resident Assistant Staff

Resident Assistants (RA) are upper-class student leaders who are carefully selected and trained to help foster a learning-living environment in the residence halls at Rockford University. The RA’s are assigned a high degree of responsibility in working with the students and administration to create and maintain a safe, productive community in the halls.

RAs are also on the front lines of assisting new students in making the transition to university life as smooth as possible. Through various activities, RAs help students adjust to life at Rockford University by putting on programs that encourage students to develop and master life skills such as problem solving and critical thinking while developing their individuality. Your RA will be there to listen to and answer your questions (or refer you to someone who can), and take a genuine interest in you as a person. Your RA will also confront you if you are violating policy and will ask you to confront each other when someone else’s behavior is a problem.

Resident Assistants are generally selected towards the end of the spring semester. If you are interested in becoming a RA, we encourage you to look over the application and speak with a current RA.


Department Information

Residence Life
Student Life Suite - Burpee Student Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life

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

RA Sindy
Barnes Hall

Sintheyah (Sindy)
Academic Year: Senior
Major:  English & Sociology
Concentration:  Criminal Justice 
Hometown: Rockford, IL

RA Haley

Emerson Hall

Academic Year:  Junior
Major: Nursing
Hometown: Sandwich, IL

RA Nate

Olson Hall

Nathan (Nate)
Academic Year:  Junior
Major:  Biology Pre-Med
Hometown: Winnebago, IL

RA Abbie

Caster Hall

Abigail (Abbie)
Academic year: Junior
Major: Nursing
Hometown: McHenry, IL

RA Finnley
Lathrop Hall

Academic Year:  Junior
Major:  Studio Fine Arts
Concentration:  Printmaking
Hometown: Santa Fe, NM

RA Sarah

Svenson Hall

Academic Year:  Junior
Major:  Dance
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

RA Danni

Dayton Hall

Dannielle (Danni)
Academic Year:  Junior
Major:  Biology
Hometown: Machesney Park, IL

RA Cris

McPhail Hall

Cristen (Cris)
Academic Year:  Senior
Major:  Computer Science
Minor:  Business Administration 
Hometown: Shreveport, LA

RA Maddy

Talcott Hall

Madison (Maddy)
Academic Year:  Junior
Major:  Elementary Education
Hometown: Peru, IL

Student Handbook and Policies

11/28/2016 11:19 am

Residence Life

11/11/2016 10:32 am

Welcome to Residence Life at Rockford University!

We are pleased to welcome you to residence life at Rockford University. Residential living provides students with unlimited opportunities to live and grow during college outside of the classroom. Interacting with peers, assuming responsibility for individual and community standards, and creating a living space that is your own are all benefits of living on-campus.

Between studying, getting involved in student organizations, participating in community service and volunteering, most Rockford students are active and engaged in their community. Residential living adds to your college experience by providing you with an opportunity to do all of these things while living in an active, vibrant community with your peers.

Each Rockford University residence hall provides a community learning-living environment that is as unique as the students that live there. Here are some features common to our residence halls:

  • Wi-Fi internet access in every room
  • Nice-sized rooms (singles, doubles, and suites)
  • Convenient kitchenettes
  • Lounges with televisions
  • Opportunities to make new friends from all over the world

Interested in learning more?
We invite you to check out the Web site as you’ll find information about our residence halls, staff members, policies, safety, and much more. You can also contact a member of the Residence Life staff at


Summer Housing!

Summer housing information for the summer of 2019 will be available in January 2019.   

Important Information Regarding Summer Housing:

  • Rockford University students must be registered full-time for Fall 2019 to live on campus over summer.
  • Student selection of room types on contract are preferences, not guaranteed.
  • Room assignments are first-come, first-serve basis. Expect summer housing assignments to be filled to room capacity (i.e., 2 people in a double, 4 people in a suite).  Room assignments made by Residence Life Staff.
  • All summer housing residents are required to pay in full or work out payment arrangements with SAS for their summer housing bill prior to May 3, 2019.  Payment arrangement details:  1st payment is due when signing the payment plan agreement at SAS (equal to the first month cost of summer housing) with required subsequent monthly payments.  Summer housing must be paid for by the end of the summer term.
  • Students who have not taken care of the above provision will not be allowed to move into summer housing until financial obligations to the University are met and Fall 2019 registration is verified.

2019-2020 Academic Year Housing!

