WorldStrides Travel Programs Benefit Educators with Professional Development Opportunities

Teachers love leading their students on programs through WorldStrides. Whether students are visiting a Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C., studying The Declaration of Independence in  Philadelphia, or canoeing through mangroves in Florida, the opportunity for experiential learning is one teachers are eager to seize. Watching students fall in love with a subject can be the highlight of any educator’s year. Additionally, there are professional benefits to leading a travel program.

Did you know you can receive professional development points simply by leading your students on a program? Our accreditation enables us to issue professional development to our teachers for their work on the travel program. This opportunity is available on all WorldStrides programs, no matter the destination, with amazing benefits:

  • Professional development is provided to teachers at no cost.
  • Generally associated with renewing one’s teaching license, our professional development is anchored in interaction and engagement. Leading a travel program is much more rewarding than sitting through a dry presentation in the school’s library.
  • Teachers can earn five professional development points (aka: continuing education units or clock hours) a day, and up to 35 PDPs total. Check with your district or state regarding the way these points can be applied.

Let’s take a closer look at how leading an educational travel program correlates to your professional development goals.

If your goal is school-driven…

Itinerary development is achieved with consideration of the school’s educational mission, vision, and objectives. How can you show you are committed to your school’s continuous improvement plan? Kirkpatrick (1998) and Phillips (1997) evaluated the benefits of professional development and determined that a professional development experience at various levels, such as that with students, addresses the internal and external needs related to participant growth; participant learning; change in behavior and attitude; and benefits to the students and the organization.

If your goal is student-driven…

Program experiences provide interpersonal exchanges that celebrate various perspectives, backgrounds, and interests. Program participants explore content information with professionals from a variety of backgrounds. For example, a five-minute conversation with a course leader or museum guide may spark a new idea for revamping a tired lesson plan, or an observation of another instructor with the students may provide modeling for differentiation.

If your goal is tech-driven…

Course leaders model technology integration during the program and provide examples that can be incorporated into classroom instruction. Chances are, your students will use their smartphones in innovative and inspiring ways, encouraging you to rethink how they engage with new material.

Since every state has different requirements, be sure to request your professional development points promptly. If you would like more information about how to request professional development points, feel free to contact our Curriculum & Academics team at

Learn more about our educational travel programs.

Article written by Randi Kessler Chapman

Randi Kessler Chapman
Randi is part of WorldStrides' own team of teachers, facilitating online learning for credit and professional development for our educator partners. Prior to joining our team, she launched her own independent business, and taught for eight years in the classroom. Today, she's passionate about increasing the accessibility of meaningful professional development to educators around the world.