This executive coaching training program utilizes state-of-the-art distance learning methodologies. Students attend live virtual classes delivered through web conferencing with integrated audio. This technology supports interactivity and collaboration, creating a powerful virtual learning experience.

The Professional Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching involves completing a comprehensive program over three consecutive semesters lasting approximately 12 months. The curriculum is organized into three parts: educational, practicum and Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) examination. The ACTP Exam follows the end of the third semester and is required for completion of the Professional Certificate.


The educational component of the program consists of a series of learning modules organized into three main content areas/courses (see below). A learning module is a class that meets for four to six sessions during the semester. The Certificate’s class schedule is delivered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and begins at 5:30 PM central time. Each session is 90 minutes in length. Course requirements include additional readings, short papers, reviewing recordings, field work, peer coaching and identifying and coaching clients.


    • Solution-Focused and Foursquare Framework Coaching
      • This learning module introduces students to a solution-focused approach to coaching. Topics include: the fundamental processes of coaching, the meta-model of communication, solution-focused theory and practice, the trans-theoretical model of change. At the conclusion of the learning module, students will be able to assess a client’s readiness for change and carry out a structured solution-focused coaching session.
    • The Foundation and Structure of Coaching
      • This learning module provides an overview of professional coaching and introduces participants to the 11 coaching competencies, their significance, and how to apply them in working with coaching clients. It also provides context for coaching credentials, niches and specialties, professional connections, and organizing yourself as a coach. Principles of Solution Focused Coaching are applied throughout.
    • Strategic Inquiry
      • This learning module provides students with a model for understanding and working with clients at a deeper level using strategies of effective inquiry to facilitate understanding and self-directed change. Topics include: language and the brain; the Meta Model (deletions, distortions, generalizations); and the use of effective inquiry strategy. At the conclusion of the learning module, students will understand nine linguistic patterns that serve as stimulus for powerful inquiry so that they will be able to move from surface level to deep structure understanding.
    • Ethics in Coaching/Developing Coaching – Therapy Distinctions
      • This learning module provides an introduction to the role and application of ethics and standards in the professional coaching environment. In addition, this module teaches how coaching and therapy differ and what they have in common.
    • Peer Practice Groups
      • These classes require students to apply and practice theory and technique taught in learning modules. Students work in small groups under the supervision of an experienced coach.
    • Mastering Core Competencies
      • To provide students with an interactive learning experience on the ICF Core Competencies combining lecture, demonstrations and practice. To build an understanding of the PCC Markers, the ICF measures for PCC efficacy.
    • Cognitive Coaching
      • This learning module teaches participants how to apply the cognitive coaching model to their coaching practice. We begin by examining the foundations of the cognitive model and how to identify cognitive distortions. Topics include the A-B-C Model, combating irrational beliefs, and uncovering deep structure automatic thoughts. This module will build on concepts learned in the Solution-focused Coaching module and will include a practice lab.
    • Motivational Interviewing
      • This learning module provides an overview of Motivational Interviewing within a coaching context. Participants will learn the 4 principles of Motivational Interviewing and gain tools to address ambivalence and resistance to change within the coaching conversation while strengthening client motivation. The Foursquare Coaching Framework principles are applied throughout.
    • Coaching Techniques and Practices
      • Real life coaching issues and challenges are used to demonstrate coaching techniques and practices. This is an action-packed experientially-based class designed to demonstrate the Solution-Focused Coaching Model in action AND at the same time, demonstrate the 11 Core Coaching Competencies as described by the International Coach Federation.
    • Neuroscience in Coaching
      • Students will be provided with an advanced understanding of the neuroscience undergirding basic coaching skills and the Foursquare Coaching Framework. Students will be better able to identify opportunities and needs for thought and action based on a deepened understanding of what may be going on in their client’s brain.
    • Coaching and Appreciative Inquiry
      • This learning module teaches participants how to apply the Appreciative Inquiry and Appreciative Coaching principles, model and techniques to real-world coaching scenarios. This module offers a useful, powerful structure and steps to follow in the coaching process. Participants will also learn how to incorporate systems elements into coaching within organizational settings.
