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Sexual Risk
Avoidance (SRA)
Certification Course

Earn your SRAS designation and learn how to apply the most current sexual health research, data, and trends in the clinic or the classroom.

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AUGUST 21-22
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Earn a Professional Designation
Recognizing Your Expertise

Successful completion of this course earns the SRA Specialist (SRAS) professional designation (i.e. Jane Doe, SRAS) and certificate

In an increasingly competitive world, it’s critical that professionals in every career maintain the highest level of knowledge and skill in their areas of expertise. 

Ascend’s SRA Certification Course offers SRA educators and instructors who provide SRA education at the school and community levels the opportunity to distinguish themselves in their field, increase their credibility, and demonstrate a professional commitment to enhancing their teaching expertise. See terms.

What You'll Learn

The critical historical events that led to the development of modern sex education in America
Theoretical frameworks that support the goals of an SRA program
How to identify credible sources for obtaining information and critically evaluate evidence
Messaging strategies to increase relevancy and resonance 
Best practices that result in effective, sustainable SRA programs
How to improve program delivery
And more
For SRA Educators
Two Days
Offered Monthly



Course Description

A Key Piece of Your Onboarding Program

We understand how demanding it can be to manage all the details of hiring, training, and welcoming new staff to your organization.
Onboarding puzzle piece

We Can Help

Our SRA Certifcation Course saves you time and effort by equipping your staff with one of the most critical components of classroom readiness: SRA content expertise.

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Course Topics

Module 1
The History of Sex Education in The U.S.
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Articulate critical events that led ot the development of modern sex education in America
Recognize the impact that an individual or small group of motivated activists can make on changing national policy
Module 2
SRA - It’s All About Public Health
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Discuss the differences and similarities between SRA and SRR
Recognize the components of a typical public health model that addresses negative risk behaviors
Describe the value of encouraging optimal health outcomes for youth
Compare the culturally normative changes that resulted from the anti-smoking campaign to those possible with teen sexual activity 
Module 3
The Content Of SRA Programs
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Identify best practices that result in effective sustainable SRA programs
Recognize the program components that define SRA as a holistic approach
Consider the importance of parent engagement in successful SRA programs
Module 4
The Theoretical Basis For SRA
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Identify theories that support the goals of an SRA program
Express the rationale for their organizational mission in terms of a working theoretical framework
Explain why it is important to use theories or a theoretical framework to help describe the value of the SRA approach
Module 5
The Power of Setting High Expectations
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Recognize the key research findings and educational theories that support the benefit of setting high expectations for youth
Assess practical adjustments needed to improve program delivery so that all students can realize the benefit of high expectations relative to achieving optimal sexual health outcomes
Value the optimal health model upon which Sexual Risk Avoidance education is based and why all youth deserve the opportunity to achieve optimal sexual health by avoiding risk
Module 6
Principles of Effective Communication
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Apply the principles of effective communication in creating messaging that clearly articulates ideas and concepts
Examine current messaging strategies in order to increase relevancy and resonance with a target audience
Module 7
Professional Presentation Competencies
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Explain the importance of managing your message, building classroom relationships, drawing professional boundaries, and confidence in presenting
Implement successful educational strategies into an SRA program in order to boost its effectiveness
Promote positive student and teacher relationships through effective classroom management
Understand how setting high expectations can impact a young person's ability to succeed 
Module 8
Understanding Program Evaluation
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Compare and contrast the differences between formative and summative evaluation
Identify at least two types of evaluation activities associated with both formative and summative evaluation
Describe the relative strengths and weaknesses of various research designs with respect to making causal inferences
Define common research terms
Understand how research findings can increase program credibility
Recognize the importance of peer-reviewed publications as a source for research findings
Recognize invalid research protocols
Understand the purpose of research to inform effectiveness vs. ideological promotion
Module 9
Topics, Trends, Research, and Data
At the conclusion of this module, the SRAS candidate will be able to:
Define medical accuracy
Identify credible sources for obtaining information and critically evaluate evidence found in articles
Identify the critical components necessary to present contraceptive information in a medically accurate manner
Gain key points of support for the SRA approach
Describe the impact that adolescent brain development can have on teen decision-making
Explain the clustering of negative risk behaviors and why this phenomenon argues for a concerted risk avoidance message

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AUGUST 21-22
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Course Requirements

  • An endorsement from someone in your network to be considered for acceptance into the course
  • Completion of pre-coursework and quizzes, which contribute to your final score and provide a foundation for the course content
  • A final, cumulative score of at least 80% on seven pre-coursework quizzes and two final exams 
  • A signed agreement to abide by the SRA Code of Ethics

Certification is Valid for Two Years

Maintaining the SRAS professional designation is critical for SRA educators to maintain credibility and expertise as professionals in the public health field, where data and research are continually evolving. 

