About Us

Adult Basic Skills Professional Development is committed to enhancing the quality of College and Career Readiness (adult basic skills) instruction in North Carolina and across the nation through building the capacity of College and Career Readiness providers.  

Our mission is to provide relevant, timely, accessible and effective professional development for adult basic skills educators. To achieve this goal, the ABSPD team is dedicated to conducting face to face training, providing hybrid and fully online professional development, and producing professional development materials for education providers across the nation.

Through these efforts, ABSPD provides a professional development structure upon which all  programs may successfully build. Over the past 30 years, ABSPD has positively impacted thousands of adult education professionals. We look forward to continuing to assist adult educators in meeting their professional development needs for years to come. Adult Basic Skills Professional Development is part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University.

Faculty and Staff

Dianne Barber, Director
828-262-2384
328B Edwin Duncan
barberdb@appstate.edu

Steve Schmidt, Assistant Director
828-262-2262
328C Edwin Duncan
schmidtsj@appstate.edu

Steve Schmidt is the Assistant Director of Adult Basic Skills Professional Development at Appalachian State University. He has worked full time in adult education since 1992 as an instructor, local program director and since 2010 as a professional developer.

Steve has a B.A. and M.A. Ed. from Wake Forest University and an Ed.S. in adult education from Appalachian State University. He is a certified STAR trainer, a Certified Manager in Program Improvement, and a Kellogg Institute alumnus. Steve is also the author of Writing for the GED Test Book 4® from New Readers' Press.

Steve has delivered hundreds of workshops for adult educators in evidence based reading, math and writing as well as social studies and science content areas. He has presented at COABE (2012-17), NCTN (2011), Georgia Fall and Spring Conferences (2012-15,17), Indiana Summer Conferences (2014-15), South Carolina Fall and Spring Conferences (2015-18), and the Delaware Summer Conference (2016).

Matthew Brown
brwnms@appstate.edu
828-262-2263
328D Edwin Duncan

Matthew began working with ABSPD as an undergraduate student in 2004 while working on a technical photography degree at Appalachian State University. Following graduation in 2005, he spent several years working in public school systems in Gaston, Watauga and Guilford counties as a Technology Education teacher. In 2010 he began working on a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Leadership from Appalachian State. While working on the graduate degree he worked with Randolph County Schools substtitute teaching and as a testing coordinator. After completing the Master of Arts degree, he began work at Davdison County Community College and Guilford Technical Community College as an ABE/GED instructor and Technology Specialist. All the while keeping close ties with ABSPD as an instructor at Summer Institutes and technical support at conferences. Matthew was brought on staff in the fall of 2014 full time as a Media Specialist and Professional Developer. In his free time he enjoys spending time hiking with his wife and son in the mountains of North Carolina.

Department: Adult Basic Skills

Brandy Brown
abspd@appstate.edu
336.402.0005
328D Edwin Duncan
Department: Curriculum and Instruction

Brandy Brown is the Coordinator of Professional Development for Adult Basic Skills Professional Development at Appalachian State University. She has been apart of ABSPD for over 10 years as full and part-time and spent the last several years handling registration for the trainings conducted by the ABSPD team.

Brandy enjoys traveling to the different community colleges and working with the ABSPD team. I especially enjoy the look on someone's face in the training when they have found something they can use in their classroom or that will make learning fun and enjoyable.

Kellogg Institute alumnus