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act program requirements 

Please read all of the information on this page thoroughly if you're considering the ACT program. You'll find important program details, requirements for the certificate of completion, how this program differs from other trainings and answers to the most commonly asked questions. 

What is the Applied Compassion Training?

ACT is an 11-month global ONLINE training and certificate program offered through CCARE (The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), at Stanford University.

The ultimate aim of ACT is to prepare people who feel an urgency to bring compassionate action into their occupations, professions, communities, institutions, and into their own personal development. 

What are the requirements of the Training?

To receive your Certificate of Completion, the following requirements must be met:

Your live participation at three virtual immersion retreats online.

Your live participation at small monthly mentoring group sessions.

1:1 meetings with your ACT mentor

Completion of monthly teaching & practice modules

The creation and delivery of an Applied Compassion Capstone Project. 

What is the cost of the Training?

The cost is $8995 USD. Payment Plans are available.

Can my organization, company or institution pay for my participation in ACT?

 Yes! ACT participants successfully request funding from their organization, company, or institution to pay for their participation, or receive reimbursement. To support you in making this request, we’ve developed a packet designed for decision-makers available here: Support for Requesting Organizational Funding for Professional Development DOWNLOAD HERE 

The packet includes a sample letter that has been used to successfully request organizational funding.

If you're interested in ACT and would like to speak to  a faculty member, click HERE

What are the dates for the three virtual immersion retreats? 

 

Dates for our 2023 Immersion Retreats 

(Live Online Participation Required):

January 20-22, 2023

July 7-9, 2023

November 3-5, 2023

What are the hours for the three virtual immersion retreats? 

Friday: 9:00am-3:30pm Pacific Time Zone 

Saturday: 9:00am-3:30pm Pacific Time Zone

Sunday: 9:00am-1:30pm Pacific Time Zone

What are the dates and hours for the monthly Zoom sessions?

The first session is a monthly teaching module which takes place the first Thursday of each month, excluding the retreat months. This is a didactic/practice session that combines course content with experiential processes associated with that month’s teaching topic. Live attendance is not required at this session, however participants that don't attend live will need to watch the recording and complete the exercises from this module. 

The second session will be a monthly practice module which usually takes place the second Friday of each month, excluding the retreat months. This session is a chance to deepen the content of the monthly teaching session through experiential practice. Live attendance is not required at this session, however participants that don't attend live will need to watch the recording and complete the practices from this module. 

The third session will be a small group mentoring session. Live attendance at these sessions is required. This is an opportunity to bring questions, challenges, and real-world issues into a smaller group and receive direct coaching from ACT founders. In addition, each ACT participant will be part of a smaller Capstone Team that meets during these monthly small group sessions. The Capstone Team forms a backbone of support throughout the entire ACT program and serves as a powerful group of peers engaging one another in the design and development of each person's individual capstone project.  Since each member is an integral part of this small team of participants offering support and feedback to one another, attendance in these small group mentoring sessions each month is required. 

ACT 2023 Monthly Teaching  Modules

(Live Online Participation Encouraged)

The First Thursday of each month  

5:00pm - 7:00pm in the Pacific Time Zone

February 2nd : Mindfulness in the Service of Compassion © with Robert Cusick, ACT Founder

March 2nd : Triggers: A Skillful Recognition and Response © with Neelama Eyres, ACT Founder

April 6th: Designing Systems that are Compassionate © with Dr. Monica Worline  

May 4th: Resiliency and Compassion © with Monica Hanson, ACT Founder

June 1st: Compassionate Forgiveness © with Neelama Eyres, ACT Founder

August 3rd:  The Neuroscience of Compassion ©  with Dr. James Doty

September 7th: Compassionate Action in the World © with Robert Cusick, ACT Founder  

October 5th: Harvesting the Gems © with Monica Hanson, ACT Founder

ACT 2023 Monthly Practice  Modules

(Live Online Participation Encouraged)

The Second Friday of each month  

10:00am - 12:00pm in the Pacific Time Zone

February 10th : Mindfulness Practice Module © with Robert Cusick, ACT Founder

March 10th : Triggers Practice Module © with Neelama Eyres, ACT Founder

April 14th: Designing Systems Practice Module © with ACT Founders

May 12th: Resiliency Practice Module © with Monica Hanson, ACT Founder

June 9th: Forgiveness Practice Module © with Neelama Eyres, ACT Founder

September 15th: Compassionate Action Practice Module © with Robert Cusick, ACT Founder  

October 13th: Harvesting the Gems Practice Module © with Monica Hanson, ACT Founder

What is the cancellation policy?

A full refund (minus a $275 processing fee) may only be issued if your cancellation request is received by December 1st, 2022. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after December 1st, 2022. All refund requests must be sent HERE 

Are there grants available?

