Wyoming Education Association

Fall 2021

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1419437

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Brandi McCoid jumped at the opportunity to be among the first to lead a Professional Learning Community for her fellow Education Support Professionals. "I believe this is a great opportunity for ESPs. There is so much to gain from being a part of this program," she told WEA News. "Many ESP's don't have access to good, quality professional development. NEA's micro-credential program fills this need." Brand i is one of two Wyoming ESPs who, as of this writing, is about halfway through her Professional Learning Community's journey toward completing NEA's micro-credential in cultural competency. To earn the micro-credential, participating ESPs are meeting for eight weekly, one-hour virtual group sessions guided by their WEA ESP leader. They are also committing up to one additional hour per week to complete PLC - related work, a commitment that McCoid says is more than worth it. "Taking a micro-credential is valuable for many reasons," says McCoid. "The program is flexible and personalized. NEA has many micro-credentials to choose from; you can learn what you want based on your needs and your occupation. The best part is that the credentials are based on the demonstration of mastery—they are not awarded solely ba sed on attendance or effort." L E A R N I N G C O M M U N I T I E S P R O F E S S I O N A L WEA is one of only five state affiliates currently offering this innovative new program from NEA. Professional Learning Communities (PLC) for Education Support Professionals offer ESPs the opportunity to earn micro-credentials from NEA, with support from small cohorts led by local facilitators. WEA News spoke with Guernsey- Sunrise EA member, paraeducator, and coach Brandi McCoid about her role as a facilitator for a Professional Learning Community. This is a great opportunity for ESPs. There is so much to gain from being a part of this program. To earn this particular micro-credential in cultural competence, participating members are working on journals, video recordings, and other documentation of ways they are incorporating cultural competence into their workplace. "I would encourage all Wyoming ESPs to pursue a micro-credential in cultural competency," says WEA President Grady Hutcherson. "By participating, you are helping to shape this program for ESPs across the country, while at the same time becoming better equipped to create an inclusive, culturally aware learning environment for your students." - Brandi McCoid Micro-credentials are short, competency-based recognitions. NEA offers members a diverse catalog of micro-credentials suitable for classified, certified, and higher education staff in topics ranging from Teacher Leadership to Supporting LGBTQ+ Students and much more. WEA members can pursue micro-credentials of their choosing, free of charge, online. Learn more and browse the full catalog of offerings at More About Micro-credentials nea.certificationbank.com 7

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