UVM campus views

UVM's Certificate of Graduate Study in Resiliency-Based Approaches (CGS RBA) prepares educators and health/human service professionals to address the complex challenges associated with trauma and adversity using restorative, strength-based, and collaborative approaches that build resilience, so that children, youth, and families can thrive and learn within and beyond school borders.

Program Description

Our program is built to address the growing need to improve workforce capacity for professionals who can successfully implement resiliency building strategies addressing the heightened incidence of trauma and adverse childhood experiences.

Students in the program gain a deep socio-ecological understanding of the structural solutions inherent in equity, culturally sustaining partnerships, and resilience; the impact of trauma and adversity; and a toolbox of skills for fostering resilience through building and restoring relationships with families, schools, and communities.

Along with core coursework, the CGS RBA provides for specialization in either of two pathways:

  • Trauma-responsive and Restorative Practices (TRP)
  • Family-school-community partnerships and interprofessional collaboration (FSC)

The CGS RBA can stand alone as a defined certificate of graduate study or can stack into our master’s degree programs in Counseling, Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership, Social Work, and Special Education, or our doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. To be a stackable credential, students must apply and be accepted into the CGS before the last 9 credits are taken. Students then apply to an appropriate master’s or doctoral program to use the CGS credits towards that degree.

Learn about coursework, core faculty, and how to apply by opening the accordions below.  

Program of Study/Coursework

To earn the certificate of graduate study, students must complete 15 credits including 6 credits of foundational courses, 6 credits of applied courses in one of 2 specialization pathways, and a 3 credit of capstone course. The two applied pathways are: (1) Trauma-responsive and Restorative Practices (TRP) and (2) Family-school-community & interprofessional collaboration (FSC). The capstone will apply skills and learning from earlier coursework.

Examples of course options are included below:

Foundational Course Descriptions

Students will choose two foundational courses which will give them an introduction to the impact of trauma (individual, historical, institutional and secondary/vicarious), resilience and protective factors, and an overview of strategies for preventing and mitigating trauma’s effects.

EDSP 330 The Trauma Lens: Understanding core concepts of resilience and trauma: This course will provide students with theoretical foundation and conceptual frameworks that relate to building resilience for children, youth and families who have experienced trauma and adversity. This fully online course aims to help in-service and pre- service professionals in child welfare, health/mental health, and schools gain a common language and knowledge base that will support the use of collaborative, family engaged, & trauma responsive practice. (Fully online)

EDCI/EDSP 331 Society, stress and brain: This online course familiarizes students with brain development and the learning process in the context of complex social conditions such as poverty, instability, and fear. This course is particularly relevant for educators and human service professionals who wish to explore the different methods of interaction and discourse that relate to the locus of control and agency.

EDSP 332: Resilience and trauma responsive interprofessional practice: Building off foundational content, this course will emphasize the interprofessional nature of creating trauma-informed, resiliency-fostering schools and health & human service environments. Learning activities will engage students in understanding and interprofessional skills application related to family-school-community partnerships, secondary trauma and self-care, cultural humility, and restorative practices.

*Other courses may be approved with permission of CGS core faculty.

Advanced Course Descriptions (students choose one specialization pathway)

Students will choose one specialization pathway which will provide them an opportunity to choose an area of focus under the umbrella of resiliency-based approaches to families, schools, and communities.

PATHWAY 1: Trauma-responsive and restorative practices pathway (TRP)

EDSS 200 Social Justice Education: In this course, our learning community will examine social justice issues in education and explore what it means to be a social justice educator, ultimately applying what we learn to a specific issue and context. Course activities will ask you to, for example:

  • Explore and discuss contemporary media that address social justice issues.
  • Learn from the work of Vermont social justice educators and their students.
  • Experiment with using various social justice education frameworks and resources.
  • Critically examine power, oppression, and privilege as they pertain to education.
  • Engage in social justice professional learning communities via social media.
  • Investigate social justice issues in education and in collaboration with others, propose specific actions.

EDSP 334 Resiliency-based, trauma-responsive and evidence-informed practices with children and families: This course will focus on trauma-informed and evidence-informed practices with children and families. Students in this course will be introduced to evidence informed interventions aimed at improving social-emotional well-being for children and youth who have experienced trauma and adversity. The course will cover a variety of interventions including Attachment, Self-regulation & Competency (ARC), cognitive behavioral approaches, trauma-informed parenting skills, and restorative circles. By the end of the course, students will leave with a toolbox of knowledge, practice and skills they can apply to their direct practice with children, youth and families in education and health & human service agencies (Hybrid online and in person)

EDSP 333 Resiliency-based & trauma informed systems change in schools and health and human service agencies: This course will focus on trauma informed system change in schools and human service organizations. Building on implementation science, it will provide students with a conceptual framework addressing the strategic process of managing change that is trauma responsive and encourages collaborative learning climate for its employees. This course will bring students through a process of assessing, installing, and implementing new trauma- informed and evidence based practices that support schools, families and communities (Hybrid online and in person)

*Other courses may be approved with permission of CGS core faculty.

