Forward Edge partners with the Virginia Society of Technology in Education (VSTE) to offer a Certification Program for Technology Coaches in Virginia.

Written by Brooke Conklin

This Fall we launched the pilot cohort of the VSTE Certified Coach program (VCC) in partnership with VSTE’s Executive Director, Rod Carnill, and Board of Directors member, Emily Heller. The VCC provides high-caliber professional learning and networking events exclusively for instructional technology coaches in Virginia. Participating in the VCC program and earning a VSTE Certified Coach credential empowers coaches to become active change agents in their school communities and elevates their ability to impact instruction and learning through research-based professional learning and collaboration with other coaches.

The Foundation of the VCC
The VSTE Certified Coach Program (VCC) was born from a moonshot idea of creating a rigorous state-level certification for instructional technology coaches. The VSTE Education Committee explored many existing coaching models and certifications and ultimately decided to partner with Forward Edge to create a customized certification program that would achieve their vision of impactful coaching and technological innovation in education.
Several VSTE Board members attended Forward Edge’s Coaches Camp in July 2022 to preview potential content for the VCC.

The Forward Edge Coaches Camp content has earned the ISTE Seal of Alignment for Coaching Standards. Read the full report here. 

A Bird’s Eye View of the VCC

While mapping out what the VSTE Certified Coach Program (VCC) would look like, VSTE and Forward Edge had two main priorities:

  1. Empower coaches with actionable content that would maximize their impact as a coach. 
  2. Foster a network amongst the candidates that would continue to support them after graduation from the VCC. 

Ultimately, the VCC was structured in a cadence of LEARN – DO – DISCUSS. 

VCC Candidates tune in virtually for an interactive synchronous learning session, implement the strategies they learned in their school environments, and then engage in reflective synchronous discussion about the implementation with their cohort members. The response from the pilot cohort has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Candidates will complete their time in the VCC with a brief, but powerful, portfolio that captures how their work in the program has embodied the ISTE Standards for Coaches and how they have positively impacted the broader goals of their school communities. 

The Impact of the VCC and Future Plans

Unlike the average online training course or coaching book, the VCC directly impacts teaching and learning. 

The VCC LEARN – DO – DISCUSS model developed by VSTE and Forward Edge is designed to support coaches throughout the implementation of new coaching strategies by providing: 

  • Strategically chunked learning content
  • Actionable steps to take from learning
  • Reflective conversation & support from the cohort

Interest in future cohorts has been impressively high. Forward Edge & VSTE are extremely excited to open this opportunity to instructional technology coaches across Virginia beginning in January 2023. The application process will be announced at VSTE’s annual conference in Virginia Beach on December 4th, with more information to be posted on their website shortly after. We expect to open registration for both the Spring 2023 cohort and the Fall 2023 cohort at that time. 

“Our hope is that the VSTE Coach Certification will provide credibility and clarity to the role of instructional technology coach across the state of Virginia. We encourage supervisors of instructional technology coaches, current coaches, and aspiring coaches to consider earning their VSTE Coach Certification. This credential will demonstrate a deep professional knowledge of instructional coaching, systemic thinking, and technological innovation that divisions will value for its impact on teaching and learning in all areas.”