Professional Learning Academy Courses

The Professional Learning Academy combines incredible learning opportunities with affordability and convenience. Each six-week course is self-progressing and earns 2.0 CEUs, 1 OSL Module, or 15 SEMIs. Registration per course is just $65.00. The course fee includes the CEU, OSL or SEMI certificate and is non-refundable. Certificates are mailed at the end of each six-week course. Basic Computer skills and high speed internet are required. New classes start every Monday. Registration closes at 9 a.m. on the Friday before the course begins.


FAQsFall 2019 Course ScheduleSample Syllabus

Active Classroom: Participants will learn about the positive relationship between physical activity and learning and how to incorporate physical activity in the teaching of academic subjects.

An Introduction to 21st Century Learning:  Introduce educators to the Framework for the 21st Century Learning, including core subjects and 21st century themes.

Assessing Student Learning:  Participants will understand balanced assessment and develop tools and skills for assessing students in a more meaningful way. Topics include authentic  assessment, questioning, formative assessments, aligned assessments, quality assessment practices, and more.

Basics of Nutrition: Participants will learn the tools needed to create healthy eating patterns and how to incorporate this routine in daily food choices.

Building Vocabulary:  Educators will learn how to promote students’ vocabulary development.

Collaboration in the Workplace: Participants will learn how to establish shared goals or vision in all areas of your life.

College and Career Readiness and Struggling Learners: Educators will explore supportive practices and resources for implementing College and Career Readiness Standards with struggling learners.

College and Career Readiness for English/Language Arts:  Become familiar with the new College and Career Readiness Standards for ELA and explore resources and ideas for standards-base instruction.

College and Career Readiness for Math: Become familiar with the new College and Career Readiness Standards for Mathematics and explore resources and ideas for Standards-base instruction.

Common Issues Associated with Teaching Sexual Education: Participants will explore the common issues impacting sexual education.  Sexuality Education has been around for decades, however, there are many implications/issues affecting the content of what needs are to be addressed in sexuality educational programs.

Communication in the Workplace: Participants will evaluate their current communication skills and determine areas of growth.

Conflict Resolution: Participants will learn more about conflict and how to confront and manage difficult situations with confidence.

Creative Thinking in the Workplace:  Participants will learn why creativity is a critical 21st Century skill and learn how to develop it use in all areas of your life.

Critical Thinking in the Workplace:  Participants will develop strategies for effectively collaboration with coworkers by using knowledge of personality types.

Cyber Smart: Being active online has all kinds of benefits: from keeping in touch with friends and family, learning new hobbies or skills and being able to access the online services increasingly being offered by organizations, businesses, and educational institutions. Of course, as well as taking advantage of the benefits, it’s vital that everyone learn about cyber-safety as well.

Daily 5: A Management System for Literacy Instruction: Participants will engage in the process of successfully implement the Daily 5 management system into their classrooms, which will foster literacy independence in the elementary grades.

Developing Emotional Intelligence: Participants will learn what EI is and how they can develop it in themselves and others to improve relationships reduce stress and achieve great levels of happiness.

Differentiating Instruction for Reading:  Develop a variety of activities to differentiate instruction in reading.

Effectively Managing the Classroom: This Classroom Management Professional Learning Academy (PLA) is designed to provide teachers a pathway to increase student achievement by creating an environment conducive to learning.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: Participants will learn the qualities of an emotionally intelligent leader and how to increase their capacity to lead.

Emotional Intelligence and Student Achievement with CCRS: Research shows that student achievement is directly correlated to emotional intelligence. In this course, participants will focus on understanding emotional intelligence (EI) and developing strategies to increase EI in students.

Engaging Students in the Classroom: The Engaging Students in the Classroom Professional Learning Academy (PLA) is designed to help teachers increase student achievement by creating a classroom culture where engagement is the standard.

Faith-Based Sexuality Education: The inclusion and the exclusion of faith in sexuality education within the public schools is often a difficult area for teachers to navigate.  This course aims to help resolve some of the grey areas associated with sexual health education in the public school and religion.  In order to this it is important for teachers to spend time exploring their own personal values and beliefs.

