Professional Development Courses: Schedule

All three credit courses require 42 hours of instructional work throughout the duration of the course. Whether it is in-person class time or online alternative instruction, it is your opportunity to put your new knowledge into immediate practice. The frequency of online discussion/interaction with instructor and classmates is throughout the course. It is available 24 hours a day. For course descriptions simply click on the course name or visit our course catalog. 10 days prior to the course you will receive a Welcome email with directions and any other instructions for the course. If you have any questions about our scheduling please feel free to contact us at info@thomstecher.com.

Registration for courses closes 5 days before the first day of class or if the course is filled.

An official Grade Receipt Letter will be mailed by Neumann University at the conclusion of the course. Official transcripts can be ordered by visiting Transcripts and Forms page found here.

Filter Courses

Winter/Spring 2018

EDU 526 - Making Web Based Technology Easier for 21st Century Teachers and Learners (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: January 1 – February 25, 2018
  • Professors: Phil Hochman
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

Registration period has ended.

Making Web Based Technology Easier for 21st Century Teachers and Learners is designed to meet the needs of the net generation. This course was created to allow learners of all different technological levels to grow and maximize their practice utilizing freely available web based software to maximize their teaching impact. This course will gradually and systematically break down all of the nuances of the web, and shatter barriers that hinder 24/7/365 learning. This course will bring the participant to the awareness level of many new and exciting products that will reach the students in their classroom and reconnect them intellectually, socially and emotionally to any content area.
In this course we will require the use of any net connected device, such as a laptop, Ipad, Chromebook etc. This course was designed to meet the needs of the most technologically challenged teacher to the most tech savvy. 

EDU 526 - Stress Management: Specific Solutions for Educators

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: January 29 – March 25, 2018 In class meeting dates- 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/17
  • Professors: Dr. John Bearoff and Jessica McFarland
  • Location: Villa Maria Academy, Malvern, PA

Registration period has ended.

This course is designed to help teachers, administrators, and support staff assess their stress levels, identify primary causes of excess stress in both their professional and personal lives, and learn specific, realistic stress reduction strategies. Participants will learn how and why stress levels, burnout, and job dissatisfaction are disproportionately high in the educational field. Educators will explore the most appropriate and necessary choices facing anyone in high stress occupations: change your skills, change your position, change your attitude, or change jobs. Participants will learn and practice relaxation and visualization techniques, safe and simple exercise options. and other strategies that are under their control.  Each in person day of the course will include yoga, mindfulness, nutrition, and a walk outside (weather permitting).  Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or blanket.

EDU 526 - Understanding and Intervening with At Risk Youth Behaviors (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: February 12 – April 8, 2018
  • Professors: Alex Fizz and Scott Heydt
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full. Please put your name on the waiting list. You will be contacted if there is an opening.

This course will examine in great detail the most significant at-risk behaviors involving young people today. We will explore the physical, psychological and social implications of these potentially destructive behaviors. Topics will include current trends in the use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by young people today. We will look in depth at concerns around childhood and adolescent depression and suicide. We will examine grief, trauma and loss and the effect on learning. Another area of concern for educators today is violence and bullying. It is critical we understand the causes, markers and strategies that work to mitigate this pressing issue. Self-injury and eating disorders also affect some young people today. We will explore the signs and symptoms and what educators can and can’t do. Intervention efforts with each area of concern and with each individual student will be based on Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets (DA) model and on the Positive Behavioral Instruction and Support (PBIS) model, which we will label and understand as “Strength Based Intervention”. Each topic will be addressed through large group instruction, large and small group discussion, video clips and personal reflection. Plans will be developed by participants so they may be better prepared to identify and address at-risk behaviors they suspect in their students. We will stress the fact that educators are not treatment providers but by having a working knowledge of at-risk behaviors they are better prepared to identify and refer to the proper resources.

EDU 526 - Managing K-12 Adolescent Health Issues

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: March 5 – April 29, 2018, In class meeting dates- 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22
  • Professors: Ling Chang, PT, Ph.D.
  • Location: Residence Inn, Malvern, PA

There is a growing body of health related concerns affecting our K-12 students. These concerns vary from nutrition concerns, eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, general fitness, innate and acquired childhood diseases and concussions. Managing these health related issues include not only understanding the general workings of the individual disease processes but understanding both the secondary concerns and the anatomy and physiology driving these concerns. This course will provide a detailed working knowledge of anatomy and physiology aimed towards addressing some of the health concerns affecting our student population. Additional information will include developing plans to assist affected populations in succeeding in the academic environment. 

