FAQ's About Professional Development

What is the focus of NSCC's consultation/PD work?
Our focus is helping schools/districts to measure school climate and use this data to shape social, emotional and civic instruction and school-wide efforts that support student learning, achievement and positive youth development. We do not have any one curriculum or "agenda" with regard to what the focus on work “should” be. Like every person, each school has its own history, strengths, needs and goals. We are invested in understanding this and building on your current and previous efforts and goals.

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What kind of consultation services do you provide?
We offer a wide range of consultation services that can be tailored to your school or organizations specific needs. Our On-site Staff Development Workshops include short ‘awareness raising sessions’ to more extended workshops that are designed to promote skills and action planning to year long “cohort” programs where a group of schools in a district or across districts decide to focus on a given topic (e.g. creating safer and more civil schools) over a year or longer. We also provide keynotes.

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Who actually consults to schools?
We have a number of full time staff as well as a large group of part-time NSCC faculty members. Our consultation work is directed and supervised by Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. (NSCC's president) who decides which member of our faculty and/or staff will be best suited to address the needs and goals of a particular consultation project.

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How does NSCC select its faculty members/consultants?
NSCC only works with faculty members/consultants whose work we know well. Typically, we spend several months getting to know these professionals before we invite them to join NSCC's consultation staff.

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Are there pre-requisites or requirements to take advantage of these offerings?
No

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When NSCC consults to a school, is this work confidential?
Yes. As NSCC is a teaching and learning center, there may be instances where we would request that a school talk about our work together. But, this is always up to the school to do this or not.

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NSCC offers a range of PD offerings? What do you think is most important to begin with?
The answer to this question depends on your past PD work, current goals and future plans. It is clear that "one shot" PD offerings have little impact. Each school - like every person - has their own history, strengths and needs and goals. What is most important is that your PD plans build on past efforts and a current understanding of the school community's strengths, needs and goals.

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If “one shot” professional development workshops are of limited value, what is a helpful way of structuring this work?
A growing body of research has revealed that professional development is most helpful when it is:
  • Directly focused on helping to achieve student learning goals, supporting student learning needs and their healthy development.
  • A collaborative endeavor - teachers and administrators work together in planning and implementation.
  • School-based and job-embedded.
  • A long-term commitment.
  • Tied to the district goals.

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How much does it cost to work with NSCC?
Our consulting fees are generally $2000/day or $1100 for a half day. (Travel costs and copying of handouts/resources are additional.) When we work with groups of schools over a period of time, we develop a customized program and fees depend on the plan we create together.

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Does NSCC conduct consultations over the telephone?
Yes. In fact, many schools often spend telephone time with NSCC staff to understand the results and think about ways to use these findings to build community and/or support school climate improvement efforts.

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Is this telephone time free of charge?
Initially, yes. We understand that schools need to understand who we are and whether working together will really serve the needs of your school/district. On the other hand, when telephone contact is an ongoing dimension of our work, there is linked fee to cover the NSCC staff person’s time.

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Can NSCC help with any area that we might choose to focus on?
No. NSCC’s professional development work includes a range of school climate improvement processes and promoting safer schools, more healthy relationships in school and evidence based social, emotional and civic education. But, there are aspects, for example of safety (e.g. gang violence) that we do not have expertise in. And, if gang violence, for example were an area that your school wanted to focus on, we can and will recommend other groups that have expertise in a given area.

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We are using the CSCI. How can NSCC further support our efforts to improve school climate and school improvement initiatives?
In fact, this is a primary focus in our work: Supporting school communities to understand how we can use school climate ( and other forms of) data to shape instructional and /or school wide action planning, to build authentic learning community and to then focus on the areas that the school decides to prioritize on.

If you have any other questions about NSCC’s professional development offerings, please write to [email protected].