Current Students
Information regarding housing selection for the 2019-2020 academic year will be available early in 2019.

Current students need to complete the housing contract, preference form, and meal plan contract before they can participate. Completed forms need to be submitted to Student Administrative Services located in Nelson Hall.  The following is the 2018-2019 academic year contracts.  The 2019-2020 contracts will be posted when available.

If you have any questions please speak with a Residence Hall Director or the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life.


Residence Hall Work Orders & Guest Registration Forms

Current residence hall students, please use the buttons below to enter a work order or register your guests.

Contact Information

Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life

Molly Hutchcroft, Residence Hall Director, Cummings Complex & Olson Hall

John Nicholson, Residence Hall Director, Small Houses

Roommate Bill of Rights

Roommates have a great responsibility to respect and be respected. We encourage you to discuss the following with your roommate(s):

  • The right to read and study in your room free from undue interference.
  • The right to sleep without undue disturbance from noise, guests of roommates, etc.
  • The right to a clean living environment.
  • The right to access the room and facilities without pressure from a roommate(s).
  • The right to personal privacy.
  • The right to house a guest. We expect that guests respect the rights of the host’s roommate and other hall residents, and are registered through our Safety & Security Office or with their RA if they plan to stay overnight.
  • The right to be free from fear and intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm.
  • The right to confront and resolve situations. Staff members are available to help mediate the resolution of conflicts.


As a member of the Rockford University residential and academic communities, residents assume special responsibility for the University’s conduct regulations and policies. These policies were adopted to ensure that the community is able to maintain a safe environment and an atmosphere conducive to learning and growing. The policies are primarily enforced by the Residence Life and Safety & Security staffs, but residents should also be playing a role in taking responsibility for the living environment in their halls.

Residents are expected to maintain a standard of conduct appropriate to their status as Rockford University students. Living in a community requires cooperation and respect. In the residence hall, individual rights extend to the point at which a person’s activities infringe upon the rights of others. You have the right and responsibility to request consideration from others. You also have the responsibility to respect the rights of others.

What is the Jane Addams Center?

To advance the ideals of Rockford University through the study and practice of citizenship, service, and lifelong learning, the Jane Addams Center provides community service opportunities, community-based learning, fellowship programs, and civically engaged events for the University and the Rockford community.

Mission: The Jane Addams Center develops transformative leaders prepared to influence the world

Vision: Rockford University through the Jane Addams Center will develop transformative leaders who are active citizens with a global awareness.

What is Civic Engagement at RU?

Civic Engagement at RU is a host of activities that connect students, faculty, and staff with communities beyond our campus to promote thought and action that serve the greater good. We embrace the Thomas Ehrlich definition: “Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.”

Our aim in using civic engagement as a learning tool is to produce meaningful service experiences for students, faculty, and staff as they engage in local and distant communities.

Contact Information

Dr. Randy Worden
Vice President for Student Life
Student Life Suite, Burpee Student Center, 1st Floor

AmeriCorps VISTA
Student Life Suite, Burpee Student Center, 1st Floor

Frequently Asked Questions

10/31/2016 10:31 am


The Office of Residence Life receives many questions about on campus housing.  The questions and answers below are in response to some of our most frequent questions.

Are first-year students required to live on campus?

Incoming first-year students are not required to live on campus; however, they are encouraged to make Rockford University their home. Resident students that actively participate in the Rockford University community enrich their university experiences.

Do all first-year students live together?

First-year students are not required to live in the same residence hall; however, they have the option to do so. First-year housing will provide residents with an opportunity to live, learn and socialize with other students going through similar experiences and enjoy close relationships with first-year advisors, programs and services.

What are the basic room types?

There are four available options:

  1. Single (room for one student)*
  2. Super Single (room for one student with a private bathroom)*
  3. Double (room for two students)
  4. Suite (room for four students with two bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom to be shared by suitemates)
    *Availability is limited.
Are the residence halls co-ed?

Yes, but each floor is separated by gender. For example, in one building, the guys reside on the first floor so the ladies will be on the second floor. However, floors that have a suite-style set-up may be co-ed.

How many people share a bathroom?

Six residents at most.

What is provided in the room?

For each student residing in the room, there will be one of the following:

  1. Standard-length twin size bed
  2. Dresser
  3. Desk with chair
  4. Shelf
  5. Closet
  6. Also included: a peep hole in the door, window blinds and tack strips for hanging pictures and posters.
What, other than student rooms, is in a residence hall?

