Pandemic Pivot Project: UNM program offers courses for educators

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The UNM College of Education and Human Sciences is introducing new professional development courses for local educators.

"It will be teachers teaching teachers,” said Dean Hansel Burley.

Burley said the Pandemic Pivot Project offers four courses right now, covering topics like classroom management and innovative culturally relevant teaching.

"Helping educators figure out ways to lead students’ needs, based upon their cultural backgrounds, family backgrounds,” he said.

Officials say courses are designed to be completed in under 20 hours, at any pace, and you do not have to be a K-12 teacher to sign up.

"We’ve had some interest from college professors who are working with a variety of groups, and also health care professionals who are also working with a variety of cultural backgrounds and they want to get some tips and some strategies on how they can be more effective in the work that they do also,” Burley said.

UNM faculty plans to roll out new content each month, and the courses are free for now.

"Down the road, I anticipate there would be a nominal type of cost," Burley said. That’s because, as officials add courses, Burley said they want to bring in more outside educators, experts and professionals, to teach them. "We certainly want to compensate them appropriately,” he said. “So we have to charge a little bit."

Down the line, Burley says the college hopes to offer credits for these courses, so people who take them can put the hours toward a degree.

If you want to sign up or find more information on the program, click here.