Professional Development at Your Doorstep!

Do you ever find yourself needing professional development (PD) for staff on a particular topic, and/or at a particular time? The Program Support PD Center (PSPDC) will partner with you to provide PD for your program team and/or a cohort of programs in your area. 

What Could Program-Based PD Look Like?

Here are some examples of recent program-based PD we have done and comments from those who participated.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office

The education team at Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) reached out while planning a week of learning and preparation time before starting the new semester.

  • "I reached out to ask SABES if they could design a series of staff development workshops specifically for my small staff. We built a very warm rapport with our instructors, Dani Scherer and Elizabeth McDermott, which made it easier to reach out for follow-up information and feedback on our new materials. The sessions were particularly crafted to our needs and were accompanied by thoughtfully curated resources. It was an excellent use of our time and I hope to repeat this experience annually." -Jenny Abeles FCSO

Staff Orientation

When the leadership at East Boston Harborside Community School (EBHCS) made a commitment to continuing their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work last year, they realized that they wanted to start their school year off with an all-staff DEI training.

  • "Being a part-time program in the evening, our staff cannot always take part in professional development offered. SABES' willingness to work with our program in order to provide in-house, personalized, and rigorous professional development, has been imperative in improving our overall program. Most recently, we planned an 'Implicit Bias and Racial Equity' workshop that enabled us to grow and connect with our team in furthering our goal and mission of providing equitable and accessible education for all." -Leah Gregory, EBHCS

Trauma-Informed Instruction for All Staff

In response to the COVID 19 turmoil of 2020, an advisor and program director at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) approached us with a request to bring in a trainer who could speak to staff about applying trauma-informed practices to staff and student interactions. We brought in renowned trauma expert Emily Wilson, PhD to develop and deliver a two-part training on trauma for all program staff at STCC, as well as some staff from neighboring Holyoke Community College. After completing both sessions, participants reflected: 

  • “I'll use every bit of what we learned.”
  • “The presenter was wonderful, passionate, and knowledgeable.” 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Full-Day Training

When we offer in-person PD, we are sometimes not able to meet the geographic and access needs for all programs, which is especially true for many corrections programs. The education director at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office reached out to see if we could bring the MHFA training to their staff in the facility. 

  • “When I saw the Mental Health First Aid program offered from SABES was too far away and too late to attend, I reached out to SABES to see about a re-do. The Program Support PD Center staff got me in touch with the presenter and we brought the program to us! It couldn’t have been easier or more convenient!” -William Villineau BCSO 

Designing Program-Based PD

Program-based PD is intended to support meaningful change. This option is currently available to DESE-funded adult education programs in the following areas:

  • Program Management and Educational Leadership
  • Advising and student supports 
  • Digital Literacy
  • Career Pathways
  • Recruiting and Onboarding Students
  • Volunteer Coordination

Not sure if your request falls into our areas of expertise? Just ask! Complete this Request Form for more information.  


Program-based PD is generally available with a minimum of eight people; however, we will work with you according to individual circumstances. For example, programs may invite programs with similar PD needs. We encourage programs to take advantage of existing PD opportunities, many of which include follow-up coaching options and communities of practice. 


PD Center
SABES Program Support Team