Each residence hall has a kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator, cupboards and a sink. Barnes Hall kitchenette also has a cook top with fire suppression hood.  Also, each hall has a lounge with furniture that students are welcome to study or hangout in.

Can students bring a microwave or mini-fridge?

Yes, you can bring both! The mini-fridge may not exceed 4.0 cubic feet. It is encouraged to talk with roommates to see who is bringing what so the student doesn’t end up with duplicates in the room.

*Use of stoves or any appliance with an open coil/flame can be a fire hazard and is prohibited.

Can students light/use candles?

No, candles are a fire hazard and are prohibited.

Are the residence halls air-conditioned?

Yes!  All residence halls have air-conditioning.

Are the residence halls heated?

Yes.  All residence halls have a central heating system.

Is there internet access in the residence halls?

Every residence hall has wireless internet access. Students whose computer is not wireless-accessible will need to purchase a wireless card.

Where do students do laundry?

Laundry can be done in three places on campus: on the lower floor of Cummings Complex, the basement of the Johnson Center and the basement of the Kent Center. The washer and dryer units are free for all residential students.

Can first-year students have a car on campus?

Yes, all students are welcome to have cars and park on campus.  The student will need to obtain a parking permit from Rockford University Police and Department of Public Safety.  There is no charge for the permit.

Can students get mail on campus?

All full-time students can get a campus mailbox located at the Mail Desk in the Burpee Student Center. Students will be able to send and receive letters and packages from there. During the first day or two at Rockford University, students will be able to pick up the key to the mailbox from the Mail Desk.

Your mailing address at Rockford University will be as follows:


Name: Jane Addams
Rockford University Box #: Box #001
Address: 5050 E. State Street
  Rockford, IL  61108

Department Information

Residence Life
Student Life Suite - Burpee Student Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life

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


10/31/2016 10:27 am


General Information

A residence hall is more than a place to live; it is a place to learn awareness, consideration, acceptance, and compromise. Residence halls also provide recreational, educational, and cultural programs to enhance students’ learning experience and to contribute to their overall growth and personal development.

Students living in the residence halls are expected to maintain a standard of conduct consistent with the educational objectives and priorities of Rockford University. Respect and consideration for the rights of others, including need for study time and rest, must receive priority. The residence hall staff helps create an atmosphere conducive to studying, socializing and learning to live with other individuals. Each resident is expected to respond appropriately to requests from staff and fellow residents concerning behavior that does not honor this priority. Residents are also responsible for the conduct of their guests. Rooms will be inspected or assessed at any time a University official suspects illegal, dangerous or threatening behavior is occurring in a student’s room.

Residence Life Staff

Resident Advisors (RA) are peer advisors trained to assist students with academic, personal or behavioral concerns. RAs are students selected because of experience, leadership ability and interest in helping others. They help residents grow socially and academically by developing relationships with students and by fostering an effective living-learning environment. All students are encouraged to get to know their RA and to ask for assistance whenever needed. The RAs are supervised by a full-time Residence Hall Director (RHD) who, in turn, are supervised by the Assistant Dean/Director of Residence Life.

Roommate Bill of Rights

Roommates have a great responsibility to respect and be respected. We encourage you to discuss the following with your roommate(s):

  1. The right to read and study in your room free from undue interference.
  2. The right to sleep without undue disturbance from noise, guests of roommates, etc.
  3. The right to a clean living environment.
  4. The right to access the room and facilities without pressure from a roommate(s).
  5. The right to personal privacy.
  6. The right to house a guest. We expect that guests respect the rights of the host’s roommate and other hall residents, and are registered through our Safety & Security Office or with their RA if they plan to stay overnight.
  7. The right to be free from fear and intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm.
  8. The right to confront and resolve situations. Staff members are available to help mediate the resolution of conflicts.

Residence Life Policies

Residence Life Policies may be found in the 2018-2019 Rockford University Student Handbook.  Student Handbook .



Department Information

Residence Life
Student Life Suite - Burpee Student Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life

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

Jane Addams

10/28/2016 2:06 pm

Jane Addams and children


Today, the spirit of alumna Jane Addams, Class of 1881, lives on at Rockford University. We believe each and every one of us has the ability to change the world, just as Jane did through her many societal contributions.

