One way to take a look at an agency's ability to appropriately serve students with learning difficulties is to complete a self-assessment. Click here for the LD Self-Assessment of PD Needs has been updated for PY 2012-2013.
Here is the logic behind the self-assessment.
1. Adult basic education programs serve many students who have a history of academic difficulty. If the goals of the program include the delivery of quality services, or the need to retain a greater percentage of students, they will need to adjust instruction to be appropriate to the needs of the students.
2. Students may, but are probably unlikely to, accurately describe their underlying difficulties. That will be the job of the instructor and the support staff. There are many elements in the self-assessment that address issues surrounding the understanding of the types of problems and the need for effective informal assessment.
3. Instructors will need to adjust materials and techniques to meet the learning strengths and styles of the student , while at the same time maintaining a sufficient level of motivation and perseverance that will sustain the students as they sequentially move to the next step.
The self-assessment is designed in a way that individual teachers, agency PI teams, IHPD specialists or Lead Consultants can use it as a guide for reviewing the current status, identifying gaps, or setting goals for program improvement. It is a tool for guiding the questions that should be asked and recording notes about needs and objectives. It is a tool that could help agencies document their PI efforts and clarify areas for professional development and agency consultation.
The Lead Consultants can use the self-assessment in their work with agencies, especially those that may be having difficulty focusing in on a specific need. The self-assessment could be projected on a screen for group discussion, printed out and given to individual staff and then summarized for the group, or used in discussions with the PIT as to goals to target for the year.
As the PDS content expert for LD, I would be available to consult with Lead Consultants and assist them in their work with agencies.
Dr. Richard Gacka
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