EDU 526 - Diversity Awareness in Education (online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: March 12 – May 6, 2018
  • Professors: Alex Fizz
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is full. Please put your name on the waiting list. You will be contacted if there is an opening.

This course helps educators gain a greater awareness of the racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, cultural, and all of the different forms of diversity present in their school, community, and beyond. Leaners will be involved in insightful and meaningful learning that will place a great emphasis on personal perspective and the perspectives of others.  This course will empower learners with the knowledge to create effective strategies for use in their curriculum, classroom, building, school, or community.

EDU 526 - Growth Mindset in Students and Classrooms

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: March 19 – May 13, 2018, In class meeting dates- 3/24, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5
  • Professors: Krista Leh
  • Location: Staybridge Suites, Glen Mills, PA

This course explores the components critical to fostering a Growth Mindset based on research by Carol Dweck. Class participants will investigate ways to develop a Growth Mindset within themselves as a model, the students, and the learning environment. Attendees will participate in experiential activities, personal and collaborative reflection, and action planning to develop innovative practices and procedures as well as engaging instructional strategies that can be immediately implemented.

EDU 526 - Mindfulness: Self-Care for Educators

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: April 2 – May 27, 2018 In class meeting dates- 4:30pm-7:30pm- 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, Full Day Retreat on 4/29 - 8am-4pm
  • Professors: Josh Gansky
  • Location: Franklin Commons, Phoenixville, PA

Through the practice of Mindfulness, participants will be given time to pause and focus on their own care and well-being.  This class is designed for the self-care of educators.  This is an opportunity for educators to reduce stress, recharge, reflect, and reconnect.  This time together will be both educational and experiential.  This will be a shared experience of discovery, awareness, and care.  Self-care is at the heart of everything we do: the way we feel, think, and act.  When we take care of ourselves, we can be at our best, have more balance in our lives, and be more present for the people in our lives.  This enhanced presence allows us to better connect with our families, friends, colleagues, and students.   In addition, as adults, we want our children to lead healthy lives, to learn healthy coping skills, and to make healthy choices.  When we care for ourselves, we can be more present for our children and we can model healthy behaviors for them. Self-care allows us to better connect with ourselves and with the individuals who may cross our paths each moment of the day.  We can actively enhance our lives and the lives of others.

This course consists of weeknight class meetings and a full day retreat.

Summer 2018

EDU 526 - Creative Writing in the Secondary Classroom

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: May 14 – July 1, 2018 In class meeting dates- 5/20, 6/3, 6/20, 6/21
  • Professors: Francis Daulerio
  • Location: Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, PA

This course is geared toward educators who are trying to find new ways to teach creative writing to their students and help them navigate their way through the complicated world of publishing.  Students in the course will read contemporary examples of writing within poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, explore and participate in writing exercises, learn about the blended editing process, explore ways to get students published in literary journals, and learn how to integrate these concepts into their curriculum. 

EDU 526 - Strength Based Living (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: May 14 – July 1, 2018
  • Professors: Pete Thompson
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day and Instructor interaction is throughout the course.

Positive Psychology is built on three basic strands of research:
1. Positive experience/Positive emotions
2. Positive character traits or strengths
3. Positive social contexts that enable the first two strands to manifest

The goal of positive psychology has been to develop a “Science of Human Strengths” by empirically studying the attitudes and actions that lead to well-being and human thriving.  In effect, positive psychology studies what is right with people. This course will introduce the basic concepts for a positive psychology, and encourage the application of its proven methodologies.  Participants will be able to apply the principles and practices of positive psychology to their lives, including with their students and colleagues.

EDU 526 - Fostering Creative Thinking and Innovation in the Classroom

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: June 4 – July 15, 2018 In class meeting dates- 6/9, 6/27, 6/28, 7/3
  • Professors: Mark Eisenhuth and Chris Palochak
  • Location: Malvern, PA

This course is designed to demystify creativity and innovation. Students will discover that all human beings have a great deal of creative potential and will employ techniques for tapping into this immense, cognitive resource. Participants will research, learn, and discuss the most recent and widely accepted creativity theories: the thoughts of Keith Sawyer, Ronald Beghetto, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will be examined. Coursework will include students/instructors learning how to, and putting into practice: brainstorming techniques, team problem solving practices, and applying these methods to examine, dissect, and solve problems they face in life and in their classrooms. Through these highly engaging, interactive, and reflective activities we will change the way teachers and administrators view creativity, and ultimately reshape classroom pedagogy. Making American students more innovative and better problem solvers will be the end goal of the course experience.

EDU 526 - Understanding and Teaching Children Affected by Poverty (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: June 11 – July 22, 2018
  • Professors: Alex Fizz
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day.