Limited grant funding is available at this time. We hope to have more grants available for future ACT programs. If you are in a position to donate funds towards a grant, please contact us HERE. Your generosity is most appreciated and will go towards helping someone who doesn't have the financial resources available to attend.

Am I required to attend the three virtual immersion retreats?

Yes. Due to the highly experiential nature, your live participation in the virtual retreats is required for certification. We encourage people to consider if this requirement is achievable, especially since the virtual retreats are scheduled in the Pacific Time Zone. If you cannot meet this requirement, please postpone your registration to a future ACT program.

What if I cannot attend the monthly teaching and practice modules, will they be recorded?

Your attendance at the monthly teaching sessions is highly encouraged, especially as live participation will directly affect your ability to engage in the program effectively. However, the monthly teaching and monthly practice modules will be recorded for people to access later if needed.

What if I cannot attend the small group mentoring sessions, will they be recorded?

You are required to attend the monthly small group mentoring sessions. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a monthly session that is best suited to your schedule and time zone.

 

Who is eligible? 

ACT is designed for people who are ready, willing and able to commit to the study, practice and application of compassion on a daily basis.  Especially people that are interested in applying compassion in a real-world public facing setting.  This could be anyone who wants to integrate experiential access to compassion into their professional and personal lives and to develop compassion-based solutions, classes, programs, offerings, and workshops, etc.

 

What can I do with a Certificate in Applied Compassion? 

Upon successful completion of the Applied Compassion Training, you will receive a certificate of completion from CCARE at Stanford University. As a graduate, you may use any or all of the following titles: Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.

With the ACT certificate of completion, you will be equipped with the credibility, evidence-based resources and practices as well as the skillset to:

 

  • Integrate applied compassion into your occupation, profession, community and  professional or personal life. 

 

  • Facilitate meetings and team discussions, teach classes and workshops and create experiences that advance the development of applied compassion for groups of people with whom you interface, as appropriate to your interests and background. 

 

  • Offer educational and awareness-raising programs and give talks about applied compassion for the general public in your area of interest, expertise or advocacy.

 

  • Consult with organizations on how to better facilitate applied compassion and evidence-based practices to create structures that support compassion within an organization’s culture and leadership development models. 

 

  • Promote applied compassion within your own organization, helping key leaders to recognize the benefits of evidence-based compassion practices within the workplace. 

 

  • Design your own applied compassion-based solutions for individuals, groups, communities or institutions.

 

How is the Applied Compassion Training unique? 

Many excellent professional training programs necessarily concentrate on the content and protocol that the student is learning to teach. In the ACT program, the focus broadens beyond content to include four essential dimensions.

I. Personal Transformation: Transform the World ~ Transform Yourself

During the course of this 11-month global training, we devote significant attention to each participant’s emotional intelligence and experiential access to applied compassion. Becoming an Ambassador of Applied Compassion means ‘walking your talk.’  This program will include a deeply reflective inward journey, and experiential processes and practices designed to support your ongoing personal development.

 

A core aim of ACT is a focus on how participants cultivate, embody and sustain inner attitudes and access to compassion and self-awareness.  We believe that in order to truly be an ambassador who can model applied compassion in challenging settings and circumstances, each participant’s own inner development is of the utmost importance.

 

II. Curated Content: Essential Principles of Applied Compassion

The Applied Compassion Training is a broad-based approach, rather than teaching a specific technique or protocol. It's designed to equip participants with principles, skills, tools and practices that foster a compassionate response to the endless triggers and challenges we all have to contend with in our day-to-day lives. 

 

The ACT program will equip the individual trainees with the attitudes and resources necessary to design their own compassion-based offerings, talks, and programs founded on best principles and practices. Certified graduates will function in the role of an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.

 

III. Compassion in Action : Applied Compassion Capstone Projects

An essential part of becoming an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion is to be a representative of compassion, bringing it into your workplaces and professional lives and into your daily life. Capstone Projects are public-facing projects that address a need based on the targeted environment that participants want to affect change or offer, facilitate or teach compassion-based approaches. 

 

A requirement for completion, the  Applied Compassion Capstone Project is something that each participant will create, deliver, and report back on during the course of the ACT program. Participants will begin designing these projects right from the start of the training and will be required to deliver their Capstone Project by September 2023, and then submit their Final Capstone Presentation/Report by October 2023. 

Throughout the course of the training, participants will receive support and mentoring as they create a Capstone Project based on the targeted environment they want to offer, facilitate, or teach compassion-based practices and approaches. In some cases, the environment may be a workplace or professional setting or it may be a community setting in which the participant volunteers. It might be a project that focuses on social or cultural issues (e.g., inclusivity or climate change). 


