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To earn the master's degree, students will complete three graduate certificates. Each certificate blends together on-demand, self-paced online courses with a real-time capstone course held in the summer. These affordable certificates have been designed for educators looking to enhance their skills and capacities as classroom teachers and leaders and to make a difference in their schools and local communities. Students can choose to take classes and separately complete certificates without enrolling in the full master's program.

Currently, we are offering the following graduate certificates in teacher leadership: 

Social and Emotional Learning

Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning

The Teacher and Social and Emotional Learning certificate provides practicing teachers with requisite background knowledge, understanding and preparation so as to engage students in social and emotional learning. In order for teachers to enable students to become more aware and understanding of their own and others’ emotions, teachers need to understand their own emotions as well. The arena of social and emotional learning is a fairly new, growing and much needed public school curricular domain. During the last three decades, public schools have focused almost exclusively on cognitive academic outcomes. While some progress has been achieved, the consensus seems to be that a renewed emphasis on the whole student needs to be restored. At the same time, teachers’ professional work conditions have deteriorated. Teachers new to the field are leaving the profession at greater rates than in the past. Teacher “burnout” is a recognized and acknowledged public education phenomenon. This certificate will provide educators with resources and tools needed to center social emotional learning to support their teaching and student learning. Faculty include Dan Liston and Emily Gleason.

Courses required: 

  • EDUA 5004 - The Teacher in SEL: The Personal and the Professional (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5005 - SEL for Students: A Path to Social Emotional Well-Being (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5006 - Expanding SEL: Community and Youth-Empowerment (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5007 - Capstone: SEL Learning (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students

Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students

The certificate in Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students will offer teachers an introduction to the history and current policy/laws that relate to emerging bilingual learners in Colorado public schools. Teachers will learn about the process of language acquisition, develop skills and strategies to teach English and adapt their curriculum/instruction to the developing needs of emerging bilingual learners and learn key strategies for engaging diverse families in their school and classroom communities. This certificate will meet the new universal state requirements for all teachers to demonstrate 45 hours of professional preparation to work with emergent bilingual students. Faculty include Deborah Palmer and Sandra Butvilofsky.

Courses required: 

  • EDUA 5000 - Intro to History, Policy and Advocacy for CLD (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5001 - Intro to Designing Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5002 - Intro to Teaching CLD Learners (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5003 - Capstone: Teaching CLD Learners (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

science header

Leading for Change in Science Assessment Practice

In this certificate, teachers learn how to adapt, develop and pilot assessments that elicit students’ integrated understanding of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. In addition, they learn strategies for eliciting students' interests and discovering how students’ own identities can be leveraged in instruction. Although course materials draw on iHub secondary biology materials, the certificate is open to teachers of all age ranges. At the conclusion of the Capstone experience, the cohort of teachers will have a suite of piloted assessments and scoring guides that they can use in their classrooms and share with others. Faculty: Bill Penuel.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5015 - Envisioning Equitable Teaching and Learning in Science (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5016 - Designing Meaningful and Equitable Science Assessments (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5017 - Leadership in Creating Equitable Assessment Systems in Science (self-paced, 2 cr.)

  • EDUA 5018 - Capstone: Leading in Schools and Systems for Transformation in Science Assessment (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Compassion Certificate Image; Student writing "Not Alone" on a red heart-shaped piece of paper

Cultivating Compassion and Dignity in Ourselves and Our Schools

The four-course certificate explores the ways in which practices of compassion and a focus on the essential dignity of educators and students can contribute to the wellness of educators and schools. The certificate will prepare educators to lead efforts to promote compassion and dignity in schools. The certificate provides educators with supports and resources for caring for themselves and for cultivating and sustaining compassion for students, families, their school community, and colleagues. The courses prioritize ways in which educators can see and feel their own daily teaching practices, struggles, constraints, and joys reflected in the curriculum as well as the ways in which educators might become more compassionate teacher leaders. The compassion practices and skills embedded in the courses support district-level equity goals of creating safe and inclusive schools that challenge racism and promote justice. The certificate draws upon rigorous research, contemplative wisdom, and deeply embedded lived experience of educators. The certificate was co-designed by the Crown Institute and the Compassion Institute working in collaboration with teachers, counselors, and administrators. Faculty: Sona Dimidjian, director of the Renee Crown Wellness Institute, Ashley Potvin and Bill Penuel.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5019 - Compassion and Dignity for Educators: Awareness & Intention (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5020 - Self-Compassion and Dignity (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5021 - Compassion in its Fullness (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5022 - Capstone: Compassion in Action (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Scholarship Information