Her father was an Illinois legislator, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and a Rockford University trustee. It is not surprising then, that John Addams insisted that his youngest daughter attend Rockford University (then Rockford Female Seminary), even though she begged to attend an “eastern school.” At Rockford University, she was elected president of her class and was chosen to deliver the 1881 valedictory address. With these words, she presaged the remarkable impact she would one day make: “We stand today united in a belief in beauty, genius and courage, and that these can transform the world.”

Jane Addams began her lifelong crusade for justice and equality not long after she graduated from Rockford University when, in 1889, she established Hull-House in Chicago. There, she created a myriad of programs – nurseries, university courses, art classes, sports leagues – for people of all beliefs and ethnic backgrounds. During the 1890s, Hull-House gained a national and international reputation as a radical, innovative, successful institution, and Jane became known as the nation’s leading change agent. She prodded America to respond to the terrible ills of industrial development: child labor, infant mortality, urban crowding and unsanitary conditions, unsafe workplaces, juvenile delinquency, unemployment and poverty wages.

As a social reformer, Jane was a force to be reckoned with. Her efforts led to Illinois’ first child labor law, the first eight-hour work day law for women, and the first juvenile court. As a suffragette, she championed women’s right to vote. As a humanitarian, she devoted her life to the causes of peace, freedom and justice. At one point, then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover proclaimed Addams to be “the most dangerous woman in America,” in part for her peace efforts.

Students at Rockford University today, like Jane Addams before them, are asked to think critically, act compassionately, and embrace the ideals of citizenship. Only time will tell if any will win the Nobel Peace Prize like Jane Addams did in 1931. In the meantime, they are learning how thoughtful, active citizens can make a very real difference in the world.

Biographies of Jane Addams

Jane Addams (1860-1935) was from Cedarville, near Freeport, Ill. Her father was a prominent businessman and a trustee of Rockford Female Seminary where Jane’s two older sisters also attended.


Since 1963, Hull-House has been maintained as a museum by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Toynbee Hall in London, which Jane Addams visited in 1888, was the first “settlement house.” It was the inspiration for her founding of Hull-House the following year. Funding and Development of Hull-House >>

The settlement house movement began in England as a way of meeting the needs of the poor at a time before government had accepted a role in social welfare. Until then, the poor, when they were considered at all, were often only considered subjects of charity. The settlement house movement helped give rise to social work as a profession.


Colleagues from Rockford University

Ellen Starr and Julia Lathrop met Jane Addams as students at Rockford Female Seminary. Starr went on to co-found Hull-House with Jane Addams. Lathrop joined them a short time later.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

This organization was founded by Jane Addams with other peace activists in 1915. Her book, “Peace and Bread in Time of War,” describes the birth of the organization. It was her work with the WILPF that earned her a Nobel Prize in 1931. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom >>


The Writings of Jane Addams

Jane Addams found time among her many other activities to author 11 books and numerous articles. A few are available in full-text online.

Department Information

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

Parent Resources

10/28/2016 1:57 pm


Dear Rockford University Families,

We are pleased that your student has chosen to live on our campus! Living in a residence hall provides several opportunities for growth and development outside of the classroom. We know that you are placing a great deal of trust in us to provide these opportunities for your student while they are living with us. Their safety and experiences in our residence halls are very important and we make it our goal to provide them with the very best in programs and services while they are living under our roof!

As we welcome them into our community, they will be treated as adults who have chosen to live with their fellow students. We will work with them as they navigate the uncertain waters of being “on their own.” It is our desire to provide them with the opportunity to spread their wings and take on full responsibility for their future. Therefore, we recognize the important role that families play in helping us help your student.

The residence life team at Rockford University seeks to develop a strong partnership with our residents’ families. We know that your student is going to come to you with questions regarding roommate conflicts, classes, feelings of being homesick, and possibly even some discipline issues. It is our hope that you will review our Web site with your student as we hope that many questions can be answered here. If you cannot find the answer that your student has, we encourage you to send them to the appropriate person on-campus to assist them in finding and understanding the answers. We also hope that you will look over the resources provided on this page that we designed specifically for you!

We look forward to working with and getting to know your student!! We hope to see you at Family Weekend!

