Friday, February 3, 2012

Become a Certified WIDA trainer

 2011 Certification Institute Participants and WIDA Staff

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost two years since I became a certified trainer for WIDA.  (Though, my family would be happy to tell you that I am also certifiable nuts!)  For me, the journey
began with an email invitation followed by the application process. I was thrilled to have the chance to learn directly from the friendly folks at WIDA.  So I packed my bags and off I went to spend a week in Madison, WI.  I learned a great deal that week, and continue to regularly use what I learned in my training sessions at the IRC and in other Consortium states.  I enjoyed the opportunities to network with other professional developers from across the Consortium.   And, I have very fond memories of the delectable food that WIDA provided.  Since the institute, I continue to share ideas and network with my fellow trainers via the certified trainers support site.  I have even had the pleasure of meeting many of you in my travels around the Consortium.

This summer, WIDA will again host the week-long certification training.  If you provide training on WIDA resources like the ELP Standards or the ACCESS for ELLs assessment in your region, district or school, consider the benefits of becoming a certified WIDA trainer.  Not only will you gain confidence and expertise on WIDA resources, but you will have access (pardon the pun) to professional development tools, techniques and networking opportunities. 

Two types of people typically attend the institute: independent consultants and those who are sponsored by their school, district or state department of education.  If you complete the training as an independent consultant, you will have your name and contact information posted on the WIDA Certified Trainers page so that interested school districts and states can contact you directly to book workshops.  If you are sponsored by your district or state, then you will be able to officially provide WIDA training for your sponsoring organization. 
All institute participants become certified to provide training on:

Words to the wise: apply early.  You know what they say about the early bird getting the worm.  The application deadline is April 15, 2012.  The institute will begin July 30, 2012 and end on August 2, 2012. 
While you are in Madison, plan on walking around town while you are there. Be sure to check out the famous farmer’s market and State Street.   I walked to and from the institute most days.  Not only did I get a chance to know the city better, I also didn’t feel guilty indulging in the afternoon treats during the institute.  Oh – and don’t forget the ice cream.  Be sure to stop by the student union. They have dairy cows that they milk daily for the ice cream.  Really, they do!  My favorite is the orange ice cream with dark chocolate chips – yum! 

Written by: Tammy King


  1. What is your educational background? ESL teacher, administrator? I would like to know if there are any prerequisits in order to apply?

    Thank you,
    Diana Dromsky

    1. Dear Diana,
      I am a former teacher (ESL and bilingual) and former district level program coordinator (ESL and bilingual). Currently I am a teacher trainer. It has been a few years since I completed the certification program at WIDA so I am looking into the current prerequisites. I will let you know as soon as I can.

    2. Diana,
      ACCESS for ELLs test administration is a prerequisite for the trainer certification program. If you have additional questions, feel free to email Best of luck to you!