Self-Paced Course PD Programs for K-12 School Districts

Meet the needs of your history, social studies, and ELA teachers with a customizable, scalable, and affordable PD program. Contact to discuss a custom program for your state or district.

What are Gilder Lehrman Self-Paced Courses (SPCs)? 

Initially presented as graduate courses from our MA in American History, SPCs provide K–12 educators with affordable, at-home, asynchronous professional development led by the top historians in the field. Each of the 50+ courses offers six to twelve hours of graduate-level instruction, quizzes, and additional reading material. Participants receive a certificate confirming up to 15 completed PD credits upon completion.

SPCs cover a wide range of eras, themes, and perspectives, such as

  • African American History since Emancipation, with Peniel Joseph, University of Texas at Austin
  • American Environmental History, with Catherine McNeur, Portland State University
  • American Indian History: Recasting the Narrative, with Ned Blackhawk, Yale University
  • Declaration of Independence, with Eric Slauter, University of Chicago
  • The Global Cold War, with Jeremi Suri and Kate Reed Hauenstein, University of Texas at Austin
  • The South in American History, with Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia

Case Study: A custom SPC program in Clark County School District (NV) 

  • Goal: Scalable PD for K–12 educators across the school district. Clark County School District needed to offer more than 18,000 teachers an affordable and easy-to-access PD option. The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) contacted the Gilder Lehrman Institute on the recommendation of district educators experienced in our PD programs.
  • Solution: A custom-designed Gilder Lehrman Self-Paced Course program. Drawing from our Self-Paced Course library and feedback from the CCEA, we created a hub where teachers could find and register for courses. They then used a district-exclusive code to enroll at a discounted rate. The code also allowed the Institute to confirm enrollment data with the CCEA professional development team to ensure teachers received accreditation.
  • Result: More than 500 teachers enrolled in affordable, at-home PD. Since the program’s launch in January 2024, several hundred Clark County educators have registered for one or more Gilder Lehrman Self-Paced Courses—with more than 1,000 total course registrations to date.

“The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Self-Paced Courses have rekindled our educators’ love for history. Educators across Clark County, Nevada, can choose the Self-Paced Courses that best align with their standards and instruction, and they learn new ways to engage their students. This professional learning opportunity has been invaluable.”

—Brenda Pearson, Director of Strategic Policy Initiatives, Clark County Education Association

Create a custom program for your teachers

We’ll work with you to create a hub for your teachers that opens up access to all or a curated selection of our SPCs. From there, your teachers can enroll in one or more courses at a discounted rate.

For every course completed, participants receive certificates including the educator’s name, course title, professional development credit hours completed, and completion date so you can track your teachers’ progress and ensure they get state-approved CEUs.

Email to learn more about creating a custom PD program for your state or district.