Focused Interventions to Improve Executive Function Skills Grades K-12

Topic: Special Education/Gifted
Instructor: Caryn Chavez
Method: Online (OWRK)
Sponsor: Professional Development Institute
Center Offered: OLPD

Course Description:

Have you ever worked with a student who just can’t seem to grasp a certain concept, no matter how hard either of you tries? Or perhaps you may have encountered a student whose desk is such a mess that s/he can never seem to remember where s/he put things? Or a student who, having just listened to you explain directions, has no idea where to start? While frustrating, these scenarios (and others like them) can be explained by a deficit in a student’s executive function (EF) skills. Executive functioning involves the neurological processes used by students to consciously control their thoughts, emotions, and actions so that goals can be set and achieved. This online course begins by explaining what executive functioning is and how critical it is to the learning process. Teachers will take a deep dive into eight core EFs that control not only students’ ability to think metacognitively, but their ability to respond appropriately using their social-emotional skills. The role of working memory is explored first, as it is an essential element in the processing, storing, and retrieval of information. Teachers will learn how this critical executive function interacts with seven additional EFs — task initiation, planning and prioritizing, organization, self-monitoring, impulse control, shift (a/k/a cognitive flexibility), and emotional control. Teachers will be provided with thorough background information on each executive skill, as well as the implications for teaching and learning. Within each executive function, the course takes a deep dive into strategic focused interventions that help students who have these executive deficits. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to incorporate explicit, direct, and strategic instruction within reading, writing, and mathematics so their students with EF deficits can succeed academically and achieve a growth mindset. 


You can register and begin the course at any time and have until the end of Ashland University’s academic year to complete it. This course is web-based so you can access it from any computer with internet access. It is also self-paced, so you can work entirely at your own pace, when it is convenient for you. There are no specific times you must be online and no individual deadline dates for assignments. They can be submitted any time, so long as everything has been submitted by the end of the academic term.


Within 1-2 business days of your Ashland registration, you will receive an email from your course content provider, Professional Development Institute, containing instructions on how to access your course materials. A note, their emails are sometimes forwarded to junk or spam folders. 

You'll work with PDI, using their LMS, to complete the course, at which time, your instructor will post your final grade here to your AU transcript. You'll receive an email notification from Ashland PDS when the grade posts, with instructions on how to view and order transcripts. 

Ashland Professional Development:

Course Documents:
Cost: $600
Timespan of Course:
September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024
Contact E-mail:

Meeting Times

  • Location of Meeting: 
    online with PDI

Register Now

Course Number: EDU*6130*H3
Academic Term: 24/GW
Academic Level: GW
Semester Hours: 3.00
Subject: EDU