Certificate in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity​

Course Syllabus
LDN 645—Capstone Project: Applying EF in Varying Educational Contexts

This course is the culmination of the Landmark College post-baccalaureate professional certificate in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity (LDN), with a specialization in “Executive Function.”

This capstone course promotes the synthesis and integration of learning gained in the previous 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 institutions
  • Create programs and curricula
  • Develop professional development and training materials

The course will be conducted remotely and will include one-on-one biweekly meetings with the instructor. One-on-one meetings will focus on discussions regarding readings, activities, and project work of each student and will typically last thirty minutes. Students are responsible for scheduling these meetings with their course instructor. The course will also include five group synchronous sessions.

Three graduate credits will be awarded, and the certificate in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity: Specialization in Executive Function for students achieving a grade of 80% or greater in this course.

This is an 8-week course.  The course consists of independent work and weekly meetings with the instructor scheduled at mutually agreeable times.

The course also includes 5 online synchronous sessions (i.e., live, group video discussions) scheduled primarily in the evenings (Eastern Time). We will make every attempt to accommodate individual schedules, but participants should plan on attending all synchronous sessions; alternate assignments are available for those that cannot attend live.  Synchronous sessions will be hosted via web conferencing.

The course uses Canvas as its learning management system. Registered participants will be provided with details to log on during the week before the start of classes.

The course objectives align with professional standards in the field of LD, specifically the standards for special educators established by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). We have chosen to align to the “Advanced” set of Preparation Standards, as this higher-level set of standards more closely matches the level of content and expertise required of a graduate level course in the field. The CEC Advanced Preparation Standards are linked here, or can be found on the CEC’s website: www.cec.sped.org.

ObjectivesCEC Advanced Preparation Standards
Understand the needs of and practical solutions for supporting neurodivergent students.2.2
Synthesize prior course learning to identify and create a project that addresses a problem in their own educational context.3.2, 3.3
4.1, 4.2
Analyze scholarly writings (course readings), media perceptions, and experiences to create a literature review and annotated bibliography that support the aims of the capstone project.4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
Create materials and products related to serving neurodivergent students that can be used in current or future professional endeavors.3.2, 3.4

1Synchronous session 1

One-on-one meeting
2Proposal due

Synchronous session 2
3Synchronous session 3

One-on-one meeting
4Annotated bibliography due
5Synchronous session 4
6One-on-one meeting

Synchronous session 5
7One-on-one meeting

Capstone project due
8Final presentations will be held between the final week of the course. Specific days and times to be determined.

The final course grade is determined by the following categories of assignments.

  1. Synchronous Group Sessions (5 at 1 point each; 5%)
  2. Proposal—A two-page, double-spaced description of the project that includes why you selected this project (rationale), background information (justifying your selection), overview of project idea, and project format (e.g., paper, website, presentation, resource guide). (15%)
  3. Annotated Bibliography—An annotated bibliography is a list of citations of various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The annotated bibliography looks like a Reference page but includes an annotation after each source cited. Your annotation should include a short summary of the source and a critical evaluation/reflection on the source’s possible use for the project. (10%)
  4. Capstone Project—Your project will be developed in consultation with your instructor. Project examples include (but are not limited to):
    • a 10-page, double spaced paper (~2,750 words)
    • PowerPoint presentation, with notes on each slide
    • faculty or student survey and analysis
    • website development
    • or other (approved by instructor)


  5. Final Presentation—15-minute presentation and 5-minute Q&A with instructor(s) and students in the program describing your project. (10%)

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