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FSU launches new level of professional certification on trauma and resilience


BY: ANNA PRENTISS | PUBLISHED: AUGUST 31, 2020 | 4:34 PM


Florida State University’s College of Social Work recently launched a new level in its successful Professional Certification in Trauma and Resilience online series.

The curriculum series, developed by the Clearinghouse on Trauma and Resilience within the college’s Institute for Family Violence Studies in conjunction with the FSU Center for Academic and Professional Development, enables professionals to develop the knowledge and skills they need to understand the impact of adult and child trauma, along with the keys to resilience.


Participants will learn crucial information to improve service delivery to clients, students, human services recipients, patients and other members of the public.

“The feedback from Level One was overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating that professionals from all backgrounds want to enhance their professional knowledge, skills and career potential,” said Jim Clark, dean of the College of Social Work. “We learned that all kinds of professionals want an economical way to grasp complex concepts and research informed content, and then offer meaningful assistance to clients.”

Participants from a variety of fields, including nurses, judges, licensed counselors, social workers and lawyers, can earn Continuing Education Credits for taking the course. Participants outside of Florida can submit their certification to their licensing board to determine credit awarded.

Level One of the series was launched in July 2019, introducing a multidisciplinary audience to the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and its long-term negative impact. It also introduces the trauma-informed approach to human services with the goal of making human services providers such as social workers, first responders, medical professionals and criminal justice and legal system experts better able to serve clients who have experienced significant trauma.

Nearly 1,500 participants have already completed Level One.

Now, the launch of Level Two will expand the participants’ knowledge and skills. It explores community trauma, as well as the most common types of individual trauma, using a public health approach to address the root causes of trauma and highlight evidence-informed approaches to building resilience. The financial costs of trauma are emphasized.

Systemic problems that allow inequality to expand, such as racism, intergenerational poverty and lack of access to resources are also explored, demonstrating both the limits of individual protective factors and the potential of agency change to improve client services.

“Level Two includes a deep dive into the causes of trauma,” said clearinghouse director Karen Oehme, “and it also offers professionals a new understanding and dozens of practical tools to build resilience and encourage post-traumatic growth to counter trauma’s harmful effects.”

The self-paced curriculum includes 15 hours of course content and eight chapters of research-based readings, case scenarios, multimedia materials, assignments, resilience exercises and quizzes. Faculty from across Florida State’s campus participated in the review of the new course.

The new 15-hour course is offered for $299. Discounts are provided for FSU alumni and veterans. Professionals interested in taking Level Two are required to pass Level One. When professionals complete each training, they will receive a professional certification from the FSU Center for Academic and Professional Development.

For questions about fees and enrollment, contact the FSU Center for Academic & Professional Development at resilience@capd.fsu.edu or (850) 644-7545.


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