Master Trainer Education

Grandfather and kids


Case Study: Minnesota

Certified ACE Interface educators in Minnesota are called Community Resilience Coaches (CRCs).  The first cohort of CRCs received their two-day training with Dr. Robert Anda and Laura Porter in February of 2013.  Over 12,000 people learned about ACEs and Resilience from the CRCs in the first year of the initiative.  Minnesota CRCs are training other speakers in the summer and fall of 2014, and their host organization (Minnesota Communities Caring for Children) is preparing for a second cohort of Community Resilience Coachesto receive the two-day ACE Interface training early in 2015. 

A dozen steps – organized for success:

  1. An informal group of individuals met for breakfast weekly to talk about application of ACE & Resilience science in Minnesota.  That group considered the benefits of the ACE Interface Master Trainer Program, and decided to co-sponsor a group of 25 people for the program. The “Breakfast Group” included people from the public, non-profit, academic, primary care, and community sectors.  Together they could reach people from many disciplines and communities.
  2. The “Breakfast Group” agreed on a host for the work: Minnesota Communities Caring for Children (MCCC).  MCCC agreed to collaborative leadership and fiscal sponsorship of the endeavor.
  3. The Breakfast Group mapped the existing infrastructures for dissemination of ACE & Resilience science in Minnesota, using what they knew about coalitions, major public systems and initiatives, private interest in the science, and leaders in communities disproportionately affected by ACEs.
  4. Mapping informed their fund raising efforts; and Breakfast Group members agreed to help raise funds for the program from a variety of sources.  Ultimately, funding for the effort came from: United Way, private philanthropy, public agencies, higher education, and MCCC.
  5. Network theory informed recruitment efforts – the greatest spread of knowledge would be gained by having the initial 25 people come from very different professional, social, and cultural circles. They developed an application form and widely circulated the application along with a description of the opportunity – taking care to personally reach all the systems and known leaders that surfaced in their mapping exercise.   They sought people who were already credible to the audiences they would most likely work with – people who brought trusted relationships as a key asset into the work.
  6. Breakfast Group members worked with MCCC to develop criteria and process for selecting the first cohort for the training.  Criteria were based on characteristics of the individuals, the networks they were a part of or could reach to, and the sectors they came from or were credible with. 
    1. Characteristics included: support trauma informed approach, demonstrated ability to teach adults and youth, experience working across multiple disciplines, commitment to communities of color, geography – grassroots connection, outcomes from the pre-assessment process. 
    2. Networks included parenting education and care givers, Tribal communities, youth networks, family service collaboratives, schools, early childhood, community coalitions, professional associations, and Art of Hosting ( experts.  
    3. Sectors included: education, faith, state departments, child welfare, primary health care, public health, behavioral health, violence prevention, public safety, juvenile justice, homeless services, parents and caregivers, and other sectors as they emerged in the application and pre-assessment process.

  7. Fifty three (53) people applied to become Community Resilience Coaches!  Every applicant had impressive experience, ability to reach to amazing audiences, and commitment to the task.  Selection could not be made based on qualifications – since every applicant was qualified.
  8. MCCC, with support from Breakfast Group members, selected and notified a group of 25 people who would collectively optimize reach into diverse audiences, and whose strengths were complementary and therefore conducive to making a strong and cohesive learning community.  MCCC retained the final decision making authority over cohort selection because, as the sponsoring organization, they would become responsible for the work of the CRCs over time.  People who were not selected to be a part of the first cohort were notified that they would be considered for the second cohort training.
  9. Twenty five (25) people completed the two-day training event with Dr. Robert Anda and Laura Porter and celebrated the beginning of a new learning community dedicated to community resilience throughout Minnesota.  This celebration was the beginning of an experiential process that led to certification as Community Resilience Coaches, and/or certification as speakers, trainers or content experts (see below).
  10. The process toward certification included the following steps:
    1. Completion of the two-day education event with Dr. Anda and Laura Porter
    2. Debrief and recommitment – in case people changed their minds about participation
    3. Creation of a phone-based learning community with a monthly schedule
    4. Commitment and fulfillment of two paired speaking engagements in the first 45 days post-training.  Evaluation forms for these speaking engagements were provided by MCCC and were mailed to MCCC for review and feedback that would improve learning and improvement of everyone in the cohort.
    5. Commitment to 8 paired speaking engagements (some with facilitated dialogue and coaching) with evaluation and feedback over a 6 to 12 month period, plus participation in the learning community by phone and via scheduled retreats.  (Participants suggested that another state or second cohort might consider adding a required video recording (via phones) of at least two presentations with peer review and suggestions for improvement.)
    6. Participation in coaching sessions with MCCC staff and stakeholders.
    7. Required participation in two additional learning retreats that focused on relationship, lessons learned, coaching skills with communities, and strategic networking.
    8. Determination of competency and mutual interest in next steps via a multi-modal assessment process and respectful consideration of the best fit for each individual in the Community Resilience movement in Minnesota.
  11. Based on multiple factors including feedback received and what organically emerged, the certification was separated into four categories, as described in the table below.  Individuals could be certified in none, one or up to all four categories.   

  12. Presenters

    These individuals limit their work to: inform their own work as well as present to audiences using only a short version of the ACE Interface presentation.

    Master Trainers


    These individuals have shown that they have the ability to not only present this information at any level, but have the skills and abilities to train it to others and monitor their success.

    Community Resilience Coaches


    These individuals are certified Presenters and Master Trainers, and have shown that they have the skills and abilities to facilitate safe, nurturing and supportive dialogue with the community about taking action on this information. They have expertise in trauma informed approaches, and most are masterful facilitators using Art of Hosting technologies.

    Technical Experts


    These individuals may or may not be certified in some or all of the previous categories; however they serve as technical experts in specific areas: 
    For example:

    • Historical Traum
    • Cultural Respect
    • Public Education
    • Art of Hosting
    • Substance Use Disorders
    • Children’s Mental Health
    • Domestic Violence
    • FASD
    • Early Childhood Development
    • Community Organizing
    • Strategic Planning
    • etc.

  13. The first cohort of ACE Interface and MNCCC certified Trainers and Coaches will provide education and coaching to presenters, and will help and support the second cohort of ACE Interface Master Trainer candidates.  Exponential impacts are possible because of the dedication, expertise, relationships and skills of the people involved, and is supported by the ACE Interface materials and partnership.