Coaches Academy was a three-year project funded by the Connecticut Department of Education. The purpose was to increase the number of educators qualified to serve as Instructional Coaches to support the education of children with significant disabilities in general education settings. Following completion of the program, participants were prepared to provide training, technical assistance and mentorship to their colleagues who work with students with significant disabilities. The Academy included a graduate level course with a job embedded practicum. Practicum experiences were supervised by mentors (university faculty and inclusive education consultants) in order to transfer course content to 26 competency areas necessary to complete the program.
Participants of the program developed skills and knowledge in five core competency areas:
- instructional strategies
- early and effective intervention
- social competence and positive behavior support
- collaboration and consultation
- parent professional partnerships