Professional Development Units (PDU)

What is a Professional Development Unit?

A Professional Development Unit (PDU) is differentiated, action research learning with application to practice designed to support teachers and SSPs to improve or acquire skills focused on topics of student need, including closing the opportunity gap. This is learning beyond opportunities provided during contract hours and provides educators with the autonomy to opt in to additional development to continue to advance their professional practice. 

PDUs have 3 components – Study, Demonstration, and Reflection, completed through a 45 hour (minimum) course of study. The action research learning involves study of a topic that will benefit student growth, with simultaneous application of the learning content towards a specific problem of practice. The experiential learning afforded by PDUs empowers educators to demonstrate the implementation of the best instructional practices, and reflect on learning, change in practice, and student performance with peers.


Types of PDUs

  • District-wide – open to educators across the district
  • Multi-school/Regional – open to educators across region
  • School- Wide – open to educators within specific school
  • Small Group – 2-9 participants, can be school or district-wide
  • Personal/Individual – self-directed PDU

Now Accepting Applications for the PDU Advisory Council

The PDU Advisory Council is now accepting applications; teachers and SSPs with PDU experience are encouraged to apply. Council members will serve in an advisory capacity, providing feedback to improve the PDU process and experience for both leaders and participants. Meetings are held four times throughout the academic year, typically on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Apply by Oct. 25 by completing this form. If you have questions, please reach out to Professional_Learning@dpsk12.org.


2019-2020 PDU Guidelines and Submission Process Information

PDUs provide educators and SSPs with the equivalent of 3 graduate credits (45 hours) that can be applied towards salary lane changes. PDU guidelines have been revised based on 2019 DCTA-DPS agreement to ensure and enhance the quality and rigor of all PDUs. The PDU application reflects the new PDU guidelines and DPS-DCTA Agreement. Applications are due according to the PDU Calendar, and reviewed 3 times per year. Each PDU application is reviewed by a content expert according to the PDU application rubric. The PDU application and rubric are designed to ensure each and every PDU provides the quality and rigor of graduate-level coursework, and have a significant impact on student and educator learning. All proposed PDUs, including those previously offered, will need to go through the submission process. 

The following resources are available to support PDU design and implementation:

Next PDU Application Deadline is October 25th 

Applications for the next PDU review cycle are due on October 25th. This is an opportunity to submit applications for year-long PDUs, or get a head start on approval for spring PDUs. Anyone interested in leading a PDU beginning in November or taking place in the spring can submit for this review cycle. Applications should adhere to the PDU guidelines and be submitted to PDU_Team@dpsk12.org.

There will be one more round of PDU application review to take place in January. Detailed information on the review cycle timelines can be found in the PDU Calendar.


2019-2020 PDU Webinar

Looking for more information on the new PDU guidelines and application process? The Professional Learning Team provided informational webinars covering the new guidelines and processes for PDUs in August of 2019. You can view the recorded webinar here.

For additional information on PDUs, see the FAQ document. Any questions not addressed in the PDU FAQs may be directed to the Professional Development Quality Specialist.


PDU Peer Reviewers

Peer Reviewers are an intrinsic part of the PDU team, providing feedback and support to PDU leaders throughout the PDU process. Reviewers receive a $1,000 stipend for participating in the peer review process for PDUs. To read the detailed job description, click here. Applications for the 2020-21 school year will open in the Spring of 2020.