Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gloria McDaniel-Hall

Second Advisor

Jason Stegemoller


This policy advocacy document discusses a change in local board of education policy in a school district to require the annual approval of a professional learning program which includes options for a micro-credentialing, a self-directed, job-embedded professional learning practice which allows teachers more freedom to choose a focus and pacing for their learning experiences. Currently, board policy directs the creation of a staff development committee to plan professional learning activities but does not require an approved formal plan or the establishment of a credentialing system to evidence teacher learning. A local policy that requires the annual approval of a professional learning plan would provide a direction for professional growth in the district, as well as an alignment with the board and school goals. Additionally, a credentialing system would provide teachers with opportunities for guided self-study and opportunities to work with coaches and colleagues in a structured manner. The district could also use a micro-credentialing program to establish base competencies that new teachers could build upon as they enter the district. Veteran teachers could pursue more advanced credentials, continuing to build on their practice as their careers progress. This document analyzes the context of this change and the conditions under which it could be implemented and thrive.