PATHWAY 2: Family-School-Community & Interprofessional Collaborations (FSC)

EDSP 387 Collaborative Consultation: Adult development and group dynamics theory provide the knowledge base for collaborating with parents and teachers to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities

ECLD 205 Family, School, and Community Collaboration: This course (a) explores the benefits of partnership between adults who interact with children, (b) examines barriers to creating these partnerships, (c) teaches research-based innovative practices to increase these partnerships, and (d) explores such partnerships in our own community. Although benefitting all students, families, and professionals, partnerships between the family, school, and community are especially important for supporting children with more intensive support needs that cut across contexts, such as students with disabilities, and to increase equity for children from marginalized groups, such as students with refugee backgrounds. Therefore, in this course we will focus specifically on partnerships between education and community agency professionals and families whose children have disabilities or refugee backgrounds.

EDSP 332: Resilience and trauma responsive interprofessional practice (if not taken as foundation course): Building off foundational content, this course will emphasize the interprofessional nature of creating trauma-informed, resiliency-fostering schools and health and human service environments. Learning activities will engage students in understanding and interprofessional skills application related to family-school-community partnerships, secondary trauma and self-care, cultural humility, and restorative practices. (HYBRID online; up to 4 in person classes)

EDSP 299: Global Perspectives on building resilience through families, school, and community collaboration: This course brings UVM students outside of the continental US to gain a global perspective on culturally diverse strategies for building resilience, enhancing equity, and responding to trauma and adversity. With a specific focus on family-professional partnerships, we will visit several educational, health, and/or social service agencies in order to understand and experience their work and policies. Students will be involved in a community-engaged service-learning project through which they learn about local responses to adversity through relationships with children, families, and other community members. This experiential approach will help students integrate their previous and accumulating knowledge with their contextualized experience, expanding their understanding of the multitude of global perspectives.

*Other courses may be approved with permission of CGS core faculty.

3. Applied Coursework/Capstone course (3 credits)

The capstone project will be conducted in one of the courses listed below and will provide students the opportunity to apply their learning to practice through a capstone project. Capstones might be a related to faculty research initiatives such as restorative practices, positive behavioral interventions and supports, trauma-responsive practice, trauma-informed parenting training, family-school-community partnerships in a global context, trauma informed school transformation or other community-based research initiatives related to resiliency-based content.

The capstone project will be a project that is completed in a graduate course, but must be able to incorporate learning outcomes from the certificate coursework. It may also be completed in conjunction with a graduate thesis, internship/field practicum, or dissertation. Students will need to receive approval by their CGS advisor/coordinator before beginning and upon its completion. The capstone project can be completed in one of the following courses. A MSW student may choose to complete their capstone project in SWSS 316 whereas a student only in the CGS may choose EDSP 333.

EDSP 333 Resiliency-based & trauma informed systems change in schools and health & human service agencies: This course will focus on trauma informed system change in schools and human service organizations. Building on implementation science, it will provide students with a conceptual framework addressing the strategic process of managing change that is trauma responsive and encourages collaborative learning climate for its employees. This course will bring students through a process of assessing, installing, and implementing new trauma- informed and evidence based practices that support schools, families and communities (Hybrid online and in person)

EDLP 459 Mixed Methods Research: An advanced research seminar designed to introduce students to mixed methods research, which integrate qualitative and quantitative approaches, inquiries, and data collection and analysis strategies into a single study or research project.

SWSS 316: Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and the Strengths Perspective (note: only open to SW graduate students): In this course students will synthesize their exploration of their area of focus in transformative social work through scholarly reading, research and classroom presentations. 

EDCO 389: Internship in Counseling (note: only open to counseling graduate students)

*Other courses may be approved with permission of CGS core faculty.

CGS non-credit requirements: A capstone project proposal and final completed project must be submitted to the Core Faculty Advisor for approval. Signatures for capstone proposal and final project are required for certificate completion, similar to dissertation.

NOTE: Students must take 3 of the following courses: EDSP 330; EDSP 332; EDSP 333; EDSP 334

Core Faculty

Learn about our core faculty by visting their respective faculty profiles:

Application Information

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO GRADUATE STUDIES FOR THE CERTIFICATE OF GRADUATE STUDY

  • Completed bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts from each college or university where credit has been earned
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement of purpose
  • Test scores for English proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English
  • Application fee of $20

HOW TO APPLY

All applications and materials must be submitted through the UVM Graduate Admissions online application. Please carefully review the instructions before completing the application.

FOR EXTERNAL APPLICANTS TO THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: Applicants seeking to enroll in only a Certificate of Graduate Study program must complete the online UVM Graduate Application and all associated requirements. This application will need to include official transcripts from an accredited university as well as 3 letters of recommendation. A bachelor's degree is required for admittance.

FOR CURRENT UVM GRADUATE STUDENTS: Students currently enrolled in a UVM master's or doctoral program must complete the online UVM Graduate Application. Letters of recommendation and transcripts are not required, and an application fee waiver can be provided.

WHEN TO APPLY

A minimum of 9 graded credits must be taken after admission to the Certificate of Graduate Study program. All credits must be completed at UVM within a 5-year period. Graduate credits taken at other institutions may not transfer into a UVM Certificate of Graduate Study program. Up to 6 credits (but not grades) from 300-level courses taken at UVM as a non-degree student may transfer into the certificate.

Students who elect to pursue a Certificate of Graduate Study in conjunction with a master's or doctoral program must apply and be admitted to the Certificate before registering for the final 9 credits needed for the Certificate. Students pursing a master's or doctoral degree must choose a Certificate of Graduate Study in a different discipline from the graduate degree.

Contact Us

Please reach out of you are interested. We would love to hear from you. 

Email Dr. Jessica Strolin-Goltzman