Culturally Responsive Teaching Certification Coming to UMSL in 2023



The UMSL community looks forward to a unique opportunity to attend the culturally responsive teaching certification program through the Council for At Risk Student Education and Professional Standards (CASEPS). These standards are used in accreditation for course materials (e.g., syllabi), courses, programs, and departments. Post-session support will support you throughout this process, which will also be facilitated by a premiere scholar of leadership and education, Dr. Courtney Plotts, National Chair.


Culture and diversity influence educational, social, psychological, and social experiences. To that end, the Council for At Risk Student Education and Professional Standards (CASEPS) provides professional development and accreditation for institutions and individual materials that apply a cultural lens approach (CLA). 

Culturally Responsive Certification Goals

Overall Contextual Goals

  • Engage in learning that has personal meaning for you.
  • Explore the course with a personal lens of ethnic culture.
  • Explain learning preferences that are relevant to your well-being.
  • Elaborate by exploring the various contextual aspects of a topic.
  • Evaluate your learning as it relates to your lived experience and the lived experiences of others.

Cultural Competency and Responsiveness Goals Decision Makers will have an opportunity should they choose to:

  • Engage in culturally diverse content, curriculum, and/or instruction.
  • Explore the course with a personal lens of academic, community, cognitive, collaborative, ethnic and intersectional culture.
  • Explain the use of cultural competency within the curriculum and your learning experience.
  • Elaborate with peers on how cultural company influenced your learning opportunities.

Interdependent and Independent Learning Goals Community Members will have an opportunity should they choose to:

  • Engage with peers using interdependence that builds aspects of service learning, experience, and support.
  • Explore the course content alone or with a peer or small group.
  • Explain to one another thoughts and ideas on topics, views, and opinions of your collaborative co-learners.
  • Elaborate with peers on the subject of interdependence vs. independence within the curriculum and content.
  • Evaluate your level of independence vs. interdependence before the class and after the course ends.

  Collaborative Goals Stakeholders will have an opportunity should they choose to:

  • Engage with peers in a constructive and safe environment.
  • Explore various aspects and understand group dynamics.
  • Explain challenges and victories that occurred in your collaborative experience.
  • Elaborate on the role of group work and your reasons for enjoying or not enjoying group work.
  • Evaluate your collective experience and apply such skills.

As a community we will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course:

  • Brief lectures
  • Small group activities
  • Personal reflection

*Enjoy the learning journey.

Outcomes | What you will achieve

This certification is being designed to address the following institutional outcomes:

  • Increased cultural competence and responsiveness of faculty and staff
  • Evidence of cultural competence and cultural responsiveness in course design and teaching

These outcomes will be achieved upon completion of the following:

  • Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching 
  • National Accreditation of course materials by submitting evidence for 13 standard domains (paid by CASEPS for beta-testing the new standards)

Commitment | What & When

The total time commitment for this learning experience will vary depending how you tend to work and what support you seek, but we estimate roughly 12 hours in total between June 13th and 14th 2023. This certification will include optional post session virtual support. The dates for these sessions are TBA.

Support from CASEPS

  • A space for our team to collaborate and communicate during the project.
  • After the sessions, consistent communication via announcements, Q&A, troubleshooting, drop-in hours, etc.
  • Help for identifying what already exists as evidence of the standards in the courses you have taught or are currently teaching.
  • When possible, examples of evidence for each of the standards.
  • We’re going through certification and accreditation, too! We’ll learn with you. 🙂

Join a great professional learning community!

Megan is a Lecturer in the School of Education, Google Certified Educator, and an Instructional Designer supporting Faculty at Fresno State and Channel Islands in the Cooperative Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CODEL). Her career in education began as an elementary school teacher in the Pleasant Valley School District here in Camarillo. Blended Learning Preparation Program (BLPP) and Online Teaching Preparation Program (OTPP) introduced her to a new world of digital tools and best practices. She is thrilled to share this paradigm shift with pre-service teachers in my methods courses. Megan’s interests include emerging technologies and their integration in the P-12 classroom to achieve Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

“The Tiered approach to CR teaching has been that “light bulb” moment. I’m not saying it’s an easy MindShift that is quick to implement, but as a learning designer, when I’m supporting faculty or other learning professionals, I’m listening with new ears and collaborating with a new set of lenses. When I work with faculty, I ask a lot of questions about what they need to see to know students are learning. Thinking through Tiers, I’m asking better questions and able to offer suggestions and recommendations that foster more responsive course design and facilitation, and when something we’ve designed together goes well, I’ve noticed faculty are likely to apply it in other courses – which means more students benefit, hopefully. That’s why I feel, in my role, a huge responsibility to continually be learning about learning, and what we now know about how to design inclusive learning experiences in responsive environments. 
Am I an expert at it yet? Nope! But I’m now aware of how rewording a few sentences or changing how a question is asked,  or the way we organize student-student collaboration can make all the difference for all students. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of supporting faculty in achieving Tier 1, but being introduced to Tier 2 and Tier 3, has shown me how we can move beyond “surface inclusion” and start making strategic “just in time” changes that support the actual students in our physical and digital classrooms that lets students know “you belong here” without just saying “you belong here.” 
Megan Eberhardt-Alstot

Learning Design Lead, CSUCI | Innovation & Faculty Development, Lecturer, CSUCI | School of Education