Press Releases

New Free Course for K-12 Teachers Helps Address Diversity in the Classroom

Mar. 29, 2016

Course part of Kaplan University’s ongoing effort to address the changing educational needs within America’s evolving K-12 environment

DAVENPORT, IA and SALT LAKE CITY, UT – (March 29, 2016) –  In an ongoing effort to address the evolving educational needs within the K-12 setting Kaplan University’s School of Education and the Open College is now offering a free course, Principles and Strategies for Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. The course helps teachers build their capabilities and expertise to properly address the broad breadth of needs of their diverse student populations.

According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 12 percent of teachers were ethnically diverse as of 2011-12. Yet,

  • Approximately 48 percent of students were considered minorities at this time
  • Nearly 13 percent of children and youth ages 3–21 were receiving special education services in 2012-2013
  • Twenty-one percent of children were living in poverty as of 2013

“While diversity in the classroom – racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and children with learning disabilities – continues to evolve and change the dynamics in a teacher’s classroom, teachers need to be fluid in how to best address those students to ensure an optimal environment,” said Dr. Sara Sander, dean and vice president for the Kaplan University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ School of Education. “This free course was developed with that in mind.”

Class participants have the option of formalizing their coursework, receiving three credits and a transcript for a nominal fee. Furthermore, they can submit the coursework for potential CEUs for their districts and licenses (dependent on individual district requirements).

Principles and Strategies for Teachers in Diverse Classrooms focuses on:

  • Cultural and linguistic factors that influence today’s student population
  • Strategies for effectively teaching students with special needs
  • Creating an inclusive classroom environment
  • Customizing lesson plans to reflect the needs of all students

The curriculum includes engaging Edivate videos and scenarios that were provided by School Improvement Network, in collaboration with Kaplan University. The videos are each three to five minutes long, offer real-world scenarios, and are narrated by practicing teachers. Learners are called to interact and dialogue. Discussion boards also offer the benefit of enabling a support network with fellow teachers worldwide, and these boards are supported by Kaplan University faculty with doctoral degrees and years of on-the-job, practical experience in the field.

“We chose to incorporate the videos because they supported and complemented our objective,” said Dr. Sander. “These videos address the issue of cultural diversity in an engaging and effective manner, which all lead toward a common goal of helping teachers further improve their classroom presentations and effectively manage today’s student population.”

Chet Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network, added, “The changing face of the K-12 student population and ensuring teachers are keeping pace with these changes are critical issues now facing educators.”

This graduate-level online and self-paced course is free and available to everyone. It also complements the graduate degree programs and courses offered for teachers, or those desiring to become teachers. And, it is taught by experienced, degreed faculty – presented in three modules which allow teachers to manage the coursework and learnings easier and progress through it on their own time and pace. Additionally, it speaks to Kaplan University’s commitment in providing the skillset and strategies required for professionals today in an innovative and relevant manner. Most recently in the field of education this includes Operation Educate the Educators, a program designed to train teachers to meet the special needs of military children and their families; and which Kaplan University was a founding member of.

For information on registering for this or other courses at Kaplan University visit

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan University serves approximately 43,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 14 campuses in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin, and a Kaplan University Learning Center in Maryland.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., which serves over 1.2 million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, university preparation, and K-12 offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 19,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses.

Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit

About School Improvement Network

Founded in 1991 by teachers, School Improvement Network has spent decades researching and documenting best practices in education. From this research, School Improvement Network has developed Edivate, an online, on-demand, personalized professional learning solution for educators. The Edivate platform includes a library of PD videos, applications that allow educators to access relevant resources and research and upload their own content, and social media applications that enable them to participate in a learning community of close to one million educators across the world. School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,500 classrooms to document best practices in action.
School Improvement Network and its logos are trademarks of School Improvement Network. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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