Hybrid CO-TOP* EIS

Hybrid Comprehensive Training Opportunities for Paraprofessionals in Early Intervention Services (Hybrid CO-TOP*EIS) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U. S. Department of Education.

The PAR²A Center in collaboration with Early Intervention Colorado (EI Colorado) within the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the University of Northern Colorado, worked together to enhance the quality of and access to the existing state mandated certificate for paraprofessionals who work with infants and toddlers (birth through two years) with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. Considering the developmental nature of the services provided by paraprofessionals in early intervention services, EI Colorado has chosen the title of Developmental Intervention Assistants (DI Assistants) for this position. The existing 16 Academy, DI Assistants certificate program was delivered through face-to-face classroom instruction. The revised certificate program is delivered using a hybrid model.

The Hybrid CO-TOP EIS Project had the following five objectives:

  1. To create state DI Assistants standards that are aligned to the state and national personnel standards established by the Colorado Department of Education, Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC-CEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
  2. To align curriculum of the existing DI Assistants certificate program to the standards developed under Objective one.
  3. To adapt the revised DI Assistants certificate curriculum for delivery in hybrid format (i.e. a combination of classroom and online instruction) through community colleges in order to enhance the accessibility and provide statewide availability.
  4. To train community college faculty and existing trainers to deliver the hybrid program.
  5. To coordinate project goals, objectives, and activities to address issues around professional and career development of DI Assistants through a consortium of representatives from the Early Intervention Colorado Coalition, Colorado Community College System , Colorado Office of Professional Development, DI Assistants and family members.

Project Outcomes

  • Established a partnership with the Colorado Community College Early Childhood Coalition to guide and support objectives and activities of the project.
  • Developed and validated Developmental Intervention Assistant (aka early intervention paraprofessionals) standards under the guidance of the state Early Intervention Administrators and an Expert Panel that consisted of national and state level ECE stake holders including the co-chairs of the Community College ECE Statewide Faculty coalition. Click here to view the DI Assistant Standards
  • Aligned the curriculum of the 17 credit Developmental Intervention Assistant certificate program at the University of Colorado Denver to the standards. Click here to view the courses for the DI Assistant certificate
  • Created the five Early Childhood Education courses in the Colorado Community College System that are articulated with 17 credit DI Assistant certificate.

The five Early Childhood Education courses in the community college system are:

  1. ECE 120 - Introduction to Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers
  2. ECE 121 - Promoting Infant and Toddler Development in Natural Environments
  3. ECE 122 - Interventions for Infants’ and Toddlers’ Health, Communication and Behavioral Needs
  4. ECE 123 - Critical Topics in Early Intervention: Autism, Assistive Technology and Transition
  5. ECE 124 - Professional Growth and Development: Theory and Practice

To see how the UCD and Community College DI Assistant certificates are articulated, Click here to view the articulation of the DI Assistant certificate to the ECE courses

  • Created on-line course shells (with PowerPoint lectures, readings, assignments, assessments and web resources) for ECE 120-121-122-123 and 124 at the Red Rocks Community College. The course shells cand be transferred to any community college affiliated with the Colorado Community College System.
  • Community college faculty, instructors and existing CO-TOP*EIS trainers attended a two-day trainng on how to deliver the articulated ECE online/hybrid course. Watch an excerpt from the training session

Hybrid CO-TOP*EIS was a four-year grant made possible by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Whom do I contact for more information?

For more information on this project please contact Ritu Chopra.