The Program International Diploma in Social Construction and Professional PracticeYou want to expand your professional potential, explore a vision, follow your curiosity, bring about an innovation for a more promising future. Now you would like a mentor, coach and conversation partners who will support, inspire, and challenge you to reach your goals. And you would like to work from the comfort of your own office, home or work environment and be part of a global community of learners.At the Taos Institute, we support and mentor creative practitioners to form the future through relationship, collaboration, and ethical action. The International Diploma in Social Construction and Professional Practices exposes you to expertise from multiple disciplines, all focused on collaborative and relational approaches to generating meaning, values, and practices of significance. Your advisor, mentor or coach works with you to design a learning plan that addresses your goals, with feedback and learning tailored to your situation and project. You will receive support and inspiration from a broad network of conversation partners.There are no grades.There is no bureaucracy.You create your own deadlines.You design your own learning goals.You work virtually with scholars and practitioners around the world.You join a cohort of learners that support each other.You participate in a learning relationship with an advisor, mentor, coach.What are the benefits of participating in this program?Your diploma identifies you as an advanced practitioner in your profession or area of interest. The diploma will attest to your ability to integrate theory and practice relevant to your professional context. You will specify an area of study to be included on your diploma. For example, a teacher could earn an International Diploma in Social Construction and Professional Practice in Appreciative Inquiry and Pedagogical Practice; a genetic counselor could receive a International Diploma in Social Construction and Professional Practice in Ethical Decision-making for Genetic Pathologies; a psychologist could receive a Diploma in Social Construction and Professional Practice in Relational Approaches to Therapeutic Change.You will leave the diploma program with practical tools for sparking innovative thought and practice. You will have a multi-disciplinary support system for exploring, developing, and launching new initiatives in your profession or area of interest. You’ll have clarity for your trajectory as a leader in your discipline. And you will have a global community of seasoned professionals who are lively, disciplined, creative, rigorous, and dedicated to innovative relational practices for a better future.You will gain:An opportunity to embark on a project of personal interest with professional guidance and support from the Taos advisor, mentor, coach.Mastery of cutting edge ideas relevant to your personal interests and career goals.An introduction to a world of practical tools for sparking innovation and solving problems in new ways.Entry into a global, multi-disciplinary community of experienced and supportive collaborators who are internationally recognized professionals.Resources for exploring social construction, relational practice, and other forms of collaborative/appreciative practices.Who should apply?The program is open to everyone, but it is especially suited to the experienced professional who is a lifelong learner and wants to extend her/his knowledge and capacity in a particular professional context. This program is for you if: You are not looking for a university degree, but rather an opportunity to explore an area of interest, and complete an engaging project. You want to engage with others from around the world, in a virtual learning environment. You are looking for a community that shares your views, ideas, and values around collaboration, appreciation and relational capacity. You work well with self-motivation and self-driven learning objectives. You want to increase your skills, challenge yourself, and learn something new.Learners should enter the program with a vision of what they wish to explore or create. This vision may include, for example, the in-depth exploration of a topic, the beginning of the writing of a book, the writing of a series of articles, the development of an innovation, the creation of a new course, or the conducting of an action research project. Then, they are paired with a Taos Advisor, who may also be called a mentor or coach, who has related interests and expertise. Particular program focus may include:EducationMental HealthOrganizational DevelopmentHealthcareCommunity and Peace Buildingand others.If you have a partner, or a team of people from your organization or school interested in exploring how to work on a project together toward a Diploma for each participant, let us know. We will consider a collaborative partnership, or "team" or "group" project and will customize a pricing structure that works for you. How does it work?The Diploma isn’t a fixed curriculum, with required lectures, readings, and graded assignments. It’s not designed to prove you have absorbed a chunk of data or information. Rather, it’s an informal and tailored process of growth. It lets you embark on a new project or idea with support from colleagues and advisors. It lets you take responsibility for work that matters, exposing you to new ways of thinking in conversation with other smart, motivated people. The process normally consists of four semesters of six months each. Learning activities may include:One-on-one discussions with the Taos Advisor, mentor, coach (typically electronic),Participation in Taos Institute workshops, conferences, online webinars, or on-line courses,Participation in on-line discussions within the Taos global community,Selected readings and video lectures.A primary outcome of the two years of learning will be a capstone project - a book manuscript, a paper (or series of small papers), a video, a journal article, web-work, new course design, or some other tangible project agreeable to you and your advisor. The capstone project will show systematic reflection in your area of inquiry. The awarding of the Diploma will follow a successful discussion with the Diploma Committee of the Taos Institute.You can work on your diploma in the language of your choice, based on the faculty we have available in any given language. See the faculty listing. If you don’t see your language of choice represented, let us know and we will see what we can do to accommodate your needs. Who will I learn with?Your primary learning partner will be an advisor, mentor or coach drawn from the Taos Institute’s 650 Associates located in more than 40 countries. However, you will also be offered multiple opportunities for interaction with Taos Associates and participants in the Institute’s various educational programs and conferences. Since 1993, the Taos Institute has provided educational opportunities to professionals across the spectrum. As a non-profit educational organization, the Institute brings scholars and practitioners together from around the world for mutual inquiry, growth, and innovation. The Taos Institute offers conferences, workshops, and certificates; it publishes books, provides online seminars and educational resources, offers grants, and fosters global networks.These pursuits are united by an intellectual approach that emphasizes the relational processes by which people together create their realities, rationalities, and values. Relational processes are central to human functioning, affecting the well-being of the individual, family, community, nation and the world. The Diploma program is nestled within this intellectual and practical context. Applicants for the program should have at least a rudimentary familiarity with this tradition and its emphasis on dialogue, collaboration, relational process, inquiry, and action research. Numerous resources are available on the Taos Institute website (www.taosinstitute.net).What does it cost?The program fee per six-month semester is $3,000. This fee includes one-on-one advising from the Taos Advisor, participation in one workshop or online course per semester, access to the Taos Institute Online Learning Community, and participation in the Relational Research Network. If you wish to participate in the diploma program as a "group", we can create a group rate for the semester fees based on how many in your group. For learners from low income areas of the world, please talk with us about options.Fall semester - September 1 - February 28Spring semester - March 1 - August 31How do I get involved? Contact Dr. Duane Bidwell at [email protected] For application: Click HereDeadlines for application:Fall semester (begins Sept. 1st) applications should be submitted by August 1.Spring Semester (begins March 1st) applications should be submitted by February 1.For further information, write to: [email protected] Your Preferred Language Students may wish to study in English or another language. We will, whenever possible, pair students with Advisors whose native language is the same. See the faculty page for the language choices that we have to date. If there are other languages in which a student would like to conduct his/her studies, research and project, please let us know.