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TAP Certification Online Course (8 CEUs!)

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) training program is now available online through eCornell! This course is the sequel to our 2-hour introductory course Creating Smarter Lunchrooms, which is a prerequisite for this course. This course is accredited for 8 continuing education credits (CEUs) from the School Nutrition Association (SNA). TAP certification lasts for 36 months, after which it can be renewed.

Each 6-week course section is run as a cohort with an instructor and includes interactive discussions as well as individual learning activities. This interaction with colleagues from around the country will expose participants to the many settings in which Smarter Lunchrooms strategies can be leveraged as well as providing opportunities to practice communication and to give and receive feedback on some assignments. This course includes a site visit to a real school lunchroom to observe, practice using the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard, and meet with a school food service (SFS) professional.

As with our in-person training, TAP certification empowers participants to partner with schools to “nudge” students to select, eat, and enjoy healthy food options in schools without eliminating choice, using behavioral economics principles. This course provides instruction and practice in using the Smarter Lunchrooms 4-Step Path to develop collaborative relationships with stakeholders, plan and implement effective changes using Smarter Lunchrooms strategies and tools, and use data to evaluate impact. Other topics include understanding the SFS landscape, using correct industry terminology and effective communication skills, and leading professional development. The course also includes bonus topics: boosting breakfast, incorporating social media, grant writing, and the Smarter Mealtimes program for early childhood education (ECE) settings.

This course is primarily designed for professionals in university extension, school food service, state departments of health and education, public health, and commodities groups; however, anyone may take it.

The cost of the courses supports 24/7 tech support, instruction, and development costs. Creating Smarter Lunchrooms costs $10. This self-paced course is a great opportunity to learn the basics of how to use behavioral economics to promote healthy food choices in schools. Smarter Lunchrooms Technical Assistance Provider Certification costs $90 plus a $35 materials fee for the Lunch Line Redesign activity magnet kit. This is our most popular training activity and TAPs often use it in their work with schools. Individual purchase of the kits is optional, however: if you have access to a kit through your work already, or want to share one kit among local colleagues, please coordinate this at time of enrollment.

Enrollment for both courses is open now. 6-week general enrollment cohorts will begin on 5/1, 6/19, 9/4, and 10/16. Groups of 15 or more will get their own dedicated class section, which can begin on any date and can be customized to address the group’s learning needs. Participants also get a discount on tuition ($75 rather than $90). Contact Erin Sharp for details or to enroll a group.