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Continuing Education Course Catalog > Education > PLU Instructor Academy

PLU Instructor Academy  

Increase retention, encourage persistence, and invite success

Pacific Lutheran University Instructor Academy is a professional development opportunity for post-secondary educators and other trainers to

  • understand learning theory to enhance instructional practices
  • improve instructional strategies
  • expand diversity and inclusion practices

Courses are offered through the following strands

  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Adult Learning
  • Special Education

Details (Per Course)

  • Cost: $250.00
  • Format: Face-to-face with online support (see "Course Format/Schedule" below)
  • Contact Hours: approximately 15 hours, split between class sessions and outside practice with asynchronous online content
  • Credits: Non-credit
  • Certificate Option: complete one course from each strand to earn a PLU Certificate of Completion

Course Format/Schedule

  • Session 1: 4-hour, face-to-face workshop to immerse yourself in the course content and explore ideas with your facilitator and colleagues

  • Practicum & Online Support: approximately 7 hours of asynchronous online study, discussion, and collaboration as you apply your learning in the field
    • There are no set meeting times for the asynchronous online work

  • Session 2: a final 4-hour, face-to-face workshop to review, strategize, and further enhace your learning

Current Courses

For full course descriptions, click here.

Reaching Students: Analysis of Assumptions and Learning Theory
Date: TBD; Strand: Adult Learning

The purpose of this course is to help us improve our craft of teaching by thinking through how learning theory can inform our practice. Each of us carries with us assumptions about how people learn and what constitutes adequate learning in various situations. These assumptions come from our cultural backgrounds and upbringing, from our own “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie, 1975) as students in schools, and from our continuing work as educators of children and adults. These assumptions paired with who we are as individual learners often influences how we teach. Exploring and creating a broad understanding of theories of learning and the development of expertise can help us see multiple ways to reach our students. Readings and online posts prior to our first F2F session will set us up to begin. Session 1 (F2F) will focus on theories of learning and applying them to the content we teach. Online work, in between sessions, involves a deeper investigation of learning theory and our assumptions around the development of expertise, preparing theoretical sketches to observe theories in action (identifying student success and struggles and modifying lessons to create more access points for all types of learners), and beginning to investigate our own modes of learning. Session 2 (F2F) involves sharing and learning together around those theoretical sketches and working more with our own assumptions and ways of learning. These sessions will bring it all together around "who I am as an educator," "how I teach," and "how I can reach more students."

Making Your Class Accessible: Learn and Apply Effective Strategies to Make your Content Accessible for All Students
Date: TBD; Strand: Special Education

This course is designed for instructors who want to make their classes accessible for all learners. In the ever-changing environment of the college classroom, more students with documented or undocumented disabilities are enrolling. This course will give the instructor a variety of strategies to use to support these students acquire the needed content to be successful in a college classroom. Strategies for accommodation and modification of teaching and learning will be explored. The first workshop will involve discussions around students with disabilities and ways to support these students within a college setting. The second workshop will focus on analyzing specific strategies tried and their impact on instructor and student. A plan for some next steps will also be developed.

Having students with documented disabilities in a classroom can often times be challenging. This course is designed to support you as the instructor with your teaching as well as supporting the student with their learning.

Effective Course Design: Starting with the End in Mind
Date: TBD; Strand: Instruction or Assessment

This course will help instructors learn how to design new courses or redesign existing courses so that learning outcomes, assessment, instruction, and activities are aligned. During our first onsite session, we will examine how to write precise, targeted learning outcomes. Then, we will discuss how to plan assessments, instruction, and activities that align to your learning outcomes. During the time between sessions, participants will develop their course plan and receive feedback from instructors and peers. During our second onsite session, we will discuss strategies to make course design more effective, and participants will consider how to use assessment to revise course planning during and after they teach their courses.

Courses/Topics in Development

For full course descriptions, click here.

Beyond PowerPoint: Structuring Engaging Lectures in a Community College Class
Dates TBD; Strand: Instruction

“Groupworthy,” Not "Parallel Completion": Fostering Engaging Collaborative Learning in the Classroom
Dates TBD; Strand: Instruction

Technology in the Classroom: A Beginner’s Guide
Dates TBA; Strand: Instruction

Meaningful Classroom Assessment: Using Data to Inform Instruction
Dates TBA; Strand: Assessment

Who Should Enroll

Current or future educators, especially those interested in post-secondary education and training

Refund Policies

A full refund will be provided 10 business days before the start of the workshop. An 80% refund will be provided 5 business days before the workshop. No refund will be provided within 5 business days of the workshop or after the start date.


For more information,  "CLICK HERE" .


Contact Information
Center for Graduate and
Continuing Education

Phone: 253-535-7722

Center for Graduate and
Continuing Education
12180 Park Avenue S.
Tacoma, WA 98447