Jan 29, 2020  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog

Certificate in LD and Neurodiversity -Specialization in Executive Function

Certificate in LD and Neurodiversity - Specialization in Executive Function

Learning Goals

Upon completion of the Certificate program, students will be able to:

  1. Use valid and reliable assessment practices to minimize bias towards neurodiverse individuals.
  2. Use their knowledge of general and specialized curricula to improve programs, supports, and services at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
  3. Facilitate the continuous improvement of education programs, supports, and services for neurodiverse students at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
  4. Conduct, evaluate, and use inquiry to guide professional practice.
  5. Provide leadership to formulate goals, set and meet high professional expectations, advocate for effective policies and evidence-based practices, and create positive and productive work environments.
  6. Use foundational knowledge of the field and professional ethical principles and program standards to inform practice and perform leadership responsibilities to promote the success of individuals who learn differently.
  7. Collaborate with stakeholders to improve programs, services, and outcomes for neurodiverse individuals.


There are five required courses in the certificate program. Each course in the program, except the Capstone course, consists of 6-8 learning modules, each representing a focused topic of study within the course and area of specialization. On average, each module corresponds to one week of learning activities, with each new module becoming accessible to students every Friday evening on the Canvas course site. 

MPDL 631 Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners: Multiple Perspectives, Many Solutions

This course, designed for both novice, i.e., beginning educators, and veteran, i.e., seasoned educators, starts with an understanding of neurodiversity, latest research findings on learning and executive function, and expands to incorporate application of evidence-based practices such as universal design for learning and non-directive coaching approaches for executive function challenges among students with LD. The focus of this course is to understand and develop a critical perspective on new and emerging research on brain-based learning, cognitive theories of information processing, and tools and techniques for scaffolding executive function challenges. 

MPDL 633 Academic Strategies and Executive Function Supports for Students with LD, ADHD and ASD

The second course in the series presents evidence-based, classroom-tested strategies, many developed at Landmark College, that help learners with LD thrive in academic settings. The first four modules of the course focus on critical considerations in designing effective instruction for challenges in processing speed, working memory, and executive function as it applies to students with LD, ADHD, and ASD. The latter modules illustrate application of executive function scaffolds for reading, writing, studying, and memorizing. Each 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 requires students to critically evaluate no, low, and high technology approaches to EF support and create a personalized instructional toolkit for neurodiverse students.

MPDL 638 Student Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Motivation

This course uses the broad construct of self-regulation as a framework for addressing student motivation and persistence among diverse learners, particularly students with LD. Using current research-based evidence, students in the course are required to critically evaluate a range of strategies and systems that support, actualize, and sustain student engagement. Specific topics covered in the modules include: employing active learning as a motivational tool; encouraging growth mindsets, and grit and persistence; developing meta-cognition and self-advocacy; and promoting overall student wellness through effective nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction.

MPDL 640 Online, Blended, and Classroom Technologies for Diverse Learners

How can we offer students learning opportunities that aren’t “one-size-fits-all”? This course explores how to leverage universal design 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 final project, 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.


The final course in the program is :

MPDL 645 Capstone Project: Applying Understanding of Executive Function in Various Educational Contexts

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.