A theory to practice model: Clinical university school lab partnerships to prepare early intervention specialists

Document Type


Publication Title

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning


The increasing prevalence of children born prematurely with low birth weights and co-occurrence of one or more developmental disabilities propels the need for the development of highly specialized personnel preparation programs in the field of early interventions. This paper reports a practice focus on one university's response to meet the need for teacher training and development through a collaborative partnership with an inclusive early childhood agency. The partnership allows a hands-on experience for graduate students who are interested in focusing on the areas of children with autism and sensory impairments (visual and hearing impairments). Following a review of current practices in higher education institutions for early intervention personnel preparation in the United States, the paper highlights a brief history of early education initiatives, the response of national and state funded programs to provide family-centered practices, and the incorporation of clinical experiences demonstrating evidence-based practices in natural settings. Offering a case study of perspectives on teacher training and development, this paper is co-authored by a university professor, clinical supervising child development therapist, and graduate early intervention candidate.



Publication Date