Earn a certificate in Instructional Coaching and become an intentional and skillful agent of growth for your educational colleagues.

The Instructional Coaching certificate program is designed for teacher mentors, coaches, and instructional leaders looking to develop the skills and tools necessary to create deliberate, collaborative, and flexible instructional coaching experiences for new and experienced colleagues. 

What Sets Us Apart

 Access Penn GSE’s signature approach to instructional coaching
 Gain research-based best practices and practical tools useful in any coaching setting
 Engage in self-paced and live experiences throughout the year

About the Program

The Instructional Coaching certificate program offers an in-depth professional learning experience that provides access to the collective coaching expertise of Penn GSE’s Collaboratory for Teacher Education and the Teacher Development Network LLC. Through this interactive program, participants will learn and practice the components of the collaborative, flexible, equity-centered, and active learning approach to coaching that are a signature of Penn GSE’s coaching programs.

Application Deadline

  • Priority Application Deadline Extended: June 15, 2024
  • Application Deadline: July 31, 2024

Program StartSeptember 10, 2024

Program Length8 months

Credits12 Continuing Education Credits
120 Pennsylvania ACT 48 Credits

Certificate OfferedPenn GSE Certificate in Advanced Instructional Coaching

Format(s)This program includes both live virtual sessions and asynchronous work to be completed at your own pace.


  • Standard rate: $3,950
  • 30% discount for School District of Philadelphia employees
  • 15% discount available for:
    • Applications received by June 1st
    • Penn GSE and Center for Professional Learning alumni
    • Penn employees
    • Groups of 5+ from the same organization, contact us prior to applying. 

Ideal candidatesPK-12 or higher education staff with mentoring or coaching roles; grade/department chairs; school and systems leaders; other instructional leaders

Programs for Working Professionals

The Instructional Coaching certificate program is designed to help those responsible for mentoring or coaching adults in an education setting deliberately develop and hone the mindsets, skills, and tools that coaches use to guide the learning of others. 

This program is structured around five core components of effective adult coaching: vision, relational trust, listening, language, and protocols. Over the course of four modules, participants will have access to engaging and varied online resources, tools, and real-world practice activities that introduce, guide, and deepen work around the core coaching components.

Participants will meet synchronously throughout the duration of the program with a coaching expert to build community with other coaches and collaboratively practice coaching skills. The program concludes with a self-directed supervised inquiry project through which participants showcase their ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through this course in their own context.


Already an instructional coach and looking to set up a coaching program?
Check out Setting Up a Coaching Program.

Program Details

The course is divided into four asynchronous modules. Each module contains a set of submodules that help
break the topic down and prepare you to apply it.

1. Setting the Foundation: Vision, Trust, and Communication

We begin our journey by exploring foundational concepts and skills that all coaches need to master to
truly be experts at their craft. Section topics include

  • Coach as Teacher Educator
  • Building Trusting Professional Relationships
  • Effective Coaching Communication
  • Learning About Yourself As A Coach

2. Collaborative Deliberation: Protocols to Guide Mentoring Work

Apply the foundational coaching skills you learned and practiced in Module 1 to a coaching cycle
model. Section topics include

  • Observing Teachers
  • Data-Based Coaching
  • Real-Time Coaching
  • Planning With Students In Mind
  • Planning For Progress

3. Coaching Through Complexity: Using the Five Coaching Components to Address Increasingly Complicated Topics

Applying the knowledge, skills, and processes you learned and practiced in the first two modules to
more complex coaching situations. Section topics include:

  • Differentiating Coaching Supports
  • Coaching Is A Team Sport
  • Coaching For The Success of All Students
  • Coaching For Well-Being

4. Coaching As Inquiry: Self-Directed Coaching Inquiry Project

In this final module, you will apply your learning in your own situations by completing a coaching
inquiry project of your own design. Section topics include:

  • Reflecting on Professional Learning
  • Designing and Implementing a Meaningful Inquiry
  • Reflection and Closure

Program Schedule - Tentative

Course Schedule

ModuleStart DateEnd Date
1. Setting the Foundation: Vision, Trust, and CommunicationSeptember 10October 29
2. Collaborative Deliberation: Protocols to Guide Mentoring WorkOctober 29January 28
3. Coaching Through Complexity: Using the Five Coaching Components to
Address Increasingly Complicated Topics
January 28March 25
4. Coaching As Inquiry: Self-Directed Coaching Inquiry ProjectMarch 25April 30

Live Sessions

SessionTime (ET)
September 17, 20246:30 - 8:30 PM
October 22, 20246:30 - 8:30 PM
December 3, 20246:30 - 8:30 PM
February 11, 20256:30 - 8:30 PM
March 25, 20256:30 - 8:30 PM
April 29, 20256:30 - 8:30 PM

Continuing Education Credits - FAQs & Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

 What are the benefits of obtaining Continuing Education (CE) credits? 

