Professional Development

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.

> Professional Development Guidelines and Application Form

Instructional Excellence For Improving Learner Outcomes

Bresnahan Halstead Symposium, Vail, Colorado
July 21 – 25, 2014

The 2014 Bresnahan-Halstead Symposium will be an exciting week of inspiring sessions developed for special and general education teachers as well as administrators in education. View the Symposium Line-up.

Participants in the Symposium will have the opportunity to hear and interact with Don Deshler, Stevan Kukic, Michael Epstein, Harvey Rude, and John Luckner as they share strategies that blend good practice with cutting edge research and lead the group through “Instructional Excellence for Learner Outcomes.”

Session attendees will walk away with an action plan to apply innovative strategies that work and produce the outcomes that provide success for individuals with disabilities.

For those seeking continuing education credit, the University of Northern Colorado will award 2 graduate credits for full Symposium participation.


The Symposium returns to the newly renovated Lion Square Lodge in Vail, Colorado. The Lion Square offers Symposium participants lodge rooms as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums ($139 - $315/night). The Lion Square sits streamside at the base of Vail Mountain and is within walking distance of some of Vail’s finest restaurants and shops. View hotel registration information.


Registration for the 2014 Symposium is $400, and as always, includes breakfast, Monday through Friday, and lunch Monday through Thursday. Ten $200 scholarships will be available to attendees (five awarded specifically to those who come from Colorado). Registration will be discounted (15%) for those who attend as part of a group or team. View Bresnahan Registration Form 2014

We hope you can join us in July, 2014, in beautiful Vail, Colorado, for another valuable institute sponsored by the Bresnahan-Halstead Center at the University of Northern Colorado.

2014 Special Education Directors’ Academy


  • July 9-11, 2014
  • Wednesday, July 9th
  • 7:00-9:30 pm Opening Reception (appetizers, refreshments, conversations)

Thursday, July 10th

  • 7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
  • 8:30 – 8:45 Welcome to Participants – Randy Boyer, Diane Bassett, Harvey Rude
  • 8:45 – 9:30 Introductions and Temperature Check
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Directors’ Academy – Randy Boyer
  • 10:00 - 10:15 Break
  • 10:15 – 12:00 Leadership for Performance Management and Results, Jean Crockett, University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Panel of Experienced Building Principals at Secondary Level (4)
  • 2:30 – 2:45 Break
  • 2:45 – 3:45 Group Activity – Jean Crockett
  • 3:45 – 4:00 Guided Reflection on New Learning, Jean Crockett and Randy Boyer
  • Dinner on Your Own

Friday, July 12th

  • 7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
  • 8:30 - 9:00 Opening Activity - Harvey Rude
  • 9:00 – 10:15 Director Panel (4)
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Break
  • 10:30 – 12:00 Where do we go from here? Regional Conversations: Results and Achieved Outcomes; Evaluation of Results: Why These Outcomes?

*Subject to change

Click for registration and lodging forms.

Language, Early Literacy and Family Engagement Early Childhood Summit

  • Vail, Colorado
  • June 30 – July 2, 2014

The 2014 Early Childhood Summit will be 2½ days of inspiring sessions developed for early learning professionals including early childhood educators, early intervention/special education providers, early childhood administrators, special education administrators and anyone interested in young children and supporting learning and literacy through family engagement!

Participants in the Summit will have the opportunity to learn from and engage with Dr. Carol Trivette as she shares innovative approaches in language and early literacy development that blend best practices with cutting edge research and leads the group through “Language, Early Literacy, and Family Engagement.” Information about early literacy initiatives in the State will also be shared.

Participants will leave with knowledge and collaborative action plans to support the needs of each infant, toddler, and preschooler in all learning environments.

Registration for the 2014 Summit is $125 for individuals or $100 for those attending as teams of three or more (restrictions apply). It includes breakfast and lunch Monday through Wednesday. Limited financial support for registration fees is available for attendees.

For those seeking CEUs, you may receive graduate credits from the University of Northern Colorado for full Summit participation for additional cost.

Click for registration and lodging forms.

Organized by Bresnahan-Halstead Center, University of Northern Colorado in partnership with Preschool Special Education & Child Find, CDE; Early Intervention Colorado, Office of Early Childhood, CDHS; Early Childhood Professional Development Team, CDE; and Office of Early Learning and School Readiness, CDE.