AHEAD Academy

hands holding a cognitive test


This 8-week course is designed for Disability Resources staff who want to understand key concepts and practices behind diagnostic assessments.

Respected instructor Rhonda Rapp has taken content from her popular AHEAD workshops and expanded it into an accessible online format to allow participants to dive deeply into the material through video presentations, readings, and hands-on assignments. A listserv-style discussion will allow the class to further explore what they learn each week.

Students should plan 2-3 hours to work on each weekly module. The instructor and AHEAD staff will be available throughout the course to give feedback and support to students as needed.

Concepts covered will include:

  • Methods for collecting disability-related background information
  • A history of the development of psycho-educational evaluations and what individual tests and subtests are designed to assess
  • Exploring the structure and meaning of diagnostic assessments and reports
  • How to make informed referrals for service or additional assessment
  • How to conduct and interpret behavioral observations of students
  • Analyzing student documentation and determining accommodations and services

Short Pre- and Post-tests will help you gauge your knowledge of the material. At the end of class you will receive a certificate of completion equal to 30 hours of class participation.

Like the graduate course I didn’t get in school!

- participant in Rhonda Rapp’s AHEAD pre-conference workshop

Course Instructor – Rhonda Rapp, Ph.D.

Rhonda Rapp
I will be your facilitator for this course; my name is Rhonda H. Rapp and I am an educational consultant with a specialty in removing barriers to learning. I have been an Educational Diagnostician since 1979 (in fact, in my practicum, we tested some of the first students for “special education” placement under the new Public Law 94-142 - now known as IDEA); was a diagnostician/prescriptive teacher for the state of Oklahoma (working with both urban schools, rural schools and “institutional” schools); have been a disability services provider at the postsecondary level for over twenty-five years; and continue to provide training focused on diagnostic assessments and working with students with learning disabilities and/or attention disabilities. At the last university I worked at (before I retired), I got the chance to conduct diagnostic assessments for undergraduates, for individuals in our graduate programs, and for our Law School; I also prepared the documentation for the Bar Exam. Over the years, I have had the privilege to conduct in-depth psychoeducational assessments for a widely diverse population of individuals in a variety of settings. My master’s degree is in Educational Counseling Psychology, with post-Master’s certification as a Diagnostician and my doctorate is in Educational Human Resource Development. I have worked in disability services at both a public community college (which was a HBCU & HSI) and at private doctoral-granting universities (which were HSIs).

Registration & Pricing


Access the Course Beginning Oct. 3 a 9 am

  • AHEAD Members - $250.00 (Requires sign in with current AHEAD membership information)
  • Non-Members - $350.00 

AHEAD offers a "Pay by Invoice" option for this course and all other products on its eLearning platform. However, to receive access to your purchase and to begin this course, you MUST contact AHEAD and make a full payment if you are paying by check or purchase order BEFORE this course begins. You may also pay your invoice using your credit card by selecting your purchases in your profile on the eLearning platform, or via the Order Number link or View Order link in the Order Confirmation email that will be sent to your email address after registering.

Refunds for registrations/payment are available only by contacting AHEAD before the start of this course. Refunds are only offered in cases of emergency or unforeseen circumstances and only by request sent to AHEAD by email at ahead@ahead.org.

Please register yourself for the course, rather than someone on your behalf; we need to have your name and direct contact information


Did you register for the course? You can access the course beginning at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, October 3.


If you have questions, please contact elearning@ahead.org


  • All video presentations in the course are pre-recorded for asynchronous viewing. They all include open-captioning from a professional company.
  •  AHEAD staff are available for additional assistance as needed.
  • AHEAD will provide a “Teaching Assistant” and technical help to support the class.