Rockford University Residence Life Team


Additional Information

Parental Notification Policy

From the moment students enroll at Rockford University, they are considered an adult. It is their responsibility to take care of their bills, go to class, and follow through on expectations and requirements including the Academic Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct. As much as we want to partner with you for your student’s success, there are some times when we will not be able to tell you everything. Your student’s educational record is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which sets pretty strict parameters for Colleges and Universities. Please refer to the United States Department of Education FERPA link for more information at

Understanding the Student Experience

Much research has been done about the cycle of the student experience. While every student is unique and very much an individual, we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a general overview of what it’s like to be a Rockford University student today. Below you will find a general overview followed by points for each year your student is with us.

  • August/September – Students are generally excited at the start of the year. Returning students are excited to be back at school and catch up with friends that they didn’t see as much over the summer and yes, even to start their classes. New students are looking forward to testing their freedom. You may initially receive lots of phone calls to talk about anything and everything. At some point homesickness will begin to set in. The newness wears off and anxiety about roommates, course work, how and where to get involved, and finding that balance in social/academic schedules begins to set in. Elections for Student Senate take place and students begin to form clubs/organizations for the upcoming year.
  • October – As October rolls around and mid-terms approach it’s natural for students begin to question more and more if they belong at Rockford University. Those first papers/exams are returned and some students are confused as to why their grades aren’t as good or come as easy as they did in high school. Roommate problems may begin to arise. Homecoming and Family Weekends are approaching giving students an opportunity to show off their campus and community to loved ones. Fall Break will hit giving students a chance to breathe.
  • November – Mid-term grades are in and students begin to see the impact of there early semester habits. With many papers and exams taking place right before Thanksgiving break students begin to feel the pressure of juggling all of their course work and a social schedule. Study skills and time management practices begin to have a larger impact on them. This is also the time that campus-wide illnesses start to set in.
  • December – Final exams are approaching and testing anxiety can be at an all-semester high point. Some students will become apprehensive about returning home for the holidays and become sad at the idea of parting from friends for several weeks.
  • January – Returning students will come in with either satisfaction or disappointment of the previous semester’s grades. Friends may have graduated the previous semester, or decided to travel abroad for the spring semester leaving some students with a feeling of loss. Some students will miss home while others will be relieved to be back.
  • February – Winter weather may or may not play into the student’s general attitude. Students will begin thinking about possible internships for the summer. Seniors will start thinking about life after Rockford University…job? Grad school? Valentine’s Day may cause sadness or loneliness for students. Spring Break is on the horizon though!
  • March – Mid-term exams are back and so is the stress that comes with the exams/papers. More and more students are thinking about summer employment and internship opportunities. Information about housing selection for the fall semester is posted. Opportunities to get involved as a Resident Advisor and/or as an Orientation Leader for the next year will also be made available. Some students begin to become concerned about winter weight gain as the weather gets warmer.
  • April – Spring weather is beginning to set in bringing new life to the campus community. Seniors begin to detach themselves more and more as graduation looms. Students start to feel the weight of their coursework as the end of the semester approaches. April Weekend arrives and as students have one more celebration before finals hit.
  • May – Graduation, end of the semester, and final exams. Everything begins to wrap up and shut down as students prepare to move out of the residence halls and finish up their course work. Sadness will begin to set in as students say good-bye to friends for the summer. Some will grow apprehensive about summer jobs/internships and returning home.

Getting the Conversation Started

The transition from the home environment to university and then back home for visits/breaks can be challenging. As your student begins to spread their wings, you might find it difficult to get the conversation rolling. Relax, this is normal! Here are what we hope are some helpful conversation starters as well as some examples for you to explore as you make the transition with your student.

Budget and Finances

Many students come to university and will begin experimenting with credit cards, student loans and other budgetary items for the first time. Before your student leaves for university, it might be helpful to sit down with them and discuss financial basics and practices including:

  • Credit cards and student loans are not free money. Talk with your student about their financial aid package, demonstrate for them how to budget money each month for expenses, and show them how to review a bank or credit card statement.
  • It is important to pay credit card bills in full so they should only charge what they can pay back in the immediate future.
  • They should keep a record of purchases and reviewing bank and credit card statements for accuracy. They should also shred credit card offers, receipts, and statements that have account numbers printed on them.
  • Encourage your student to keep PIN numbers confidential. They should not give them out to anyone even close friends or roommates.
  • Bills that are paid late will result in a financial penalty being incurred. Also, loans and unpaid balances on credit cards accumulate interest that must be paid.

