Faculty & Future Interventionists

teacher with students in classroomAre 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

Virginia Early Intervention/Preservice Consortium


ei preservice consortium logo The VA Early Intervention/Preservice Consortium provides opportunities for faculty and staff across Virginia universities with Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education programs to collaborate to improve the availability of high quality student placements, build stronger relationships with local EI systems, conduct research, and share resources for educating future early interventionists. Through collaboration, support, and communication, the Consortium addresses identified needs for a well-prepared EI workforce to improve outcomes for Part C eligible infants, toddlers, and their families. Contact Cori Hill (cfhill@vcu.edu) for more information or to join the Consortium.

Check out the infographics below to learn about the Consortium's endeavors:

Early Intervention Preservice Consortium Infographic - November 2021

FAQs for Students


Early intervention (EI) is a rewarding career that will offer you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of infants and toddlers with disabilities or 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 in-person or virtual EI visits to help caregivers develop their abilities to interact with their children in ways that support their child’s development. Visit the VA Early Intervention Videos page or the VEIPD Videos YouTube Channel to find many videos about the importance and benefits of EI and to listen to families and service providers share their stories.

EI uses multi-disciplinary teams of individuals from a broad array of backgrounds and educational pathways including developmental service providers (educators), service coordinators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, infant mental health specialists, social workers, and more. Job opportunities are available for those with two-year, four-year, and advanced degrees. The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia (ITCVA) Practice Manual, Table C: Practitioner Qualifications and Responsibilities chart provides details.

Virginia EI practitioners 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. This additional certification ensures that EI practitioners are knowledgeable about Virginia’s EI key principles, evidence-based practices, effective service implementation, typical birth-age three child development, provider responsibilities, etc. The type of certification needed depends on the practitioner’s discipline-specific qualifications and job requirements. Review The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia (ITCVA) Practice Manual, Table C: Practitioner Qualifications and Responsibilities chart for information about the types of certification and requirements. For more information about the EI certification process, visit the Initial Certification page.

In Virginia’s EI system, educators are called Developmental Service Providers. They typically have a background in early childhood special education (ECSE), early childhood education (ECE), special education, deaf education or education of the visually impaired. 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 the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Position Statement - The Role of Special Instruction. The DEC EI/ECSE Standards may also be informative.

For information about current employment opportunities, visit the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA Employment Opportunities page or contact any of the 40 Local System Managers in locations of interest

Toolbox for Faculty


Faculty from 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities will find resources in this section to support them to integrate up-to-date information about EI principles and practices into their coursework. They will also find a summary of insights and suggestions about the current state of Virginia’s EI personnel preparation.

What insights and recommendations do faculty, students, and local system managers provide about early intervention content in Virginia’s preservice preparation?
The VA Early Intervention/Preservice Consortium has been established as a means of facilitating collaboration among faculty who provide preservice collaboration for future early interventionists in VA. For information about the Consortium, email Cori Hill (cfhill@vcu.edu). For a summary of insights collected in 2013, review the Perceptions of Early Intervention Preservice Knowledge & Skills: Insights & Recommendations for Supporting Students.

What resources are available on the VA Early Intervention Professional Development Center website to support preservice preparation?
Many resources are available on the site that can be useful to students and faculty. A brief description is provided below for some of these resources:

  • Early Intervention Certification
    It is important to know that all EI practitioners in Virginia must be certified before they can work with families. Click here for information about VA’s initial certification requirements and links to the free certification courses and modules, which are available on the VA Early Intervention eLearning Center site. If students complete all of these modules successfully as part of their coursework, then upon graduation they can complete an online application and receive initial VA 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.

  • Early Intervention Strategies for Success Blog
    This blog provides an interactive place for EI practitioners, faculty, and students to learn and comment about practical strategies they can use in their work with children and families. The blog includes brief posts on a variety of topics (e.g., intervention visits, IFSP development, engaging families, service coordination). Most posts include real-world scenarios, tips, and discussion questions and all posts are available as downloadable pdfs.

  • Early Intervention Topics & Trends
    Visit this page to view the list of EI topic pages where you will find topic-specific resources, such as VA-specific information, articles, handouts, documents, videos, webinars and other online learning opportunities, and links to programs are listed. Faculty and students will find this section useful for locating information that is evidence-based and specific to infants, toddlers, and families receiving early intervention.

  • EI on the Fly Podcast
    This podcast features discussions about relevant EI topics using a series format. Each series includes individual episodes during which the hosts explore topics in depth and discuss practical strategies. Links to each episode may be useful for faculty to embed in coursework.

  • Online Modules and Courses – VA Early Intervention eLearning Center
    Visit the site to access free online modules and courses for initial VA early intervention certification and ongoing professional development. These self-paced modules and courses can be integrated into student coursework. Certificates of completion are provided for successful completion of each module.

  • Learning Bytes
    Learning bytes are brief learning activities that supervisors, faculty, or other leaders can use to facilitate professional development with staff or students. These activities are designed to be of short duration and explore topics of importance to EI practitioners. Each learning byte includes instructions and any handouts, links, worksheets, and answer keys needed to facilitate the activity with small or large groups.

  • Learning Paths
    Learning Paths are small collections of curated activities that focus on an EI topic. Learners will complete each activity on a learning path, which might include reading an article, taking an online module, watching a video, etc. Once learners complete the learning path, they will take a final quiz to earn a certificate documenting the professional development hours earned.

  • Talks on Tuesdays Webinars
    Talks on Tuesdays are free, live webinars held from noon to 1pm EST on the first Tuesday of each month from Sept-Dec and Feb-June. These webinars focus on important topics that are relevant for early interventionists and are chosen based on feedback from practitioners. All webinars are archived and can be accessed by students and faculty for inclusion in coursework.

  • Videos
    For videos about early intervention, visit the Videos page, the VEIPD Videos YouTube channel, and the Early Intervention Video Library.

Other Resources


Early Childhood Personnel Center (external website)
UCONN Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Visit this site for resources related to building and maintaining a comprehensive system of personnel development in early childhood programs, including early intervention. For preservice resources, visit the IHE/Faculty page.

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center (external website)
The ECTA Center supports state Part C and Section 619 programs in developing high-quality early intervention and preschool special education service systems, increasing local implementation of evidence-based practices, and enhancing outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families.

EarlyEdU Alliance (external website)
The EarlyEdU Alliance brings together higher education faculty and policymakers to create accessible and equitable pathways for early learning educators to get the professional development they need to help young learners reach their full potential. The Alliance also shares resources for faculty in the Faculty Finds newsletters.

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.

Supporting Change and Reform in Preservice Teaching (SCRIPT–NC) (external website)
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
This site offers resources to support community college early childhood programs in North Carolina to assess, enhance, and redesign courses to better prepare pre-service early childhood practitioners to meet the needs of children in their communities. The focus is on incorporating evidence-based practices, the specific educational programs and intervention strategies that have been validated through research, into the courses and syllabi.

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