The Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) unit of the Massachusetts Department of Education (ESE) is dedicated to helping adult educators improve their practice through participation in High Quality Professional Development (HQPD). Per ESE, HQPD is “a set of coherent learning experiences that is systematic, purposeful, and structured over a sustained period of time with the goal of improving teacher practice and student outcomes.” ACLS and SABES have adapted the ESE K-12 HQPD standards into 11 standards that all adult education PD providers can use when developing and delivering PD.

The eight SABES PD Centers are committed to these standards. All SABES PD offerings are designed to provide an engaging and coherent learning experience that is applicable to practitioners with different levels of expertise. Our goal is sustainable, long-term learning on topics that address national and state priorities and that have a real and positive impact on educator practice, whether an educator is a teacher, advisor or program director. SABES PD offerings are led by knowledgeable, experienced professionals who provide opportunities for ongoing communication, collaboration, coaching, and feedback, and connect educators to numerous print and online resources. The development of PD offerings is informed by data, research, and evidence.

Many SABES PD offerings also come with special features and benefits such as:

  • Multi-session PD courses that allow you to practice and modify new strategies and then share successes and challenges with your peers in subsequent course sessions
  • PD  offerings designed to build on one another
  • PD sessions and offerings that can be bundled to earn PDPs
  • Flexible timing options for PD
  • PD that includes membership in facilitated  communities of practice
  • PD delivered using a blended learning format

Below, each SABES PD Center has shared brief examples of how HQPD standards are integrated into its PD offerings—a workshop, a course or course series, or the PD program as a whole.

Center for ABE Distance Learning and Technology SupportTechnology Coordinators Coaching Project

This project builds technology coaches’ skills to assist program teachers in fostering students’ digital literacy and seamlessly integrating technology into their teaching practice. 

  • Uses a blended learning format
  • Includes monthly virtual support to Technology Coordinators
  • Runs over a nine-month period

Center for Education and Career Planning: Redesigning Career Pathways Programs for Adult Student Success

This one-day training introduces core elements of contextualized and career-focused adult education programs.

  • Is informed by data, research, and evidence
  • Has clear goals and objectives for improving student outcomes
  • Emphasizes the attainment of career-focused outcomes, which will aid programs in aligning with federal and state priorities 

Center for Educational Leadership and Strengthening ABE ProgramsPeer Coaching for New Teachers Project

This multi-year research-based PD project equips ABE and ESOL teachers with the skills and knowledge to become effective coaches for new staff at your program.

  • Allows you to practice and modify new strategies through monthly coaching and feedback
  • Fosters ongoing communication and collaboration among teachers at adult education programs
  • Addresses the specific needs of new teachers

Center for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): PD based on the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL 

This center offers customized, standards-based PD for ESOL educators. The sessions build on one another and provide a coherent learning experience.

  •  Addresses the needs of a wide range of ESOL educators, from novice to experienced
  •  Aligns with state, program, and educator goals and priorities
  • Is facilitated by knowledgeable, experienced professionals
  • Is informed by research
  • Supports you in applying what you’re learning to your particular context

Center for English Language Arts (ELA)Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI) PD

EBRI comprises research-based practices for ABE programs to teach the four essential components of reading to adult learners at all levels, as required by WIOA. This center offers a sequence of PD on EBRI.

  • Fosters sustainable, long-term learning
  • Offers flexible timing—two offerings are required as prerequisites; you then choose from several options, based on your area of teaching
  • Can be bundled to earn PDPs
  • Includes highly relevant topics and knowledge
  • Is based on nationally recognized research and best practices
  • Uses facilitators who were either part of the national EBRI development efforts or were trained in the methodology
  • Is supported by numerous print and online resources, a facilitated online Professional Learning Community, and coaching as requested

Center for Massachusetts ABE AssessmentsUsing Formative Assessment in Standards-Based Instruction

This two-part workshop (with follow-up PD) prepares you to create and use formative assessment as part of your daily standards-based instruction.

  • Clearly addresses the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
  • Is informed by research
  • Focuses on capturing evidence of students’ learning progress and how to intentionally use that evidence to improve your own practice, students’ learning, and student outcomes

Center for Mathematics and Adult NumeracyBuilding a Solid Foundation 

This multi-session, four-day face-to face course (the first in a three-part series) focuses on developing a conceptual understanding of math topics and strategies for teaching topics conceptually, not just procedurally.

  • Advances your ability to apply what you’re learning from the PD to the particular content, level, and student population in your own classroom
  • Allows you to try what you have learned in your own classroom between meetings, then share your successes and challenges with peers when you meet in subsequent sessions
PD Center: 
SABES