Faculty & Future Interventionists

2 adults with 2 kidsAre you a student who is interested in a career in early intervention (EI)? Are you a faculty member who is looking for resources and tools to expand and embed information about Part C, early intervention or children birth to age three with disabilities into your coursework? This page is a starting place to link students and faculty to information about early intervention.

Click each tab below for more information.

More Information

FAQs for Students


Why should I consider a career in early intervention?
Early intervention is a rewarding career that will offer you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of infants and toddlers with developmental delays and their families. The primary role of an EI service provider is to support families to increase their child’s participation in everyday routines and activities. EI service providers use coaching interactions during early intervention visits to help parents develop their abilities to interact with their children in ways that support their child’s development. Click here to find many videos about the importance and benefits of early intervention. Listen to families and service providers share their stories. 

What kind of degree could I get if I’m interested in working with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families through early intervention?
The field of early intervention offers a broad array of career opportunities including developmental specialists, service coordinators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, infant mental health specialists, and more. Job opportunities are available for those with two-year, four-year and advanced degrees.  In Virginia, this Provider Qualifications and Responsibilities chart (external website, pdf) (TABLE A) provides detailed information about the requirements to become a Virginia certified early intervention provider.  

What does it mean to be “EI Certified” in VA?
Individual practitioners of early intervention services in Virginia, except physicians, audiologists and registered dieticians, must be certified by the State Lead Agency as an Early Intervention Professional, Early Intervention Specialist, or Early Intervention Case Manager. The type of certification depends on the practitioner’s discipline-specific qualifications and job requirements. For more details, click here.

I think I might want to be an occupational therapist (OT), physical therapist (PT), or speech language pathologist (SLP). What do they do in early intervention?
The documents below are position statements from discipline-related associations that will help explain the expectations for each type of career:

What if I’m interested in a career as a teacher in early intervention?
In Virginia’s early intervention system, “teachers” are called Developmental Service Providers. They typically have a background in early childhood special education, early childhood education, or special education. Sometimes, professionals from disciplines other than education provide Developmental Services, such as nursing or child development.

Developmental services is another name for the federal term, special instruction. For information about the role of special instruction, read:

What colleges/universities in Virginia have programs to help me reach my goal to work in early intervention?
Virginia Community Colleges and Universities Offering Certificates and Degrees in Early Childhood or Early Childhood Special Education DOC

What early intervention jobs are available in VA?
The Infant & Toddler Connection of VA maintains information about current job opportunities at: http://www.infantva.org/CareerOpportunities.htm (external website)

Toolbox for Faculty


Faculty from two year and four year colleges/universities will find resources in this section to support them to integrate up-to-date information about early intervention principles and practices into their coursework. They will also find a summary of insights and suggestions about the current state of Virginia’s early intervention personnel preparation.

What insights and recommendations do faculty, students, and local system managers provide about early intervention content in Virginia’s preservice preparation?
Review the PERCEPTIONS OF EARLY INTERVENTION PRESERVICE KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS: Insights & Recommendations for Supporting Students PDF

What resources are available on the Early Intervention Professional Development website to support preservice preparation?
The menu on the Early Intervention Professional Development home page provides links to a variety of useful resources.  A brief description is provided below for some of these resources.

Early Intervention Strategies for Success Blog
This blog provides an interactive place for early intervention practitioners to share and learn about practical strategies they can use in their work with children and families.  The blog includes brief articles on a variety of topics (e.g., intervention visits, IFSP development, engaging families, service coordination).  Practitioners or others who have an interest in early intervention can post comments and join in an interactive conversation with a Virginia early intervention professional development consultant and other early intervention practitioners.  The blog is an ideal source of information for faculty and students on practical issues that EI practitioners face in their work and strategies to address these issues.

Early Intervention Certification 
This tab on the home page provides a link to the Principles and Practices of Early Intervention website with access to the required training modules that early intervention practitioners must complete to receive initial certification. Each module has a competency test that must be passed with a score of 80% proficiency. Upon successful completion of each module, practitioners may download a certificate of completion for the module.  If students complete all of these modules successfully as part of their coursework, then upon graduation they can complete an online application (available at: https://eicert.dbhds.virginia.gov/Logon.aspx) (external website) and receive initial Virginia early intervention certification.  These modules are also valuable for faculty to complete to learn about the most up-to-date early intervention practices in Virginia. 

Online Modules
This section of the website includes self-paced modules on early intervention topics such as autism spectrum disorders in infants and toddlers, prematurity, early hearing detection and intervention, inclusion, social-emotional development and Individualized Family Service Plans. Certificates of completion are provided for successful completion of each module. 

Mini Lessons 
This section of the website provides introduction, practice/application and reflection activities that can be used by faculty in their courses to cover content about IFSP outcome development and Virginia’s process for IFSP development (e.g., gathering information from families, writing a complete IFSP narrative, connecting the different parts of the IFSP to the outcomes that are developed, determining supports and services, and transition).  Case studies and a sample IFSP are provided for use with the lessons. 

Early Intervention Topics and Trends and Resource Landing Pads
Links to articles/handouts, videos, and online modules on a variety of topics are provided in these sections of the website.  Sample topics include: a) disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders), b) the early intervention process (e.g., service coordination, screening and assessment, IFSP development, coaching, transition) and c) early intervention research. Faculty and students will find this section useful for locating information that is evidence-based and specific to infants and toddlers.  New topics are added regularly.

Talks on Tuesdays
One hour recorded webinars on multiple early intervention topics are provided at this link on the web site.  Examples of recent topics include: evidence-based practice, torticollis, coaching, speech sound development and facilitation, visual disabilities, and engaging families beyond the early intervention visit.  Announcements of upcoming webinars are also provided. 

How can I use these resources to assist students to meet the competencies required for the Virginia Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) endorsement?
The Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center Resources for Personnel Preparation Matrix PDF is organized by the ECSE endorsement competencies on the Virginia Dept. of Education (VA DOE) Program Status Matrix.  The document identifies instructor resources related to each competency area that can be incorporated into course content and instruction (e.g., videos, activities).  If videos from this site are used in course instruction, this Guided Viewing Document DOC is a sample format that could be adapted to match the content of a specific video to assist the viewer to focus and reflect on key concepts. The document also lists suggestions for how these resources can be used for assignments that will allow students to demonstrate these competencies (e.g., modules, webinars, blog).

How can this website be used by Virginia’s Community College system?
While these resources are organized by the VA DOE ECSE endorsement competencies, this information will also be useful to faculty in Virginia’s Community College system.  Although the curriculum for the two-year AAS degree program in Early Childhood Development addresses competencies outlined in Virginia’s Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals, many of these competencies overlap with the ECSE endorsement competencies.

Other Online Resource


IRIS Center Resources for Faculty (external website)
On this site you’ll find tools and materials to help faculty infuse more information about evidence-based practices into their courses and field-based activities.

Resources for Faculty (external website)
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
This site offers course-specific resources that incorporate evidence-based and competency-based practices, including course-specific landing pads on topics such as language and literacy, child development, social-emotional development, families and community, and introduction to early childhood. Archived presentations and webinars are also available. The site also has a resource search feature.

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