Design a Course for the Professional Learning Academy

Instructions for New PLA Course Development

1) Submit a course proposal to The new course proposal should include 1) Your name as the course developer, 2) the new course name, 3) a course catalog description, 4) the module titles for the 6 assignment module areas, 5) course objectives (3-4), and 6) a sample module. Your resume or vita with degrees, experience, and credentials to write a course on the topic should accompany the course proposal.

2) The PLA staff will review courses within 10 business days and notify you of the outcome. If the course is accepted, the full, 6-week course is due to within 30 calendar days.

3) After your full course submission, the PLA staff will review the course and provide feedback within 10 business days. Once notified, any required course revisions are due to the PLA Coordinator within 10 business days.

4) Once the final course is accepted and approved by the PLA office, the payment process begins, and the new course is submitted to MDE for course approval.

5) With MDE approval, the course goes live in our Professional Learning Academy.

We are looking for courses in these areas

  • Achieving the Sacred Work-Life Balance
  • Better Relating to Families and Understanding Cultural Diversity
  • Creating a Community of Action
  • Creating School Cohorts and Future Leaders
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching Techniques and Strategies
  • Digital Technology Assessment Tools that Engage Your Classroom
  • Don't be Scared of AI – How to use it Effectively
  • Engaging with Online Learners and Making it Connect
  • Game-Based Learning
  • High School Classroom Connections – Let them use their Cell Phone!
  • Meaningful Relationships with Boundaries
  • Place-Based Learning for Your Community School
  • Reaching and Teaching Through Trauma
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Student Accountability in Ways that Matter to Them
  • Student Mental Health Supports
  • Supporting Diverse Learners with Autism
  • Supporting Diverse Learners with Dyslexia
  • Teaching Technology Safely with Digital Citizenship
  • Using Sensory Based Learning
  • Women in Educational Leadership
  • Universal Design for Learning

Professional Learning Academy (PLA) Guidelines


All PLA courses are presented completely online and do not require books or any other purchased materials. Class content should be divided into 6 assignments. Each assignment requires a minimum one-page reflective response to demonstrate that the student completed the learning assignments. Every PLA course is eligible for 2.0 CEUs, 1 OSL, or 15 SEMIs (20 hours of learning). We suggest timing your course by how long you estimate it would take the slowest learner to complete.


All 6 assignments totaled must equal 1200 minutes (20 hours). This is
demonstrated by the following:

  • Each page = 10 minutes (slowest reader speed)
  • Each video = time of the actual length of the video
  • Research = designate the time for students to research. (Example: Please spend two hours searching for ways to incorporate physical activity in your classroom.)


    Each assignment requires a response estimated to take the student 60 minutes. Please use this estimate when calculating the timing of your course. Response prompts should be open-ended questions that allow students to demonstrate that they completed the learning assignment (Example: Based on the included resources, what key strategies will you incorporate into your classroom instruction? How will these strategies impact your teaching? What additional strategies did you learn from this week’s video?). These responses are read by a Professional Learning staff member and graded as Pass or Fail. Failing responses are returned to the student, and they are allowed to re-submit.

    All classes are structured around the same syllabus. The following information is presented to students at the beginning of every course concerning responses:

    All assigned learning experiences require you to submit a response. Responses should be:

    • One Page in Length
    • Typed
    • Times New Roman
    • Double-Spaced
    • 12-point font
    • A Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx)

    At the end of the course, an evaluation is required that is estimated at 20 minutes. We provide the evaluation.

    All courses are instructed and graded as pass/fail by the Office of Professional Learning.

    The strongest courses provide updated and diverse resources for participants to review and action items they can immediately use in their classrooms.