Frequently Asked Questions about Learning to Achieve

Learning to Achieve Professional Development Information

What is Learning to Achieve Professional Development?

Learning to Achieve is professional development based on the most recent rigorous research on Learning Disabilities (LD) and provides a standard set of modules for face-to-face and online training for teacher professional development. It addresses core concepts like LD definitions and self-advocacy as well as special topics, such as English language learners and LD and the neuroscience of learning. Learning to Achieve is designed to help adult education professional developers, teachers, and other human service partners understand learning disabilities in adults, including the neurobiological processes of learning, explicit instruction techniques, and support mechanisms needed for adults with LD in educational and workplace settings.

What are the purposes of the professional development?

To develop the capacity of state and local professional developers, trainers, and teacher mentors to deliver research-based professional development to increase the achievement of adults with learning disabilities.

To provide tools to increase teacher effectiveness in providing services to adults with learning disabilities.

What are the professional development options?

There are three professional development options:

  • The five-day Train-the-Trainer Institute combines in-person and online learning and is provided by approved LINCS national trainers.
  • State and local professional development sessions presented by national or local trainers who have successfully completed the Learning to Achieve Train-the-Trainer Institute.
  • Independent, on-demand, self-paced online learning modules

All options use the same research-based materials.

Who is the target audience for the professional development?

The Train-the-Trainer Institute is for professional developers, trainers, and teacher mentors. The state and local professional development is intended for program level instructional and support service personnel. The online modules are intended for all of the audiences mentioned here.

What is the Train-the-Trainer Institute?

The five-day Train-the-Trainer Institute covers the entire set of materials, as well as trains participants to facilitate the training for adult education practitioners in their state or local program. The Institute offers numerous “teach back” opportunities to deliver Learning to Achieve content materials to build or reinforce trainer delivery skills.

How do state agencies/CBOs apply for professional development?

The LINCS Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs) coordinate the delivery of the Learning to Achieve Train-the-Trainer Institute. Applicants must have the approval of their administrator and the support of the State Director of adult education. State and local professional development for teachers and other service providers is delivered through trainers who have completed the Train-the-Trainer Institute and are an OVAE-approved LINCS national trainer. Contact your RPDC to obtain applications, additional information and technical assistance.

Regional/local agencies should contact their State Director or appropriate designate.

Who pays the costs associated with the professional development training?

National Train-the-Trainer Institute:
LINCS RPDCs pay for the facilities, trainers, training supplies, and participants’ travel costs, hotel, and per diem per federal guidelines for such costs. States or local programs will be responsible for alternates, if necessary. The Region 2 LINCS RPDC will coordinate print materials and logistics for each event. 

State and Local Follow-up Professional development:
This professional development is given by participants who have successfully completed the national Train-the-Trainer Institute. The sponsoring entity is responsible for all costs, including the facilities, trainers, training supplies, and print materials. Learning to Achieve Participant Guides can be ordered through the Region 2 LINCS RPDC at no cost to the sponsoring entity. None of the participants or trainers’ costs are covered by the LINCS RPDCs.

Online Modules:
All online modules are free. Register for the LINCS Learning Portal:

What materials will participants receive at a face-to-face training event?

Train-the-Trainer Institute participants will receive a free hard copy and CD version of the Learning to Achieve Trainer Manual with scripted trainer notes; other related training materials, and a hard copy of the Learning to Achieve Participant Guide.

State and local level participants in a follow-up professional development session will receive the Learning to Achieve Participant Guide. The materials are shipped to the sponsoring agency in shrink-wrap with labeled divider tabs and labels for a 3-ring binder’s spine and cover.

What content is covered in the Learning to Achieve professional development?

Materials, revised in 2010, are designed in modules. Core content for all participants is covered in Modules 1–4. Local and state trainers must present modules listed as core content, one additional module, and the accommodations online module.  The state and/or local sponsoring entity may select additional modules.

Objectives for the modules are listed below.

Module 1: Definition of Learning Disabilities (Core content): Discuss differences in the definitions of LD and the consequences for adults with LD.

Module 2: Self-Determination (Core content): Consider ways in which service providers can support adults with LD in developing self-determination to achieve their goals.

Module 3: Legal Issues (Corecontent): Identify the legal, confidentiality, and self-disclosure issues that apply to service providers working with adults with LD.

Module 4: Accommodations (Core content): Learn about testing and instructional accommodations appropriate for individuals with LD. *Also available as an online module.

Module 5: Explicit Instruction for Strategy Learning: Learn the principles of explicit instruction and how to help adults with LD develop learning strategies.

Module 6: Reading Disabilities: Describe considerations and strategies for working with adults with LD who struggle with reading.

Module 7: Written Expression Disabilities: Identify issues adults with LD may face in writing and methods to help adults structure their writing.

Module 8: Content Learning: Learn instructional approaches that can assist adults with LD learn content from written materials.

Module 9: Workforce Preparation Strategies: Review practical strategies to help adults with LD find and retain employment.

Online Module: LD and English Language Learners: Identify testing and accommodation considerations for English language learners.

Online Module: Neuroscience: Learn about the underlying neurobiology of learning in general and its application to LD.

Other materials:

Learning to Achieve: Professional’s Guide: A Professional’s Guide to Educating Adults with Learning Disabilities

Effective Trainer Skills: Learn skills and techniques associated with effective training. (Train-the-Trainer Institute only)

What professional development delivery methods are available?

  • The training formats include
  • Face-to-face training events:
    • Five-day institute
    • One-day or other timeframe local or state level training event
  • On-demand, online modules

**  CDs are prepared for correctional education personnel who have limited or no access to online materials, please contact your RPDC.

What online learning opportunities are available?

Those who would like to learn more on their own at their own pace can access the four online modules at  Note: You will need to create an account to enroll in the courses. Certificates of Completion will be provided within the LINCS Learning Portal.

Participants in the Learning to Achieve Train-the-Trainer Institute will be required to complete three online modules, Accommodations, LD and English Language Learners, and Neuroscience, prior to attending the institute.

Participants attending a Learning to Achieve state and/or local professional development event will be required to successfully complete the online module about Accommodations prior to the training event. The other online modules may be incorporated as desired by the state and/or local sponsoring entity. 

Are companion resources available?

Three documents are available for download in PDF format from the LINCS website:

Learning to Achieve: A Review of the Research Literature on Serving Adults with Learning Disabilities

Learning to Achieve: A Professional’s Guide to Educating Adults with Learning Disabilities

Learning to Achieve: A Review of the Research Literature on Employment Experiences and Outcomes for Youth and Adults with Learning Disabilities

How is Learning to Achieve different from the STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR)?

The U.S. Department of Education’s STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) project focuses exclusively on helping adult educators  teach reading more effectively to intermediate-level adult learners while Learning to Achieve addresses  a broad array  of instructional as well as other issues relevant to adults with LD. Although the content and materials of the two professional development training opportunities are not explicitly linked, they are complementary and apply the same reading research findings as in Learning to Achieve’s Reading Disabilities and Explicit Instruction for Strategy Learning modules.  STAR participants may find the online module on Neuroscience particularly useful. States may choose to participate in STAR or Learning to Achieve or both.