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Student-Centered Instructional Coaching Certificate Program

Student-Centered Coaching is about (1) setting specific targets for students that are grounded in the standards and content and (2) working together with educators to ensure that the targets are met (Sweeney, 2010). The University of Wisconsin–Madison is excited to offer a series of four fully online, sequential courses that are dedicated to enhancing and defining the knowledge and skills of instructional coaches.

Through our Student-Centered Coaching Certificate Program, current and aspiring coaches engage in dialogue and job-embedded professional development to ground their coaching work in student evidence and further refine coaching practices.

The program consists of four fully online, sequential courses. These courses must be taken in the order outlined below, and can be taken as credit or non-credit experiences. We are also happy to work with school districts to provide units of advancement (professional credits).


Program Details

Where: Online, Primarily Asynchronous

Program Fee:
$1,518.79 per course for three graduate-level Special Student credits
$1,300 per course for non-credit

Group Rate:
$1150 per person per course for non-credit for three or more educators from the same school/district

Group rates are not available for credit participants.

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Learning Objectives

  • Identify the core practices of Student-Centered Coaching and compare them to other coaching models to help inform coaching strategies that result in student learning
  • Analyze student evidence to guide instructional decision-making
  • Plan collaboratively with educators to improve student learning
  • Conduct Student-Centered Coaching cycles that use student evidence to guide the sessions
  • Recognize factors that may create barriers to effective coaching and work collaboratively to develop approaches to address these factors
  • Reflect on one’s own coaching work and use that reflection to continually grow and improve

Certificate Courses and Dates for Cohort 10

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Foundations of Student-Centered Coaching | June 25-July 29 | Online

This is the first of four courses in the fully online Student-Centered Instructional Coaching Certificate Program. Join instructional leaders from around the world to learn more about the 7 core practices essential to the Student-Centered Coaching model. Participants engage in discussion and analysis of these practices embedded within coaching cycles while considering opportunities for use within their own professional contexts. Online Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) serve as spaces for collaborative analysis and ongoing dialogue, thus creating opportunities for constructive peer-to-peer feedback. Participants also plan and develop materials for leading coaching efforts at their sites, a process that continues throughout all four Certificate Program courses. 

Register Now

Assessment Analysis and Instructional Decision-Making | September 24-November 18 | Online

In Assessment Analysis and Instructional Decision-Making, we will dig deeper, examining student evidence, asking critical questions, and seeking to understand more than just the numbers. What stories does the data tell? What stories go untold? How do we sort student evidence to tell a different story, and why does this matter? How do we coach so all students’ strengths are recognized and actionable next steps are identified for moving each and every student to the next level? How do we engage in productive coaching conversations about ways to effectively use student evidence to enhance student learning? Why are these questions important? Because our children are more than just numbers, and their futures depend on it.

Organizational Change and Student-Centered Coaching | Spring 2024

The goal of Organizational Change and Student-Centered Coaching is to support coaches and coaching supervisors in leadership, management, and design of educational organizations as it relates to leveraging coaching to advance organizational and learning outcomes, and designing organizational structures and cultures that support coaching efficacy. The course will focus on identifying barriers to organizational change and mechanisms or strategies to support change processes at the individual teacher, school, and district or system levels. The course specifically emphasizes the ways in which coaches and coaching supervisors may utilize organizational theory to improve management decisions and organizational outcomes. It also provides information to facilitate organizational change, to enhance leadership style, and to improve organizational effectiveness.

Practicum for Student-Centered Coaching | Fall 2024

The culmination of the Student-Centered Instructional Coaching Certificate Program, this practicum provides participants with an opportunity to apply and integrate knowledge and skills acquired throughout the certificate program. Additionally, readings and activities engage participants in critical analysis and reflection on their coaching practices. Participants will coordinate and engage as a coach with their onsite Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), working through ​one student-centered coaching cycle with ​a teacher partner or ​a team of teachers. Our online PLCs will serve as an extension of this onsite work. Participants will engage in collaborative inquiry into coaching practice accounting for sociocultural and student-centered instructional practices, paying attention to components of adult learning theory, and analyzing coaching roles through language use and facilitation norms.

Practicum for Student-Centered Coaching Testimonials

This program has been one of the best investments I have made in self-development. Each course is thoughtfully sequenced to help participants develop a powerful perspective about coaching. Course activities have had practical job implications and helped me understand how to be a school leader. I've also loved being a member of my cohort community.

This should be a requirement for all coaches and administration. The focus on equity and relationships is a much-needed layer for our school communities. Understanding the way we care, teach and embrace each other can make a world of difference for our students if we all take on this work together. This course will take you in directions you didn't know you needed to go.

What an empowering, transformative experience! Any educator would be fortunate to learn coaching in such an emotionally supportive yet intellectually challenging course. I wish every educator had a chance to experience this course.

This coaching program was crucial for my development as a beginning coach. The breadth of topics covered, the quality, and practical applications of the readings - all were valuable. It was also an opportunity to talk with and learn from leaders in the field.


If you have questions about the Student-Centered Instructional Coaching Certificate Program, please email Instructional Coaching Program Coordinator Sandra Taylor-Marshall at