Certification provides competency, knowledge, and performance-based training, encourages uniform levels of professional expertise in SRA methodology, and increases the overall quality of school and community sexual health education.

Ascend makes it easy to earn and maintain your SRAS designation by offering flexible options for renewing your certification, which is required every two years. 

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

The SRAS certification course constitutes 35.5 contact hours. Check with your local board to see if it qualifies for CEUs.

Course Structure

Day One

Modules 1-2 
Module 3 
Modules 4-5

Day Two

Modules 6-7 
Module 8
Modules 9-10

All modules are followed by group discussion and Q&A.

A participant manual will be provided to you as an interactive PDF free of charge, or you may purchase a hard copy, which we will ship to you. 
Have more questions or want more info?

Meet the Instructors

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Mosack, SRAST*

Mary Anne Mosack serves as the President and CEO of Ascend, promoting an accurate understanding and appreciation for SRA as an important primary prevention message for teens. She is responsible for ongoing development of educational materials and oversees the SRA certification training program offered by Ascend throughout the United States. She is dedicated to continuous program improvement, research, and public policy impacting the SRA approach. As a strong advocate of Sexual Risk Avoidance education, she is committed to building the protective assets all teens need to ensure they are given the opportunity to reach optimal health and life success.

Tracey Pike, SRAST*

Tracey Pike serves as the Executive Director of Ascend. She is passionate about developing and maintaining partnerships with those dedicated to the holistic health of youth. Tracey has been an SRA educator since 2000 and received her SRAS certification from Ascend in 2012. She has authored and facilitated numerous SRA and holistic health programs. Tracey designed and launched a six-year longitudinal study (the Program Impact Evaluation (PIE) program) to measure the effectiveness of the I Decide for Me curriculum. Tracey is dedicated to helping youth reach their full potential and positively impacting youth for optimal health outcomes.

Thelma Moton, SRAST*

Thelma Moton is the founder and executive director of Choosing to Excel (C2E) in Conway, Arkansas. For over 20 years, Thelma has been at the forefront of helping youth and families appreciate the benefits of making healthy choices. She has worked diligently to reduce non-marital births among teens in Arkansas. Over her many years instructing in SRAE, she has developed a multi-faceted program that provides quality programming that supports the goals of positive youth development for all youth.

Raymona Ellison, SRAST*

Raymona Ellison has served the youth of Little Rock, AR for several years. She is Founder and Executive Director of Little Rock Life Skillz, LLC. The focus of the organization is to “battle social ills – one child at a time.” The organization teaches character development to pre-school and elementary-school children through regular visits by “The Character Queen.” Middle and high school students are equipped to make healthy choices in their relationships through Risk Avoidance Education curricula in conjunction with Choosing to Excel (Conway, AR).
*Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist Trainer

Ascend’s SRA Certification Course:
A Key Piece of Your Onboarding Program

We Understand the Challenges of Onboarding New Staff

Hiring, training, and welcoming new SRA program staff to your organization can be a demanding task. Despite the desire to provide a positive and thorough onboarding experience for all new hires, it can be overwhelming to manage all the components of successfully integrating new staff members into your team, including:

When It Comes to Preparing Your Team for the Classroom, Leave It to Us!

Ascend’s SRA Certification course is your hands-off, comprehensive approach to equipping your team with SRA content expertise so you can be freed up to focus on the rest. 

We can help ensure your team:

  • Is well-versed in the public health basis of SRA’s risk avoidance approach
  • Has a comprehensive understanding of the medical and social science that supports SRA education
  • Is up-to-date with the most recent data and trends impacting teen sexual health
  • Can develop effective presentation skills that resonate with students, parents, schools, and community stakeholders
  • Has access to network with others in the SRA field to learn best practices and practical strategies for curriculum implementation
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save time & effort with the easy onboarding solution for teams

Register Your Team Today!

