American Heritage University of Southern California

Professional Development Policy

The Importance, Requirements, and Frequency

The university adopts the definition of professional development as any type of continuing education effort for educators. It is one of the ways instructors can improve their skills and, in turn, boost student outcomes. Not only does this development help educators update their skills and hone their craft, but it also improves student success.

Learning can take place in formal or informal settings. Formal settings include conferences, courses, seminars, retreats and workshops. Informal opportunities for teacher professional development include independent research or investigation, peer learning initiatives or even just chatting with a colleague in the staff room.

Professional development for teachers takes place through the university’s LMS as well as the requirement for external on a number of different levels: district-wide, among teachers in a given school, or even on a classroom or individual basis.


The university understands that continued professional development for teachers is crucial because their application of new knowledge will directly affect students enrolled in any of the educational offerings. Research suggests that classroom achievement increases when teachers take part in development that is focused on addressing the major learning challenges of their students. 


The university has established short online courses in the LMS where instructors can continuously train and enhance their instructional approaches and refine their technical skills. Some of the courses are the following: 

  • Effective Online Teaching Methods
  • Providing Useful Feedback to Students Online
  • Effective Knowledge Transfer Methods and Procedures
  • Motivating the Adult Learner
  • Effective Grading, Student Time Management
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Fundamentals of Academic Writing
  • Invoking through Discussion


Instructors are required to participate in two of the courses listed above by the institution twice a year and in at least one professional growth activity outside of the institution. All faculty are required to report external professional development activities to the Dean. The next offering of courses on the school calendar is as follows: