Free Professional Development Resources | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Free Professional Development Resources

These unprecedented times are creating unique needs for our community.  Some people need to build new skills immediately, while others need productive ways to engage for themselves or their teams.  To respond, the Brown School is offering a series of free webinars, and we've assembled a list of on-demand learning opportunities that are broadly applicable to the fields of social work, public health, and social policy.  If​ you have a suggestion of your favorite free, evidence-supported educational resource that we might also include, please email us at

Live Webinars

The Brown School is offering a series of free, live webinars we're calling Open Classroom.  Join Brown School faculty and fellow community members via Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays at  12:30 p.m. central. New Webinars Added!RegHeader.png

REGISTER NOWfor any or all of the following free Open Classroom webinars:
Please note: Due to overwhelming demand, we had to upgrade our Zoom license in order to serve more community members.  If you registered March 30th or prior, you received a meeting ID that is no longer accurate. Everyone who registers will receive the updated Zoom meeting ID by email the morning of that Open Classroom event.

Sessions will be recorded.  Here are links to past Open Classroom talks:

On-Demand Resources

Organized by topical area, we've identified the following free learning opportunities as potentially useful to our community. 

Particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • About the Disease, including keeping yourself safe and travel advice - The World Health Organization's website has a wide range of information supported by the best evidence available.
  • Age & The Coronavirus - As part of the Brown School's Open Classroom series, Nancy Morrow-Howell presented a webinar on age and the Coronavirus.  Here is a recording of her talk.  Please see her presentation slides and a list of resources that were developed in response to the talk.
  • Assisting the Most Vulnerable - CTACNY plans a live webinar on April 2 regarding identifying and assisting those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and social isolation.  Once the webinar has occured, a tape should be available.
  • Data Concerning the St. Louis Region - STL Response has created a dashboard compiling much of the relevant information regarding the disease and available resources for the St. Louis area.  Thanks to Brown School alum Paul for sharing!
  • Impacts to Nonprofits - The National Council of Nonprofits is analyzing federal COVID-19 response legislation for impacts on nonprofits.  Visit their website for reports.
  • Managing the (Understandable) Anxiety - recommended by Ryan Lindsay, here's a great article on tips for managing the anxiety that is natural to feel in uncertain times.
  • Organizational Crisis Response - Third Plateau is sponsoring a series of webinars on various management skills helpful for navigating times of crisis.
  • Psychological First Aid for Emergencies - Johns Hopkins University and Coursera offer an 8 hour class on RAPID model of psychological first aid.
  • Talking to Children about COVID-19 - The Child Mind Institute has created this resource page.
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals - Thanks to Brown School alum Amy for sharing that PESI is currently offering this 2 day seminar on providing service via telehealth.  While the class retails for more than $440, if you put the code "TELEFREE" in at checkout, you can sign up for free.  We just tested it - as of 3/19, this works!
  • Tele Play Therapy - This YouTube video was produced by a couple of clinicians discussing conducting play therapy through virtual means.
  • Working from Home & Virtual Teams - University of Connecticut offers this video on the topic.

Clinical Interventions - Children & Adolescents

  • Engaging Families - From the Brown School's Open Classroom series, Dean Mary McKay delivered this webinar entitled "I Went for an Intake and Never Went Back."  Her slide deck is available here.  She recommends these additional webinars to people interested in learning more about this topic.
  • Engaging Parents - CTACNY created this resource on engaging parents in the treatment of their children.
  • Interventions with Adolescents - With thanks to faculty member Lorien Carter for the referrals.   Adolescent SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment) has great webinars available for free.  Visit them for upcoming dates and topics. The Center for Adolescent Studies has a free webinar coming upon April 3.  More information is available here.
  • Residential Treatment - A set of slides regarding best practices in residential treatment are available here.
  • School-Based Interventions - For a resource (1 1/2 hours) on treatment planning in schools, see this from CTACNY.  They also have a 6 hour series on trauma-sensitive schools.  FutureLearn and Queensland University of Technology created a 2 hour class on recognizing child maltreatment.  STARR Commonwealth is currently offering their Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools class for free, enter the code "TRAUMAINFORMED" at checkout; thanks to Brown School student Claire for the recommendation!
  • Trauma-Informed Work - For a 1 hour overview of trauma-informed service provision, click on this lecture from CTACNY.  They also have an additional resource on working with parents and caregivers and one on the impact of trauma on children.
  • Trauma Interventions - CBITS has a 5 hour training for school-based cognitive behavioral interventions for trauma.  Bounce Back has a 6 hour resource regarding trauma interventions for elementary school aged children.