AUGUST 21-22
New Dates
Added Monthly
Notify Me

We make it easy for your team to renew their certification, which is required every two years. Learn more about our flexible options for renewal. 

Learn About Renewing certification

DID YOU KNOW? Ascend Organizational Members get 10% off the cost of renewing certification for up to five people annually. 

Learn About Membership
Have questions about whether SRA Certification is right for your team? Contact us today.

Reviews of Ascend SRA Certification Course

Phenomenal - One of The Best All Around Training Courses
"Phenomenal - Hands down one of the best all around training courses regardless of subject matter. Presenters were encouraging, well educated, subject matter experts of the material they covered. I am so thankful for the opportunity to take this training and so excited to see it make an impact in my community."
Katie S.
A Standard of Excellence in Best Practices
"The Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist designation provided by Ascend provides a standard of excellence, a history of proven best practices, and a code of ethics for sexual health instructors. Thanks to Ascend, SRA Specialists come away with foundational understanding of the history, theory, practical application, and shared language for optimal sexual health programs. I highly recommend this practice to all!"
Natasha M.
Immensely Impactful and Empowering
"I am deeply grateful for the knowledge and skills the Ascend team has given me. I am walking away fueled by the value of this message and so excited to teach these skills to students and continue learning. This training was immensely impactful and empowering."
Mikalla F.
Equivalent To A Year On The Job
"It feels like taking the course has given me the equivalent of a year on the job. I know pitfalls to look out for and I can be better prepared. Invaluable!"
Lydia T.
Eye Opening and Life Changing
"This course has been eye opening and life changing. The content helped me understand the youth and generations before mine. I see the extreme importance and need for this information to be displayed with confidence and excellence."
John M.
Valuable and Beneficial
"All of the content was so valuable! Personally, I found the Effective Communication module and Professional Presentation Competencies modules the most helpful AND interesting. It was so beneficial to learn not only how to speak and present confidently, but also to communicate from an educated and informed perspective that values all students."
Mikalla F.
Substantially Beneficial, Even the Second Time
"This is my second time taking it and I originally thought why not just do a re-cert rather than the full course, however I was very much mistaken in thinking I wouldn’t benefit as substantially as I have! I feel a renewal and hope that this year in the classroom will be better than last year"
Kristi P.
Helpful to Articulate the SRA Message
“I am fairly new to this position, so I found everything helpful and interesting. The most helpful though was the information about communication and the five common attacks. Having that information will help me better articulate why SRA is beneficial."
Meghan M.
Designation Offers Professionalism and Validity
"This designation will offer professionalism and validity to what we do. With ongoing practice of what we have learned, we can truly make a difference in our community and world."
Kim D.
Extra Fuel to my Inspiration
"The value is innumerable. All things stated in the last two days can be taken with me and unpacked in the classroom with the students I serve. I'm grateful for the knowledge and the extra fuel to my inspiration for why I teach an SRA program!"
Brook W.
I Feel More Equipped and Confident
"I found this very valuable and am very thankful I could be a part of this training. I feel more equipped to go into schools and teach the program with confidence as well as credibility for the benefit of the youth."
Yaqub R.
Changing the Public Conversation
"What an honor and joy. I feel so empowered to fully invest in this role and mission -- and not only for the sake of building up healthy teens, but changing the public conversation around this topic."
Mikalla F.
"I enjoyed the enthusiasm, the passion, and the content of all of the presenters."
Sarah G.
Learning From Those With Years of Experience
"I want to be able to perform not only for my organization but to be equipped with the knowledge needed for my community and students. I am very grateful for this opportunity and to have learned from people who have had years of experience and knowledge to pass down within this training and future training to come."
Ariana T.
Proud to Have Achieved SRAS Status
"I will be proud to have achieved specialist status...though a little humbled as well. It implies significant responsibility!"
Susan W.
Incredibly Valuable Credibility
"I find it incredibly provides credibility to what I am teaching, and shows the extra effort to those that I am shows I care."
Lori L.
Engaging the Entire Way
"Each presenter contributed their own unique method of communicating. As a participant, I felt engaged the entire way."
Shiann M.
Provides Empowerment
"I think this certification provides empowerment for me personally to feel knowledgeable and qualified to educate others on SRA and rally around the SRA movement."
Meredith D.