Food Allergies in the School Setting: Children with food allergies are a growing population in today's schools. This course will seek to inform educators not only of the symptoms and treatment of food allergies, but also how to best serve these students who may be placed in their school. Topics covered include safety, symptoms, and treatment of food allergies, as well as how to make the classroom inclusive and supportive of students with food allergies.

Fostering a Healthy Classroom: Participants will gain a foundational knowledge of health and they will learn strategies to encourage health in their classroom.

Formative Assessments: Purpose, design and use:  This class begins by taking the learner through an explanation of what formative assessments are and are not.  Learners will have a clear understanding of the purpose of formative assessment.  There are many ways to conduct formative assessment and learners will be exposed to many different methods, beyond the typical exit tickets.  Finally, learners will be shown how to extract data from a given formative assessment and how to use the data to drive and improve instruction in their classroom.

Globalizing the Mathematics Classroom: We live in a global society.  It is never too early to help students begin to think globally.  This course will outline what it means to think globally, and highlight many global issues that affect all of us.  While exploring these global issues, teachers will see the mathematics that is involved and learn ways to incorporate these broader lessons into their own classroom.

Grant Writing for Educators: Interested in gaining more resources for your classroom? This class is designed for beginning grant writers and covers locating grant opportunities for teachers through writing and submitting proposals.

Introduction to Sexual Health Education in Mississippi: Public Schools in Mississippi are required to teach sexual health education within secondary education. An introduction to the overall goals and objectives of sexual health education, as well as, an understanding of the different types of sexual health education allowed within the state of Mississippi helps educators become more prepared to teach a course in sexual health education. Participants will develop an understanding of the goal and objectives of sexual health education within secondary schools, the different types of sexual health education in Mississippi and the current terminology associated with sexual health education.

Introduction to Sexual Orientation, Identity, and Expression: Teachers, in all classrooms, have students of different sexual orientation, identity, and expression.  Therefore, it is important for teachers to have a basic understanding of the terminology relating to these topics.  Sexual health education teachers are faced with additional challenges regarding the inclusion of sexual orientation, identity, and expression within sexual health education.  This courses will explore the current terminology and how best to include all students in your sexual health course regardless of sexual orientation, identity, and expression.

Leadership and Effective Use of Community Partnerships: Leaders of the community will develop strategies for developing and maintain healthy partnerships.

Leadership and Generational Differences in the Workplace: Leaders will understand generational differences that affect work styles and explore how to use practices to improve the work environment.

Making a Bully-Free Zone: Participants will learn about the different types of bullying and prevention techniques to help those at risk.

Managing Stress in a World of Chaos: Stressed has become a common descriptive of adults as well as children in our society. This course will seek to inform participants not only of the symptoms and causes of stress, but also how to cope and manage stress. Topics covered include recognizing stress symptoms and stressors, and coping strategies in order to manage stress in the home/classroom.

MDE Resources: This PLA course is designed for educators to become familiar with the many resources available to you on the Mississippi Department of Education website.  Each assignment will introduce an MDE resource for you to explore in depth as it applies to the grade level(s) and subject area(s) that you teach.

Motivating Students to Learn: The Motivating Student to Learn Professional Learning Academy (PLA) is designed to provide teachers with numerous invaluable tools to become great motivator and create a positive learning experience for students.

Motivation: Teaching With Pizzazz!: Motivation is a force used within the educational system to encourage student learning and increase content understanding. Participants will learn how intrinsic and extrinsic motivations affect successful student learning.

Moving through Academics: Our bodies were made to move! In this course, we will explore the elements of dance and learn how to use them to teach in the academic setting. We will look at the difference between activities that use movement and activities that are integrated with dance elements. The examples that will be shown focus on Science and Math concepts, but the movement strategies that will be introduced can be modified for any topic or lesson. All of these activities are designed for the academic classroom, and can be adapted for any age.

Multi-Cultural Aspects of Sexual Health Education: Various cultures throughout the world view the teachings of sexual health education as informative, preventative, or even taboo. Teachers have students from all racial, cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, therefore, approaching the topics within sexual health education can become a difficult task. This course will explore the various cultural aspects of sexual health education that teachers will encounter with their culturally diverse students. They will also be able to learn ways in which they can address obstacles and concerns from varying cultural diversities. Participants will learn how to address cultural aspects of sexual health education and varying issues of concern that are most common when teaching sexual health education to diverse groups of students.

