Refugee Educator Academy

The Refugee Educator Academy (REA) is the flagship program of the Center for Professional Learning. The REA is a global community of practice designed to support educators and to offer sustainable, holistic learning opportunities for teachers working in refugee displacement, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts.

The Refugee Educators Foundations of Practice (REFP) course is a critical resource within the REA designed with and for teachers in the United States and other resettlement contexts. REA’s Quality Holistic Learning Project (QHL) supports holistic learning for teachers and students alike, particularly in displacement and crisis settings, and offers a growing collection of professional development open educational resources (OERs). REA also offers micro-credentials linked to both REFP and QHL professional development opportunities. Additionally, REA offers the Pathways to Teaching Project, which seeks to increase the diversity of the U.S. teacher workforce by supporting adults with refugee/(im)migrant backgrounds in joining the teaching profession. All resources and experiences developed within the REA are co-created with teachers with the Sustainable Learning Framework serving as a guidepost for these efforts.


Effectively teaching in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts calls for specific, comprehensive, and sustained professional learning opportunities. The REA is designed with these specific needs in mind. It offers an integrated system of learning opportunities and professional support that includes online, hybrid, and offline courses, webinars, workshops, toolkits, and micro-credentials. It also creates communities of practice marked by excellent facilitation, evidence-based methodologies and resources, and strong relationships among participants.

“I feel that REA has been a place where I can bring ideas and problems of practice and learn from the perspectives and backgrounds of people in a wide range of positions and contexts.” – U.S.-based educator serving refugee and immigrant learners

Main Components of the Refugee Educator Academy

Facilitated courses, such as our Refugee Educator Foundations of Practice course, allow for sustained, guided learning within a cohort or community of practice. Courses and other professional learning resources are modular in design and, thus, can be customized and contextualized for unique learning contexts. Self-paced courses, including many in our OER Library, offer flexible, short professional learning opportunities accessible on mobile devices and, often, with PDF downloads.

We also offer micro-credentials that provide open-access, self-paced, unfacilitated learning experiences. These rigorous, competency based credentialing opportunities focus on topics central to refugee/immigrant education, education in displacement and crisis contexts, and holistic learning, including social and emotional learning and psychosocial support.

Visit our Courses page or contact us to learn more about what is available and how we can support learning and capacity building in your institution or organization.

The Center for Professional Learning possesses an extensive library of webinars on a range of topics related to our work. Our catalog of webinars reaches back to 2018 while still housed under the Carey Institute for Global Good. Since then, we have remained active in delivering sessions on the most relevant topics to teachers working in refugee displacement, migration, and resettlement contexts. Access recordings of these events through our course catalog.

When educators enroll in courses or engage in activities within the Refugee Educator Academy, they become members of diverse communities of practice (CoPs). Within these REA CoPs, including the Refugee Educator Academy Facebook Group, educators dialog, share resources, and problem-solve together with other educators and key stakeholders working within refugee displacement, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts around the world. Each community of practice aims to foster quality holistic learning for refugee and displaced learners in inclusive, equitable, and joyful learning environments. Educators’ practices of teaching, learning, and leading are centered in these communities.

REA Participants’ Reflections

“I feel that REA has been a place where I can bring ideas and problems of practice and learn from the perspectives and backgrounds of people in a wide range of positions and contexts.”

 Participant in U.S.

“I appreciate this initiative of empowering us as refugee educators. For me it has been a gift from heaven, because I am no longer the same as I was before joining this course, and I will not be the way I am now at the end of this course.”

Participant in Kenya

“What made me more excited about the course when I started implementing the activities in my classroom. I always thought that we don’t have time for such activities, but after seeing the learners’ joy and excitement I realised the huge positive impacts of such activities. The learners became more disciplined in the classroom and interested in studying English. Even I, as a teacher, became more energetic and enthusiastic after hearing their whispers while going back to the classroom.”

Participant in Lebanon

REA Impact

The Refugee Educator Academy strives to increase the number and accelerate the preparation of qualified educators and service providers in refugee displacement, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts around the world. Since its creation, the REA has served educators in more than 50 countries and on 6 continents, directly impacting thousands of educators, who collectively reach tens of thousands of learners.

Why is the Refugee Educator Academy critical?

With more than 103 million forcibly displaced people in the world*, educators must be better prepared to provide quality holistic learning experiences for every learner within increasingly diverse settings. Alongside a shortage of teachers and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to schools and formal learning programs, refugee, displaced, and other historically and systemically marginalized communities find access to quality education limited. We must do better.

The Refugee Educator Academy offers quality holistic learning resources for professional development that inspire educators to approach teaching and learning differently. We create learning communities that are sustainable, thriving, inclusive, and equitable, modeling practices for schools, community programs, and institutions that improve experiences and outcomes for learners. Sustained professional learning opportunities are essential to build the dynamic, informed, skilled teacher workforce required to meet current teaching and learning demands within challenging and complex education ecosystems. Co-creating professional development resources and opportunities tailored to the needs of educators teaching in refugee displacement, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts is the core purpose of the Refugee Educator Academy.

*Per the latest UNHCR Refugee Statistics total

How can I participate in the Refugee Educator Academy as an educator?

There are several ways educators can participate in the Refugee Educator Academy, from joining communities of practice formed through QHL projects to completing shorter, self-paced courses. Educators can also join projects as co-creators of resources and toolkits, as participants in pilot tests of courses and assessment tools, as presenters in workshops and webinars, and as volunteers supporting colleagues globally and/or on specific REA projects. As an educator, you have the opportunity to learn and to lead within the REA.

To get involved, contact Julie Kasper at

Are there ways for educational institutions, INGOs, and other organizations to partner and/or contract services with the Refugee Educator Academy?

The Center for Professional Learning collaborates with partners on instructional design, pilot programs, and other work to benefit educators in refugee displacement, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts.

Contact Julie Kasper at to discuss your ideas.

How can I support the Refugee Educator Academy?

The vitally important work of the Refugee Educator Academy is made possible through generous support from individuals, institutions, and corporate sponsors. To support the Refugee Educator Academy at the Center for Professional Learning, please visit our Donations page.

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