ACOE’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program (ILSP)

Mr. Mc Neal is Core Faculty and a Lead Advisor for Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program.

[Mr. Mc Neal teaches Course-A]

The Integrated Learning Specialist Program (ILSP) prepares K-12 teachers, teaching artists, and administrators to effectively plan and deliver deep, meaningful, and engaging student learning across all subject areas through arts integration, performance-based assessments, and collaborative curriculum design. ILSP core courses build the skills, resources, and tools required for today’s diverse classroom.

ILSP is a trans-disciplinary set of courses that envisions and nurtures new paradigms for teaching and learning.  This program leverages tools and strategies that cultivate emergent dispositions and provokes new thinking about the role of the arts and education.  Working collaboratively in inspired learning communities, participants will investigate new pathways that examine and critique established norms and interrupt systems of inequity, promoting social justice and invention to build a better future for everyone.

A superb professional development opportunity, participants of the ILSP are able to earn CEU and graduate school credits as well as the Integrated Learning Specialist Certificate. ILSP course curriculum is based on research-based frameworks from Project Zero (Harvard’s Graduate School of Education), and provides educators with the skills to create imaginative, integrated lessons in any subject area. 



ILSP consists of:

Participants gain skills and experience in:



3 Core-Courses

Course A: Strategies and Resources for Arts Integration

This hands-on course focuses on an introduction to arts integrated teaching, curriculum development, and assessment grounded in contemporary arts and educational frameworks from Harvard’s Project Zero: Teaching for Understanding, Studio Thinking, and Making Learning Visible. Participants explore concepts in math, science, history and language arts through two arts disciplines, investigating the different ways that creative arts help students formulate questions, synthesize, and express learning in core subjects. Participants make art, share lesson plans, read articles, and write a paper synthesizing their learning.

Course B: Ongoing Assessment Strategies and Applications: Making Learning Visible, Studio Habits of Mind, Rubrics and Portfolios
Participants learn ongoing assessment strategies, including Studio Habits of Mind, Making Learning Visible and documentation, rubrics, and portfolios. They develop protocols, tools, and applications that are useful for evaluating and deepening their own learning and their students’ learning. 

Course C: Collaborative Curriculum Design
Participants develop arts integrated curriculum using the Teaching for Understanding framework and receive feedback from the collective group. Participants learn how to use a variety of protocols and tools for evaluating and deepening classroom practice; they also consider points of inquiry, thinking deeply about their own contexts and present their final unit to the group. Collaborative teams are welcome.

CEU’s and Graduate Units
Continuing Education Units are available through Mills College, $199 for 3 units. Graduate Units are also possible through partnership with Lesley University: After successful completion of all 3 core courses and electives, 3 graduate units are available from Lesley University for $450 if participant enrolls in Lesley’s Ed.D. Integrated Teaching Through the Arts program, she/he is eligible to waive the Curriculum and Assessment course (Boston Residency Required).


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Earn an Integrated Learning Certificate 

Although course work is open to all, individuals can work toward an Integrated Learning Specialist Program Certificate. A certificate qualifies credentialed teachers and teaching artists to provide leadership in their professional learning communities. In order to qualify, participants must successfully complete all three core courses and an additional three units (30+ hours) of electives. The core courses and electives total 12 units. Participants must fulfill core and elective coursework requirements within three years of beginning the program to earn the certificate.



Register Here!

Registration is now open for Winter/Spring 2015 courses that take place at various locations. For Questions and More Information:



The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership

The mission of the Alameda County Office of Education’s Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership is to establish arts learning at the core of the highest quality public education, across the curriculum, for every child, in every school, every day.

Our Focus on Collective Impact

The Alliance has operated on the foundational premise that no one individual or group acting in isolation can solve the complex systemic problems in public education.

In the decade since it began, the Alliance has progressed in an intentional arc: from partnerships, to collaborations, to networks of influence, towards where we are now–creating a vision and structure for collective impact. Learn more about collective impact.

Steering Committee Members 2014-15

Chair: Yvonne Cerrato, Alameda County Board of Education