The Bresnahan-Halstead Center is committed to work for the advancement of knowledge and quality services for people with disabilities through research, professional development, partnership/technical assistance, and scholarships. As part of this mission, the Center is committed to assisting not only professionals who work with students with disabilities but also families of these individuals to expand their knowledge and skills in their work with them. Because the ultimate goal of the Center is to improve the academic, social, emotional, and vocational outcomes of individuals with disabilities, we have made funding available to professionals and families to plan, organize, deliver, and evaluate professional development experiences.
Guidelines and the application form for applying for these funds can be found on the Procedures and Forms page.
Self-Determination Instruction Across the Secondary Continuum
The Weld RE-4 School District (middle and high schools), with support from the Bresnahan-Halstead Center, designed and implemented the project Self-Determination Instruction Across the Secondary Continuum. Initiated in the spring of 2014, the project was designed to provide professional development and coaching for special education teachers in order to implement self-determination instruction that provides secondary age students with disabilities the opportunity to develop self-determination skills before entering postsecondary life. The project is moving through stages of professional development, data collection, coaching, and modeling/demonstration with middle and high school teachers/service providers to train and follow-up with one-on-one coaching in research-based instructional tools to meet specific outcomes identified across a grade level continuum of instruction. Ultimately, students who participate in the project and receive systematic self-determination instruction over time will develop skills that are not simply introduced and forgotten, but become a part of their innate abilities.
EDSE 530: Family/Professional Partnership in Higher Education
The EDSE 530 is a required course for students seeking license and/or M.A. degree in Early Childhood Special Education. The course promotes in-depth reflection on collaboration with families of young children using a case method of instruction. The Bresnahan-Halstead Center supported hiring a co-instructor for the course, Mr. James Brennan, a parent of a child with a disability. One of the best ways for professionals to develop effective family-professional partnership skills is during pre-service training. With the perspective of Mr. Brenanan, this course provides students in the course with the family voice.
CPI Instructor Certification
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center supported professional development for Jennifer Lieber to obtain certification in CPI’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, which encourages proactive and positive strategies to diffuse aggressive and disruptive behavior. As an instructor in UNC’s Special Education teacher training program, Dr. Lieber is now able to train present to and train teacher candidates in the use of these strategies for working with students in the field.
Cloud-based Transition Portfolio: Implementation of a 21st Century Cloud-based Transition Portfolio using Smartphone and Mobile Electronic Technology.
The Weld RE-4 School District has partnered with High Ground Consulting Group Inc. to develop a unique method of maintaining transition-related records and materials in a highly mobile and sharable format using Spyderlink Snaptag technology. The Bresnahan-Halstead Center provided financial support to provide professional development and training to Windsor High School students, parents and staff on the utilization of a cloud based electronic transition portfolio which will enhance those individuals skills and knowledge related to an evidence-based self-determination practice. This method allows students and their families to manage their critical information, including medical information, securely in the cloud where it is safe from loss, theft, fire, flood, or general accident. This product and process could speed up the process of sharing critical documents exponentially while also empowering youth with disabilities to manage the flow of information electronically.