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University offers Louisiana's first online program for instructional coach certificate

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The University has launched a new online program for certified teachers with an interest in mentoring peers.

The Graduate Certificate in Instructional Coaching is a 12-hour, non-degree program approved by the Louisiana Department of Education.

It will begin March 10; the deadline to apply for admission is Feb. 10.

Instructional coaches, or instruction specialists, are trained to assist other educators, with the ultimate goal of improving teacher and student performance.

“The Graduate Certificate in Instructional Coaching program is designed to give certified teachers knowledge and skills to lead circular innovation and mentor their peers,” said Dr. Luke Dowden, director of Distance Learning at the University.

The University is the first school in Louisiana to offer such a program online, he said.

It is being offered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, in collaboration with the Office of Distance Learning.

The Graduate Certificate in Instructional Coaching program, which can be completed in about 10 months, is structured to accommodate working teachers.

Four, seven-week online courses are “sequenced” over three semesters, Dowden said, with a smaller course load during the academic year and more courses in the summer months.

One course will be offered this semester, another during the Summer 2014 semester and two more during the Fall 2014 semester.

The courses are:

• EDCI 531: Advanced Professional Strategies;
• EDCI 574: Leading Teacher Learning;
• EDCI 576: Supporting Instruction in the Classroom;
• EDCI 599: Capstone in Curriculum and Instruction

The credit hours accrued could apply toward a master’s of education degree in curriculum and instruction, Dowden said.

Completion of the program can be beneficial in obtaining a Louisiana Department of Education Instructional Coach Endorsement, he added.

“If mentoring is something that you really enjoy, this is an opportunity for you to do it and have a formal credential attached to it,” he said.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Coaching program at

For more information, contact