Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement (3 Graduate Credits)


Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement – Online Professional Development Course

This 3-credit online course for teachers focuses on identifying and closing the gaps in education and achievement – in your classroom and your teaching – so that all students can fulfill their potential.

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UMass Global University Course Code: EDUU 9969

Course Description

Gaps in academic achievement have always existed, on a national scale, across school districts, and even inside classrooms. But just because something has always been a certain way doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. If you’re interested in learning more about the types and causes of gaps in education and achievement and how you can close those gaps with your students, this online class is for you.

The professional development course will address the roots and causes of the primary types of gaps in the classroom, including: linguistic gaps, gender gaps, socio-economic gaps, and racial and ethnicity gaps.

Eliminating gaps in achievement can have far-reaching impacts, not only on students, but also on their families, their communities, and even society.

Designed for all types of teachers, this online professional development course provides specific strategies and practices for closing education and achievement gaps, including:

  • methods for engaging, motivating, and increasing meaning
  • countering stereotypes and biases
  • maintaining high expectations and respect
  • addressing and confronting racism and other social issues
  • promoting true integration, teamwork, family, and belonging
  • overcoming discrepancies between your background and the backgrounds of your students
  • restorative justice, positive intervention, and behavior management

“A word as to the education of the heart. We don’t believe that this can be imparted through books; it can only be imparted through the loving touch of the teacher.” —Cesar Chavez

Learn to be a factor in closing the gaps and bring forth profound positive change in students. Explore the gaps that exist in academic achievement on a national scale as well as evoke action and change toward more equitable education practices. This course offers some of the evidence and causes of inequity among our students, consequences and implications of such inequities, and definite attitudes and actions that we and our students can take that have been proven to increase equity in and through the education. Through our discussions, research, and experiences, shared throughout this course, we hope to further such knowledge, understanding and change, to clear away obstacles, loose shackles, relieve burdens, and afford a greater opportunity for each and all of our students to secure for themselves a bright future.

As part of this online professional development course, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct original research on one or more achievement gaps that you’ve identified and are interested in studying. As you move through the stages of your research project, you’ll have the support of the instructor, as well as the other teachers who are taking the course.

This 3-credit online course is approved by LAUSD for salary points and by other districts in California for professional development credits or graduate-level credits available through University of Massachusetts Global. You can check with your school district to find out which professional development credit type you need.

The course is comprised of 5 units. For each unit, you’ll read a lesson, watch a video, take a quiz, and complete an assignment. Throughout the professional development course, you’ll post your responses in an online discussion forum, for interaction with other teachers who are taking the online course.


  “This course has inspired me so much and given me so many techniques for building relationships and closing the achievement gap.
 “This workshop was very relevant to my job and it gave me a clearer and healthier perspective about the impact of social factors including poverty, family structure, and discrimination on children’s learning.”
  “The course should be required for all teachers because too often this reality of educational gaps amongst different minority groups is not discussed nor are specific actions taken at schools to address these problems.” 
 “The workshop has allowed me to understand better the various gaps that exist in education and has allowed me to review my teaching practices by being more aware of how I approach my students.”
  “Every single unit offered great and valuable information that provided insights of a specific point.”

Learning Outcomes

In this online course, you’ll learn about the primary causes of gaps in education and achievement and how to apply best practices for closing achievement gaps.

Number of Professional Development Credits / Salary Points

Teachers throughout California and the U.S. can earn 3 professional development credits by completing this online course or 3 graduate level credits (awarded through University of Massachusetts Global, formerly known as Brandman University). This course is also worth 3 salary points awarded by the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District), depending on the credit type you choose.

Target Audience

This course is designed for all types of Pre-K through 12th grade teachers, including: early childhood education teachers, elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers, special education teachers, staff, and administrators.

Additional Information/Questions

Here’s additional information about the Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement online professional development course:

  • This course is 100% online – the coursework and interaction.
  • You’ll have six months to complete all of your coursework from the date that you purchase this online course. If you’re enrolled in three or more 3-credit online courses simultaneously, upon request, you’ll be allowed one year to complete the course.
  • Once you’ve successfully completed the Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement course, you’ll earn 3 LAUSD salary points, 3 professional development credits, or 3 graduate-level professional development credits.

If you have any questions about the Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement course, or any of our other professional development online courses, please email

Related Courses

If you’re interested in Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement, you might also like these related online courses:


Disclaimer: This online professional development class has been approved by the LAUSD and UTLA Joint Salary Point Credit Committee. Please note, however, that the LAUSD does not endorse this online class provider over any other.



Take this online course to earn 3 university graduate-level PD credits. Learn to be a factor in closing the gaps and bring forth profound positive change in students!

Additional information

Select Credit Type :

3 UMass Global Graduate-Level PD Credits, 3 Professional Development Credits, 3 LAUSD Salary Points