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Professional Development for PreK–12 Teachers, Community Educators, and School or District Leaders

The Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) provides educators with professional development that addresses critical content areas in teaching and learning. Building upon our reputation for preparing experts in teacher education, our offerings apply culturally responsive and innovative approaches to help educators ensure that learners reach their full potential. Some offerings can be taken for graduate credit or Professional Development Points (PDPs). 

A group of students sitting at a table reading books with a teacher

Current Offerings

On-campus offerings take place on the Lesley University campus in Cambridge, MA, near Porter Square (accessible by the Red Line or the commuter rail). For information about the Center coming to your district or school, please contact us.

Opportunities to Advance Professional Skills


A micro-badge documents mastery of a specific topic and/or skill set to apply to your professional practice. Taken for graduate credit or PDPs, they focus on a discrete area of study, providing opportunities to explore the theory behind practice to design more effective curriculum and apply teaching strategies to meet the needs of all learners. A micro-badge from Lesley is an accessible and affordable way to engage in advanced professional study.

To find out more about how micro-badges can be applied to certificate and master's programs in the Graduate School of Education, contact CAPS@lesley.edu.

  • Arts, Equity, and Inclusion

    This micro-badge explores cultural differences and issues of accessibility and inclusion in schools and communities. Through meaningful engagement with arts integration content and strategies, you'll develop skills in arts-based practices to design safe, creative, and engaging classroom environments to support all learners.

    1. LARED/EARED 6003: Equity, Access, and Inclusion through Arts-Based Inquiry 
    2. LARED/EARED 6002: Integrated Arts Strategies for Inclusive Settings
  • Dyslexia

    This micro-badge explores current research on the neurobiology of dyslexia, emerging assessments, and instructional approaches. As an educator in this course, you'll build on your knowledge within a supportive and collaborative learning community to identify dyslexia and construct effective strategies for working with students who have dyslexia.

    • LSPED/ESPED 6165: Dyslexia: Neurobiology, Assessment, Intervention (I)
    • LSPED/ESPED 6166: Dyslexia: Neurobiology, Assessment, Intervention (II)
  • Innovations in Early Childhood Education

    This micro-badge explores innovation and practice inspired by Reggio Emilia and other early childhood education theorists. You'll develop a culturally responsive practice that is grounded in child development and the study of innovative school practices.

    • LEDUC/EEDUC 6139: Pedagogy of Play
    • LEDUC/EEDUC 5815: Innovative Practices in Early Childhood Education Seminar
  • Intersections between Language Development for Emergent Bilingual Learners and Students with Disabilities

    This micro-badge takes a practical approach to language development for emergent bilinguals and students with disabilities. As an educator in this course, you'll consider the implications for teaching reading, writing, and grammar in monolingual or multilingual contexts. And you'll apply practice that takes the neurological basis of communication, developmental milestones, verbal and non-verbal communication, and language diversity into consideration. 

    • EECLD 6002: Essential Linguistics: What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Language 
    • ESPED 6130: Speech, Language and Communication: Development, Disorders, and AAC
  • Trauma and Learning

    This micro-badge examines the impact of trauma on student learning and provides a structured approach to the cultivation of safe and supportive classrooms where children feel seen, heard, and understood. In such school environments, children are free to take emotional and cognitive risks, while they experience uninhibited joys of discovery and learning.

    1. LEDUC 5256: The Impact of Trauma on Learning: An Overview
    2. LEDUC 5257: The Impact of Trauma on Learning: Classroom & Student Supports
  • Mindfulness

    The Mindfulness for Educators Micro-Badge engages educators in the practice of mindfulness and cultivates the knowledge and skills to integrate mindfulness-based best practices into classrooms. Educators who would benefit include classroom teachers, specialists, paraprofessionals, guidance staff, out of school time professionals, school nurses.

    LMIND 6042: Mindfulness: Practice, Theory, and Science
    LMIND 6059: Mindful Education

    Courses in the badge and Graduate Certificate in Mindfulness Studies provide focused training for educators to acquire knowledge and skills to meet the social and emotional needs of students in these challenging times.

