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Micro-credential training increases skillset to support unique educational needs of English Learners

By Alaynah Rose Garibay, Senior Consultant Latino Policy Forum and Dr. Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, Education Director Latino Policy Forum

Nearly one in four children in Illinois speak a language other than English in their homes. In 2019-20, there were 261,454 students classified as English Learners, roughly 11.7%. In addition, 655 school districts across the state offered English learner instructional programs to support the unique learning needs of those students. 

Until now, there has not been a sustained series of training designed to build the skills of school leaders responsible for student outcomes in those programs. There are unique factors that impact the learning trajectories of English learners over the long term, and administrators would benefit from increasing their skillset and expertise in best practices to support these students. 

The Latino Policy Forum is proud to partner with the DuPage Regional Office of Education to offer a series of English Learner Administrator Academies in the form of Micro-Credentials. 

Micro-Credentials are an exciting new form of job-embedded professional development with relevant tasks to your school community. Topics include appropriate current-day situations that school leaders face, such as equity in education, fostering social-emotional development and English Learner Education. Each micro-credential is designed to increase your capacity to lead schoolwide change. 

Among the themes covered in the training include:

  • Understanding staff attitudes toward education English Learners

  • Do your programs contain all the necessary components to ensure student success? 

  • Understanding student performance through an English learner lens

School administrators can earn their annual Administrators’ Academy credit or professional development hours by signing up for one EL micro-credential. The timeline for completion is around three months.

The trainings are based on the Illinois English Learner Handbook and feature examples of high-quality programs here in Illinois. The Forum created the handbook in partnership with the Illinois Principals Association, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Boards (To download a free copy of the handbook: englishlearnersinil.org).

Micro-credential training feature ways to implement best practice for English learners and supports their academic success. 

To enroll in the EL micro-credential, sign up here.

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