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Early Intervention Special Instructors and Service Coordinators in One State: Characteristics, Professional Development, and Needed Lines of Inquiry

Edwards, Nicole Megan PhD; Gallagher, Peggy A. PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000074
Original Research/Study
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The success of Early Intervention (EI) programs (Part C, IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004]) for infants and toddlers with special needs (birth to 36 months) is largely influenced by the quality of direct service providers. Little is known, however, about characteristics of providers or involvement in training initiatives to inform practice. As a rare glimpse into a state's EI personnel system, the authors examined cross-sectional information from a Professional Development database in one state's home-based Part C program. Trainees (N = 425) included primarily those who were in a sole or combined position as special instructor and/or service coordinator. Key insights and needed lines of inquiry to inform national Part C professional development initiatives are discussed.

Department of Interdisciplin-ary and Inclusive Education, College of Education, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey (Dr Edwards); Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education, and Communication Disorders, College of Education and Human Development, Georgia State University, Atlanta (Dr Gallagher).

Correspondence: Nicole Megan Edwards, PhD, Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education, College of Education, Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Rd, Herman D. James Hall, Glassboro, NJ 08028 (EdwardsN@rowan.edu).

At the time of data collection, the first author was Associate Director and the second author was Director of a sponsor-funded grant from the Early Intervention Lead Agency in (STATE); funds for the database discussed in this article were allocated from this grant.

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