Conversation starters:

  • How and what have you decided to spend money on?
  • How do you decide how much to save? Are you able to do this consistently within your budget? What are you saving for?
  • Where are you with your student bill in SAS?
  • Have you filled out all of your paperwork to receive your financial aid?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Student Administrative Services – Nelson, 1st floor
Classes and Grades

As your student begins to get settled into their academic courses and schedule it is natural for apprehension to take hold. Studying for the first round of exams or turning in their first paper may not always yield the results they were hoping for or that they are used to getting in high school. This is normal, but the earlier your student can identify the additional steps they need to take to succeed the better they’ll be. Rockford University faculty and staff are always willing to work with your student to help them succeed academically, but your student must seek out the assistance and follow through on their recommendations. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Workloads for each class can vary depending on the course and the instructor. Encourage your student to look at each course, due dates for assignments, and figure out a schedule that will help them avoid pulling “all nighters” or getting behind in their readings
  • Students should meet regularly with their assigned academic advisor to discuss the courses they are currently taking and what courses they should be looking for in the upcoming semester(s)
  • If your student hasn’t decided on a program of study, they should also meet with faculty and their academic advisor to discuss areas of interest and what Rockford University can offer them
  • The further along in a program of study the higher degree of academic challenge. As students move into upper level course work, their work load will also increase. Students may find it more and more difficult to balance all that they want to do with what they need to do
  • Graduate school exams and job searches can sneak up on students. It is best for them to take advantage of the programs and services offered by our Career Services Office and in internships through their program of study

    Conversation Starters:

    • How do you feel about the courses you are currently taking? What’s coming up that you’re excited about?
    • Have you discussed with your professor their comments on your last paper, or the questions you missed on your last exam?
    • What are you enjoying about your classes this semester? What is difficult about your schedule and coursework?
    • What kind of research projects are you working on? Are they group projects? How is that process going?
    • What activities are you involved in outside of the classroom? How do they relate with what you’re learning inside the classroom?
    • What programs have you attended or participated in? What was the issue they were discussing?

    Rockford University Resources for your Student:

    • Their professors!
    • Faculty advisors
    • First-year advisors
    • Office of Student Retention
    • Rockford University Center for Learning Strategies
    • Counselors at Lang Center for Health, Wellness, and Counseling
    • Writing Center, Math tutors, and other tutors for their course work
    • Student Government Academic Affairs Committee
Mid-Term Exams

Mid-term exams will generally hit midway through the semester. They are often marked on the syllabus by the professor. This can be a stressful time for all students as it may be the first time that they become aware of where they really are grade-wise in their classes. Inquiring with the students a few weeks out can help make sure that they manage the stress brought on by exams better, as well as make sure that your student is planning adequate time to meet mid-term demands.

Conversation Starters:

  • Mid-term exams should be coming up soon, what does your schedule of work look like?
  • What are some exams or projects that you are worried about?
  • Have you checked out any resources like the writing center or tutors to help you prepare?
  • How are you studying for the exams? Do you have a quiet study area?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Professors
  • Academic Advisors
  • Writing Center
  • Tutors and study sessions put on by professors
  • Counselors at Lang Center for Health, Wellness, and Counseling
  • Rockford University Center for Learning Strategies
  • Residence Life Staff
Final Exams

Final Exams
Final exams can sometimes become the last effort by a student to bring up their grades. Preventing this kind of stress at the end of the semester is important. Helping your student brainstorm ways to avoid the stress or pressure that comes with final exams can assist them in better managing the workload. It is important that the conversation not focus in on grades, but rather how the semester went, what they anticipate the result to be, and what they’ve learned about themselves that semester.

Conversation Starters:

  • How do you feel about how you did this past semester? Any surprises?
  • When do you expect grades to be posted, I understand you can access them online?
  • What classes went well? Why?
  • Were there some that you didn’t enjoy? Why?
  • Is your professor holding any study sessions that you can take advantage of? Have you sought them out for additional help on the side?
  • How are you studying for the exams? Do you have a quiet study area?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Professors
  • Academic Advisors
  • Writing Center
  • Tutors and study sessions put on by professors
  • Counselors at Lang Center for Health, Wellness, and Counseling
  • Rockford University Center for Learning Strategies
  • Residence Life Staff
Getting Involved

A major part of the university experience is the opportunity and ability for students, residential or commuter, to take part in organized activities. Whether they are involved in a student club/organization, student government, hall council, athletics, service projects, or other programs, there is an unlimited number of opportunities for your student to connect in-class material with their out-of-class experiences. Academics do come first, and so it is important for your student to understand how to manage their time.

