In this Voices from the Field piece, we talk to Dr. Chrissy Brown, a recent National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLII) scholar. Dr. Brown discusses the NCLII program and how it has guided her in preparing educators to implement intensive interventions.
NCII: Can you tell us about NCLII, the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention?
Chrissy Brown: NCLII is a consortium funded by the Office of Special Education Programs that prepares special education leaders to become experts in research on intensive intervention. The doctoral scholars in each NCLII cohort participate in a core curriculum, which focuses on advancing research on and implementation of intensive intervention through cross-university collaborations. I participated in the first cohort of 28 NCLII doctoral scholars from the seven partner institutions (Vanderbilt University, Southern Methodist University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Minnesota, University of Texas at Austin, and Virginia Commonwealth University). Recently, NCLII launched a second cohort of 28 doctoral scholars from Vanderbilt University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Minnesota, University of Texas at Austin, University of Georgia, and Michigan State University.
NCII: What are some opportunities you have had to work with other NCLII scholars, and how have those impacted your work?
Chrissy Brown: I have participated in multiple cross-university collaborations as an NCLII scholar. For instance, I worked with two scholars from the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Chicago to create intensive intervention practice guides for educators, preservice educators, and education faculty. These guides include evidence-based research, steps for implementation, and research on the effectiveness of the intervention. One of the guides we developed together was for implementing systems of least prompts (SLPs) to meet the needs of students with academic and behavior difficulties. An SLP is a systematic prompting procedure in which an instructor provides increasing assistance to an individual until they provide the intended response.
Another cross-university collaboration I participated in was creating a masters-level university course with three scholars from Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Texas at Austin. This course, Classroom and Behavior Management for Students With Disabilities, focuses on behavior-analytic assessment strategies and intervention techniques used to prevent challenging behavior, teach prosocial behaviors, and maintain social and academic behaviors of students with disabilities. Course materials include a syllabus, slide presentations, course readings, and assessments.
These opportunities have helped me to develop relationships with other scholars that we hope will lead to future collaborations on publications, conference presentations, and courses as we transition to faculty member and researcher roles. You can read about other collaborative work that scholars are doing on the NCLII website.
NCII: How has the work of NCLII advanced your research on the implementation of intensive interventions for students with persistent and severe academic and behavior difficulties?
Chrissy Brown: My research focus includes supporting students with intensive behavior needs who are considered nonresponders to Tier 3 intervention strategies. My research interests include providing professional development to educators learning how to define culture and integrate culture into their classrooms to increase student engagement and decrease negative behaviors. Through the NCLII consortium, I’ve learned more about implementing differentiated behavior strategies by intensifying intervention through explicit and systematic progress monitoring within the data-based individualization process. The NCLII consortium also has guided my learning for integrating strategies to support the needs of students with persistent behavior struggles.