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A new Trauma in Educational Communities Certificate opened for enrollment in fall 2020, and is only one of its kind recognized by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Teachers who complete the certificate program can add a specialization to their teaching license. With 18 credits, spread over six courses, students can earn the certificate in just less than a year, fully online.

LA GRANDE — A new Trauma in Educational Communities Certificate offered at Eastern Oregon University responds to increased isolation, illness and financial hardship many families face.

The certificate opened for enrollment in fall 2020, and is only one of its kind recognized by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Teachers who complete the certificate program can add a specialization to their teaching license. With 18 credits, spread over six courses, students can earn the certificate in just less than a year, fully online.

“The program is intended to continue the professional development of educators who seek the skills and knowledge needed to work effectively in their classrooms and in their larger school communities to support students who have experienced trauma,” Education Professor Karyn Gomez said. “Classroom and school-wide practices that support students and provide trauma-informed learning environments will ultimately provide a more equitable education for all students.”

According to Gomez, decreases in disciplinary actions, more on-task learning time, reductions in school absenteeism, and stronger academic achievement can be signs of effective trauma-invested practices within a school.

The certificate is part of EOU’s Bridge Academy, which bundles courses into applicable “bridges” that assist working adults looking to advance or change their careers. EOU also offers a Trauma in Educational Communities concentration in the Master of Science in Education degree program.

“The Trauma in Educational Communities Certificate is one of the ways that EOU can serve place-bound students due to its fully online format,” Gomez said. “With this program, the College of Education is able to make a high-quality professional development program accessible to teachers in rural communities.”

In addition to the Trauma in Educational Communities Certificate, EOU’s Bridge Academy offers a Health Care Administration bridge and a Physical Education bridge. Learn more about these programs at eou.edu/bridge-academy.

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