Conversation Starters:

  • What clubs or organizations have you seen that interest you?
  • Have you visited the Student Activities office to find out what’s going on?
  • What types of activities and programs (dances, concerts, game nights, etc) have you attended recently?
  • I heard that there is always a pre-planned program going on at the Lion’s Den at night, have you checked any of those out?
  • How did your first residence hall meeting go? What did you discuss?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Student Activities
  • Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement
  • Student Government Association
  • Athletic Department
  • Resident Assistant or other member of the Residence Life staff
  • Professors
Maintenance Concerns in Residence Halls

Your student may have questions or concerns about their residence hall room. The first person that the resident should speak with is their Resident Assistant. If University property is broken, or in need of repair, the resident assistant will assist your student by filling out a work order that will alert maintenance to the area of concern. The Residence Hall Director or the Director of Residence Life can also assist your student if they are unable to locate their RA.  Maintenance requests can be submitted through the Rockford University Campus App or at the Residence Life website.

Please remember that your student is responsible for any damages to Rockford University property. When your student moves into their residence hall room they will be asked to fill out a Room Condition Report (RCR). This report is for them to mark any damages to the items provided to them by Rockford University. When your student moves out at the end of the academic year, the RA will go through their room and determine if any property is damaged beyond what is marked on the RCR and will report it to the Director of Residence Life who will assess fines as needed. The University is not responsible for any damages to your student’s property. We encourage all residents to obtain additional insurance for personal items. If you are able to claim the student as a dependent, their possessions may be covered while at the university; however, it is important to check with your homeowner’s policy.

Conversation Starters:

  • Have you alerted your RA to the problem?
  • Are there any damages to Rockford University property that you might be fined for?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Resident Assistant
  • Other members of the Residence Life Staff
Roommate Conflicts

One of the great things about living in a residence hall is the opportunity to meet new people and learn to live in a social, communal setting. As in any living situation, conflicts can arise over topics like noise levels, guests, cleanliness, food and even personalities. The Residence Life staff is trained in assisting residents in mediating conflicts between roommates and other residents. Our goal is to help your student and other residents learn how to successfully communicate their needs and respect the needs of others. This can take some time and patience. Families can help their students navigate these relationships by supporting and coaching their student in developing their conflict resolution skills by letting them take control of the situation.

Conversation Starters:

  • How are things going with your roommate? What have you found that you have in common?
  • Have there been any conflicts between the two of you? Anything that’s getting on your nerves?
  • Have you let your roommate know what your expectations are? Have you asked about theirs?
  • How have you addressed these issues with your roommate? Were you able to achieve resolution?
  • I understand that your RA has been trained in helping to resolve these types of situations. Have you sought out their assistance?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Resident Assistant
  • Other members of the Residence Life Staff
Alcohol Use

Some students choose to consume alcohol when they go to the university while others do not. Residents at Rockford University are allowed to consume alcohol in their rooms if they are 21 years of age. It is important that as a parent you are familiar with the alcohol policy so that you can speak with your student about the University’s expectations as well as your own. Rockford University offers alternative on-campus activities almost every weekend for all students that are alcohol-free. There are also plenty of students in the residence halls who choose not to consume alcohol.

Families should also be aware of the difference between high-risk drinking and low-risk drinking. Getting to know more about alcohol use and abuse can assist you in shaping your conversations with your student about their alcohol use. Here are some tips:

Low-Risk Drinking:

  • Thinking about what and how much you plan to drink before going to a party
  • Making sure to eat a full meal before starting to drink
  • Keeping consumption down to 1 drink per hour
  • Mixing in non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening like water
  • Making plans with friends ahead of time as to what parties they will or will not be attending, designating a driver (if heading off campus) ahead of time, and sticking together as a group

High-Risk Drinking:

  • Planning to get drunk
  • Playing drinking games
  • Drinking too much, too fast. Doing shots
  • Consuming alcohol while on any type of medication
  • Drinking and driving while under the influence, or getting into a car with someone else who has been drinking

    Conversation Starters:

    • What is the Rockford University environment like when it comes to parties with alcohol?
    • How will you decide whether or not to drink?
    • What will you do (or have you done) if your roommate feels differently about partying and drinking than you?
    • What else is there to do on-campus besides go to parties on the weekends?
    • What will you do if a friend of yours wants to drive home and they are intoxicated? What if they don’t listen to you?
    • What will you do if your designated driver has been drinking that night?
    • How can you go to the parties and be social without having to drink?
    • What are the campus resources to help you or a friend if you have concerns about alcohol?
    • Are you aware of the Rockford University alcohol policy and potential consequences?
    • What’s your plan if you or a friend get in over your heads regarding alcohol, will you agree to contact us no matter what? A member of the residence life staff?