    • Peer Practice Groups
      • These classes require students to apply and practice theory and technique taught in learning modules. Students work in small groups under the supervision of an experienced coach.
    • Advanced Core Competencies in a Solution-focused Model
      • This module is devoted to understanding and practicing the ICF Core Competencies and ethical standards at a PCC level, and provides a comprehensive review within the context of Solution-focused Coaching.
    • Positive Psychology in Coaching
      • This learning module exposes students to the science around the burgeoning field of human flourishing, which is now known as “Positive Psychology.” The class will cover the inception of the field in the late 1990′s and will track its growth and particularly its successful application in the field of coaching. Special attention will be paid to separating the idea of “happyology” from Positive Psychology, which is undergirded by important findings around how to assess one’s flourishing, why it is important to learn how to identify and apply so-called “positive interventions,” and how the process of goal-setting is intricately wrapped up in the field of human flourishing. Students will learn about many of the concepts that support and encourage emotional flourishing and goal accomplishment, including grit, savoring, resilience, self-regulation and priming. Takeaways will include the identification of student’s own strengths through the Positive Psychology assessment of VIA Signature Strengths, worksheets on how to identify and encourage positive socially contagious environments, and a deep understanding of why the science of happiness is relevant to every coaching engagement, regardless of the context.
    • Using Assessments in Coaching
      • This learning module provides participants with an overview of how to use assessments in a coaching relationship. Assessments are often used in coaching to develop the client’s awareness, to jump-start the initial phase of the coaching, and to provide data for goal setting and return on investment. Numerous assessments are available to coaches, some at no cost and others costing hundreds of dollars or more. Your decision as a coach to incorporate assessments into your practice may depend on the types of coaching clients you work with, the kinds of assessments your own coach has used in your coaching, and your overall familiarity with assessments. One of the most effective ways to explore assessments and their value is through taking some of these measures yourself in order to evaluate what value they provide.
    • Group and Team Coaching
      • This module will teach students to understand how the ICF Core Competencies and Markers are the foundations of Group and Team Coaching, as well as the difference between Group Coaching and Team coaching. Students will experience being coached and coaching in a group or team using the ICF Competencies and Behavioral Markers. Participants will analyze and demonstrate knowledge of Group and Team Coaching through a case study approach of their own experience.
    • Transactional Analysis for Coaches
      • Transactional Analysis (TA) is both a theory of personality and an organized system for understanding the cognitive and behavioral aspects of human interaction. It is grounded on the assumption that, as adults, we adopt ego states and associated patterns of behavior based on early life interactions with parental figures. The goal of working with transactional analysis as a framework for coaching is to support autonomy, which is defined as awareness, spontaneity, and the capacity for intimacy. In the Transactional Analysis for Coaching module, students consider ego states, parallel and crossed transactions, discounting, and transactional dramas or “games” with an emphasis on how these concepts can be applied to coaching.
    • Peer Practice Groups
      • These classes require students to apply and practice theory and technique taught in learning modules. Students work in small groups under the supervision of an experienced coach.
  • Individual and Group Mentoring sessions are designed to develop the students’ skills through observed practice by highly qualified mentor coaches. This phase also meets the ICF requirement of 10 hours of mentor coaching.

    • Group Mentoring: Coaching peers in small group sessions under the supervision of an ICF credentialed mentor.
    • Individual Mentoring: Coaching individuals under the supervision of an ICF-accredited mentor.

    All Professional Certificate-seeking students will be required to coach others and receive supervision and feedback on their coaching. Students must meet minimum requirements for executive coaching practice in both individual and group mentored coaching practicum. In addition to coaching others, students are also expected to coach and be coached by peers for self and professional development purposes.

  • To earn the ACTP Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching, students are required to pass a certification examination that meets the standards set by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

    There are two parts in this exam; the review of a recorded coaching session by two qualified assessors and an online exam that exclusively covers the ICF Core Competencies. In order to receive the ACTP Certificate from the program, a student must pass both parts.