Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

School Discipline Reform Certificate

What are the application deadlines?
The online program begins two times each year:

  1. Fall Semester
    Application Deadline: August 31st of each year (for application and all supporting materials) 
    Term Begins: Early September 
    Term Ends: Mid December
  2. Spring Semester
    Application Deadline: December 15th of each year (for application and all supporting materials) 
    Term Begins: Early January
    Term Ends: Mid April

What are the application requirements?

Application requirements and the online application form are available here.  No application fee is required.

What is the timeframe for completion of the program?

This program is designed to be completed in one year on a part-time basis by taking two 2-credit courses each semester, starting in the fall and concluding in the spring.  If students begin the program in the spring semester, they will complete the program in three semesters.  Students would start by taking one two-credit course, Restorative Justice, in the spring semester, and then taking two two-credit courses the following fall semester, and completing the two-credit capstone course the following spring semester.  Students can also take the certificate over two years or, with permission, extend the certificate beyond the two years. The certificate program is flexibly structured to accommodate the busy lives of working professionals.

Does Loyola provide financial assistance?

Yes. Students enrolled in the certificate for a minimum of four credits per semester are eligible for federal loan programs. Contact Loyola’s Financial Aid Office for more information.

Does Loyola offer any other type of scholarships for this certificate?

Yes.  Loyola offers a tuition scholarship to students attending this program in a cohort.  More information is available on the Tuition and Fees page.      

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?

Because this program is designed to be applied in nature, schools and districts would benefit from the participation of administrators, teachers, discipline deans, school-based mental health professionals and staff in this program in the following ways:

  • Participants will learn about relevant laws, policies and procedures that govern school discipline in their buildings and complete an applied project to analyze and review relevant policies, such as school board disciplinary policies, Codes of Conduct/student handbooks, and memoranda of understanding between schools and law enforcement agencies.
  • Program participants will receive support to gather, analyze and summarize school and district disciplinary data in the aggregate and disaggregated by relevant categories.
  • Participants will receiving training and guidance to develop and implement a needs assessment on school discipline in the fall semester.
  • Based on the findings of the needs assessment, participants will develop a 3-5 year action plan for reforming school discipline practices in their schools and buildings and will lay the framework for implementation of this plan as part of their certificate coursework.
  • Participants will receive training on restorative practices and will then be supported to apply restorative principles and practices in their own school or district setting.
  • Participants will learn about research-supported practices in school discipline that they can bring back to their schools or districts.
  • Participants will interact with colleagues from around the country and learn more about tools, practices and structures to reform school discipline that are being used in other schools and districts from professionals who have leadership roles related to school discipline.
  • Participants may invite other members of their school or district to participate in periodic online presentations on relevant topics like trauma-informed practices, suspension and expulsion in early childhood, best practices related to the role of law enforcement in schools, and the rights of students with disabilities with respect to school discipline. 

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.

Is the program accredited?

Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools while Loyola University Chicago School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.  The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools* (NCA) and the School Psychology PhD program and Ed.S. program is accredited/approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), respectively.

What can I expect from the online course experience?

Courses are taught by full-time faculty members at Loyola as well as leading practitioners, each experts in their fields.  Each course is organized to teach key substantive areas and practical skills. All courses are offered online through Loyola’s learning management system and consist of reading assignments, recorded lectures, quizzes or exams, discussion board assignments, writing assignments, and live classes. Course materials are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online learning is flexible, convenient, and geared toward each student's own schedule and needs. And distance learning is student-centered. Students have regular contact with faculty and other students through e-mails, chat rooms, discussion forums, and instant messaging. Assignments are turned in and returned with in-depth feedback to the student's home page within days. Finally, online education is grounded in adult learning theory, making it an excellent learning medium for busy professionals.

Can I transfer credits from other schools?

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

Can the credits be applied to any other degree?

The credits can be applied toward the online Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) in Children’s Law and Policy offered by Loyola University Chicago School of Law.