Professional Development Webinars (FREE)

COABE is pleased to offer a series of professional development webinars which are led by presenters that have received excellent ratings from workshop participants at our national COABE conferences.

COABE Professional Development Webinars
generously Sponsored by Burlington English


The Skills and Knowledge Needed for the Naturalization Test and Interview

DATE: Wednesday, April 11, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

Do you know how to prepare students for the naturalization test and interview? This session explores the three main components naturalization applicants need to know: English, civics, and the naturalization process. USCIS will discuss skill levels, resources, instructional approaches, and the new technology considerations. Participants will leave with free resources and a better understanding of how to prepare students for naturalization.

Presented by: Mr. Shawn Chakrabarti


Shawn Chakrabarti is an Education Program Specialist with USCIS, Office of Citizenship, Division of Citizenship Education and Training. He is enthusiastic about furthering the field of adult education, especially developing resources and building capacity for citizenship education programs across the nation. Shawn comes to the USCIS family from a D.C. area educational nonprofit where he enjoyed creating engaging curricula for his adult learners and their families. He is passionate about civics education, two-generational approaches, and lifelong learning. He is a Ralph J. Bunche Scholar from Colby College, and after graduating, traveled and taught in several countries. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from the University of the District of Columbia and is a licensed adult educator by the Office of State Superintendent of Education, Washington D.C. He was recently named a Crimsonbridge Fellow and completed the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management Executive Leadership at Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy.

He is proud to be a part of the changing landscape of adult citizenship education in the nation and serve an organization where innovation, community engagement and professional development are encouraged.


The Skills and Knowledge Needed for the Naturalization Test and Interview webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

Educate the Public and Elevate Adult Education!

DATE: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

In a highly competitive funding environment with deep cuts planned for workforce and education, adult educators need a coordinated strategy to inform local, state, and federal policy makers about the positive impacts of adult education. This webinar shares how to conduct a successful briefing to policy makers utilizing the Campaign Fact Sheet, Video, and Legislative Talking Points from the Educate & Elevate Campaign Toolkit, coupled with your local compelling success stories and innovations.

Presented by: Jeff Arnott, David Barnes, Julie Roberts, Leigh Ann Clark, and Sharon Bonney

The Educate the Public and Elevate Adult Education webinar
generously sponsored by ACE of Florida

Investing in Quality: A Blueprint for Adult Literacy Programs and Funders

DATE: Thursday, April 19, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

In December 2017, the New York City-based Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) released Investing in Quality: A Blueprint for Adult Literacy Programs and Funders. Funded by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the report details 14 "Building Blocks" of a comprehensive, community-based adult literacy program, identifies the resources needed to fully implement the Building Blocks, and includes a first-of-its-kind cost model and sample program budget. In this webinar, you will learn about the successful local advocacy campaign that gave rise to the report, as well as how the LAC is using the report as part of its technical assistance and capacity building work the field and how the field is using the report to advocate for increased funding rates for programs.

Presented by: Ira Yankwitt

Ira Headshot 6 14.jpg

Ira Yankwitt is the Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC), a nonprofit professional development and technical assistance organization dedicated to strengthening and expanding the adult education system, and to advancing adult literacy as a core value in our society. Ira has worked in the field of adult literacy education since 1993. Prior to becoming the ED of the LAC in December 2012, Ira was the Executive Director of Program Initiatives for the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education, where he oversaw curriculum, instruction, and professional development for a program that served over 30,000 adult students annually. Ira is a longtime adult literacy advocate. He plays a lead role in the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), and was the chair of NYCCAL’s predecessor, the NYC Grassroots Literacy Coalition. Ira has taught high school equivalency, managed a community-based adult literacy program, and trained teachers and administrators. He served as the Director of the NYC Regional Adult Education Network from 2004 through 2007. Ira holds a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from Oberlin College.

ELA Instruction in the Contextualized Classroom: A Standards-Based Approach to Soft Skills-Infused Instruction

DATE: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

With the implementation of WIOA mandates in adult education programs across the country, programs are asking themselves, "How can I teach academic and soft skills in my classroom in a way that will most benefit my students?" In this interactive, high-energy workshop, you'll learn about important elements of preparing curriculum for the contextualized ELA classroom. Walk away with an arsenal of CCR- and soft skills-based ELA materials, teaching strategies, activities, and knowledge to help prepare your students for the classroom, for employment, and for life.

Presented by: Susan Roberts

Susan is an entrepreneurial education consultant whose ten years of education experience ranges from elementary through post-secondary schools in the areas of instruction, curriculum design, Common Core State Standards/College and Career Readiness Standards, standards-based education/lesson planning, English/Language Arts curriculum coaching and design, and employability skills-infused lesson planning. In the area curriculum design, Susan is nationally recognized and offers a vast array of knowledge in standards writing and implementation, soft skills-infused lesson writing and training, forward-thinking teaching strategies, lesson design and coaching, and organization of learner-centered lessons. Her expertise in soft skill integration translates into customized coaching at the K-12 and adult program levels.

Integrating Employment and Training Skills into the HSE Classroom...and Still Teach

DATE: Monday, May 7, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

How do we juggle integrating employment and training skills and still teach skills needed to pass the high school equivalency test? One answer? By integrating them into your existing curriculum. With just a little tweaking of your current teaching practices and curriculum, we can begin making the necessary adjustments to start integrating employment and training skills and working toward being WIOA compliant.

