The Minnesota Centers of Excellence work to provide early childhood special education practitioners professional development that equips them with evidence-based knowledge, skills and supports necessary to be effective in working with young children with disabilities and their families. Through providing the early childhood special education community a sustained focus on scientifically-researched innovations, the probability these children will achieve positive outcomes increases.
Minnesota chose to center its efforts on three specific innovations: Evidence-based Quality Intervention Practices (EQIP); Pyramid Model (formerly known as TACSEI); and Classroom Engagement. In addition to meeting the requirements the innovations be based in sound science and offer evidence-based practices, rationale for selection was made in response to a statewide needs assessment conducted with both special education coordinators and teachers. The representative sample was asked to identify professional development needs and the barriers to meeting those needs – these innovations were determined to best address the priorities identified within the assessment.
Each innovation is installed using Active Implementation Frameworks. Professional Development Facilitators assist local implementation teams as they work through the phases of implementation, paying careful attention to the implementation drivers, which include training, coaching and data systems. You can learn more about Active Implementation by visiting http://implementation.fpg.unc.edu/.