Certificate Programs

At Lesley, we offer an array of 12- to 18-credit (4 to 6 courses) graduate certificates, some fully online and some on campus or remote. If you are a school district and would like to offer one of these to your educators, please contact us.

  • Arts Integration Strategies | 15 credits

    In the Arts Integration Strategies graduate certificate program, you'll discover how to use the arts to ensure that all students succeed. Through music, drama, visual arts, storytelling, and poetry, you'll learn strategies that will lead to increased student engagement and achievement; develop new approaches to enliven your current teaching practice; and gain advanced training in integrating the arts across the curriculum. Strategies link to Universal Design for Learning, Differentiated Instruction, and the Common Core standards. This certificate also transfers into a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Integrated Teaching through the Arts.

  • Innovative Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education | 12 credits

    In the Innovative Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate program, you'll deepen your knowledge of pedagogy based on an image of the child as a competent and capable learner. Using the example of the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, you'll emerge with an understanding of how to grow Reggio-inspired communities in a wide range of settings, employing culturally responsive pedagogies. Develop skills in environments, materials, provocations, documentation, family engagement, and the vision of the capable, curious young child.

  • Literacy for the Classroom Teacher | 15 credits

    In the Literacy for the Classroom Teacher graduate certificate program, you'll build skills and knowledge in literacy (K–8), and develop a strong foundation in its application across diverse populations and content areas. This program gives you strategies to use technology to enhance multiple literacies, integrate reading and writing in the classroom, and use authentic literature to match readers and text.

  • Mathematics Education | 18 credits

    Our Mathematics Education graduate certificate program takes a student-centered approach to teaching mathematics that prepares you to teach complex subjects effectively. You’ll learn to engage your students and prepare them to meet national standards as you help with skill development and improvement. And you’ll study the latest teaching approaches while deepening your content knowledge in mathematics.

  • Science in Education | 15 credits

    Refresh your scientific understanding with our Science in Education graduate certificate. The program incorporates the latest scientific findings and relevant environmental and STEAM topics. You’ll get a hands-on, interactive approach to the content and how to use it for improved teaching and learning. This program is designed for classroom teachers and other education professionals in grades 1-8.

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages | 18 credits

    In the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages graduate certificate, you'll learn how to teach, assess, and advocate for K-12 English language learners. You'll get a theoretical foundation and practical, research-based strategies for culturally responsive teaching. Because this program is aligned with TESOL and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), you’ll build skill sets to meet endorsement requirements in multiple states.

  • Trauma and Learning | 12 credits

    To advance the development of trauma sensitive environments, the Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity (LIFTS) in collaboration with Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (MAC/TLPI), offers the Trauma and Learning certificate to help educators and school districts understand the dynamics of acute and chronic trauma, its adverse effects on learning, and how trauma sensitive schools can benefit all children. Lesley's Educational Initiative on Childhood Trauma is supported by the Oak Foundation. 

See the full list of certificates on the Certificate Programs page.

A woman typing on a laptop

How to Register for Courses

Elevate is a new online registration system used for continuing education and other services. Even if you have taken courses at Lesley previously, you will need to create a new account for Elevate, which you can use for future courses offered through this system. Start by going to the catalog, and choose the course(s) you want to take. 

Some courses are offered for credit or for Professional Development Points, so look carefully at the descriptions for the right one. Once you're ready to check out, click on your cart, and you'll be prompted to set up an account. If you have a Lesley email, username, and password, use those. You can use this account for future courses available through Elevate (different from registration via Self-Service).  If you need help, contact IT@lesley.edu or 617-349-8770. 

After entering your personal information, the system will prompt you for payment. If your district/site is sponsoring payment, it is reflected as a discount on the registration page or via a code provided by the center or sponsor. Follow screen to the payment portal.

Once registered, you will receive an email from CAPS@lesley.edu with your Elevate username and portal link. If you’ve never applied to, or taken classes at Lesley, you will also receive an email from Information Technology (IT) with your Lesley Account credentials for Blackboard/myLesley and Self-Service. 

Note: Not all professional studies courses use Blackboard. Your instructor will inform you how to access and participate in the course.

Download course and Blackboard registration information [PDF].

Contact the Center