This course is designed so that educators can better understand children coming from poverty. Poverty will be discussed from a variety of viewpoints; including: financial, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. We will examine the critical role that support systems, resources, relationships and role models play as intervening factors. We will explore the hidden rules and habits of poverty situations. Some key beliefs of this course are: poverty is relative, poverty occurs in all races, economic class is a continuous line not a clear cut distinction, there is a difference between generational and situation poverty. Participants will experience research-based strategies to assist children affected by poverty.

EDU 526 - Educating the Traumatized Child

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 2 – August 12, 2018 In class meeting dates- 7/9, 7/10, 7/23, 7/24
  • Professors: Vicki Morgan
  • Location: Franklin Commons, Phoenixville, PA

This course is designed to explore the impact of traumatic experiences on children and adolescents across multiple stages of development.  In addition, this course will identify how traumatic life events can affect the ability for children to learn in a variety of settings.  Through journal articles, presentations, media resources, and discussion, students will not only gain a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of trauma, but also attain a variety of strategies on how to effectively contain and manage maladaptive emotional and physical responses in the school setting.  

EDU 526 - Mindfulness: Self-Care for Educators (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 9 – August 19, 2018
  • Professors: Danielle Nuhfer
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day and Instructor interaction is throughout the course.

Through the practice of Mindfulness, participants will be given time to pause and focus on their own care and well-being.  This class is designed for the self-care of educators.  This is an opportunity for educators to reduce stress, recharge, reflect, and reconnect.  This time together will be both educational and experiential.  This will be a shared experience of discovery, awareness, and care.  Self-care is at the heart of everything we do: the way we feel, think, and act.  When we take care of ourselves, we can be at our best, have more balance in our lives, and be more present for the people in our lives.  This enhanced presence allows us to better connect with our families, friends, colleagues, and students.   In addition, as adults, we want our children to lead healthy lives, to learn healthy coping skills, and to make healthy choices.  When we care for ourselves, we can be more present for our children and we can model healthy behaviors for them. Self-care allows us to better connect with ourselves and with the individuals who may cross our paths each moment of the day.  We can actively enhance our lives and the lives of others.

EDU 526 - Human Sexuality

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 9 – August 19, 2018 In class meeting dates- 7/18, 7/19, 8/1, 8/2
  • Professors: LeeAnn Marchesi and Jenny Purvis
  • Location: Franklin Commons, Phoenixville, PA

This is an introductory level human sexuality course with an overview of the concepts from current research in human sexuality.  Focus is placed on the extent to which sexual beliefs are culturally determined.  Students identify their own values, identify those of others, and become at ease discussing the many different topics of sexuality.  This course is for counselors, teachers, nurses, coaches and all staff who want a deeper level of experience in self-reflection, self-awareness, courageous conversations, and the willingness to explore vulnerability and biases as the core of meaningful human experiences in sexuality.

EDU 526 - Diversity Awareness II: How To Make Positive Change (Online)

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 9 – August 19, 2018
  • Professors: Alex Fizz and Aaron Jones
  • Location: Online. The course will be available 24 hours a day and Instructor interaction is throughout the course.

This course is designed to take the knowledge and awareness gained in "Diversity Awareness in Education" and put it to use through action.  During this course, participants will not only get a deeper understanding of diversity but also be equipped with the tools to successfully facilitate everything from advanced classroom activities to district-wide policy implementation around the topic. Course participants will also leave with the ability to overcome challenges and setbacks that may arise, plus the knowledge and skills necessary to create constructive educational and social change on a scale that can extend beyond the classroom.  (Participants are NOT required to take Diversity Awareness in Education first).

EDU 526 - Brain Rules: How the Brain Learns

  • Price: $800.00
  • Dates: July 9 – August 19, 2018 In class meeting dates- 7/16, 7/17, 8/6, 8/7
  • Professors: Joe Brancoccio and Philip Hochman
  • Location: Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, PA

This course is designed to familiarize participants with twelve brain rules necessary for healthy brain activity.  When implemented in course instruction, these rules create an environment that allows optimum learning potential.  Awareness of the rules will enhance students’ ability to comprehend complex concepts.  Participants will learn the research behind each of the twelve rules, and personally explore and reflect on each one.  Ultimately they will discover how to positively impact instruction in the classes they teach in the future.  John Medina, the author of Brain Rules, and several other brain researchers’ findings will be cited throughout the course through the use of power point, video, and the course workbook.  Activities will be implemented throughout the course to enhance comprehension of the subject matter, and provide examples of classroom methods that may be used in the participants’ own classrooms.