Personalizing professional learning

Big innovations, small district: Designing a micro-credential system in Nazareth, PA
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Leaders in Nazareth Area School District (NASD) knew micro-credentials could accelerate professional learning and more effective practice. CTQ helped administrators and teachers work together, designing a plan to meet ambitious goals without overextending capacity in their small district.


Nazareth Area School District


Spring 2018


Nazareth, PA


Personalizing professional learning & redesigning education systems

The challenge

Micro-credentials offered a way for Nazareth ASD to personalize and show results of professional learning. But district leaders knew they had to get the plan right, right from the start – or risk wasting time, money, and educators’ willingness to engage with a new approach.

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NASD’s success relied on understanding their starting point, asking the right questions, and then designing a plan that fit their needs and capacity.

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The process

A team of teachers, school administrators, and district officials convened for an initial design day. CTQ facilitated sessions to level-set their understandings about micro-credentials, clarify key goals and markers of success, and then map out where to use existing micro-credentials or develop their own. Five virtual follow-up sessions supported the team through planning and launching a pilot.

“The opportunity to participate in a decision-making process that can directly impact my future professional development brings great satisfaction.”

– NASD design team participant

The results

  • Educator participation in the micro-credential pilot exceeded goals by more than 50 percent.
  • NASD learned an effective process to take on big challenges as a small district, by drawing on educators in many roles.
  • Wide engagement positioned NASD to “build up” a plan that every educator felt invested in, saving time and energy of getting “buy in” later.

How else is CTQ making an impact?

Our work transforms teaching, learning, and leadership — one partnership and one educator at a time.