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Enhancing Classroom Experience

The Professional Development Initiatives (PDI) will no longer offer programming as of May 1, 2020. Courses scheduled for November 21, 2019, through April 30, 2019, will run as planned.

The Professional Development Initiatives (PDI) program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota provides action-oriented, research-based learning experiences for individual teachers, schools, and districts. 

Foundational to Saint Mary’s educational approach is the belief that learning is an ongoing journey. In that spirit, Saint Mary’s offers professional development classes for K–12 educators seeking graduate credits toward relicensure and elective courses for master’s level degree programs. Courses are designed to impact individual teacher learning and student achievement through the immediate application of new knowledge and approaches directly into the classroom. 


Practitioner-led courses are designed to meet the demands of today’s classroom teacher in a professional setting, and course participants incorporate research and practical application to deepen their knowledge base. By the end of any PDI offering, students are expected to be able to:

  • Analyze research-based topics and current trends in education
  • Evaluate current instructional approaches
  • Apply theoretical concepts and/or best practices
  • Use reflection to improve practice
  • Create a community of practice


We offer a variety of courses for K–12 educators seeking graduate level professional development grounded in current research and trends in education. Courses are offered at varied sites and in a variety of delivery options. GPDE courses are open to all with no application or admission process required.

When taking GPDE courses, you can expect:

  • Courses that are engaging and relevant, highlighting exciting new trends in education
  • Immediate classroom application of research-based strategies
  • Practitioner faculty who are experts in their fields
  • Flexible schedules and delivery model options
  • Affordable graduate credit rates

Saint Mary's offers collaborative planning with teachers, schools, and school districts in the design and delivery of onsite professional development. We can even align graduate credit with the professional development you already provide in your school or district.

Get the benefits of developing a collaborative partnership in your school. As an educator, you will benefit by connecting your learning to your classroom practice and receive graduate credits. As a school, educators will work together on important school initiatives in a timeframe that meets your school's needs. One of the most popular collaborative partnerships is the professional book study, which provides a supportive environment for staff to read, discuss, apply, and reflect around specific topics of teaching and learning.

When working with the PDI program, you can expect:

  • Learning that advances professional dialog within your school community
  • Professional development focused on your specific needs
  • Collaboration with colleagues on classroom-based initiatives
  • Promotion of ongoing reflective practice
  • Easily accessible resources and materials to support the facilitator and learner

Looking to renew your license? Seminars are offered in the four major relicensure areas to fulfill the Minnesota state requirements. Take only the seminars you need at an affordable price. Individual educators may take seminars at the Twin Cities Campus.

Relicensure seminars: 

  • Cover the areas of:
    • Reading Preparation
    • Key Signs of Mental Illness with Suicide Prevention
    • Best Practices in Teaching English Language Learners
    • Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies
  • Last approximately 60-90 minutes per seminar
  • Costs $50 per seminar
  • Includes a light lunch for those attending all four seminars
  • Provide 1–3 graduate credits for those seeking credit

Interested in hosting a book study?

Participation in a book study is a convenient way to connect with colleagues around topics that interest you. Book studies can either be facilitated by someone from your group or facilitated by an education professional from Saint Mary's. We offer opportunities to align graduate credit with the work you do as a study team.

Contact us to talk through options!

Connect With Us

Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Assistant Director of Admission

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH114

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122