Redesigning Service Delivery to Increase Persistence and Improve Learning Outcomes for Adults with Special Learning Needs-Discussion Announcement-Learning Disabilities Discussion List-Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS)

Redesigning Service Delivery to Increase Persistence and Improve Learning Outcomes for Adults with Special Learning Needs
September 7-9, 2011

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Description | Guest Speaker | Agenda | Resources | Full Transcript



If adult learners didn’t have any special needs they would go to a library, take out GED practice books, meet with friends to study, pass the GED Tests, and successfully manage postsecondary and/or employment. However, ALL adult learners in basic education, literacy, developmental education, and transition courses have special learning needs. Many have been diagnosed as having LD and have received either special education services or other support services during their school years.

Persistence research has confirmed that adult education cannot replicate K-12, special education, or traditional support services. Across the board, there appear to be a common set of systemic changes that will improve learner persistence and outcomes. So, what will work to serve this population and why have initiatives targeting systemic shifts in service delivery been so difficult to implement and sustain? Join this provocative discussion to focus on a service delivery system that is needed ... right now!

Guest Speaker

Dr. Laura Weisel, CEO of The TLP Group, began her work as an educator focused on schools and students that fail to thrive. With a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership, Neuro and Cognitive Psychology, and Research, along with a MS in Reading and Post-Masters in Special Education: Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disorders, and Developmental Disabilities, Laura has been drawn to researching how the brain learns, identifying holistic challenges to learning, and creating services that align with the natural learning process.

Through Laura’s transformational learning system, PowerPath to Education and Employment, she works with states, school districts, human services, behavioral healthcare, corrections, and colleges to help innovate services to better serve participants of all ages and those struggling to become or stay employed.

Dr. Weisel has been a long-time leader and Board Member of the National Association of Adults with Special Learning Needs (NAASLN). She is a frequent presenter at national and state conferences. In her work with states and organizations, Dr. Weisel leads a certification course on Innovating Learning!



  1. Guiding Questions
    1. How can adult education services be redesigned to best serve adults with special learning needs?
    2. What can adult education offer that is new and unique, builds on vast interdisciplinary research, and provides the environment to co-create learning with instructors that are working as facilitators?
    3. How should learners and communities be included in planning, implementing, and evaluating service delivery transformations?
  2. Welcome, Self-Introduction, and Invitation to Ask Questions and Comment
  3. Content for Day 1, Wednesday, September 7, 2011 Values and research-based findings that are the critical cornerstones for transforming adult education services leading to increased persistence and educational outcomes.
  4. Content for Day 2, Thursday, September 8, 2011 Experiences with transforming service delivery: the good, the bad, and the wisdom of what works.
  5. Content for Day 3: Friday, September 9, 2011 What will it take to redesign, implement, and sustain new ways (transformation and innovation) in service delivery?


  1. Suggested Resources that will Complement the Discussion
    1. Persistence Research
      1. Making it Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Adult Learner Persistence Project –
      2. Persistence: Helping Adult Education Students Reach Their Goals –
      3. Learning Disabilities Study Shows Complex Issues Behind Learners’ Struggles –
      4. Expanding Horizons – Pacesetters in Adult Education for Work –
      5. Persistence Among Adult Education Students Panel –
      6. Crossing the Bridge – GED Outcomes and Postsecondary Educational Outcomes
    2. Transformation/Innovation
      1. Executive Summary – Theory U – Leading from the Future as it Emerges (2 pages)
      2. The Essence of Theory U and Presencing– Otto Scharmer
      3. Changing Education Paradigms – Sir Ken Robinson
  2. Additional Resources/Websites (to be added during the discussion)


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