Professional Coach Certification

Coaching is both an art and a science; professional coaches understand that. They understand how to effectively communicate with clients in ways that generate real results. An effective coach guides, inspires and empowers others, all to help them reach their potential and take them where they would like to be personally and professionally. If you've ever wanted to be a motivating force for those around you, professional coaching may be your calling.

The Level 1 Coaching for Leaders Program is designed for:

  • Groups of leaders from an organization who want to strengthen their leadership abilities by incorporating strong coaching skills into their approach.
    • The program supports leaders in identifying situations in which coaching skills are most relevant and how to incorporate a coaching approach into managing and mentoring situations.
    • Since participants are from the same organization, the program provides an opportunity to apply coaching to actual organizational issues and to be an impetus for shifting organizational culture.

The Level 2 Professional Coach Certification Program is designed for:

  • Those seeking to become professional coaches in a private practice.
  • Managers who want to enhance their innate coaching skills to fundamentally improve their organization’s talent retention and relationship with employees.
  • Internal trainers and organizational development professionals charged with training other managers and sharing their coaching expertise.
  • Near-retirees preparing for a rewarding career they can pursue for many years to come.
  • Practicing coaches who want to take their certification to a higher level.
  • Individuals desiring to enhance their personal relationships.

Professional Coaching Skills

The Level 1 Coaching for Leaders Program provides 60 hours of training and is divided into 7 course modules.

The Level 2 Professional Coach Certification Program provides 141.5 hours of training and is divided into 8 course modules.

All modules build upon the lessons learned in earlier modules. Both programs are taught in English, delivered virtually, and aim to aid in the growth of each individual participant. The skills learned throughout the program enhance effectiveness, and include: 

  • Understanding the coaching relationship
  • Demonstrating competency in coaching methods
  • Developing trust in the coaching relationship
  • Maintaining ethical behavior and attitude
  • Gaining a stronger sense of self-awareness
  • And additional essential abilities

Now accepting applications for Cohort 18, starting August 2024:
All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with admission decisions released on February 1st, April 1st, and June 1st.

The final deadline to apply is July 20th.





Dave Fortna, M.Ed.

Director of Executive Education & Leadership Development

Continuing Coach Education

Duquesne University's Professional Coach Certification program is the only university-based program in Pennsylvania that is accredited by International Coach Federation (ICF).

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a significant amount of time and effort required to participate in this program. There is no formula to provide an exact amount of time but estimates and anecdotal evidence suggests approximately 7-10 hours per week.
The program is nine months beginning in late August and ending in late April.
The entire program is delivered virtually in a combination of live classes via Zoom and assignments and discussions via Canvas (a Learning Management System).  Courses are taught in English.  Reference the program format for more information about the Modules.

Peter J. Gabriel, Ed.D., PCC, BCC
Co-Director of Training

Janice Manzi Sabatine, Ph.D., PCC
Co-Director of Training

Program Format

There are five foundation course weekend classes (conducted Friday evenings 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), weekly webinars, elective courses, mentoring, and a Capstone day in April, all delivered live via Zoom. The remaining coursework and discussions are conducted on Canvas (a Learning Management System).

The PCCP incorporates the art and science of coaching.  We introduce scientific evidence from the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience, as well as emerging coaching theories based on human behavior and development.  This approach provides the foundation for graduates of the program to be effective coaches in many different settings.

The program is delivered live via Zoom.  Courses are taught in English.

As you step into the shoes of a professional coach, you will acquire new skills and adopt a new way of being in the world.  In Module One, we will honor your transition into this exciting new chapter of your life and begin to explore what it's like to coach and be coached.  We'll examine the core assumptions of coaching, the purpose of coaching, the primary skills of coaching, and the structure of a coaching relationship and a coaching session.  You will design a relationship agreement with each other, which can also be used as a model with your clients.  You'll learn the Duquesne Coaching Model, discover new aspects of yourself and your skills, set personal goals, and create a vision for yourself.  You'll begin to practice applying your new-found skills immediately in the classroom, with your colleagues, and with practice clients.
In Module Two, you will explore the myriad ways to build your own and your clients' self-awareness and identify supportive relationships.  You will be using informal assessments and exercises to explore your values, uncover your strengths, and design a personal vision.  You will build on the foundation of specific coaching skills and learn mnemonic devices to help you structure a coaching session that moves your clients powerfully toward a more fulfilling life. We will begin to share the evidence base of coaching and examine various coaching frameworks including the ICF Core Competencies.
In the Possibilities Module, you will coach your clients to expand the possibilities before them, by examining and widening their perspectives and attitudes and challenging their assumptions.  By building upon their self-awareness and discovery, your clients will now be primed for making more conscious and intentional choices.  You will practice supporting your clients to identify the limiting beliefs and understand the internal dialogue behind the roadblocks that keep them stuck.
The Action Module focuses on the essential component of coaching - what occurs in the lives of clients in-between coaching sessions.  You'll foster learning and inspire action - action that is slow at times and at other times moves the clients along at a faster pace.  In this Module, you will move your clients forward by coaching them to set goals, plan and take actions, and assume accountability. You will learn to assess the client's internal motivation to take action on the choices they have made through their self-discovery and exploration of possibilities. During this module, students will also begin to refine and self-assess their newly acquired coaching skills as they coach both their clients and peers toward more fulfillment.
In Module 5, you will deepen and expand your coaching skills by applying them to the various levels of human experience, such as social, emotional, and sensory realms. You will integrate all the skills, strategies, ways of being, and beliefs you have learned and uncovered, to create truly transformative growth in your clients.  While fine-tuning your coaching skills, you will expand your personal and professional development beyond the PCCP.

We will examine the current state of the coaching profession, discuss coaching research, explore multiple coaching resources, and contemplate the potential power of coaching to change the world. 
The Mentoring Module is perhaps the most powerful part of the Duquesne coach training program.  It all comes together in this module, in which you coach real clients, record your coaching, and receive direct and specific feedback from your instructors.  These sessions are where your excellence shines through as you tweak your coaching and truly create your own unique style.
Module Seven provides you with opportunities to further expand your coaching to various applications and settings. One elective is included in your tuition and is required for the completion of the certificate program.  You may opt to enroll in additional electives at your own cost. Elective choices may vary from year to year.
In Capstone, you will celebrate your journey and display your developing skills!  You will complete a written exam, an oral exam, and share your personal plan for using your coaching skills out in the world.  These assessments are designed to be a comprehensive review and demonstration of all you have learned.  In a final celebration, you and your fellow coaches will support each other as you reach out to offer the world the gift of your coaching.