Poverty in Our Backyard is a 1 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided course (SS/IG) that examines the cumulative effects of poverty related stress on students and what educators can do about it. As poverty continues to increase in our communities and more and more students in our classrooms come from low SES homes, it is important for educators to understand the effects poverty can have on their students and their students’ school success. Participants will first learn about stress-based factors that cause very real physiological changes in both the brains and bodies of low SES students causing them to lag behind same-age peers. Next, participants will examine strategies, activities, and programs that provide the behavioral and cognitive supports low SES students need for success, as well as models for providing family support. Finally participants will have a chance to develop a plan for their classroom or school that implements and/or integrates changes that will positively support low SES students and families.
This is a Self-Study/Instructor-Guided course. Participants work independently on course content with coaching and feedback from the instructor. The course is self-paced and organized into 6 lessons. Goals will be met using a combination of lessons, readings, videos, external sources and quizzes. The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and activities.
By the end of the course, participants will:
1. Understand the cumulative effects of stress on low SES students
2. Understand the connection between poverty and underdeveloped social and emotional skills and how it can affect
3. Understand the connection between Poverty and cognitive lag and how it can affect academic achievement
4. Know strategies that support SEL and cognitive development in low SES students
5. Know strategies that support low SES families and students in our schools
1. Poverty in our schools
2. Cumulative effects of poverty related stressors
3. How stress affects social-emotional learning and classroom behavior
4. How stress affects cognitive development and academic success
5. Strategies to support low SES students and improve SEL and academic success
6. Strategies and programs that support low SES families and students
Grading is the same whether the course is taken for graduate credit or for license renewal. Students are required to participate in all discussion forums and to complete all assignments and/or activities. A=90%-100%; B=80%-89%-Because this is a graduate level course, scores must be 80% or better to receive credit.
Required Text: No text required. All materials are provided online.