Certificate in Social and Emotional Learning: Education in Communion
Now accepting applications for Fall 2023!
Teachers play an important role in collaborating with parents to form their children to be scholars and saints. The Aquinas College Certificate of Catholic Social Emotional Learning was designed to help teachers to fulfill their vocation with courses built not only on solid psychological understanding, but also on the authentic and uniquely Catholic understanding of the dignity of the human person as taught by St. Thomas Aquinas. At the heart of Aquinas’s teaching is the dignity of the human person who is made in the image and likeness of God and created to enter into communion with God and to enter into communion with other persons. The use of a Thomistic approach allows one to integrate a Christian anthropological view with psychosocial research.
Who Would Most Benefit?
Aquinas College’s Certificate of Catholic Social Emotional Learning provides an ideal professional development to those teaching or working in schools, as well as those who want to become more familiar with how to meet the needs of students according to a Catholic perspective of the human person. In addition, those who have a bachelor’s degree and ultimately want to pursue a Master’s Degree in education will be able to apply credits earned through the certificate program toward degree requirements.
Content of the Certificate Program
- 4 In-person Courses
- 12 Credit Hours
The educator will:
1. Articulate current psychosocial and educational theories of social and emotional development of children in dialogue with the view of the human person as taught in the tradition of Christian anthropology and articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas.
2. Demonstrate ability to:
- build trusting relationships with students,
- foster self-reflection in students,
- foster potential for growth in students,
- cultivate perseverance in students,
- create community in the classroom,
- promote collaborative learning in the classroom, and
- create unity without uniformity and diversity without division in the classroom.
3. Design and implement instruction in social emotional learning to promote the dignity of every human person.
EDU 600 EDUCATION IN THE DOMINICAN TRADITION (3 credit hours) (K-12)
Participants in this course will examine the roles of the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of education at all levels from the Dominican perspective. These elements will be examined in the light of a Christian anthropology and world view. The importance of the educator as witness and the dignity of the human person will also be emphasized in light of teaching as a vocation. The importance of promoting a culture of learning and the formation of moral conscience and fostering moral courage in dealing with current moral concerns will be integral to this course. This is the first course in the program of study.
EDU 520 HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (3 credit hours) (K-12)
This course is a detailed study of the physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional growth and development of the human person, covering the entire life-span. The course will explore developmental and educational issues as they relate to the human person as understood in the tradition of Christian anthropology, particularly as articulated by the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. All stages of human life from conception to the aged are considered. Particular emphasis will be placed on how individuals learn in the context of their environment. In addition to studying the entire life-span, each teacher candidate will engage in a focused study of one phase of development. Teacher candidates will use field experiences to incorporate educational issues and decisions in the context of the broader and diverse human community to support learning.
PSY 523 EXCEPTIONAL CHILD (3 credit hours) for Grades K-5
Acknowledging that each child is unique, and in this sense, exceptional, this course focuses on the needs of a variety of children, including those with learning disabilities, physically and/or mentally limiting conditions, intellectual gifts and emotional or behavioral difficulties. The course will explore the social and emotional development of children with the view of the human person as understood in the tradition of Christian anthropology particularly as articulated by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The main emphasis is on empowering the teacher candidate to enable each child to strive for and reach full personal potential. Techniques for planning and instruction, as well as methods, materials, and strategies for educational intervention are presented. Teacher candidates will use field experience to evaluate, select, and create learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate, relevant to teacher candidate, and are based on principles of effective instruction.
EDU 524 INSTRUCTING DIVERSE LEARNERS (3 credit hours) for Grades 6-12
This course examines pedagogical, curricular, and social considerations pertaining to teaching and learning. Areas for discussion will include, yet not be limited to, diversity of culture, ethnicity, language, and exceptional learning needs. Emphasis will be placed on how diversity is represented in each learner and how to design and implement appropriate instructional opportunities for all learners in the classroom. The course requires students to design instruction that promotes effective learning for diverse audiences as well as analyze professional education practices to promote the inclusion of sound ethical and moral principles. The course will explore the social and emotional development of children with the view of the human person as understood in the tradition of Christian anthropology particularly as articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. Field experiences required.
ENG 500: CHILDREN’S LITERATURE (3 credit hours) for Grades K-5
This course is a critical consideration of the genres of children’s literature and modes of instruction that allow for analysis of that literature. Field Experiences are included. Emphasis is placed on research through peer-reviewed journals dedicated to children’s literature. Each student will learn how to structure and implement a balanced literacy program for elementary grades through planning and instruction.
ENG 503: ADOLESCENT LITERATURE (3 credit hours) for Grades 6-12
This course is a critical consideration of the genres included in adolescent literature and modes of instruction that allow for analysis of that literature. Field Experiences are included. Emphasis is placed on research through peer-reviewed journals dedicated to the teaching of adolescent literature. Each student will learn how to structure and implement a balanced scope and sequence for secondary grades through planning and instruction.
(completed during final semester or within the semester following the final course)
Part One: The candidate will create and teach a literacy or other subject area unit for a chosen grade level, which integrates the teaching of social emotional learning based on a Thomistic anthropology. Graduates of the program will have access to a collection of the units created by all participants of the program.
Part Two: The candidates will demonstrate mastery of the seven program outcomes through videos of their teaching and commentary, which may include teaching of the above unit.
MENTORING FOR COMPLETERS
Mentoring will be available to graduates during their first three years after program completion as they implement principles of SEL in their own classrooms.
- For Credit: $2,325 per course (3 credits and 30 PD points)
- To Audit: $525 per course (15 PD points)
- Scholarships Available for Catholic School Teachers!
Courses are offered in the evenings, typically in an accelerated format with one three and a half hour class session every other week. The program may usually be completed in one to two years.
- Application and $25 fee
- Current Resume
- Official Transcripts of all previous institutions attended
- Two professional recommendations
- Background Check w/ fingerprints
School of Education
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545 x422