Organized Classroom Chaos: Are you looking for new and creative ways to engage and motivate your students? Each week we will look at different areas and how we can use these areas to help keep students excited about learning. Differentiation, STEAM, excitement/motivation, teacher communities, and building relationships will all be explored during this class to help you take your classroom to next level of engagement! Teachers of all levels of learning will be able to use these ideas and adjust them easily to best fit their classroom.

Prezi 101: A New Way to Present: This course will introduce participants to Prezi and explain how to use the program to enhance presentation skills.

Response to Intervention (RTI): Effective Instruction for All Students:  Participants will use strategies for successful implementation of RTI, which will help to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college or a skilled career.

Seven Wonders of the Web: This course will introduce, guide, and demonstrate seven innovative websites that will give educators the necessary tools, sites, and activities to enhance their classroom instruction.

Sexual Health Education: Reproductive Anatomy: A general understanding of the reproductive anatomy is required to accurately teach sexual health education.  This course provides an overview of the human reproductive anatomy and provide tips on how teachers can teach reproductive anatomy within a sexual health course.

STIs, HIV, and AIDS: With millions of new cases of STIs, HIV, and AIDs annually in the US, it is important for teachers to provide medically accurate information to students regarding STIs, HIV, and AIDS.  Students often have questions regarding specific STIs and how they are treated.  This course will help provide teachers with the information and resources to answer the difficult questions regarding STIs, HIV, and AIDs.

Teaching Safe Sex Practices in the Classroom: Numerous forms of contraceptives are available to reduce unplanned pregnancy. Additional barrier methods are available to prevent the transmission of STI’s through sexual behavior. Teaching contraceptives and barrier methods in Mississippi can be difficult given the laws preventing demonstration. Learning skills to properly educate students on these topics is key to reducing unplanned pregnancy and STI rates. Participants will be able to identify different forms of contraceptives used for both STI preventing and pregnancy prevention and learn skills needed to properly educate students on using contraceptives to reduce unplanned pregnancy and STI transmission.

Teaching Methods of Sexual Health Education: To implement a successful Sexual Health Education program, educators need to know how to properly set the learning climate, and also understand how to utilize resources (Including the National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education), proper research materials, and support services to create effective learning strategies for sexual health education programs. A well-planned sexuality education program is considerate of the culture within the classroom, sequential, and educationally sound.  Participants will learn about the numerous sexuality education programs that are available to be taught as part of school districts’ curriculum, and how to effectively implementing these programs.

Teaching the Scientific Method: In this course, participants will focus on understanding the power of the scientific method in your learners by developing strategies to foster curiosity and empower them through answering questions.

Tech Tips for the Technically Challenged: Are your computer files in disarray? Can you find your favorite pictures or home videos? Are you familiar with new ways to present your ideas? Understanding and organizing your computer is vital for reaching maximum productivity at school, work and home. From the novice to the expert, everyone can learn to use new ideas for enhancing their technology knowledge.

The Inclusion Classroom: An Explanation of Inclusion and Review of Inclusive Practices: In this course, participants will review the concepts of inclusion and, upon completion of the course, be able to implement a variety of strategies that promote inclusive practices. With inclusion being such a widely used practice, it is important that educators understand this concept and how to promote inclusive practices in their school.

Transforming Your Classroom with a Growth Mindset: Growth Mindset is more than a buzzword; it’s a lifestyle.  Growth mindset applies to academics, behavior, and overall wellness.  It also applies to students, teachers, parents, and administrators.  Creating a classroom environment based on a growth mindset can increase productivity, promote learning, encourage risk taking, and transform personal interactions.

Understanding Mathematics Anxiety: The Understanding Mathematics Anxiety Professional Learning Academy (PLA) is designed to equip teachers with a thorough knowledge of Mathematics Anxiety and develop invaluable strategies to help their students defeat math anxiety and ultimately excel in mathematics.

Using Personality Types to Enhance Leadership Skills in the Workplace: Leaders will develop strategies for effectively collaborating with coworkers by using knowledge of personality types.

What is Brain-Based Learning? : In young children the brain is highly adaptable. But as we age, the brain has to work harder to master new tasks. That’s why many scientists believe it is important to keep challenging your brain to learn new things. Applying these brain-based strategies will make learning much more interesting for people of all ages.