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Leading Instructional Design for Professionals Certificate

Certificate: For experienced teachers and corporate trainers who desire to transition into leadership roles. Can be taken as a stand-alone certificate or as part of the MA in Leadership and Learning degree.

Program Overview

This 15-unit certification will prepare you to design and manage professional development in the workplace.

You will develop an understanding of adult learning theory, effective instructional design, and leadership for organizational success in both face-to-face and online venues. This program is designed for professionals new to the teaching and learning environment and leadership role.

It can be taken on its own or as part of a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in leadership in learning.

What does an instructional designer do?

The instructional design competencies identified by the IBSPI (International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction) will give you a sense of what instructional designers might do. Not every instructional designer performs all of these tasks, as some are for those who are more advanced in their careers.

Professional Foundations

  • Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form
  • Apply current research and theory to the practice of instructional design
  • Update and improve one’s knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to instructional design and related fields
  • Apply fundamental research skills to instructional design projects
  • Identify and resolve ethical and legal implications of design in the workplace

You want to empower people in your workplace. We want to empower you. Our shared passion for helping adults progress in their knowledge and skills makes PLNU the place for you to establish or advance in leading professional development in your workplace.

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Course List


Department Faculty

Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We're here to make the entire process a simple one. We'll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Program Start Date(s):

  • Fall 2019 Quad II – October 28, 2019

  • Spring 2020 Quad I – January 13, 2020

  • Spring 2020 Quad II – March 16, 2020

  • Summer 2020 Quad I – May 18, 2020

  • Summer 2020 Quad II – July 13, 2020

  • Fall 2020 Quad I – August 31, 2020

  • Fall 2020 Quad II – October 26, 2020

Application Deadline(s):

  • Spring 2020 Quad I – December 2, 2019

  • Spring 2020 Quad II – February 17, 2020

  • Summer 2020 Quad I – April 20, 2020

  • Summer 2020 Quad II – June 8, 2020

  • Fall 2020 Quad I – August 3, 2020

  • Fall 2020 Quad II – September 28, 2020

Not all programs offer entry for new students each quad. Check with your enrollment counselor for programs and start dates.

Start Application

The Selection Process

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

To be admitted into PLNU's education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript from an institution that indicates the completion of an undergraduate degree.

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit a personal essay, 2-3 pages in length and double spaced, that addresses the following topics:
    • Describe your professional career goals for the next five years.
    • Describe the variety of experiences that helped you determine these goals.
    • Explain what motivates you to work in California’s diverse schools.
    • Explain why you are applying to PLNU, a private Christian university.
  4. Provide two professional recommendations. You will be asked to register your recommenders by providing their names, titles, and email addresses.
  5. For credential seekers only: Submit basic skills exam (CBEST or equivalent) scores. This can be demonstrated by taking the CBEST exam
    • OR Multiple Subject CSET plus writing skills examination
    • OR CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examination
    • OR providing proof of a valid California teaching credential

Start Application

Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in teacher credentialing is available on this website

*Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

This program is ideal for:

  • Entry and Senior Level Managers
  • Professional Development Trainers
  • Corporate Trainers
  • Adult Workforce Educators
  • Human Resource Managers
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