autumn campus

Learning Disabilities in the Classroom

MEd Interdisciplinary topic for practicing professionals


Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma (4 course program) towards the MEd Interdisciplinary


Fully Online


One year (4 consecutive terms)


Graduate Program Administrator:
Megan Freeman

Academic Coordinator:
Dr. Meadow Schroeder

Program Overview

This program was designed to provide educators in Alberta and across North America with information to better understand and support complex learners in their classrooms; specifically, the diverse learning needs of students with Learning Disabilities. This four-course graduate certificate examines theories and models of Learning Disabilities, the educator’s role in assessment and identification practices, and the instructional actions and interventions that help students with Learning Disabilities be academically successful while supporting their long-term social and emotional development. It provides scholarly and practical information to build professional practice in understanding Learning Disabilities and how they relate to student learning and classroom instruction.

Although not a requirement, applicants should consider completing the certificate, Educational Neuroscience: Applications for Teaching & Learning before completing this certificateThis certificate is best suited for educators or individuals familiar with the education system and the language of education. This certificate will not provide training in Level B and C assessment.

Program Details

Courses in this program are offered fully online. Courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. For additional information regarding online delivery, refer to the eLearn website.

Program Goals

The overall goals of the program are:

  • To establish a community of engaged learners who wish to deepen their knowledge of learning disabilities;
  • To provide educators with foundational knowledge of assessment, intervention, and complexities of children and youth with learning disabilities;
  • To provide educators with skills and information to better serve their complex learners in a variety of educational settings;
  • To strengthen the educational community by providing evidence-based strategies for instructional delivery and individualized teaching for children with learning disabilities;
  • To develop critical consumers of knowledge and research in the areas of education and psychological literature; and
  • To empower educators to use their knowledge of learning disabilities to advocate for evidence-based practices in schools.

This program will be of interest to:

  • K-12 educators, including those working in classroom settings, in support roles for teachers, students, and families, and as instructional leaders
  • Community-based educators and program providers

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each Summer term (refer to the Academic Schedule for specific dates)
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Understanding Learning Disabilities

This introductory course focuses on an examination of Learning Disability (LD) history, theories and models, description, definitions, and diagnosis, epidemiology, developmental course, co-morbidity, associated characteristics (myths and facts, strengths and weaknesses), legislation, assessment approaches, and

intervention/treatment options (including remediation and compensation) . This course is intended to provide the foundational understanding of LD and its associated challenges, long- term outcomes and impacts and what is needed to take a balanced and informed approach (e.g., best teaching practices). Particular attention will be given to examining the functioning of children with LD across cognitive, academic, social, and emotional/behavioral domains.

Through classes, peer presentations, directed readings, and independent research and reflection, students will become knowledgeable about:

  • The history, underpinnings, diagnostic criteria, and developmental course of LD
  • Similarities and distinctions in symptoms, associated characteristics, and course of LD subtypes
  • Contemporary models of LD and how these models guide our understanding and approach to assessment and intervention
  • Challenges often faced by children with LD across academic, family, and social settings
  • Patterns of comorbidity with other mental health and learning disorders
  • Assessment techniques and Diagnosis of LD
  • Major disorders of LD
  • Basics of evidence-based intervention
  • Social development of LD children and youth
  • Universal Design for learning
  • Student-parent-teacher relationships

Registration info:
EDPS 693.32 S04 (50333)

Term 2 - Fall

Assessment for Learning Disabilities

This course is intended to introduce educators to the processes involved in the assessment and identification of learning disabilities and outline their role in the assessment process.

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify cognitive and academic processes that influence the development of reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Critically evaluate the literature on academic development, methods of assessment, and methods of identification.
  • Recognize different methods of assessment and how they relate to the identification of learning disabilities.
  • Identify and apply appropriate curriculum-based measures to assess academic problems.
  • Understand the process of a formal assessment and their role in the process.
  • Implement classroom-wide interventions to support students with learning disabilities
  • Connect learning supports in the classroom with specific learning problems.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.31 S04 (73472)

Term 3 - Winter

Planning for Academic Success for Students with Learning Disabilities

This course extends the learning in Assessment for Learning Disabilities by learning about intervention for school and at home in greater breadth and depth.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Differentiate between remediation and compensation and when it is more appropriate to implement one method over another;
  • Critically evaluate evidence-based interventions and claims that programs are evidence-based;
  • Advocate for evidence-based practices and strategies in school settings;
  • Clearly link assessment to academic interventions, planning, and specific goals on IPPs;
  • Explain appropriate interventions for reading, writing, and math, linking assessment to the identification of the most appropriate intervention;
  • Explain how Assistive Technology can support intervention with struggling learners in the classroom; and
  • Discuss appropriate interventions for students with executive function deficits.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.33 S04 (12484)

Term 4 - Spring

Planning for Social, Emotional, Behavioural Development, and Long Term Success of Students with Learning Disabilities

This course extends the learning in Planning for Academic Success of Students with Learning Disabilities by learning about interventions, planning, and design for social, emotional, behavioural development, and long-term success for students with Learning Disabilities.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Advocate for evidence-based programs, practices, and strategies in school settings;
  • Clearly link social and emotional, and behavioural planning and specific goals on IPPs;
  • Link assessment results to appropriate interventions and strategies for social, emotional, and behavioural success of students with Learning Disabilities;
  • Support the social-emotional wellbeing and learning of students with Learning Disabilities;
  • Apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and link it to teaching students with Learning Disabilities; and
  • Discuss collaboration amongst stakeholders, student self-advocacy, and transitioning beyond high school.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.34 S04