Concordia University Launches Trauma & Resilience Curriculum

College of Education’s new curriculum creates trauma-informed teachers

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--More than 25 percent of American youth experience a serious traumatic event by their sixteenth birthday, and many children suffer multiple and repeated traumas, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. This trauma affects children learning in the classroom.

Beginning January 2018, students in Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education can complete an MEd in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings, in just one year fully online. Trauma and Resilience is the newest concentration among 19 focus areas available to current and future teachers.

A trauma-informed care approach in schools is gaining traction nationwide, as student needs change and schools seek to address – and overcome – barriers to learning. When teachers learn effective responses to student trauma, and how to help instill resiliency skills necessary to thrive in the classroom, children have better learning outcomes – in school and in life.

“We believe all kids need teachers, educational leaders, counselors and nurses who can recognize and respond appropriately to trauma in their lives, recognizing the whole child and overcoming barriers to learning,” said Dr. Sheryl Reinisch, Dean of Concordia University’s College of Education. “It’s about asking ‘what happened, and what can we do together to help?’”

This new concentration aligns with the innovative work of Concordia’s 3 to PhD® initiative – a collaboration between Concordia University, Portland Public Schools’ Faubion School (a Title 1 PK-8 school), Trillium Family Services, Kaiser Permanente, and basics-that aims to create safer, healthier, more educated communities, especially for students who may be at a disadvantage due to trauma or other life challenges.

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction is taught by practitioners and is open to a wide range of education professionals, most of whom are working part- or full-time as a classroom teacher or administrator while pursuing their master’s degree.

The new, fully online curriculum includes four core courses, two research courses (including one capstone course) as well as four concentration courses:

  • Trauma-sensitive Practices and Resilience
  • Trauma-sensitive Classrooms
  • Creating a Trauma-sensitive School
  • Professional Practice and Leadership in Trauma and Resilience

Graduates will use this degree to pursue careers in a variety of trauma-informed specialties that are in high demand in the marketplace, for instance: trauma-informed care professional development leader, trauma-informed care program advisor to local, state, or national policymakers, classroom teacher, or leader in trauma-informed care for schools and districts.

Learn more about the master’s program here.


With a mission of preparing leaders for the transformation of society, Concordia University-Portland serves more than 5,000 students on campus, and online, through its College of Education, College of Health & Human Services, College of Arts, & Sciences, School of Management and School of Law in Boise, Idaho. For more about Concordia University, visit and


Concordia University-Portland
Madeline Turnock, APR, 503-803-3729

Release Summary

Concordia University-Portland launches new MEd concentration in Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings.


Concordia University-Portland
Madeline Turnock, APR, 503-803-3729