Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

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 will 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 CAPS coming to your district or school, please contact us.

Fall 2020 offerings will be taught remotely (mostly synchronous) and online (mostly asynchronous). 

Other 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 in order 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, participants will 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
  • Bilingual Special Education

    This micro-badge addresses the critical need to understand the challenges of assessing and creating plans for students with disabilities whose first language is not English. Designed by a Maria Serpa, a leader in field of bilingual education and longtime facilitator for DESE, this badge is designed for teachers, psychologists, special education and EL directors, as well as for advocates in schools and communities. (for PDPs only)

    1. LEDUC 6005 Assessment in Special Education for Students who are English Language Learners with Disabilities I
    2. Assessment in Special Education for Students who are English Language Learners with Disabilities II
  • Design Learning

    This micro-badge focuses on the intersection of education, design, and technology. Both curriculum developers and classroom teachers will gain knowledge on accessible design and learning platforms. (PDPs only)

    1. Interdisciplinary Seminar 1: 4-day intensive seminar integrating the three disciplines of design, technology and education.
    2. Interdisciplinary Seminar 2: 4 days of studio mentoring one-on-one and in cohorts
  • Dyslexia

    This micro-badge explores current research on the neurobiology of dyslexia, emerging assessments, and instructional approaches. Educators will build on their current knowledge and be supported in a collaborative learning community to identify dyslexia and construct effective strategies for working with students who have dyslexia.

    1. LESPED/ESPED 6165 Dyslexia: Neurobiology, Assessment, Intervention (I)
    2. LESPED/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. Participants will develop a culturally responsive practice that is grounded in child development and study of innovative school practices.

    1. LEDUC/EEDUC 6139 Pedagogy of Play
    2. 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. Educators will consider the implications for teaching reading, writing, and grammar in monolingual or multilingual contexts and apply practice that takes the neurological basis of communication, developmental milestones, verbal and non-verbal communication and language diversity into consideration. 

    1. EECLD 6002 Essential Linguistics: What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Language   
    2. ESPED 6130 Speech, Language and Communication: Development, Disorders and AAC
  • Restorative Justice

    This micro-badge introduces the principles of Restorative Justice and provides avenues to practice its application in different educational and community contexts.  Participants will be trained to use techniques to build and strengthen community, to foster trust and social support, to address conflict and harm, and to serve as an effective reintegration process.

    1. Introduction to Restorative Justice
    2. Circles and Conferencing
  • 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 the 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

Certificate Programs

Lesley offers an array of 12-18 credit (4-6 courses) graduate certificates, some fully online and some on campus, which this fall will be taught remotely. If you are a 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 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’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Integrated Teaching through the Arts.

  • Innovative Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education | 12 credits

    The Innovative Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education program allows you to deepen your knowledge of a 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. Educators will 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 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 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 certificate. The program incorporates the latest science 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 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 the Lesley Online Information Service, or LOIS).  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 LOIS. 

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