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Thriving Schools Professional Learning:
A Character Focused Approach to Cultivate Healthy School and Classroom Communities

Cultivate a Thriving Schoolwide Community

Thriving Schools Professional Learning is an online professional learning experience (asynchronous and synchronous) for school leaders, teachers, and school staff engaged with school climate and student culture to support you in creating thriving school and classroom communities using a Character Focused Approach.  

Join Thriving Schools Professional Learning to:

  • Retain teachers and staff by cultivating a healthy school community with a Character Focused Approach
  • Empower students
  • Positively impact all areas of student success and learning
  • Increase the well-being of teachers, students, and all members of the school community
  • Create a healthy learning and working environment where all individuals feel a sense of belonging; where they are seen, heard, valued, and supported to thrive and reach their fullest potential. 
  • Gain practical application ideas for promoting a healthy school climate using a wholistic and sustainable approach to character development, social emotional learning, and inclusive school culture

This online professional learning experience created by the WGU School of Education – the largest college of education in the country – provides K-12 School District Leaders, Principals, Vice Principals, teachers, and staff engaged with school climate and student culture with the knowledge and advice to build customized school-wide and classroom cultures that enhance student learning and personal thriving. Earn continuing education Professional Development hours, valuable micro-credentials, and engage with colleagues through the program’s online community.

Great program that will be needed more and more as our nation faces the stresses of the emotional well-being of our communities and students."

- 2022 Thriving Schools Principal Participant

Read this article for a sneak peek into the actual learnings from participants in this program and see how this can help you reach your goals.

Take the first step to a healthier, happier, more productive school community.

Enrollment Information Coming Soon

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WGU’s Thriving Schools Professional Learning Program

WGU School of Education is offering an online professional learning experience for school leaders, teachers, and school staff engaged with school climate and student culture to support the creation and continuous growth of healthy and thriving school communities using a Character Focused Approach. 

Program Features and Details

Four Online Micro-Credential Courses and Certificate

Unlimited access to 4 online, self-paced, self-service micro-credential courses (see course titles and descriptions below) that upon completion, lead to a culminating Certificate.

Teacher and School Staff Micro-credential Courses 

The What and Why of Character Development in Thriving Schools micro-credential introduces teachers to key concepts, tools, and resources to reflect on their own personal character as they become teachers of character. Teachers will identify areas of personal strength and areas of growth related to personal character. Teachers will also analyze the learning environment and self-reflect on how their own mindset contributes to the classroom, school, and community culture.

The Charting the Path to Becoming a Teacher of Character microcredential provides teachers with the opportunity to consider the prosocial impact of their work to formulate a personal learning plan for self-improvement and professional growth. Teachers will create an inclusive classroom of character where character-based language and the school’s core qualities are practiced and modeled for students to be their best and most successful self.

The Embedding Character Qualities into Curriculum, Instructional Practices, and Classroom Activities microcredential enforces a comprehensive and intentional approach to character development. Teachers will learn how to conduct a curriculum analysis to identify opportunities to integrate a character focus into existing curriculum and programs. Teachers will integrate character formation into disciplines and practices, for the purpose of creating and incorporating meaningful and challenging opportunities to curriculum that develop character qualities in students.

The Leading Character Development In and Out of the Classroom microcredential provides teachers with the resources to create plans for building character literacy to enhance the development of character in students, including the appreciation for all levels of diversity. Teachers will construct an inspirational task or project to engage students across socio-economic, racial, gender, religious, and ideological differences and demonstrate that every individual has a voice that matters, that will be heard, and that will make a difference.

Education Leader Micro-credential Courses 

The Building Blocks of Character micro-credential introduces principals and education leaders to key concepts, tools, and resources to envision a school community culture that prioritizes the nurturing, flourishing and thriving of human goodness and celebrates teachers and students of character. Educational leaders will first look inward to reflect on their own personal character and identify areas of personal strength and areas of growth related to personal character. Leaders will extend this inward reflection to analyzing the school community before planning for the implementation of formal character activities and initiatives.

The Charting the Path to Becoming a Thriving School of Character micro-credential provides principals and education leaders with the tools and resources to plan a customized whole-school approach to character. Education leaders will apply best practices to engage school staff in building a shared vision for character and the creation of a collaborative community of character to implement the vision schoolwide.

The Character Qualities in Action micro-credential focuses on principals and education leaders supporting and leading the habitual practice of character qualities among staff and students. Education leaders are provided with tools and resources to grow a school culture of character and innovation to integrate character qualities throughout the disciplines and schoolwide community and practices.

The School and Community Thriving through Character micro-credential focuses on empowering all members of the school community to be champions of character and a positive influence in a thriving school of character. Principals and education leaders are provided with tools and resources to monitor and evaluate the implementation of character activities and initiatives so that every individual is respected, celebrated, and supported to meet their full potential. Leaders will plan for continual implementation and monitoring of their whole-school approach to character for on-going personal, school, and societal thriving.

Online Community

National online community to network, share ideas, and collaborate with colleagues


Self-service access to webinars with national school leaders sharing expert advice on implementing Thriving Schools principles and practices in their school communities

School Culture 360 Survey

Free access to a John Hopkins School Culture 360 Survey to gather valuable information on the current state of school culture to inform school change efforts  ($1,000 value for District Leaders, Principals, Vice Principals)

Professional Learning Credits

Each micro-credential badge represents 15 hours of continuing education professional development hours, for a total of 60 hours once all four micro-credentials are completed.

Upon the completion of all four micro-credentials, participants will earn the following Certificate:

  • Education Leaders/School Culture Leaders: “Leading a Thriving School of Character”
  • Teachers/Staff:  “Leading a Thriving Classroom of Character”

*Certificate may be used to meet course transfer credits into WGU’s MSCIN or MSEDL programs

Our Approach:

All Thriving School Professional Learning experiences provide opportunities for reflection and action planning in your school and/or classroom.

School/District teams are encouraged to enroll and learn together in this program to create positive schoolwide impact.

Program Outcomes for Principals/Education Leaders

Principals are prepared to:

  • Become leaders of character in your school, district and the field of education 
  • Develop a plan for building a culture of character in your school—both on-site and online
  • Develop deep knowledge of, and skills in, the formation of character
  • Apply principles of character throughout the school community
  • Guide teachers and staff toward the common goal of creating a school of character where every child achieves academically and thrives socially
  • Support teachers in exemplary teaching and modeling of character
  • Lead and support school staff to grow a thriving school and healthy learning environments
  • Incorporate character principles into the curriculum, school-day, and school community, in-person and beyond the physical school parameters
  • Leverage the use of technology aligned to International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Educational Leader standards for professional growth, academic success, and character development.

Program Outcomes for Teachers/Staff

Teachers are prepared to:

  • Become a teacher of character and cultivate a thriving classroom environment
  • Develop and apply knowledge and skills in character development
  • Integrate and model character teaching practices, and classroom activities throughout the classroom and school community
  • Develop course/class/lesson strategies to implement with students
  • Use tech enabled curriculum to integrate character into on-site and online learning.
  • Leverage the use of technology aligned to International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Educator and Student standards for professional growth, academic success and character formation