The Crown Institute, with the support of the Hemera Foundation, is offering 20 scholarships to educators to complete the Cultivating Compassion and Dignity in Ourselves and Our Schools certificate and to take part in a course evaluation. The deadline has closed. Stay tuned for future opportunities

Rethinking Inclusive and Special Education

This certificate prepares educators to be leaders in Rethinking Inclusive and Special Education in their schools and districts by humanizing students with dis/abilities and the systems designed to support them, by gaining valuable knowledge about legal, historical and social precedents in special education, and by expanding their instructional toolkit. Educators will examine federal, state, and local policies and they will also learn practical strategies they can use to plan instruction and to support students in general education and intervention settings. Each course will draw upon culturally and linguistically appropriate practices that attend to the needs and strengths of all students, with an emphasis on creating equitable learning environments. Course content and assignments consider dis/ability to be one of multiple identities that makes each of us human, rather than a defect or problem in need of a cure. We use the term dis/ability, choosing purposefully to place a slash between dis and ability

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5027 - Intro to Inclusive and Special Education (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5028 - Creating and Fostering Inclusive Learning Environments (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5029 - Strategies for Inclusive Teaching (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5030 - Capstone: Leadership in Inclusive and Special Education (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Designing for Learning: Inquiry-Based Pedagogy for K-12 Educators

Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings argues that instead of organizing curriculum and instruction around the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”,  we can go further in supporting young people in meaningful, culturally relevant and sustaining ways if we instead ask: “What problems do you want to solve?” This certificate focuses on how to follow Ladson-Billings’ suggestion and re-organize our pedagogies around the questions and problems that youth and their communities want to pursue. Rather than approaching teaching as a process of transmitting information and skills to youth, this certificate helps teachers position youth as people whose questions, problems, and problem-solutions are inquiry-worthy. The certificate offers coursework that introduces teachers to research and theorizing about how people learn through inquiry, how communities engage in knowledge-building and inquiry within and across subject areas, and how teachers can organize curriculum and pedagogy to create inquiry-based learning experiences with young people in schools. The certificate culminates in a capstone experience positioning teachers as pedagogical leaders who can organize and sustain professional learning among peers and colleagues through practitioner inquiry into how young people learn when given the opportunity to pursue questions and problems that they want to solve.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5023 - Inquiry-Based Pedagogy: How Questions, Dilemmas, and Problems Matter for Learning (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5024 - Inquiry Within and Across Different Disciplines & Communities (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5025 - Designing and Facilitating Inquiry-Based Learning Experiences (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5026 - Capstone: Leading for Pedagogical Growth through Practitioner Inquiry (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Teachers Leading Change

The Teachers Leading Change certificate focuses on understanding and developing leadership skills that enable teachers to engage effectively in shared leadership and proactively expand their sphere of influence in meaningful ways. A core tenet of the courses is that teachers start to or continue to see themselves as leaders, to effectively take on a leadership stance, and to do so in a way that feels authentic and builds on each teacher’s own histories and priorities for growth. The courses provide students with ideas and tools for leading change in a variety of educational spaces, including within district workshops and community networks.

Courses required:

  • EDUA 5031 - Leading Teacher Teams: Professional Learning Communities for School Improvement (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5032 - Instructional Coaching & Collaboration to Support Collective Learning (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5033 - Critical Teacher Leadership and Community Partnerships (self-paced, 2 cr.)
  • EDUA 5034 - Capstone: Teachers Leading Change (Summer, real-time, 4 cr.)

Enrollment for this certificate is open now!

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