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Certificate in School Discipline Reform

Whether you are a school leader or a district leader, the goals of the Certificate in School Discipline Reform online program hit close to home.

Focused on the reduction of suspensions and expulsions and their adverse impact on vulnerable students, the program is designed for professionals committed to serving their students and communities through prevention-oriented approaches to school discipline. Students may also pursue this certificate as part of an online Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) degree in Children’s Law and Policy.

Our Commitment to You

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  1. Understand fundamental legal principles and law that guide school discipline practices.
  2. Review and analyze school and district-level discipline data and conduct a root-cause analysis.
  3. Develop and conduct a needs assessment related to school discipline.
  4. Plan, facilitate, and reflect on effective restorative dialogue and a variety of proactive and responsive circles.
  5. Apply the principles of restorative practices to address challenges your school or district is facing.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge regarding a variety of research-based practices that can be implemented to prevent and respond to behavior within a framework of multi-tiered systems of support (e.g., universal/tier 1; secondary/tier 2; and tertiary/tier 3).
  7. Develop an action plan to implement prevention-oriented alternatives to exclusionary school discipline practices in your respective setting.

Curriculum

To earn a Certificate in School Discipline Reform, you must complete 8 credit hours of required coursework and attend a Restorative Justice Seminar. This online program can be completed in one year by taking two 2-credit courses each semester, starting in the fall and concluding in the spring. Or you may begin in the spring semester and complete the program in three semesters. You may also complete the program over two years, taking one course each semester.

Fall Semester

  • Legal Issues in School Discipline
  • System Consultation in School Discipline Reform

Spring Semester

  • Restorative Justice
  • School Discipline Reform: Linking Law, Policy and Practice

Restorative Justice Seminar

As part of the Restorative Justice course, you must attend a two-day intensive on-campus weekend seminar on Restorative Justice at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus. The weekend retreat offers you the opportunity to network with other professionals and engage in exercises and skills-building related to the core principles and practices of restorative justice.

Tuition and Fees

The School of Law and Loyola's Office of Student Financial Assistance are committed to helping you secure the necessary financial resources to make your legal education at Loyola affordable.

As part of our commitment, Loyola offers a tuition scholarship for students attending this program in a cohort. This scholarship is available to cohorts of two or more enrolled students employed by the same institution (e.g., school, district, charter network, etc.). Both students must be registered to begin in the same semester or during the same school year, if arranged prior to beginning the program.

Admission and Application

To apply for the Certificate in School Discipline Reform program, you must possess a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

Dates and Deadlines

Fall Term

Application Deadline

August 1

Spring Term

Application Deadline

December 15

FAQ

Are there learnings outside of coursework?

To support your learning, Loyola offers an online orientation that incorporates presentations on topics like adolescent brain development, trauma, and implicit bias.

I would like to seek funding from my school or district for this program. What are the ways in which this program would benefit my school or district?

As an applied program, districts and schools will benefit by supporting many members of their community to pursue the certificate. Administrators, teachers, discipline deans, school-based mental health professionals and staff will all gain important knowledge, training, and skills, as outlined in the "Our Commitment to You" section. Beyond these outcomes, students develop a 3-5 year action plan to reform school discipline practices in their school or district and their certificate coursework will lay the framework for implementation of this plan.

Additional benefits for participants from Illinois:

  • The certificate curriculum will align with state laws on discipline, including:
    • The school discipline reform legislation referred to as SB 100 (Public Act 99-0456) and
    • The school discipline data reporting requirements and the potential need for schools and districts with high rates of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and disciplinary transfers to alternative school placements to develop a corrective action plan as set forth in 105 ILCS 5/2-3.162.
  • Participants will be given the option of attending an in-person Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)-approved Administrators’ Academy together with up to five additional attendees from their school, district or network who will form part of their team supporting implementation of school discipline reform. Attendance in this academy and issuance of Administrators’ Academy credit is at no extra cost.

Can I transfer credits from other schools?

Due to the unique nature of the certificate program, transfer credits are not be accepted.

Can the credits be applied to any other degree?

If admitted to Loyola's MJ in Children’s Law and Policy, you may be eligible to transfer credits.

The US Department of Education requires any institution offering distance education/online programs to students outside of its home state to acquire authorization from the states in which students reside. Regulations vary from state to state. While Loyola University Chicago is authorized, exempt or pursuing authorization in most states, some restrictions apply. Please see our State Authorization page for the most up-to-date information.

Loyola University Chicago is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.