The call for school reform and improvement presents today’s educators with a great challenge. How do we strengthen basic skills, increase higher order thinking skills, warn about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, violence and other potentially lifechallenging situations while promoting appreciation and respect for diversity? Simply put, how do we prepare our children to be knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of a very pluralistic and global society?
And how do we do this in the face of budget crunches, and ever-changing federal and state mandates? What does not change is the essential importance of children’s Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for college, career, contribution, and life success. The 3 course program that lead to the certificate allows instructors to:
- Acquire a foundation of knowledge and research about the relationship between academic achievement and the development of Social-Emotional competencies.
- Build the SECD skills and mindsets students need to be successful socially and academically.
- Develop skill in pedagogical strategies to integrate SECD principles, skills and concepts into all aspects of teaching that will improve students’ Social-Emotional skills, character, and academic learning-to-learn skills.
- Address harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and substance abuse prevention.
- Learn best practices for implementing social skills groups in and after-school, service learning, and conflict resolution programs.
- Engage fellow educators and group leaders to be reflective in their practice and understand the relationship among selflearning, classroom practice and student learning and be willing to assess, adapt, change and continually reevaluate in an effort to tailor instruction to diverse and changing groups of learners.
- Demonstrate the ability to initiate and operate a Social-Emotional and Character Development oriented classroom or group (before, during or after-school).
What Certificate Programs For Instruction Do You Offer?
There are two certificate programs offered and both focus on SECD instruction:
The first program is a three course General Track program for those professionals with little or no experience and/or knowledge in Social-Emotional and Character Development; Foundations, Pedagogy and Practice, and Practicum.
Each of these three courses introduces and develops knowledge and skills in social and emotional and character development for those who will be the primary deliverer (i.e. educators, school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, antibullying, specialists, after-school program staff, etc) to all students prekindergarten through twelfth grade as well as college level students. Regardless of the Social-Emotional and/or Character Development program currently implemented in your school (if at all), participants in this credentialing program will acquire knowledge of: Self-awareness, Emotional Regulation, Social Awareness, Relationship Building and Decision Making, as well as the principles of Character Education. Participants will also develop lessons and/or action plans for implementation in their individual settings.
The second program is a two course Accelerated Track program for those professionals with 5+ years teaching Social-Emotional and Character Development in their classroom, small group counseling sessions or after school program directly to students. It is NOT a fast track to completion. Applicants MUST be able to document their 5+ years of SECD direct instruction to students in a consistent (without random breaks) and intentional approach.
Each of the courses in this program is designed to help deepen the foundation and Pedagogy and Practice for a more experienced professional as well as serve as a spring board to document the past, present and future journey in Social-Emotional and Character Development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should take our courses?
All of our courses/programs are designed for those professionals who provide instruction directly to students (of all ages).
- School counselors
- School social workers
- School psychologists
- Antibullying specialists
- After-school / out of school program staff
Who do I contact with questions or difficulties during the registration process?
Can I register for the General Track Program if I am a principal?
I am a college professor; is the Instruction side of the Academy for me?
Yes; our programs on the Instruction side are for those who teach students of any age. Our students learn how to either teach SECD straight-up as a stand alone course to their students and/or integrate SECD in an intentional and consistent approach into their existing course content or curriculum.
Do I need to work in a school to enroll in these programs?
First, our programs are for instruction; so you need to be working directly with students (of any age, even college age) in an "in" school or "out-of-school" setting. Any after school or out of school setting will work. However, the key here is that you will be delivering / teaching SECD lessons in an intentional approach to students. So, being able to work with students will be essential for registering for the Instruction side of the Academy.
Can I still register for these courses since my school is now doing remote learning?
Yes, our programs also assist you in being able to deliver SECD lessons remotely.
What can I expect once I register for a course?
What does it mean if I have been wait-listed?
If you are wait-listed please look for the next available course/section and register (if available for registration at that time) as soon as possible. Our courses fill quickly. Click here for more information
When will I have access to my course?
You will gain access to your course on its start date. All materials and course content will be visible at this time.
I have registered for 101; will I hear from my course instructor and/or receive materials prior to its start date?
How are the courses formatted?
Our courses are a hybrid of self-paced units with unit completion due dates (to help keep the group moving forward together but also providing some flexibility) and Live Chat discussions held in real time. Live Chats are essential to the process of SECD learning and building community. Dates are listed within the course for planning. Click here for more information
Are there Live Chat discussions? What if I can't make a live discussion?
Yes, there are Live Chat discussions in each of our courses. Since we are teaching SECD, building community, sharing of ideas and providing live demonstrations of teaching skills and virtues is essential. All live chat dates will be posted within each course at the start date. If you cannot make a live chat date you must contact your instructor ahead of the date to discuss next steps. We view Live Chat discussions similar to an in person class session. You must be present and participate to receive credit.
What is the criteria for successful completion of a course?
Students must achieve an 85% or higher in order to successfully complete each course and to be able to register for the next course. This includes successfully completing and submitting within the due date assessments required for each course. Students cannot "opt out" of the assessments. Click here for more information.
Can I register for more than one course at a time? OR register for the next course before I complete the one I am currently enrolled in?
No; students need to successfully complete one course prior to registering for the next. Also, students cannot overlap courses due to an overlap of start and end dates for the same reason.
How do I know if I am eligible for the Accelerated Program?
Basically, the Accelerated Program is for those professionals who have been teaching SECD directly to students for 5+ years in an intentional and consistent approach. This fast paced program is designed for those with 5+ years of actual SECD teaching experience and can document it. Click here for more information: Accelerated Track Program
Can I pay using a purchase order from my school district?
Do you offer financial aid?
No, we do not.