Combined Priority for Personnel Developent - Increasing the Number, Competence, and Resources of Early Interventions in Areas of Shortage through Distance Learning: INCREAS-DL

Grants and Contracts Details


Kentucky's Early Intervention System (KEIS) continues to face a chronic shortage of early intervention providers qualified to provide special instruction, particularly in rural areas. As of July 2008, all special instructors in KEIS must hold Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) Certification. Though this new requirement is necessary to ensure that families receive services from qualified providers, this change has resulted in a loss of providers. Before certification was required, 64% of those who were providing special instruction in Appalachian Kentucky did not hold IECE certification. A number of these providers have since entered a funded personnel preparation program, but many instead chose to leave the system, resulting in an increased shortage of special instructors in rural Kentucky. Without support for additional providers to obtain IECE certification, many children in this area will have limited or no opportunity for needed special instruction. University of Kentucky's Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling proposes an alternate certification program that will lead to IECE certification after two years of part-time study. The program will integrate training and field-based practice opportunities delivered via innovative distance education formats. Coursework that focuses specifically on early intervention service delivery will be included, including an emphasis on a primary service provider model and using popular web-based technology to facilitate teaming and to support families. Much of the field-based learning experiences will take place within the scholars' current employment, allowing them to work toward certification without having to interrupt job responsibilities, thus maintaining the current availability of services in Appalachian Kentucky. Particular emphasis will be placed upon recruiting those from Appalachia, the area experiencing greatest shortage and least opportunity for certification. This program will alleviate the critical shortage in Kentucky by supplying 24 new highly qualified special educators in areas of chronic shortage during the 4-year program. In order to maximize the program's impact in areas of shortage, at least two thirds of the scholars recruited will be early interventionists who are currently providing a related service (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology) and would like to add IECE certification. By preparing those who can provide more than one service on a single home visit, this program will dramatically improve the unique difficulties of service in geographically isolated rural areas.
Effective start/end date1/1/1012/31/16


  • Department of Education: $796,129.00


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