Online Courses

The NEA Foundation courses are intended to develop collaborative skills and content knowledge. The courses promote union-district collaboration as a tool for systems change and were developed by field experts, using a rich selection of resources. Use the course content in whatever way best meets your unique needs – a whole course, a single session, or just an activity. New courses are in development and will be posted periodically.

To start today, simply register and login! Are you or have you been an online course participant? Share, inform, and guide our work by answering these five questions.

The NEA Foundation's online courses were developed to help union and district leaders as well as the larger education community: 


  • Build skills in the area of labor-management collaboration
  • Build content knowledge, so educators can collaborate, lead, and advocate effectively 


The online courses – authored by experts in the field – are free and accessible to anyone. The courses rely on a combination of literature, case studies, reflection, and practical exercises. Users are encouraged to explore one session or a whole course, work through the content as a facilitated group/team or as an individual. 


Continue to learn more by trying sample activities from courses, reading frequently asked questions, or learning about the NEA Foundation Learning & Leadership Grants.


Alignment: The NEA Foundation has aligned its online courses with the Teacher Leader Model Standards domains and the NEA Leadership Competencies. We hope this information will help guide you in choosing the course that best meets your professional learning needs.


Early Career Educators:


  • Assessment as a Tool for Systems Change
  • Brain & Learning
  • Effective Professional Learning for Educators
  • Global Education: Tools and Approaches
  • Grant Writing for Educators
  • Teacher Evaluation


Education Support Professionals:


  • Brain & Learning
  • Facilitating Effective Labor-Management Teams
  • Redesigning Our Work: Policies, Practices, Contracts, and Agreements
  • Teacher Unions and Education Reform
  • Grant Writing for Educators


Emerging Association Leaders:


  • Collaborative Problem Solving and Action
  • Historical Role of Teachers Unions
  • Leading and Sustaining Reform
  • Teacher Unions and Education Reform


Seasoned Association Leaders:


  • Effective School-Community Collaboration
  • Peer Assistance and Review
  • Redesigning Our Work: Policies, Practices, Contracts, and Agreements
  • Strategic Compensation


Other Courses:


  • Federal and State Policy Environments
  • National and International Forces Affecting Public Education
  • Power, Influence, and Public Education
  • Teacher Hiring, Placement, Retention, and Tenure


Courses of Interest to Early Career Educators:


Courses of Interest to Education Support Professionals:


Courses of Interest to Emerging Association Leaders:


Courses of Interest to Seasoned Association Leaders:


Other Courses to Explore:

Voices from the Field



Sample Activities

Are you interested using the NEA Foundation courses to form a study group? Learn more about the NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants, which fund individual and group professional development projects for public school educators.


Course 2: Collaborative Problem Solving and Action

Session 3: Who Owns the Work?


Overview: This activity is informed by two of the course’s guiding questions: 1.) Why collaborate?; and 2.)What motivates or compels us to work together, across traditional lines, as a team of educators, administrators, union leaders, community partners, and other allies supporting student learning? By utilizing a labor-management responsibility scale, individual reflection, and whole group discussion, participants begin to determine which crucial areas are the responsibilities of labor, management, or both.

Task: Use the Labor-Management Responsibility Scale handout and assess which crucial areas of education work are the responsibility of labor and which are the responsibility of management. Think about who is responsible for each of these key aspects of the work. Take your time, and please work on your own personal set of responses to each question without consulting others, and without sharing your thinking aloud. Annotate your copy for your own use and possible future reference. You have 10 minutes for this task.

Gallery Walk: Before discussing your responses, go to the large-scale version of the handout to provide your input. Use sticky notes to place somewhere along each of the continua, indicating the degree of responsibility you confer on each. Use the surface of the sticky notes, when so moved, to make a comment, add a query, supply data, or otherwise elaborate on your “vote.”

Once you have placed all your notes, take a "gallery walk" to get both the emergent sense of the group view and the details and ideas of your peers as noted on the posted additional entries.

Whole Group Discussion:

  • What surprises you?
  • What makes you curious?
  • What do you agree with?
  • What do you disagree with?
  • What more do you wonder about?
  • Do you have a question for anyone in particular?
  • How does what you are seeing help you to think about your own job, your own situation in the workplace?


Course 1: Leading and Sustaining Reform

Session 2: Learning From Sustained


Overview: This activity allows participants to examine a highly successful change program in Massachusetts ─ Brockton High School. The video and guiding questions can be used to inform a small or who group discussion.

Task: As you watch School of Thought in Brockton, Mass., explore these questions:


  • What changes in individual or organizational behavior am I seeing or hearing? How and why did they take place?
  • Who is exercising leadership in this case (Try to observe at least three different people who are or were acting as leaders.)? What different forms of leadership do you observe?

Course 8: Effective Professional Learning for Educators

Session 2: Standards for Professional Learning


Overview: Utilizing a video and guiding questions this activity provides participants with an overview of the Standards for Professional Learning provided by Learning Forward. This activity leads into a small group exploration and whole group discussion of each of the seven standards.

Task: Use the guiding questions to take notes as you watch the video. Be prepared to share your notes with the group.

  1. What big ideas emerged for you?
  2. How will the standards improve the quality and results of professional learning?
  3. What aspects of the new standards interest you most?
  4. What is clearer to you now about the standards?


Frequently Asked Questions

The quickest way to get started is to register by clicking the “Get Started” button at the top of the page. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to confirm your registration by clicking the link provided in the email. If you don’t receive an email, please check your spam folder. If you’re still having difficulty email


Before choosing a course to take, we recommend that you read the course and session descriptions listed on this page. These will provide you with a guide to accessing the content that best meets your interests.

The NEA Foundation courses are provided to you at no cost.

Yes. The NEA Foundation courses are designed to be flexible. We encourage you to utilize the content in a way that makes sense to your specific context. For example, you can focus on a part of a course, combine courses, or work in a group or as an individual. We invite anyone involved or interested in education to immerse themselves in the content.

Within each course there is a “Resources” tab. By clicking the tab you will be able to access course-related materials, such as instructional guides, handouts, and assignments.

Not at this time. However, the NEA Foundation does provide a CEUs Letter for each course. The letter outlines the goals, objectives, and estimated number of in- and out-of-class hours completed by the participant. We encourage each team or participant work with their district office to determine how best to secure appropriate documentation for the course they take.

Please email A NEA Foundation staff member will respond to your email as quickly as possible. Please note that this email account is only monitored during business hours. Thank you in advance for your question/suggestion.

Some courses are designed for union and district leaders, while others are designed for the larger education community – administrators, education support staff, teachers, university staff and students, etc. Ultimately, we encourage anyone interested in developing their skills and knowledge in a particular area we explore to login. 

We provide two types of courses that call upon a diverse set of activities, they are:

1. Self-Study: A self-study course is designed for an individual or pair to take at their own pace. Each self-study course contains a participant’s guide (syllabus) which includes background information, additional resources, and other course-specific materials.

2. Self-Facilitated Team: A self-facilitated team course is intended for homogeneous or heterogeneous groups to work through a set of team-oriented tasks. These courses are designed to be facilitated by a team member. A facilitator’s guide with recommended activities and additional resources is provided for each team-oriented course. The guide and its activities align with the online instructional slides.

To date, the NEA Foundation online courses have been used in three main ways – direct access, syndication, and integration – to meet the unique needs of various states. 

  • Direct Access – Accessing course content via the NEA Foundation online platform 
  • Syndication – Rolling over selected NEA Foundation course content into an existing professional learning platform 
  • Integration – Integrating pieces of the NEA Foundation course content into existing and future professional learning opportunities 


Please email if you have questions or feedback.