Life coaching is on the rise, as more and more people seek trained professionals to help them attain personal and professional goals. Coaching has its own accrediting body, the International Coach Federation (ICF), and state chapters carry out its mission of advancing the profession.

Richard Willberg with instructors Darcy Luoma and Shawn Preuss of the Professional Life Coaching Certificate program.

ICF Wisconsin was chartered in 2002 to offer networking and professional development for the state’s growing number of life coaches. The chapter’s board has recently included several alumni of the Professional Life Coaching Certificate (PLCC) program offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison: Danine Casper, Richard Willberg, Ndidi Yaucher, Carol Prochaska, and Deborah Herman.

It’s no surprise that PLCC grads are making their mark among Wisconsin coaches. UW-Madison’s program is the only one of its kind in the Midwest in a higher education setting. In a nine-month series of face-to-face classes and teleconferences, participants learn to help people reach their potential and change their lives. The program is unique in offering a cohort model, in which students go through the training together and gain a sense of community.

Transformational impact

Danine Casper: ‘The Professional Life Coaching Certificate program rigorously prepares coaches to meet ICF credentialing requirements and ethical standards.’

Danine Casper first encountered life coaching in a corporate healthcare setting, impressed by its positive effect on people’s lives. Casper saw UW-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate program as her best path to becoming a coach herself.

“The PLCC program rigorously prepares coaches to meet ICF credentialing requirements and ethical standards,” she says.

When she finished the program, Casper accepted an invitation to serve on ICF Wisconsin’s board.

“ICF Wisconsin has a strong commitment of outreach to members, as well as building alliances with other professionals who serve individuals’ growth and development,” Casper says. “The work of the board educates communities throughout Wisconsin on the transformational impact of coaching for individuals and organizations.”

Professionalism and passion

Richard Willberg, another PLCC alum, joined the ICF Wisconsin board for the leadership opportunities. He typifies a life coach’s desire to both help others and grow himself.

Nicole Pulito says the Professional Life Coaching Certificate program provides participants with ‘a strong grounding in the core coaching competencies, the ICF code of ethics, and a love for the coaching profession.’

“Being on the board gives me a chance to mentor others while I learn important coaching skills from fellow board members,” he says. “I also appreciate giving my time and skills to be of service to my profession.”

Nicole Pulito, president of ICF Wisconsin, thinks PLCC graduates are a good fit for the organization’s board.

“Each one of them jumped in with enthusiasm and made a significant contribution to our vision to provide Wisconsin coaches with opportunities for connection, collaboration, and competency development,” Pulito says. “I have noticed each of them to possess an exceptional degree of professionalism and passion for coaching. It’s clear that their training has provided them a strong grounding in the core coaching competencies, the ICF code of ethics, and a love for the coaching profession.”

For more information about the Professional Life Coaching Certificate program and other life coaching courses at UW-Madison, see here or contact Aphra Mednick, aphra.mednick@wisc.edu, 608-265-8041.