Trauma-Informed Education

Trauma-informed education is essential to address the wide range of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that children and adolescents may have endured. By the age of 16, it is estimated that two thirds of students have experienced a potentially traumatic event. [Crisis Prevention Institute, March 31, 2021] Those experiences range from violence, abuse, illness, or death in the family among other events. School districts in Ohio and nationwide are in need of professional development for staff that supports their work with today’s students. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is now considered collective trauma, the need for knowledge, strategies and resources to meet the needs of P-12 students is even more critical. This series of courses can positively impact the P-12 community as teachers and other professionals will have the knowledge base to understand the overarching impact of ACEs and trauma and to implement best practices to promote a safe learning environment for all students, but especially those who have experienced trauma.

Certificate Requirements

To complete the Trauma-Informed Education Certificate, students are required to successfully complete all four courses in the series with grades of C or higher in each course. Students must complete the sequence within five years to be eligible for the certificate.

Students may also elect to take a single course or more without completing the series. In this case, a certificate will not be granted.

EDUC 65000 BASICS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA is the prerequisite for all other courses. Students may request to waive the first course by submitting an essay explaining their experience with Trauma-Informed Education*. Clear documentation must accompany the essay. Hiram College reserves the right to make the determination of previous experience in lieu of the first course. 

*Note: The certificate requires all four courses. If the first course is waived, the student is not eligible for the certificate.



Undergraduate Credit Allowed

Undergraduate students of senior rank are permitted to take EDUC 65000 BASICS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA with permission of the course faculty member and the associate dean. This course will count toward their undergraduate hours and toward the graduate certificate.

Admission to the Program

During the admission process the Office of Admission will explore the potential student’s professional and personal objectives and desire for personal growth. Hiram College reserves the right to make the final determination of a student’s admissibility to the College.

Applicants for admission are required to submit the following to via the Hiram College Admission web page for consideration:

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended previously (undergraduate and graduate)

Acceptance to Hiram College is conditional upon receipt of all final official transcripts showing completion of an undergraduate degree. The Office of Admission reserves the right to withdraw or amend its offer of admission based on a review of any and all additional or updated documents until the start of matriculation. 

Course Descriptions


BASICS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA ~ This course introduces participants to the foundational concepts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), childhood trauma and positive childhood experiences (PCEs). The primary age-group focus of this course is birth-18, but many concepts will apply to young adults. Short term and long term impacts will be introduced as they relate to physical, social and emotional well-being. Extensive discussion of possible precipitators of trauma, as well as its prevalence, and the mitigating impact of PCEs will be covered through extensive readings of professional literature.


CHILDHOOD TRAUMA:BRAIN AND DEVELOPMENT ~ This course will delve into the brain’s response to traumatic experiences birth-age 21 and the resulting developmental impacts. The course will begin with a review of child and adolescent development and then progress to brain-specific development. Participants will use this foundational knowledge to learn how traumatic experiences can impact brain development and have short and long term impacts cognitively, physically and emotionally. Discussion of how Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) can mitigate brain and development impacts will be featured.


RELATIONSHIPS & RESILIENCE ~ Safety, trust, and relationships are critical for supporting students who have experienced trauma. Extensive discussion of these concepts, as well as the developmental aspects of attachment, will provide the foundation for this course. Protective and promotive factors that contribute to resilience will be discussed and connected to the importance of both strong peer and student-adult relationships.

Prerequisite: EDUC 65000


TRAUMA RESPONSIVE:MANAGING BEHAVIORS ~ Learning and discussion in this course will focus on what it means to be trauma-informed and how to put that knowledge into action to create trauma-responsive environments. Participants will engage in readings from a range of authors whose work focuses on the importance of trusting and supportive relationships as a means to manage classroom behaviors. Additionally, discussions will emphasize the need to look beyond behaviors to recognize the safety and relational needs of students, especially those who have experienced trauma. Discussion of Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) will be included, but not the primary focus.

Prerequisite: EDUC 65000