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Professional Development

Aspire provides two main professional development services: the Professional Development Workshop Series and the Teacher Education Series (in partnership with Cleveland State University).

 

Workshop Series

These professional development workshops or trainings are designed to provide instructors with 3-6 hours of contact time around specific topics for professional development. They are designed to be collaborative and interactive.  These sessions are great for in-services, conferences, or as stand-alone sessions. 

Teacher Education Series

The Master Teacher Education Series provides adult literacy educators and developmental educators with a foundation on which to build their instructional practice.  Education research has shown that the greatest predictor of student achievement is teacher quality, and that sustained professional development is more effective in producing teacher change than one-shot professional development workshops. This online course series, available through Cleveland State University, was designed by and for adult literacy professionals to increase student outcomes, by providing instructors with systematic instruction, tools, strategies, and resources.  Courses focus on helping instructors understand the needs of the adult literacy population as they build content and pedagogical knowledge in a community of reflective practitioners. Modeled after education degree programs, the series provides

 

  • Prolonged exposure to professional development (course duration is 15 weeks)

  • Opportunities for instructors to immediately implement strategies, reflect on the experiences, and receive feedback

  • Flexible, blended course format that encourages job-embedded learning and teacher accountability for learning

  • Use of technology (online teaching portfolios, Blackboard learning management system)

  • Focus on content and instructional knowledge

  • Course design that models best practice instruction based on adult learning and development theories

  • Opportunity to participate in a community of practice that promotes knowledge-sharing​​

 

Courses

 

Course participants work in small groups (cohorts) in the online environment supported by a facilitator. Cohort-based classes are asynchronous, meaning that you don’t have to be online at a specific time; you can complete coursework when it is convenient for you.  Participants will learn targeted learning strategies based on best-practice research. The strategies are modeled in the courses so that participants experience the strategies first as students.  Course assignments challenge participants to apply those strategies with their students immediately, using their own teaching materials and free resources introduced in the courses. After implementing strategies, participants reflect on those experiences with their home group.      

 

You can take just one course or the entire series.  Participants receive a certificate of course completion and a stackable certificate (bronze to platinum) for each course completed.  The course titles are:  

 

Teaching Reading to Adult Learners  

Adult literacy materials and instruction often focus on just one component of reading: comprehension. This is problematic because students must develop the other four components to be able to comprehend.  In this course, participants will learn about the five components, how to assess students to identify learning needs, and how to use research-based strategies to help students become stronger readers.

 

Adult Learning and Development and the Adult Literacy Learner

Two of the biggest challenges adult literacy instructors face are 1) keeping adult learners motivated, and 2) retaining them in programs.  In this course, participants will address these challenges based on adult learning and development theory.  Instructors will learn what motivates adult learners, how our instructional decisions and program designs reduce student motivation and steps that instructors and programs can take immediately to increase student motivation and retention.

 

Teaching Writing to Adult Learners

If there was a way to help students improve their writing quickly, wouldn’t you want to know about it?  Well, there is. In this course, instructors will learn an instructional approach designed to maximize learning and minimize time.  Students can see improvements in their writing quickly, which increases motivation for writing.     

 

Learning Disabilities and the Adult Literacy Learner

It is estimated that 15-85% of adult literacy students might have learning disabilities. In this course, participants explore learning disabilities, how disabilities impact student learning, and more importantly, instructional strategies for helping students with learning disabilities that are effective for all learners.  

 

Mastering Math Concepts and Teaching Strategies  (2-part course)

“I hate math!”  We have all heard it, many of us have even said it, so what do we do about it?  This course is designed to answer that question.  Often students struggle with math because it is very abstract. In Mastering Math Concepts and Teaching Strategies, teachers will gain a deeper understanding of math concepts themselves and learn ways to make mathematics more concrete for adult literacy students.                              

 

Critical Issues in Adult Literacy Education

Adult literacy students fill many roles that may conflict with their literacy goals. In this course, instructors will develop the knowledge, disposition, and skills to support adult literacy students of diverse backgrounds, as they pursue literacy goals in a complex world. The course explores numerous critical issues, their impact on learning and instruction, and how instructors can facilitate learning while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.

 

 

Course Schedule

Fall 2017

September 5-December 18, 2017

Teaching Reading to Adult Learners

Adult Learning and Development and the Adult Literacy Learner

 

Spring 2018

January 16-April 29, 2018

Teaching Writing to Adult Learners

Learning Disabilities and the Adult Literacy Learner

 

Summer 2018

(Accelerated 6-week courses)

Teaching Reading to Adult Learners

Critical Issues in Adult Literacy

 

Fall 2018

Teaching Reading to Adult Learners

Adult Learning and Development and the Adult Literacy Learner

Mastering Math Concepts and Teaching Strategies Part I

 

Spring 2019

Teaching Writing to Adult Learners

Learning Disabilities and the Adult Literacy Learner

Mastering Math Concepts and Teaching Strategies Part II

 

Summer 2019

(Accelerated 6-week courses)

Teaching Reading to Adult Learners

Critical Issues in Adult Literacy

 

For more information:

Noelle Muscatello

Continuing Education

CASAL Department

Cleveland State University

College of Education and Human Services

Phone: (216) 687-3867

j.n.muscatello@csuohio.edu

https://www.csuohio.edu/cehs/casal/adult-literacy-master-teacher-ce-program

 

Dr. Carmine Stewart

Aspire Consulting & Educational Services

Phone: (216) 262-3281

cstewart@aspire-educ.com

 

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