Presented by: Sara z. Gutting

Sara Z. Gutting has served in adult education for 25 years in many different capacities starting as a volunteer in the ABE/HSE classroom. She then became an ABE/HSE/ESL before becoming the adult education coordinator where she taught and eventually focusing on being a professional development consultant. Sara loves to teach and continues to teach at her local county jail where she has taught for over 23 years. Sara’s curriculum and teaching strategies have been implemented in programs and classrooms throughout the nation and has helped shaped many teachers, administrators and students. She currently serves as the COABE representative for Region 4.

High School Equivalency Testing: Using Success Stories to Support Your Outreach Efforts

DATE: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

According to the COABE Media Outreach Toolkit, one of the best ways for the adult education community to inform policy makers, funders, and the public of the work they’re doing is to share the success stories of their students, staff, and education programs. In this presentation, we will take a look at how education centers can expand their outreach efforts by taking advantage of some of the free resources offered by education vendors, including the creation and promotion of success stories.

Presented by: Mike Johnson

Mike has been with Data Recognition Corporation|CTB for 10 years and involved with Adult Education for over 20 years. As the National Sales Director for Adult Assessments, Mike is responsible for supporting and working with the product development teams for TABE and TASC to meet the needs of Adult Learners in ESL, Basic Skills, and High School Equivalency programs. Mike’s responsibilities include managing assessments targets for Adult Basic Education and providing support for test and program development related to industry direction and meeting the needs of the customers.

High School Equivalency Testing: Using Success Stories to Support Your Outreach Efforts webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

Emotions Impact Learning! Part 1: The Neurological Underpinings of Emotions

DATE: Monday, June 4, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

Rarely in AE are emotions discussed. Yet, emotions have a major impact on how we learn. Join this engaging 2 part webinar series to see why emotions are the key to learning, how the brain manages emotions, and what learning challenges AE students have that perpetuate negative feelings. Four simple techniques teachers can use with AE students can change both student success and attune teachers to what might really be going on!

Presented by Laura Weisel, Ph.D.


Laura Weisel, Ph.D., is an Executive Partner and the Director of Research and Development at The TLP Group. The TLP Group is a social entrepreneurial company that uses traditional commercial principles to organize, create, and manage ventures addressing social problems that have not been successfully solved by traditional government or nonprofit initiatives. Working in partnership with state departments, universities, colleges, community organizations, and institutional providers, the TLP Group combines the best of talents, resources, and the evidence-based research to co-create alternative routes for service delivery yielding dramatic impact on client outcomes.

As a nationally known speaker and facilitator, Dr. Weisel has over thirty years of experience in the private and service sectors. With a B.S. in Early and Middle Childhood Education, a M.A. in the field of reading, and a post-masters in special education, Dr. Weisel also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership focusing on learning, neuro and cognitive psychology, and research.  Beginning her career as a middle school teacher for at-risk youth, Dr. Weisel held positions in education including: learning disabilities and reading teacher, principal, school administrator, director of adult basic and literacy education programs, and university faculty. She established model education programs in psychiatric and forensic facilities. As the Manager of Community Mental Health Training and Systems Development for the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Dr. Weisel led initiatives for systemic changes resulting in retraining clinical, direct service, and administrative staff to realign service delivery directed towards community-based, consumer-driven services. 

Authoring numerous monographs, video series, articles, and publications, Dr. Weisel’s most recent publication, PowerPath to Education and Employment, is based on over 30 years of research. PowerPath is a practical learning system for retooling education and workforce development. The PowerPath System is currently an online educator professional development series, co-created with KET and Kentucky Adult Education, that is hosted on PBS.

In 2000, Dr. Weisel researched the field of leadership and launched L2000+, A Leadership Academy for Emerging Leaders in Behavioral Healthcare. L2000+ continues to be the flagship program for The Ohio State University’s John Glenn Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. Dr. Weisel maintains a close relationship with the International Authentic Leadership in Action Institute based in Halifax, Canada. 

As a past President and current Executive Board Member of the National Association of Adults with Special Learning Needs (NAASLN), Dr. Weisel serves her profession by participating in multiple state and national associations.

Differentiation: Giving Everyone the Opportunity to Succeed

DATE: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
TIME: 2:00 PM, EDT

By the end of this session, participants will be able to recognize different learning styles, identify aspects of their classrooms that may interfere with students’ learning processes, and understand and utilize teaching strategies that can help different types of learners and students with special learning needs succeed.

Presented by: Heather Martin and Tara Schwab

Heather is an adjunct professor in the adult education program at Waubonsee Community College in Aurora, IL and the continuing education department at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. She has been in the field of education for over ten years and in adult education for six. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a minor in Spanish from the University of Illinois and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from Aurora University. She has earned certifications including Student Achievement in Reading and Resource Specialist for Special Learning Needs. In addition to her work in the classroom, Heather has written and implemented curricula for submittal to the Illinois Community College Board and designed and facilitated multiple professional development opportunities for community colleges and adult educators in the Chicago area. She has presented at many local, state, and national conferences.

Differentiation: Giving Everyone the Opportunity to Succeed webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English