Fall Recertification Classes

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers a wide array of courses to meet your professional learning needs.

Registration for fall courses is now closed.

Fall Session Details

  • Fall Session: September 13-December 3, 2021
  • Registration Deadline: September 6, 2021
  • Format:  All courses are completely online through Moodle
  • Credit:  Each course is taught at the undergraduate level
  • Grading: A-F grade scale


  • $319.50 per course for those who qualify for VA in-state rate. Those who do not qualify for in-state rates should contact the Cashier's Office. 

Fall Online Recertification Classes

EDU C359: Teaching Writing

This course provides an overview of current writing theory and practices in multicultural, public educational settings. Course themes include culture (including issues in ESL and nonstandard dialects), literacy, writing pedagogy (process, expressive, narrative, collaborative, student-sponsored), conferencing, assessment, and technology. Students will develop demonstrations of teaching practices, as well as a portfolio that will include teaching philosophy, a dialogic learning log, a strategy for assessment, and a final paper addressing one of the class themes. Students will work with Appalachian Writing Project teacher consultants, who will model cutting-edge practices in teaching writing K-12. This course is cross-referenced because it is appropriate both to students who plan to become K-12 teachers and English students who plan to attend graduate school and may be teaching composition.  The course has a live stream that meets Tuesdays from 4:45-7:15 but is also recorded for those who may not be available at that time.

Instructor: Stephanie Cassell

EDU C409: Boosting Motivation and Resilience in At-Risk Students

This course is meant to promote motivation and boost resilience in all students but especially students who come from poverty through the application of positive psychology lessons. Throughout the course, participants will deliver and apply lessons that increase positive class-climate and build a foundation of trust in their classroom. Students will then compare their experiences and adapt instruction accordingly.

Instructor: Lucas Shortt

EDU C410: Building Emotional Intelligence for Academic Success

This course is meant to provide teachers with weekly lessons to build a child’s’ Emotional Intelligence or EQ. Participants will engage their classrooms in EQ building lessons and discuss the outcomes in weekly discussion boards.

Instructor: Lucas Shortt

EDU C411: Understanding Poverty in Education

Research proves that understanding poverty and its relationship to education can help open up a world of achievement for students and adults. In order for that to occur, one must first have a clear understanding of the definition of poverty and the elements that divide the social classes. Students in this course will learn statistics, the role of language, and the hidden rules related to poverty in order to understand what resources are missing and which ones are needed to make a change in the lives of the impoverished. The challenge this course brings is not only to learn the information but also to utilize this knowledge both in the classroom and in the workplace.

Instructor: Fay Garrison

EDU C412: Square Zero: The Effects of Trauma on Students

Trauma has a severe, lasting and pernicious effect on the brains and learning of students, from young children to adolescents. The educational community is awakening to the realization that they must address the underlying effects on learning readiness in students impacted by trauma. In many cases, this must happen BEFORE the student can effectively learn. In effect, we have to go back before “square one” to SQUARE ZERO, the thing that happened to the student before he or she ever entered the classroom and that must be understood and treated before making erroneous assumptions about behavior or study habits. This course is designed to introduce educators to those effects, give them tools to recognize students who may be impacted, offer suggestions for connecting with professionals and resources who can help, and help them to better understand the needs of impacted students.

Instructor: William Allison

EDU C413: Be the “Wild Card”: Shifting from Passive to Active Learning

Students in this course will investigate research-based findings and classroom instructional strategies to assist in enhancing student engagement by delivering curriculum content in a creative, meaningful way that elicits higher-level thinking. The emphasis is on developing and utilizing instructional techniques that encourage students to make personal connections to classroom material and increase student motivation to learn. The overall premise is to focus less on memorization strategies and more on application by allowing the students in our charge to utilize skills and concepts through hands-on, higher-level thinking activities.

Instructor: Heather Davis

EDU C414: No Tech, Low Tech, and High Tech Strategies for Teaching Reading and Writing

This course will guide students through several teaching strategies for the English classroom. The content will include strategies implemented using no technology, low technology, and high technology. “No Technology” strategies involve activities and approaches that are hands-on and involve little to no technology available to students and teachers. “Low Technology” strategies will consist of activities for classrooms with access to only one or two devices. “High Technology” will involve strategies in which access to classroom sets of devices is more readily available.

Instructor: Katie Vanover

EDU C416: School 2.0: Lessons from the Post-Pandemic Classroom

After a year of unprecedented changes to nearly every sector or our daily lives, our education system has seen unparalleled change.  In this course, we will explore key takeaways from the shift to online and virtual instruction and what this means for the future of education. We will identify key strategies that worked well as well as what future technology trends may impact our classrooms of the future.   

Instructor: Heather Askea

EDU C425: Digital Learning Integration for the Classroom

Access to and the effective use of current and emerging technologies are essential elements for contributing to a deeper learning experience for students. This class is designed to guide educators through the Virginia Standards of Learning for Digital Learning Integration.  This guided exploration of the standards also includes the curation and creation of resources, strategies, and lesson activities to help educators create learning experiences that empower student learners.

Instructor: Daniel Vanover

EDU C428: The Creative Classroom: Science K-8

This class will allow students to let their imagination rocket as they create a variety of activities that will add zing to science instruction. The use of inquiry, games, technology, literature, and music are just a few of the ideas that will be integrated into the class. This class will focus on the development of materials that will address the Virginia Department of Education’s Science Standards of Learning.

Instructor: Angela Turley

EDU C445: Enhancing Instructional Practices in Grades 6-12

In this course, we will look at a number of important Curriculum and Instructional Topics and learn about the principles and strategies that successful teachers understand and skillfully employ to achieve consistently outstanding results in their classrooms.

Instructor: Danny Dixon

EDU C446: Enhancing Instructional Practices in Grades PK-6

This course is designed to provide a myriad of best practices to enhance the classroom experience. The course content will include exploring techniques and strategies that improve teacher efficacy, teacher affect, and increase satisfaction in education. Implications for instructional improvement efforts are discussed.

Instructor: Selena Kiser

EDU C448: Positive Discipline in Elementary School

This class will study and examine various positive discipline strategies for effective discipline and productive classroom environment in the elementary grades.

Instructor: Chelsea Lee

EDU C449: School Law for Educators

This course will allow participants the opportunity to have an understanding of current legislative action, the influence of past laws, and to develop an awareness of legal decisions. The results will yield a new-found knowledge of our “teaching parameters.”

Instructor: Dan Roop

EDU C469: Diversity in the Classroom: Culturally Responsive Teaching Part 1

Educators will be guided through steps on how to create a culturally responsive classroom. Educators will examine Critical Race Theory in Education and look at ways to work against racism in education. Educators will learn how their unconscious bias can influence their attitudes towards others (their students, fellow teachers, and supervisors). By recognizing and questioning their perceptions of students, educators will participate in courageous interactions to identify their own unconscious bias. Educators will be given the tools they need to become authentic allies for marginalized groups. Additionally, educators will learn how to effectively incorporate EdTech for meaningful learning experiences. By the end of this course, educators will be able to critically and creatively provide diverse and inclusive spaces for their students.

Instructor: Amy Jackson 

EDU C475: Google Apps for Educators

Providing 21st-century learners with engaging, meaningful learning experiences can be challenging. By providing digital learners with opportunities to use technology, instructional content can be reinforced and retained. The Google Apps for Education course provides teachers with opportunities to learn about and use Google Apps in an educational setting. Teachers will begin the course with an introduction to Google Apps followed by an in-depth look at each specific Google App. Included in the course are helpful ideas and strategies for utilizing Google Apps in the classroom. Finally, an exploration into the Chrome Web Apps, followed by helpful guides for following copyright laws and policies is provided.

Instructor: Daniel Vanover

EDU C476: Small Group Reading Instruction: Organization and Strategies for Success

The content of this course is designed to provide teachers with organizational tips and research-based strategies for implementation during small group reading instruction. Research-based methods of reading instruction will be presented and discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the development of guided reading and skills-focused strategies. Students will use student data to develop differentiated small group lesson plans.

Instructor: Melissa Pannell

EDU C478: Trends in Gifted Education

This course addresses identifying a gifted learner (this will be a brief intro, you cannot discuss the issues facing a gifted learner unless you understand truly gifted vs high achieving students), current problems (legislation and policy changes), the impact of technology on the gifted learner, and the social and economic needs of gifted learners.

Instructor: Sarah Medukas

EDU C479: Conflict Resolution Strategies for Educators

Conflict is a very real part of every workplace. Left unresolved, conflict can eventually destroy an organization. Deal with it properly, and conflict can produce positive change and encourage personal and professional growth among colleagues. This course is designed to help individuals at any level in any organization identify, face, and resolve conflict in the workplace.

Instructor: James Garrison

EDU C484: Rethinking Instruction with Project-Based Learning

Student success for many years has been determined by their performance on state standardized tests. Therefore, many teachers have found themselves helping students with the regurgitation of facts instead of a true application of knowledge through practice. This course will help teachers understand what Performance Assessments are and how they can assure mastery and application of knowledge using Project Based Learning.

Instructors: Dennis Carter and Kimberly Williams

EDU C486: Targeting Struggling Readers to Succeed

This course is designed to help educators target struggling readers in their classrooms and examine the different areas that could be causing their individual weaknesses. The course content will include exploring techniques and strategies that target the five main components of reading: phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The course will provide an online community where educators can explore these areas together and begin to formulate new and exciting ways to target specific areas of reading difficulty in their classrooms.

Instructor: Heather Short

EDU C488: Social Media for Educators

This course focuses on using social media within the classroom setting. It will include a brief history of social media and its current role in society. Portions of the course will concentrate on how to use social media with students and parents for communication and learning. The course will also address using social media for professional development and advancement of instructional skills for the educator. Digital citizenship and best practices for using social media in the classroom setting will also be discussed.

Instructor: David Ellena

EDU C493: Empowering Student Achievement with a Growth Mindset

The class is designed to study and examine how a growth mindset can increase engagement,

improve results, and inspire students in the classroom.

Instructor: Chelsea Lee

EDU-C494 Leadership Development for Teachers

This course focuses on identifying and enhancing leadership skills and knowledge for teachers. The course is designed to help teachers develop leadership skills that can be used in the general educational setting and as a means to prepare a teacher for entry into school administration.

Instructor: David Ellena

EDU C497: Threat Assessment for Educators

The majority of the nation’s students will complete their education without ever being touched by peer violence. Nevertheless, televised images of frightened and injured students fleeing school grounds have imprinted themselves on the American consciousness. Compared to the other types of violence and crime children face both in and outside of school, school-based attacks are rare. Statistics indicate that few students will fall prey to serious violence in school settings. However, highly publicized school shootings have created uncertainty about the safety and security of this country’s schools and generated fear that an attack might occur in any school, in any community. Increased national attention to the problem of school violence has prompted educators, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and parents to press for answers to two central questions: “Could we have known that these attacks were being planned?” and, if so, “What could we have done to prevent these attacks from occurring?”

Instructor: Scott Addison

EDU C498: The Timely Teacher: Strategies for Classroom Organization

The purpose of this course will be to examine and discuss elements of a well-organized classroom. Participants will discuss what works in their own classrooms as well as what does not. Assignments will address strategies for overcoming areas of weakness and setting short and long-term improvement goals. The instructor will adjust the syllabus based on the needs of the class participants.

Instructor: Gequetta Laney

EDU C499: Learning with Seuss: Higher Level Reading Strategies for the Classroom

This course is designed to help educators teach higher-level reading concepts at a lower readability level. We will use texts by Dr. Seuss to address higher-level reading vocabulary and reading strategies.

Instructor: Ashley Boggs

MTH C407: Thinking Geometrically

This course is designed to refresh your conceptual knowledge of geometry while gaining technology tools to enhance your geometry classroom. Explore geometry concepts through real-world applications that combine technology and problem-solving skills to make math exciting and challenging for today’s learners.

Instructor: Ann Delyse Hopkins