Certificate in Trauma-Informed Practices in Higher Education (C-TIP/HED)

Online Program

Next Start Date: 
May 10, 2021


Gain the knowledge and tools to help your trauma-experienced students. Join our 6-week online program designed for a range of professionals across college and university campuses.

We've launched this program to help higher education institutions understand the root causes and magnitude of the impact of trauma on college students, and more importantly, to develop trauma-informed practices for these students.

Unfortunately, the number of college students enrolling with a history of trauma is increasing dramatically. Studies by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and others confirm that the impact of trauma is a major cause of mental illness and physical illness. Mental health and trauma are undertreated, underdiagnosed, and overrepresented in vulnerable populations of all kinds. The LGBTQAI+ community, persons of color, and women, all carry an extra heavy burden of risk and occurrence of both mental health conditions and trauma.


  • The Certificate in Building Resilience through Trauma-Informed Practices includes six sequential modules, enabling professionals to apply trauma-informed practices to their specific area of responsibility.

  • Because of I-BRTIP’s interdisciplinary approach, the modules will include ways that faculty and participants can work together to model trauma-informed pedagogy within the program itself by offering choice and flexibility, prioritizing transparency in communication, providing clear instructions, respecting boundaries, and integrating each participant’s home institution into the final project.

  • Every Certificate student will develop a strategic plan to implement best practice trauma-informed practices at their home institution in the final module.

  • The Certificate is designed for a range of university professionals—from chief D.E.I. officers, ADA/Disabilities administrators, Title IX Compliance officers, student success and academic support professionals, admissions and financial aid officers, student affairs, residence life, and personal and career counseling directors, athletics directors and compliance officers, alumni relations, and institutional advancement professionals.

Our Institute for Building Resilience through Trauma-Informed Practices (I-BRTIP)

The Certificate program is offered through our I-BRTIP Institute and our Higher Education Administration program. The Institute is our unique contribution to advancing social justice.

I-BRTIP will be a resource and advocate for the impact of trauma-informed practices on systemic racism, proactive and humane law enforcement, economic equity, criminal justice, educational opportunity, and the affirmation of human dignity and mutual respect.

Trauma-Informed Certificate Areas of Study 

The Certificate in Building Resilience through Trauma-Informed Practices includes these six modules:

  1. Recognizing trauma and its ramifications on K-12 students
  2. Relating the impact of trauma to students entering college (preparedness and performance)
  3. Building resilience among college students
  4. Mastery of trauma-informed practices in higher education
  5. Legal and Ethical Issues of trauma and trauma-informed practices
  6. Developing a trauma-informed campus culture


The modules will be offered as a master class format, with automated assessments and short written submissions. Each module will include six (6) hours of high value and relevant content including but not limited to reasonable written and other multi-media content to support subject matters, plus interviews with experts. Module contents will be in storyboard format, an interactive format which includes content and questions into each presentation. There will be one auto-graded assessment per module, embedded into the final storyboard of each module. The participant would need to score 80% to move to the next module and would have unlimited retakes. The goal is understanding the content, rather than mastering test-taking.

By applying the theory of andragogy, activities, tests and assessments should be authentic, practical, and experiential, which are preferred by adult learners. The final project in the 6th module will be to create a strategic plan for building resilience through trauma-informed practices at the participant’s home institution and in the person’s area of responsibility. This would be the only required content graded by the professor of record; required turnaround would be 72 hours.


Module 1: Recognizing trauma in K-12 and its long-term ramifications

Topics: This module includes such topics as defining trauma, historical background of trauma, types of trauma and how trauma affect children, families, schools, and society. This module will expose participants to the field of trauma through a comprehensive study of the impact of trauma on students prior to enrolling in college. We will investigate the world of child welfare and K-12 schools in America and the factors that have shaped child wellbeing. We will use these lenses to investigate and understand the characteristic of today’s high school students.We will explore a general overview of the impact of societal and technological trends on human functioning. This will include but not be limited to experiences with gaming, texting, instant access to worldwide exposure and resources.The module will look at the impact of these factors on brain development and functioning.

Module 2: Relating the impact of trauma to students entering college (preparedness and performance)

Topics: We will examine how trauma impacts the likelihood of becoming a college-bound student, how trauma contributes to the barriers that students face in their pathway to higher education, and how can colleges and universities help to remove these barriers. We will examine how race and racism as well as recent trends in social justice have shaped high school students’ perception on issues like equity, opportunity, systemic racism, humane law enforcement and the role of government. Because COVID-19 has dramatically changed the operation of K-12 and higher education, a study of its immediate and long-term impact, especially disproportionately affected communities due to social determinants of health will be explored.

Finally, the understanding of the complex issues facing traditional first-year college students will be examined in an effort to design more comprehensive and supportive admissions and financial aid processes that better prepare the high school senior for enrolling in college and the college in meeting the needs and expectations of first-year students from entry through graduation.

Module 3: Building resilience among college students

Topics: This module will begin with an investigation of the impact that factors Module 2 have on campus life and the needs of today’s learning communities.

Strategies for strengthening social emotional learning and adapting to living on a college campus will be identified. We will focus on mental wellbeing and its connection to physical and social health, including strategies for improving teaching and learning for students from traumatic backgrounds. Participants will learn about the interconnection of social safety, emotional wellbeing and academic achievement. Strategies that foster flourishing via campus and community life programs will be articulated, as well as academic advising and counseling services.

Module 4: Mastery of trauma-informed practices in higher education

Topics: This module will explore how trauma intersects with conditions such as depression and anxiety, with special attention on the differential impact of these factors on BIPOC and other communities including LGBTQIA+, foster care youth, veterans, and refugees. Strategies to recognize and address trauma will be examined at the campus, classroom and individual student levels. The module will integrate these insights and strategies into specific functions of colleges and universities including admissions, financial aid, student activities, residential life, academic advising, personal and career counseling, athletics, student success, religious life/chaplain, alumni relations, and institutional advancement.

Module 5: Legal and ethical issues of trauma and trauma-informed practices

Topics: understanding the legal issues related to trauma, risk management applied to trauma and trauma-informed practices, ethical issues related to the disproportionate impact of trauma BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities and women, the relation between social justice and trauma-informed practices, the impact of trauma-informed practices on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the concerns for secondary and vicarious trauma on faculty and administrators.

Module 6: Developing a trauma-informed campus culture

Topics: Strategies and techniques for designing and implementing a culture of Resilience and Flourishing within specific functions on campus (admissions, financial aid, student success, advising, counseling, and athletics), strategies and techniques for developing a campus-wide trauma informed culture, strategies and techniques to sustain a campus-wide culture of Resilience and Flourishing in a Post-COVID higher education world. Each participant will create a strategic plan for implementing trauma-informed practices into their specific college or university and in their area of responsibility.