Feb 3, 2014 4:42 PM by MELISSA CANONE

University offers La.'s first online program for coach certification

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette 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 that will benefit them in advising administrators, teachers and other professional educators in the planning and implementation of educational programs," said Dr. Luke Dowden, director of Distance Learning a UL Lafayette.

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

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 doing 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 or



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