    Rockford University Resources for your Student:

    • Campus Safety and Security
    • Residence Life Staff
    • Professionals from Lang Center for Health, Wellness, and Counseling (nurses and counselors)

    Additional resources are available to parents and students at the following Web sites:
    Be Responsible About Drinking (BRAD) – –
    Center for Substance Abuse Prevention –
    Bacchus Peer Education Network

Physical and Emotional Health

Rockford University provides health service to all enrolled students through the Lang Center for Health, Wellness, Counseling, and Disability Support Services. Students can experience a variety of personal, social, academic and relational issues during university that they cannot resolve on their own. Our professional counseling staff is a great resource for students to talk about their concerns.

Coming Home

As your student prepares to return home for the first time or even after a challenging semester, there can be, and often is, a period of re-adjustment for the student and their families. It is important to talk with your student ahead of time about your expectations as well as theirs. Students are often times on a completely different sleep, social and even meal schedule than their families back home. Talking ahead of time about those boundaries and expectations can aid in making the transition much smoother as they return to your home.

Conversation Starters:

  • What are your plans while you’re home? Are you looking to reconnect with friends from high school?
  • What are your expectations for social activities while you’re home? Do you remember our family rules (i.e. curfew, guests, drinking, etc.)?
  • Are you thinking about bringing any of your university friends back with you for the weekend? What is their understanding of our house rules?
  • What time do you plan on arriving home? When do you plan on heading back?
  • Are you bringing home any laundry?

Rockford University Resources for your Student:

  • Residence Life Staff
  • Lang Health Center Counseling Staff

Residence Life
Student Life Suite - Burpee Student Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life

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

Alternative Spring Break

10/28/2016 1:56 pm



Spend Spring Break in Starkville (Mississippi, that is.)

The Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break (AHASB) provides students the opportunity to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge. This alternative to more traditional spring break activities has become an important part of the Rockford University experience. In 2005, the trip was named in honor of the late Dr. Alan Hutchcroft, Rockford University Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. The Collegiate Challenge is an alternative spring break program that provides opportunities for university students to spend their school break building a house in partnership with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. It is a tradition of Rockford University to partner with Habitat for Humanity in Starkville, Miss. AHASB lives out the mission and vision of Rockford University by providing a life-changing experience as students serve the community of Starkville.

A Collegiate Challenge trip may be the best spring break trip you will ever have. Not only do you help people in need — it’s also fun! You’ll have the chance to improve your carpentry skills, connect with new people while making a real difference in Habitat for Humanity’s work of eliminating substandard housing.

Commemorative Videos of Past Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break Trips 

Like the Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break (AHASB) Facebook page

Department Information

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

Housing Selection and Forms

10/28/2016 1:53 pm


Summer Housing at Rockford University!

Information and applications for Summer 2019 housing at Rockford University will be available early in 2019.  Please see below the link for the 2018 Summer Housing Contract as a reference.

Summer Housing Contract 2018


2019-2020 Housing Selection

Housing Section always takes place in the Spring semester of each academic year. Information coming soon!


New Students

Residence hall paperwork for the 2018-2019 academic year can be found below.  Please complete all three forms and send a $100 housing deposit to Student Administrative Services (SAS) in order to be placed in housing.

Mail to: Rockford University, Student Administrative Services, 5050 E. State Street, Rockford IL 61108

2019-2020 academic year housing paperwork will be posted when available.

Current Students.

Current students need to complete the housing contract, preference form, and meal plan contract before they can participate in the room selection process for 2018-2019. Completed forms need to be submitted to Student Administrative Services located in Nelson Hall.

2019-2020 academic year housing paperwork will be posted when available.   If you have any questions please speak with either a Residence Hall Director or the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life.

Residence Life
Student Life Suite – Burpee Student Center, 1st Floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Scott Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life

Mon-Fri – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm