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Harvard Graduate School of Education

Data Wise Coach Certification

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Gain the skills you need to lead and coach educators as they enact the Data Wise Improvement Process in their school or district.

When schools create a collaborative culture around data use—when they use data not to point fingers but to inform collective decisions—something powerful can happen.”

Kathryn Boudett, Faculty Chair


The Data Wise Improvement Process is a collaborative inquiry model that helps schools organize their daily efforts around the continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

The Data Wise Coach Certification Program prepares experienced users to lead teams of educators in through cycles of inquiry. The program is designed to help schools and school systems boost their training capacity and bring data inquiry to scale in cost effective and context-specific ways.

Program Details

During this rigorous, 12-18 month program, you will work to develop and demonstrate six core competencies required to become a Data Wise Certified Coach. You will serve as a teaching fellow in Harvard’s array of Data Wise courses and will receive feedback from faculty, mentors, and peers as you coach teams in the field. At the end of the program, you will develop six Data Wise coach competencies:

  • Know the ACE Habits of Mind, Data Wise norms, and key tasks and terms associated with each step of the Data Wise Improvement Process
  • Create a data overview designed to engage educators in conversation about evidence of student learning
  • Prepare a team to launch a Data Wise Journey
  • Coach a team through a Data Wise Journey
  • Create and deliver a training session that meets the needs of a specific audience

As a certified Data Wise coach, you will also be qualified to serve on teaching teams for future on-campus and online Data Wise courses. For a period of two years after certification, you will have access to:

  • Quarterly conference calls that provide Data Wise updates and a discussion of coaching videos and artifacts from the field
  • A web-based resource library that can be used in your teaching of Data Wise content After two years, you will be eligible to apply for annual recertification.


Become qualified to:

  • Teach educators the Data Wise process and habits
  • Coach teams as they work their way through a cycle of inquiry, answering questions and providing targeted feedback
  • Mentor the next cohort of coach certification candidates
  • Contribute to discussions among fellow coaches about continued refinement of Data Wise resources.

Data Wise Coaches Network

Once certified, Data Wise coaches become part of a worldwide network of practitioners and researchers. Coaches are invited to participate in quarterly professional development calls for the coaching community, during which coaches engage in consultancies to give and get feedback on their coaching practice and integrating Data Wise into specific contexts. Certified coaches have access to materials that can be used to teach Data Wise content, and to an online community for support and learning. Certified coaches are eligible to contribute to the community’s learning in various ways, potentially including paid opportunities to present at our leadership institutes and formally mentoring new coach candidates virtually over the course of an academic year.

Who should attend

Individuals who:

  • have completed a Data Wise course on-campus or online;
  • have two or more years of working in K-12 schools or higher education institutions, experience facilitating groups, and analyzing multiple forms of data; and
  • want to deepen their ability to teach others about the Data Wise Improvement Process and support teams in going through the steps; and
  • are committed to becoming part of a community of learners and want to deliberately cultivate habits of mind for using time and data wisely. Please note: you must be available to be a member of the teaching team during the Data Wise Leadership Institute, on-campus, June 19-23, 2017 in order to be eligible for this cohort. If you are not available during those dates this year, we hope you will consider applying during the next cycle.


Kathryn Parker Boudett is a senior lecturer on education, director of the Data Wise Project, and faculty director of the Master's program in Learning and Teaching. Her passion lies in supporting educators in working together effectively to improve learning and teaching. She leads institutes, onli...
Jaein Lee is the faculty co-chair of the Data Wise Coach Certification and Data Wise Coach Network.
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