Certificate in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity​

Course Descriptions

Enroll in Course 1 during either Fall or Spring I terms:

  • Fall: September 10 – November 7, 2021
  • Spring I: February 4 – April 3, 2022

This course, designed for both beginners and veteran education professionals, starts with an understanding of neurodiversity, current research findings on learning and executive function, and changes in legal mandates; and expands to incorporate application of evidence-based practices such as universal design for learning and coaching-like approaches for addressing executive function difficulties among diverse learners.

View the syllabus for Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners*

Enroll in Course 2a during Winter or Spring II terms:

  • Winter: November 19, 2021 – January 23, 2022
  • Spring II: April 15 – June 12, 2022

What strategies and supports have proven to be effective in promoting academic success for students with learning and executive function challenges? This course presents evidence-based, classroom-tested strategies, many developed at Landmark College, that help nontraditional learners thrive in academic settings. The first module reviews critical factors to consider when designing effective instruction: processing speed, working memory, executive skills, within the framework of Cognitive Load Theory. The second module describes the features of an EF-Friendly Classroom. Each subsequent module presents a process or strategic approach that addresses difficulties in the following areas: academic reading, academic writing, note-taking, studying and test preparation, and math. The course considers no-, low-, and high-technology approaches that belong in every educator’s instructional toolkit. As a culminating project, participants will synthesize course learning to create student profiles and learning plans.

View the syllabus for Academic Strategies and Executive Function Supports for Students with LD, ADHD, and Autism*

Enroll in Course 2b during Winter term:

  • Winter: November 19, 2021 – January 23, 2022

How do we ensure that individuals with autism have the academic skills to be able to attend and find success in high school and college environments? This course will address this question by providing an overview of evidence-based strategies to help students develop academic skills (i.e., reading, writing, mathematics) and the facilitators of those skills (i.e., learning/study strategies including time management, self-determination/self-advocacy, and independence). The course opens with a general overview of the challenges faced by individuals with autism as they move from high school to college including a discussion of the differences in the legal protections in these environments. Next, strategies for supporting students with autism in general education settings and providing them with individualized academic instruction, will be discussion. Additional topics include fostering independence, developing learning/study strategies, promotion self-determination/advocacy, assessing college readiness, and leveraging technology to support autistic individuals during their secondary education experiences.

View the syllabus for Academic and Cognitive Supports for Autistic Students*

Enroll in Course 3a during either Spring I or Summer terms:

  • Spring I: February 4 – April 3, 2022
  • Summer: June 24 – August 21, 2022

One of the most perplexing challenges educators face is to know how to effectively motivate students. Relatedly, how do we promote self-directed learning in our students? In this course, we will use the broad construct of self-regulation as a framework for addressing these questions in diverse learners, including students with a learning disability, executive function (EF) challenges, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or autism. Participants in the course will examine a range of strategies and systems to support, actualize, and sustain student engagement. Specific topics covered include: employing active learning as a motivational tool, encouraging growth mindsets and persistence, developing meta-cognition and self-advocacy, and promoting overall student wellness (including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction).

View the syllabus for Student Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Motivation*

Enroll in Course 2b during Spring I:

  • Spring I: February 4 – April 3, 2022

This course will highlight the social emotional issues faced by autistic students in secondary and post-secondary educational settings. After a general overview of autism, including an exploration of the medical and neurodiversity models, this course will examine developmental challenges faced by autistic adolescents and young adults. The course will address programs and strategies that foster student success, including insights from Landmark College professionals working with autistic students. Specific topics covered include co-occurring conditions, identity, social-emotional support, transitions to adulthood, camouflaging, and issues specific to girls and young women. Course participants will explore practical applications of the theoretical constructs and models in autism to their own educational environments. This course will also explore contemporary issues, including the move to online learning and work.

View the syllabus for Social and Emotional Supports for Students with Autism

Enroll in Course 4 during either Spring II or Fall terms:

  • Fall: September 10 – November 7, 2021
  • Spring II: April 15 – June 12, 2022

How can we offer students learning opportunities that are not “one-size-fits-all”? This course explores how to leverage Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create flexible, engaging, and effective eLearning solutions—whether through online, face-to-face, or blended instruction. Designed for technologically savvy and not-so-savvy educators, the course “walks-the-talk” and immerses participants in novel learning approaches as both the medium and the message. As a project-oriented course, participants choose an eLearning technology to explore and evaluate from the perspectives of diverse learners—and diverse educators—and share their findings using that technology. This course employs and models innovative, UDL-based eLearning approaches to maximize participants’ opportunity to master the learning objectives:

  1. Varied Technologies: Instructors deploy a wide variety of common and emerging eLearning techniques and technologies throughout the course.
  2. Active Digital Participation: Participants learn and demonstrate use of eLearning technologies as part of their assignment.
  3. Persona Embodiment: Each participant identifies a distinct “persona” representing a particular set of disabilities, challenges, learning characteristics, and/or skills, and participate in synchronous and asynchronous discussion from the perspective of this persona.

View the syllabus for Online, Blended and Classroom Technologies for Diverse Learners*

Enroll in Course 5a (EF Capstone) during either Summer or Winter terms:

  • Winter: November 19, 2021 – January 23, 2022
  • Summer: June 24 – August 21, 2022

The capstone course promotes the synthesis and integration of learning gained in the previous four certificate courses and provides opportunity for learners to apply what they have learned in their own educational contexts. Participants select an area of investigation that is relevant to their current vocational needs and professional interest in order to create a capstone project. The capstone course offers options for personalizing the learning experience by selecting experiences, readings, and modes of expression that best suit participants’ goals and learning profile.

Capstone students have gone on to:

  • Design websites for their schools
  • Restructure procedures and policies for incoming students with disabilities
  • Publish their work in peer-reviewed journals

View the syllabus for the Capstone Project: Applying EF in Varying Educational Contexts*

Enroll in Course 5b (Autism Capstone) during either Winter or Summer Terms:

  • Winter: November 19, 2021– January 23, 2022
  • Summer: June 24 – August 21, 2022

This capstone course promotes the synthesis and integration of knowledge acquisition and learning experiences gained in the previous four courses, and provides an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned to their own educational context. Students select an area of investigation that is relevant to their current vocational needs and professional interests in order to create a capstone project. Whenever possible, projects are designed to be implemented at a student’s current academic institution. Such experiences provide both immediate feedback and an opportunity for the student to refine theoretical understandings and practical applications. The capstone course offers options for personalizing the learning experience by selecting topics, readings, and modes of expression that best match students’ goals and learning needs. Student designs their own capstone experience from a menu of options, guided by the instructor.

View the syllabus for the Capstone Project: Supporting Autistic Students on Campus and Online.*

*Note: Course syllabi subject to change each term.

Have Questions?
Request more information.

Course Schedule

TermCohort I
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Cohort II
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Cohort III
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Application
Deadline
Fall
Sept 11 -
Nov 8, 2020
Course I
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Course I
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Course I
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Aug 23, 2020
Winter
Sept 11 -
Nov 8, 2020
Course I
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Course I
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Course I
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Nov 1, 2020
Spring I
Sept 11 -
Nov 8, 2020
Course I
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Course I
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Course I
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Jan 17, 2021
Spring II
Sept 11 -
Nov 8, 2020
Course I
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Course I
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Course I
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Mar 28, 2021
Summer
Sept 11 -
Nov 8, 2020
Course I
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Course I
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Course I
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Jun 6, 2021