Online Graduate-level Continuing Education Courses
for Professional Educators, Administrators, & Staff
SSPD360 courses are asynchronous online and accessible anytime and from anywhere at your convenience. We offer over 20 one-credit book studies and one, two, and three credit courses. Course credits are all graduate-level continuing education credit through MidAmerica Nazarene University, MNU. We filled our courses with research-backed strategies, tools, and resources to achieve targeted outcomes and build awareness of selected topics. Educators and specialists have developed the SSPD360 courses. These individuals are experts in their field and have a deep understanding of learning standards and current instructional practices.
Meet the Team
Nicole Albrecht (Nikki) is currently based in Seattle, Washington and is a qualified primary school and Japanese teacher. From 2011 to 2021 she worked in the Master of Wellness program at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She has lectured in and coordinated the graduate topics: Wellness and Life Enhancement, MindBody Wellness, Wellness and Health Assessment, and the undergraduate topics: Introduction to MindBody Wellness and Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Health. She currently manages the topic Wellbeing and Positive Mental Health in Educational Communities, a core topic in the Master of Wellbeing and Positive Mental Health in Education at Flinders University, South Australia. She also provides individual tutoring in the First Nations’ Yunggorendi Tutorial Program at Flinders University.
Over the last decade Nikki has run a range of professional development courses for teachers – including Mindfulness Teacher Training, Mindful Communication and Nature-based Mindfulness. One of her latest awards includes the 2021 College of Education, Psychology & Social Work 2021 Special Learning & Teaching Award (peer nominated) for Innovative initiatives to promote student learning at Flinders University.
Her research work and doctoral studies have focussed on understanding the experiences of teachers, students, mindfulness instructors and health promotion staff when implementing mindfulness in school settings. She has consulted on several projects in Australia and New Zealand with government, faith-based and special needs schools and regularly reviews articles for a range of journals.
Kelli Bivins proudly serves the families of Athens, Georgia as teacher, advocate, and friend and has for over twenty years and at all three levels: elementary, middle, and high. Spending so much time in the same school zone has helped her form deep relationships with the families she serves. Bivins teaches a variety of contents, subjects, and classroom models from Collaborative to Sheltered. She also has a deep passion creating lessons that focus on earth stewardship and on building strong communities. In 2019/20 she was awarded a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms and traveled to Morocco for an international field experience in March 2022 as a representative of the US Department of State. She has a Specialist Degree in Teaching Additional Languages. When not serving her students, she enjoys laughing and living with her husband and two sons, in addition to volunteering at the Athens-Clarke Animal Shelter.
Cristy holds a bachelor's degree in history, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from The College of William & Mary, and a certification in Mental Health First Aid for youth and adults. She has over 14 years of experience working with educators and students. Since 2019, she has worked exclusively with K-12 teachers, facilitating professional development courses and providing support and resources to educators, administrators, and school districts. Cristy has a genuine passion to share knowledge, strategies, and practical and relevant skills that have proven success in learning outcomes and are deeply embedded in educational research. She develops courses that go beyond providing content knowledge and that ultimately prepare educators to differentiate their instruction to reach all students, teach the whole child, and encourage leading from where you are with resources you already have available.
For over 15 years, Summer Cowick has taught students in all grades, specializing in middle school grades. In 2008, she made the jump to teaching gifted education in the Gardner-Edgerton School district in Kansas. After taking several years off to raise her own gifted daughter, she returned to the teaching world and earned her Master’s in Gifted Education from Emporia State. For the past 5 years, she has taught middle school gifted students in the Olathe School district in Kansas.
Alexandria Widener graduated with her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She is a Qualified Professional and Nationally Certified Counselor with over seven years of experience in working with MH/DD/SAS populations. Alexandria has extensive professional experience working with children and their families through issues such as trauma, behavioral issues, self-harming behaviors, suicidal ideation, and mental health diagnoses. Alexandria has coordinated multi-provider engagement for youth to ensure that mental health treatment was across every domain of the youth’s life, school, home, and social.
Alexandria assisted children and adolescents with behavioral and/or mental health diagnoses in developing appropriate coping skills to successfully manage their symptoms. She has also worked as a residential care specialist to provide services to traumatized adolescents in need of emergency shelter. Working with youth, particularly those with a background of trauma, has been the passion that drives her work. As such, she has focused her studies on trauma-oriented education. She has done independent and collaborative research regarding trauma and the efficacy of TF-CBT in treating youth. Alexandria has also co-authored a chapter regarding Trauma-Informed Counseling in a graduate level textbook. Alexandria Widener will be presenting to the American Psychiatric Association in October on the effects of trauma and opioid misuse in Appalachia. Alexandria is interested in helping others understand trauma-informed approaches to youth as trauma is often the culprit in adolescent self-harm, substance abuse, sexualized behaviors, defiance, difficulty in school, and so forth. Teachers are instrumental in helping youth develop into healthy, thriving members of society. The entire trajectory of a child’s path can be positively altered with just one healthy relationship with a supportive adult. Thus, it is vital that our teachers understand the signs of trauma, problematic behaviors that can arise as a result of trauma, and how to effectively intervene and provide support to the traumatized youth.
Online Graduate-level Continuing Education
Three Credit Courses will be available in June of 2022