Clinical Interventions - Older Adults

  • Complex Trauma - This 1 hour lecture regarding complex trauma and aging is offered by CTACNY.
  • Dementia Care & Diversity - Stanford University teamed up with EdX to create a series of offerings on dementia care and specific populations.  There are classes available about the topic generally, as well as about effective service to these populations: African Americans, Latinos, and South Asian Americans.
  • Mental Health Services - CTACNY has this one hour resource on mental health services and older adults.
  • Social Services for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities - Coursera, in partnership with Columbia University, is offering a free, 7 hour self-paced class.  It appears to be an introduction to social services and is available here.

Clinical Interventions - Other Populations, Topics & Interventions

Communication & Presentation Skills

  • Intercultural Communication - University of California - Irvine and Coursera offer this 8 hour class.
  • Prezi - Looking for tools and ideas to make your presentations more dynamic? Prezi is free and there's a YouTube channel dedicated to tips and trainings.
  • SketchUp for 3D Modeling - There are a wide range of free resources available like this and this.


  • Community Re-entry - Click here for a 1.5 hour presentation "From Arrest to Re-entry" from CTACNY.  They've also created a resource for case management considerations, available here.
  • Employment as a Social Determinant - CTACNY has this 1 hour discussion.
  • Police Brutality & Trauma - CTACNY offers this 1 hour overview.


  • Major Gift Solicitation - As part of the Open Classroom series, Professor of Practice Barry Rosenberg gave this talk.  His slides are available here.

Management & Leadership

  • Diversity and Inclusion - A 9-hour class is available from Purdue and FutureLearn.
  • Gender and Sexuality: Diversity in the Workplace - Through Coursera, University of Pittsburgh is offering this free online course with approximately 14 hours of content.
  • Leading Diverse Teams - From Deakin University and FutureLearn, here's a 12-hour class.
  • People Management - FutureLearn and CIPD teamed up to provide this 15 hour class.
  • Supportive Supervision - Here's a resource from CTACNY on supervision to encourage self-care.
  • Strategic Planning - CTACNY has a one hour presentation available here.
  • Teamwork Skills - University of Colorado - Boulder and Coursera have a 14 hour class, available here.

Policy & Advocacy

  • Voting & Social Work - CTACNY has a 1 hour lecture available here.a

Program Management & Evaluation

  • Data Models & Data Visualization - For a 1 hour introduction to the topic from CTACNY, click here.
  • Outcomes - CTACNY produced a series on outcomes, with modules on determining what to measure,  data collection, using data, and communicating findings.
  • Program Planning, Implementation & Evaluation in a Global Context - Please see these resources featuring the Brown School's Associate Dean for Public Health, Lora Iannotti
  • Program Sustainability Assessment - The Brown School's Center for Public Health Systems Science has developed an impressive suite of tools around assessing program sustainability across a range of dimensions.  They're availability here.
  • The Power of Data in Health & Social Care - Produced by University of Strathcylde and FutureLearn, here's a 12-hour resource.

Public Health

Racial Equity

  • Black Men & Boys - CTACNY produced an 8 hour series of resources, available here.
  • Race-Based Traumatic Stress - CTACNY has a 1 1/2 hour resource on racial discrimination and psychological injury.


  • Occupational Stress & Self-Care - A 1 hour program is available from CTACNY here.
  • The Science of Well-Being - Produced by Yale and Coursera, the 20-hour sequence is available here.  Thanks, Cynthia, for recommending!

Sexual Health

Social & Economic Development

  • Collective Impact for Youth - CTACNY produced a 3 part series examining collective impact with modules on community schools, measurement and sustainability, and juvenile justice system reform.
  • Environmental Trauma - This 1 hour resource regarding community organizing in the face of environmental trauma was created by CTACNY.
  • Financial Capacity Building - The Brown School produced a great video with Dr. Margaret Sherraden
  • Participatory Development Tools for International Work - The Brown School's own Carolyn Lesorogol created this resource for you.  Dr. Lesorogol's work is international, but the tools for working in community with respect for that community also have domestic application.

Additionally, we've had these suggestions from community members about resources they've found helpful as they process this particular moment we're living.