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ICF Metro DC and George Mason University Center
By ICF Metro DC
Posted: 2022-09-12T19:54:12Z

ICF Metro DC and George Mason University Center for the Advancement of Well-Being Announce Pilot Collaboration

When a well-matched coach and client team up, incredible change and thriving can result. To foster growth, each individual brings a unique perspective and set of skills, they set clear goals together and create accountability around them, and coach and client alike invest in their mindset and presence. This spirit of collaboration applies, too, to the teaming of the International Coaching Federation’s Metro DC Chapter and George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.


Through a pilot collaboration, ICF Metro DC and the GMU Center for the Advancement of Well-Being strive to apply the principles of a great coach-client relationship to support the continual growth of coaches and advance the profession of coaching.


A shared value around the essentiality of continual investment in the growth and well-being of coaches catalyzed the conversation between the two organization’s leaders which led to the agreement to work together. In fact, both D. Marlene Thomas, PCC, President of ICF Metro DC and Ellen Fulton, MCC, CMC, Director of the Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being Program at GMU go beyond “value” to “passion” when they talk about the importance of supporting coaches. The importance of ICF certification, continued coaching education after certification, the value of mentor coaching, and providing programming focused on coaching mastery are topics that bring a big smile to each of their faces and elicit enthusiastic commentary from both leaders.


Each of these subjects has been built into the pilot, which includes two learning opportunities led by GMU faculty around coaching mastery and the path to the Master Certified Coach designation, proactive exchange and publicity of opportunities among the two organizations, and discounts on GMU’s continuing education professional education programs for ICF Metro DC members.


The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being offers a variety of programming to meet the needs of coaches and aspiring coaches of all levels, as well as students and the community at large. With a mission of catalyzing human well-being by promoting the science and practices that lead to a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement, the Center is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations thrive in a world of complexity and uncertainty. All are invited to take part in non-credit opportunities such as daily drop-in “Mindful Mason Moments” mindfulness sessions, speaker series, and yoga programming. Credits toward ICF certification are available through the Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program, including but not limited to courses on the Business of Coaching, Polarity Thinking Certification, Leading Thriving Organizations, and Coaching Mastery.


Mason’s coaching program is noteworthy for its focus on coaching mastery; a topic that will be highlighted through this collaboration. “When we focus on continuing to develop ourselves, we will make the biggest impact on the people we are serving,” remarked Ellen Fulton when asked about the focus on coaching mastery. The five-month program includes in-depth instruction and exploration on various advanced coaching topics, observation of MCC coaches in action, and mentor coaching. Ellen accentuates the centrality of authenticity, introspection, mindset, the examination of biases, and the deepening of presence – all of which program participants may enhance in themselves through the practice and feedback for which the program creates space.


Through this collaboration, both Ellen and Marlene are confident that members of the Metro DC coaching community will contribute to changing the face of the coaching profession. “Our coaches are the best coaches because we continue to grow and develop,” states Marlene. “We are grateful and excited to provide ICF members with even more opportunities to invest in their craft and in themselves, in collaboration with the exceptional Mason team.”


Ellen Fulton and GMU colleagues Sarah Happel, MS, MCC and Melissa Schreibstein, MS, ACC will present a session entitled “The Art of Masterful Coaching: MCC Coach Education” at the Capital Coaches Conference on September 23. More information and registration is available at