Education leaders collaborate to offer free inclusive learning support to Michigan teachers

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LANSING, Mich. — Through a partnership between Michigan Virtual, Michigan State University’s College of Education, and the University of Michigan School of Education, Michigan teachers now have free access to newly developed professional learning content that offers current research and best practices for inclusive teaching and learning.

“Michigan teachers are seeking resources to help them create more inclusive educational environments so that all students can reach their full potential. Working with our partners at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University represents an incredible opportunity to leverage our collective expertise to support our educators, and ultimately, Michigan youth,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual.

Michigan and the nation are working to address systemic racism, a history of oppression, and equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or background. In addition, Michigan teachers, administrators, and support staff face many new challenges as schools strive to serve all student populations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our approach in these modules is to focus on practices and habits of mind that educators can use to disrupt the inequities that have intensified since the emergence of COVID-19,” said Elizabeth Moje, dean of the University of Michigan School of Education. “Guided by the urgent needs expressed by fellow educators, we go beyond typical professional development offerings to provide resources for creating inclusive learning experiences, whether the classroom environment is virtual, hybrid, or in person.”

The 14 modules in this new series will leverage the latest research and best practices for serving various special populations in face-to-face and remote settings and cover several important topics designed to promote inclusive teaching and learning, including social-emotional learning and trauma-informed education. These modules are being provided for free thanks to $1.4 million in federal funding for Michigan, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Regarding the benefits of the content, Bryan Beverly, director of the Office of K-12 Outreach at Michigan State University and liaison for the project, stated:

“I’m excited for educators to engage in this new learning and hope that it strengthens their understanding of content areas, offers innovative approaches for connecting with students, and provides reflection opportunities about their practice as school and classroom leaders!”

Multiple educational roles, including school administrators, educators, counselors, and other support staff, will benefit from these courses. The modules provide between 5-10 hours of instruction each, and upon completion, educators will be awarded State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCHECHs).

The listing of modules include:

  • Anti-Racism and Social Justice Teaching and Leadership
  • Teaching Transition Skills to Students with Disabilities
  • Intensive Social Intervention for Elementary School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Promoting Success for Students with Disabilities through Family-School Partnerships
  • How Can Project-Based Learning Support Elementary School Students in “Figuring Out” Science?
  • How Can Project-Based Learning Support Secondary Students in “Figuring Out” Science?
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Equity Elaborations
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Assessment Mechanisms
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Adult SEL and Self-Care
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Integrating SEL with MTSS
  • Inquiry-Based Learning in Secondary Science Education
  • Inquiry-Based Learning in Secondary Mathematics Education
  • Equity in Online Learning for Multilingual Students
  • Anti-Racist Trauma-Informed Practice in PreK-12 Education

For more information or to view the modules, visit michiganvirtual.org/geer-grant.

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.