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About this Program

Image of an elementary school girl in a classroom, looking at the camera.Trauma-Informed Practices are techniques that center equity and the inclusion of all learners, especially students impacted by traumatic life events. Trauma-Informed Practices also mitigate the experience of secondary trauma for teachers in the classroom.

The Trauma-Informed Practices Certificate focuses on inclusive practices and equity in education as it relates to recognizing and addressing the learning and behavioral needs of children who have experienced trauma.

This certificate program can be completed 100% online!

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Between one-half to two-thirds of all school-aged children experience trauma, and more than 30 percent of children have multiple traumatic experiences. These statistics do not account for the trauma of ongoing racial discrimination and microaggressions that students of color experience, nor the lasting mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the actual rate of child trauma may be much higher.

The School of Education at MSU Denver has partnered with Resilient Futures to develop curriculum that builds the capacity of educators to develop resilience and understand and address trauma triggers in school environments, and secondary trauma in themselves and their coworkers.

In our program, you will experience:

  • A diverse student population
  • Engaging, topical coursework
  • Supportive faculty and staff with a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Flexible course scheduling options with all courses offered online
  • Incredible value

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Rear view of a bunch of high school students walking down the hallwayAll educators can improve their practice by gaining a deeper understanding of key trauma-related concepts and the effects of trauma on student behavior – helping kids build coping skills and self-efficacy.

This certificate is also a great add-on for pre-service teachers in our Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Admission Requirements

In order to apply to the certificate program, applicants must meet the following requirement:

  • Students must have a minimum of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Completed MSU Denver Graduate Application
  • Graduate Application Fee
    • $50 fee paid online through the online MSU Denver Graduate Application
  • ALL official transcripts. (Please note: you do not need to provide MSU Denver transcripts if you attended here in the past)

    • Electronic submission is the preferred method. Have official electronic transcripts sent directly from the institution to: [email protected]
    • Official hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:
      MSU Denver
      The Office of Graduate Studies
      P.O. Box 173362
      Campus Box 48
      Denver, CO 80217
  • Supplemental Documents (uploaded as part of the MSU Denver Graduate Application):
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement – Please submit a personal statement addressing the points below. Submissions must be one page, double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman font, and with one-inch margins.  Document must be must be .PDF or .DOC/.DOCX format.  Please note: If you are applying for admission to this program concurrently with application for the Master of Arts in Teaching, please refer to the requirements listed above under “Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program Admission Requirements”.
      • Your reason for pursuing this certificate.
      • Your experiences and/or qualities that will benefit you as you pursue this certificate.
      • Your reason for pursuing this certificate at MSU Denver, specifically.

Featured Faculty

Dr. Megan Brennan

Dr. Megan Brennan – Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of Resilient Futures – is dedicated to trauma-informed practices and equity, transforming educational landscapes. Megan’s role spans program development and implementation and interdisciplinary research. Through her dedication to lifelong learning, compassion, and equity, Megan drives transformative change in educational systems. Before Resilient Futures, Megan worked as a School-based therapist and Program Director, witnessing the impact of trauma firsthand, driving her mission for trauma-informed care. Megan’s collaborative efforts with Metropolitan State University School of Education (SOE) resulted in the integration of trauma-informed equity-centered practices into curriculum and practices. She serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for an interdisciplinary research collaboration focused on mitigating secondary trauma in educators during their first years of teaching. Megan is a co-author of a book series, “Developing Trauma-Informed Teachers: Creating Classrooms that Foster Equity, Resiliency, and Asset-Based Approaches,” reflecting on teacher preparation curricula program implementation, research, and partnerships.

Rachel Harmon

Rachel Harmon (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a Bachelor and Master of Social Work degree at The University of Kansas. Her career as a social worker and clinical therapist is intrinsically tied to her experience within education settings, ECE -12. She started working in schools in 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri and has an extensive history of providing school-based mental health therapy to children, adolescents, and their families. In the ECE setting Rachel worked as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant. Training facilitation and consultation with educators on mental health topics, brain development, and trauma-informed practices has been a hallmark of her career for the last eight years. Within the private sector Rachel provided content-based learning on topics related to burnout, compassion, resilience, and wellness. Rachel believes in the complexity and uniqueness of the human experience. She works collaboratively with clients, students, and educators to support their goals.

Alumni at Work

“(We have) kids who’ve immigrated from war-torn countries and kids who’ve lived in the dilapidated apartments down the street their whole lives,” she said. “TIP helps you better relate to all the kids — it’s about equity.”

– Haley Conley, Secondary Math Teacher, Alameda International Jr./Sr. High

Read more: What Kids Need in the Classroom (RED Magazine, 2022)

Photo of MSU Denver alumna Hayley Conley, who was recently promoted to chair of the Mathematics Department at Alameda International Jr./Sr. High in Lakewood after two years of teaching, in a dark classroom standing next to a window with bright light from outdoors.

Contact the School of Education

Visit the school website

West Classroom: 136

(303) 615-1777

[email protected]