Championing an Optimal Health Approach
"I think the designation sets us apart as we champion an Optimal Health approach to sex education for all. Being certified immediately shows you have put in the work and are dedicated to the SRA approach and excellence in how you will deliver it to students."
Kristin K.
So Valuable
"I think more educators should be SRAS certified. The information is so valuable and necessary to teach our youth. You also learn many new concepts that you might not have known before."
Briana P.
Improving the Lives of Countless Youth
"I truly believe in the value of this certification - as I have for more than a decade- we are lifting up the field and as such improving the lives of countless youth."
Nanci C.
Certified in a Very Unique and Global Group
"The value of this designation was great and very informative. This will allow me to be certified in very unique and global group."
Maria M.
Reaffirming and Left No Stone Unturned
"I thought the history presented in the pre-coursework was very in-depth and necessary. Also, the way the actual course was reaffirming and tied all the information together was beautiful. No stone left unturned. I loved it!"
Natiya M.
Founded on a Wealth of Research and Science
"Becoming an SRA certified instructor empowers me to know that I am equipped as well as prepared for the road ahead of me, founded in a wealth of research and science, not just on a popular cause or movement. I am eager to make a difference. Side note, I never realized that SRA was what I taught my five children all along! Who knew!"
Bryn T.
Filled with Importance and Pride
"Knowing that I will be a designated SRAS professional fills me with a feeling of importance and pride that I can now use the information given to me to make a difference in the teens today."
Turner W.
An Honor to Teach
"I highly value this certification. I consider it an honor to teach the next generations, and plan to represent SRA education to the best of my ability. The main message, I hope I can represent is that each and every person has value and will always be valuable."
Joanie E.
Truly Inspiring
"I found the presenters very knowledgeable, but most importantly their vast experience was truly inspiring! The stories they shared are from many years of experience!"
Linda T.
Instilled Confidence and Excitement
"I loved all the examples given by instructors to help prepare for what to expect in class. So helpful to receive instruction and guidance on not just class content, but presentation and preparation. Instructors are obviously experts and so helpful with preparing us for classroom instruction and interaction with hosts and students. Breakout sessions were valuable to hear from those already in classroom situations, since I have not yet begun and everything heard and learned over the past 2 days has given me confidence and instilled excitement!"
Lisa L.
Bringing Credible Information to the Schools
"Having the designation of being a SRAS professional will assure the school administrators that I have been trained and continue to train to be able to do the best job possible in bringing the much needed information to the students."
Dynell P.
Spot On Info and Updates
"You guys are awesome! Well presented, very articulate and spot on with information and updates. And, of course, timely in answering questions!"
Marta R.
Expert Status
"This credential gives me the "expert" status in sexual education."
Liz G.
Provides Professional Standards, Value, and Commitment
"The course provided and demonstrated the professional standards, value and commitment to learning at a high degree of professionalism."
Sherri R.
Incredibly Valuable
"I find it incredibly valuable to tell the districts, schools, and parents that I serve that I am an SRA CERTIFIED instructor. This will show them I am serious about what I'm teaching and that I've spent intentional time learning how to excel in sexual risk avoidance. I plan to proudly display this certification."
Sarah V.
Knowledge is Power
"Knowledge is power……My armor has been shined up."
Kristi P.
Credible and Confident
"Makes our organization more credible. It is rewarding and will help our team present with confidence."
Stephanie F.
Professional and Competent
"I believe that this course is important for educators to have prior to going in a classroom. The information given aids in making sure that we are professionals and competent."
Yulonda B.
Certification Gives Confidence and Credibility
"Honestly, it (being SRAS Certified) would mean a lot as far as giving me confidence and credibility as I present to students, parents, hosts, etc. Humbly, I just appreciate you sharing all this information and helping me to be the best instructor I can be. I look forward to this new chapter in my life, with all it's opportunities and challenges."
Lisa L.
Excited and Extremely Grateful
"There is a measure of pride that I am sure each student feels in any attempt at learning this information! I am overwhelmed and excited and extremely grateful! I have learned SO much!"
Marta R.
Choosing Optimal Health for Young Adults
"It brings me joy to know I am among many passionate, working professionals who value the lives of young adults enough to provide them with the knowledge and skills to choose an OPTIMAL HEALTH lifestyle."
Micaela L.
Extra Phenomenal
"(This training was) extra phenomenal."