 CE credits are issued on an official University of Pennsylvania transcript. Having an official record of your participation in this program can add credibility to the work that you invest in completing it.  In some school districts, CE credits can be used to help educators advance along their pay scale. 

 What style of grading does this program follow? 

 Programs that offer CE credits award "Pass/Fail" grading. 

 Can I add CE credits after I get started in the program? 

 You must decide before you start the program if you will be participating as a learner who is completing the program for CE credentialing. You will not be able to opt in after the program starts. 

 Can I receive partial credit or opt out of receiving CE credits after I start the program? 

 No, this program can not offer partial credit if a learner can not complete the program. However, a learner can unenroll from the program by the drop deadline and will be responsible for 100% of the program fee. 

 Why might you not want CE credits?

 If you choose to receive CE credits but do not successfully complete this program, you risk receiving an F on your permanent Penn transcript.

 Can participating educators receive Pennsylvania Act 48 credits if they don't register for CE credits? 

Yes! All Pennsylvania educators are eligible to receive the total amount of ACT 48 credits regardless of their preference for CE credits. 

Does this program provide the endorsement of Instructional Coaching from the Pennsylvania Department of Education?

No, this program has not applied to be an approved provider of the endorsement certification. However, our colleagues at the Penn Literacy Network are approved to offer this endorsement to learners who complete their certificate program. Please contact the Penn Literacy Network for more information. 

Continuing Education Credits Policy

Please read the policy below carefully to understand the important consequences that choosing to receive CE credits may have for your University of Pennsylvania transcript.  

As a participant in this Penn GSE  Certificate program, you are eligible to receive Continuing Education (CE) credits for successful completion of the program requirements.  Whether or not you choose to receive CE credits for your participation in this program, all program expectations, requirements, and costs are the same.  

If you choose to receive CE credits, this course will appear on your permanent Penn transcript. 

If you decide to unenroll from this program, you will have until the Add/Drop Deadline to do so without consequence for your transcript.  This course will no longer appear on your Penn transcript.  

If you decide to unenroll from this program after the Add/Drop Deadline, then this course will appear on your Penn transcript.  Courses dropped after the Add/Drop Deadline requires instructor approval and a 'W' will appear on your transcript in place of a grade.

If you decide to unenroll from this program after the Withdrawal Deadline, then this course will appear on your Penn transcript and you may earn an F.

If you choose to receive CE credits for your participation in this program but do not successfully complete it, then you may earn an F on your Penn transcript. 

Please indicate whether or not you would like to receive CE credits for your participation in this program on your application.


Our Faculty

Our program leader has deep experience and expertise in mentoring and instructional coaching in both PK-12 and higher education settings.

Penn GSE Faculty Emily L. Davis
Founder, Teacher Development Network LLC

Meet Dr. Emily Davis

Dr. Davis is an expert on the development of high-quality induction and coaching programs for both new and
experienced teachers. She is the founder of the Teacher Development Network, LLC, whose mission is to
collaborate with educational organizations to develop and optimize mentoring and coaching systems for
preservice and early career teachers to improve retention, teacher quality, and student learning.

A fifth-generation educator, Dr. Davis began her career as a middle and high school humanities teacher in
various states and settings before earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of
Virginia. She then held research and leadership positions at Stanford and New Teacher Center while also
staying practical and grounded by intentionally selecting roles and projects that have kept her working in the
field with districts, universities, county offices of education, states, and international programs to develop and
lead research-based and highly effective teacher induction, coaching, and school leadership development
programs. Most recently, she was the program director for the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project
at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, where she oversaw an induction consortium of 37 districts,
charters, and independent schools. Each year, SC/SVNTP develops nearly 100 highly effective and
well-trained mentors and instructional coaches to support upwards of 750 new teachers across the consortium.

Named a Fulbright Specialist, as well as a Phi Delta Kappan and ASCD Emerging Leader in the field of
education, Dr. Davis is a sought-after consultant and professional developer on topics including mentoring,
facilitation, and professional learning. She is the author of numerous articles and blogs on teacher mentoring,
induction, and coaching topics. Her first book, Making Mentoring Work, is a practical guide for school leaders
looking to begin or enhance their mentoring programs for new teachers. Her second book, co-authored with
Brad Currie, titled Tech Request: A Guide to Coaching Educators in the Digital World, provides guidance to
anyone tasked with supporting their colleagues in implementing educational technology in building and
developing a robust program of support.