An example of an ACT Capstone project might be to develop a workshop or other offering that integrates compassionate principles and practices to address specific and unique issues around burnout, in the environments in which the individual participant lives and works.

IV. A Community of Applied Compassion Practice

Throughout the ACT program, our community of international participants come together in multiple ways focused on support and practice, small mentoring groups and ambassador teams, as well as continued engagement within a robust network of Ambassador Alumni.

 

ACT participants will be trained as facilitators, educators, consultants, and - most importantly - as ambassadors who can bring a unique offering tailored specifically to their particular workplace, community, volunteer association, and/or to the social and cultural environments in which they live and work.  


What type of people participate in the Applied Compassion Training? 

The Applied Compassion Training is a global program comprised of people from all over the world. The program is open to participants from  government, medicine, therapy, academia, students, business, technology, non profit organizations, NGOs, end of life/hospice, caretakers, school teachers, lawyers, coaches, consultants, law enforcement and first responders, the criminal justice system, religious institutions, entertainment, film makers, music and art to name a few. ACT participants come from around the world and are people who want to model and intentionally bring compassion into the multiplicity of worlds in which they find themselves. Please see our ACT graduates  HERE

I am not working or retired.  Can I still participate?

Yes! You'll probably want to give some extra thought as to how you can apply this training in a real-world setting.  People that are not working could bring this into a community of which they are a part, a volunteer cause,  a board of directors that they serve on, a church or community center,  or could initiate a project within their own neighborhood.

What is the ACT Applied Compassion Capstone project

An essential part of this training is an Applied Compassion Capstone Project that each participant will create, deliver, and report back on during the course of the Applied Compassion Training. Participants will begin designing these projects right from the start of the training and will be required to deliver their Capstone Project by September 2023, and then submit their Final Capstone Presentation/Report by October 2023. 


Each trainee will design and implement their ACT Capstone project with the goal of bringing compassionate action into the world within the context of their occupations, professions, and/or personal lives. The Capstone Project will involve a step-by-step process and be supported with ongoing mentoring.

 

An example of an ACT Capstone project might be to develop a workshop or other offering that integrates compassionate principles and practices to address specific and unique issues around burnout, in the environments in which the individual participant lives and works.

Is the ACT Capstone project a requirement for completion? 

Yes.

Does the Applied Compassion Training train you to teach CCT, MBSR, MSC, CBT, MBCT, etc? 

No. The Applied Compassion Training (ACT) is not a program to train or certify participants to teach one specific protocol. This certificate program is intended for people who will create and deliver a variety of unique projects which feature and integrate applied compassionate approaches to general and specific issues associated with their occupations, professions, and/or personal development. The ACT program will equip the individual trainees with the  principles, attitudes, skills and resources necessary to design their own compassion-based offerings, talks and programs based on best principles and practices. Certified graduates will function in the role of an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.

 

What is the average time commitment for a student undertaking this training?

Participant attendance is required at all three (3 day) virtual immersive retreats scheduled in January, July and November of 2023. Throughout the 11 months, there will be three monthly online Zoom sessions (approximately 6 hours per month). Participants should also expect to spend an additional 5-10 hours each month working on their individual Capstone Project, as well as in discussions with their Mentoring group, Capstone team and ACT instructors and their individual mentor.

How can I know if I'm ready for this program?

If you feel ready to bring compassion into your setting and are able to meet the program requirements then you're well on your way to being ready.

 

In addition to the above requirements, we strongly invite you to consider if you're committed and able to undergo a profound process of inner transformation at this time. The road to becoming an Ambassador is a combination of external (action-oriented) work as well as internal (personal growth) work. We encourage an attitude of humility--especially with regards to one's own personal growth. There's always more to discover and learn about ourselves, and the capacity to cultivate compassion is ongoing. We invite you to discern if it's the right time for you to embark on a deeper level of your own transformational journey.

 

If you are someone with a deep desire and commitment to your own growth, as well as someone who is called to be an agent of change and action in the world, then this program is for you.

What are the techniques and sources you draw from during the ACT Program?

This training draws on a variety of principles and practices from diverse wisdom traditions, science/research-based sources and from direct personal experience. Each student is encouraged to discover the principles and practices of compassion that are most meaningful

to their own background and relevant to the development of their unique Capstone Project.

If you're interested in ACT and would like to speak to  a faculty member, click HERE

I'm ready to register, what do I do?

The ACT program is currently full for 2022.  Registration for the 2023 program is open. Please click below:

My question still hasn't been answered, what do I do?

We have found that most answers can be found in this program requirements section. If you've read through this entire section thoroughly and still have question, please contact us HERE