Salony B.
Best People to Give These Presentations
"You could really tell they were passionate about these topics and really knew what they were talking about. I feel like they were truly the best people to give these presentations."
Morgan T.
Best Virtual Training Ever
"Best virtual training ever and I REALLY mean it. I loved it!"
Natiya M.
Leaves Little to be Argued With
"Priceless! It's great to be passionate about our work but it's even more meaningful and seen as even more valuable with the teeth of certification behind your instructor. Passionate, great messaging, and credentialed leaves little to be argued with!"
Tia D.
Engaging Throughout
"Overall, very engaging, great stories and it felt personal. Everyone was open, honest, and genuine and clearly love what they are teaching and doing and I felt engaged throughout."
Spenser S.
Anxious to Apply the Knowledge
"Having the certification as an SRA (educator) is a great asset in my tool belt of knowledge as an Educator. I can not wait to start applying what I have learned from becoming certified and look forward to learning more."
Maranda C.
A Milestone Not Taken for Granted
"I'm honored to be a part of a movement that enriches the lives of youth and being certified is one milestone I don't take for granted."
Rodlin G.
"The value of this particular designation is priceless honestly. I aim grateful to be a part of something so much bigger than myself and to even be considered an individual certified to instruct youth and others on this powerful information for the overall health of our nation and even the world at large. This designation is truly an honor to have and I will continue to carry it with the utmost respect."
Sabryna J.
Establishes Important High Standards
"I think it’s important because it establishes not just a standard of knowledge and training, but a high one at that."
Stuart D.
More Information and Wisdom
"...more information and WISDOM to my "arsenal" so that I am better equipped to reach more people in our country. While credentials don't make us better people and certainly aren't the only factor required for us to be genuine, caring educators, they certainly help in a political and social culture that is increasingly becoming more and more interested in "title" credibility! "
Kaydee M.
SRAS Designation Gives Respect, Education, and Professionalism.
"The value of this designation is immeasurable to me. It not only proves to my audiences (teachers, students, school boards, etc.) that I have a high knowledge of the topic, but it also proves my commitment to it. Being willing to spend two long days dedicating the time and energy to this training as well as signing and living out the code of ethics takes a passionate and motivated person. I am proud to have completed it and would be honored to receive the SRAS designation. I also think there is high value in having a designation like this because it has a connotation of respect, education, and professionalism."
Leah M.
So Affirming and Encouraging
"I really truly loved it all. I am new to the SRA concepts and ideas and curriculum and everything I learned was so affirming and encouraging and made perfect sense! I was really interested in the Power of setting high expectations though! Great stuff!"
Sarina G.
Valuable to Schools/Administrators
"I think it will be valuable as I talk with schools and administrators - gives me confidence and assurance that the message we are bringing is for optimal health!"
Judi K.
Helps Me Act with Authority and Confidence
"I think it will really help me to act as an authoritative voice within my organization. No longer would I be an "I think this will work best" type of person, but rather an "I know this is the most effective" type of person."
Jocelynn H.
Priceless and Top Tier Information
"This was priceless the information I was exposed to was definitely top tier."
Gregory N.
Hope Given
"The value of this designation is that I am first of all so much better prepared to teach, engage, advocate, and train others because of this course. The learning I gained and was allowed to access is invaluable not just for my job in the SRA field but also for interacting with students and how I deal and engage with family as well as helping prepare me for when I have my own children. It also is valuable as now I can speak with more authority and certainty to others in regards to the ethos part of communication. This designation shows that I am speaking form a place of being informed and having a fuller understanding of this topic because of this professional designation. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have gone through this training and for the encouragement, insight, and hope that was given because of it!"
Spenser S.
Efficiently Run and Well Planned
"This was definitely one of the best virtual experiences I've attended! The presenters were in control of the technology and knew how to operate it well. Since COVID started, I've attended multiple Zoom conferences/ trainings and I felt this was efficiently run and well planned."
Sarah V.
Truly Enjoyable
"It seemed to go by much faster than I thought it would! I was nervous about taking 2 all day zoom classes, but it was truly enjoyable."
Lynne Y.
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AUGUST 21-22
New Dates
Added Monthly
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