Course Description

Help students become more successful in the classroom and learn how to build a skill set of perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control that in turn shape their character. In this course you will be working through the required text, How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough.  Through their stories-and the stories of the children they are trying to help-Tough reveals how knowledge can transform young people’s lives.  Explore the science behind these findings, and also the schools, programs and outreach projects that have implemented the lessons–as well as the successes and challenges that they have experienced.  Work at your own pace in this course and gain valuable tools to immediately use in your school. K-12

Learner Outcomes

Through this course and reading "How Children Succeed" participants will learn about a variety of studies that have been shown to improve the learning of children. In society today, tests scores are analyzed as a reflection of a child’s intelligence. In this book, the author argues that success can be measured more by character.  Students will gain an awareness of what they can do to help children become successful in the classroom and have a better understanding of the skills that make up character: perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control. They will become familiar with perspectives and reasoning behind this practice. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to analyze their own thoughts and ideas, and implement changes in their classroom. After reading this book and completing this course, it is important for students to critically think about how they can make a difference and advance in their ability to reach unique and challenging students with a variety of methods and tools. 


"I enjoyed this class for several reasons. One, it solidified and strengthened my understanding of brain development, particularly that of the adolescent brain. It also challenged me to think about all the different reasons a student may be struggling and the myriad of ways adults can offer support. Lastly, the class increased my conviction that character and SEL skills need to be taught across a building with as much consistency as possible to foster the type of academic and social learning environment that many of our students need. I am looking forward to bringing this knowledge to the different committees I am on and into my own classroom in 7th grade health.” —TINT Student

“I loved this class! I found myself talking about the ideas and studies in the book to my husband, family and co-workers because I found it so powerful. I even had a great conversation with my principal who has read and implemented ideas from this text! I would say that this book help solidify how important it is to teach beyond the standards. I will continue to achieve that by tying in life skills, teaching about social and emotional learning, and encouraging students to develop character traits all integrated within the priority standards. Lastly, I really enjoyed reading this as a mom of a young one. I can see how important those beginning years are for child development and how I can help her learn life skills at such a young age. I feel more motived to make sure she is kind, uses her manners, that she shares, etc. because I want her to not just be successful; in school, but I want her to be an overall good person with integrity.” —TINT Student


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Student Success: the Hidden Power of Character
Start Now, you have 365 days to complete this course once enrolled.
Delivery Options
Distance Learning  
Course Fee(s)
Tuition credit (3 units) $690.00
Available for Credit
3 Quarter Credits
Reading List / Textbook

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.  Mariner Books; Reprint edition (July 2, 2013)

Section Notes

This course is offered in collaboration with The Innovative Northwest Teacher (TINT)

Course is self-paced. Completion time: up to one year from date of enrollment.

Refund Policy: Withdrawals submitted online through SPU within 7 days of enrollment will receive a 95% refund. Withdrawals received after that point will not receive a refund and no withdrawals will be accepted after the completion deadline for the course. Instructions on how to withdraw are located on our website under Students/Withdrawal and Refund Policies.


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