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Technical Assistance and Partnerships

The primary mission of the Bresnahan-Halstead Center is to work for the
advancement of knowledge and quality service for individuals with disabilities and their families through research, evaluation, professional development, technical assistance, partnerships, and student scholarships/financial assistance.

The Bresnahan-Halstead Center is committed to improving the educational outcomes of students with disabilities. One avenue for addressing this goal is to support professional development for educators who work in schools, districts, agencies or administrative units through partnerships and technical assistance. The Bresnahan-Halstead Center has partnered with the School of Special Education to develop the following list of faculty who are interested and willing to provide professional development. Also included is a brief description of their areas of expertise.

To enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals, the Bresnahan-Halstead Center suggests that administrators who are interested in providing professional development for their staff, determine the topic(s) they want to address. Then, review the list of experts to identify the faculty member who can provide the professional development, contact the faculty member, and discuss the possible topic, outcomes, date(s), and time(s). Once an agreement has been reached the faculty member will submit an application for providing the technical assistance to Silvia Correa-Torres, Research Director of the Bresnahan-Halstead Center. After the application has been approved, the professional development has been provided and evaluated, the Bresnahan-Halstead Center will remunerate the faculty member for his or her work.  If you have questions regarding a professional development project you are considering and would like more information, please contact Silvia Correa-Torres, Research Director of the Bresnahan-Halstead Center (silvia.correa-torres@unco.edu).

Meet our technical assistance experts.

In an effort to help administrators prioritize the topic(s) of concern for their staff, we have created a needs assessment that can be used as is or adapted. Access the needs assessment survey here.   

Application Guidelines

  1. Read application guidelines.
  2. Download application and evaluation form.

Current and Upcoming Partnership Events




2024 Special Education Directors' Leadership Academy

July 17 - 19, Breckenridge Colorado

Zach Mercurio, our 2024 keynote speaker, believes every human being is built for purpose, craves meaningfulness, and deserves to experience mattering in life and work. Zach serves as a researcher and Honorary Fellow of Psychology in the Center for Meaning and Purpose and as an Instructor in Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change at Colorado State University.  Zach is author of "The Invisible Leader: Transform Your Life, Work, and Organization with the Power of Authentic Purpose” and he will provide participants with the tools to activate their purpose and create cultures where everyone matters.

Registration opens April 1, 2024.  Complete registration for 2024 Special Education
Directors' Leadership Academy here.

2024 Early Childhood Summit

June 5-7, Breckenridge Colorado

Fostering Dignity and Equality for Every Child: Strategies for Inclusive Placements, Curricula, and Instruction in Early Childhood Programs

Erin E. Barton, Ph.D., BCBA-D., is this year's keynote speaker. She will guide participants through all phases of empowering them with actionable insights and strategies that foster a more inclusive, respectful, and dignified environments for every child in early childhood programs.

Registration begins March 1, 2024, and ends May 1, 2024. Complete registration for the 2024 Early Childhood Summit here beginning March 1:  https://unco.estore.flywire.com/products/2024-early-childhood-summit-197859

Get the 2024 Early Childhood Summit flyer here.

Download 2024
Summit Agenda here.

Download Erin
Barton presentation slides here.

Download EC Summit slides here.

2024 HECSE Summit

July 30 - August 2, 2024, Breckenridge Colorado

This year's HECSE Summit will be held at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center.  Save these dates.  Registration will open in April. 

Access the 2024 HECSE Summit registration form here.


Most Recent Events


2023 Special Education Directors' Leadership Academy

We’re All in This Together: The Journey Toward Authentic Leadership

July 19-21, 2023, Lion Square Lodge, Vail, Colorado

Mike Robbins will partner with us, sharing his message on collaboration for successful leadership. As an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, Mike delivers his message that empowers people, teams, and organizations to work together effectively and be more successful. He has inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to reach new levels of awareness and productivity, both personally and professionally. Through his speeches, seminars, and writing, Mike teaches people important techniques that allow them to be more grateful, appreciative, and authentic with others and themselves.

Registration fee for the 2023 Special Education Directors’ Leadership Academy is $400.  As part of your registraion fee, a copy of Mike Robbins' book, We're All in This Together,  will be sent to you. Registration also includes breakfast and lunch each day of the Academy as well as lodging on July 19 and 20, based upon availability at Lion Square Lodge.  Space is limited to 45 participants, so you are encouraged to register as soon as possible.  

2022 Special Education Directors' Leadership Academy

What's the Law Got to Do with It?  Addressing Challenging Behaviors in Schools

July 20 - July 22, 2022 at Lion Square Lodge in Vail, Colorado

Join with other Colorado Special Education Directors in gaining the tools to understand and interpret legal and ethical considerations needed to meet these challenges. Mitchell Yell, Ph.D., Chair of Teacher Education at Fred and Francis Lester Palmetto, will lead the 2022 Academy. Dr. Yell’s expertise and research focus includes special education law, classroom management, and IEP development.

Download behavior IEPs powerpoint here.

Download lessons from due process powerpoint here.

Download 504 discipline guidance here.

Download positive proactive approaches guide here.

Download Q&A Endrew case here.

Download addressing needs of children Q&A here.

Download USDE Dear Colleague letter here.

Download discipline powerpoint here.

Download Amy Rowley perspective here.

2018 Special Education Directors' Leadership Academy

Mapping Your Journey:  Engaged Leadership for Customer Empowerment

July 18-20, 2018

Come to learn, to network, and to relax! Attend the annual Special Education Directors’ Leadership Academy co-sponsored by the UNC Bresnahan-Halstead Center and the Colorado Department of Education at Lion Square Lodge in the stunning Vail Valley. Lauren Larson, Chief of Staff for the Governor of Colorado, will lead us in mapping our journey of engaged leadership for empowering others that results in positive educational outcomes for PK-12 students.

Early Childhood Summit 2018

Leading from the Middle:  Influencing Up, Down, and Sideways

June 21-22, 2018

Join us at the Keystone Convention Center to interact and learn more about the concept of leading from the middle and discover ways in which your individual and collective interactions with children, families, and colleagues can make the biggest difference on a daily basis.  Leaders include state, regional, and local directors and other administrators as well as early childhood coordinators, building principals, and assistant directors and coordinators.  Camille Catlett, Scientist Emerita at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will provide keys to successfully implementing a leadership approach that accesses “buckets” of evidence-based practice for multiple contexts in which young children learn and grow.

GOAL Partnership

The Bresnahan-Halstead Center at the University of Northern Colorado continues to partner with the Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education (IN) and the state of Colorado in supporting one of the state’s first higher education programs for students with intellectual disabilities, GOAL (Go On And Learn). GOAL is a residential four-year certificate program designed to enroll students with intellectual disabilities each year into college courses modified by UNC GOAL staff, students, and volunteers.

The Bresnahan-Halstead Center awards an academic year scholarship to a student enrolled in the GOAL program.  The first awardee was Ryan Wilson who received his scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year. 

photo of Ryan Wilson

In 2020, the Veronica Brennan Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the many contributions to the field made by Veronica Brennan.  Awardees of this scholarship include Aaron Schmidt (Fall, 2020-Spring, 2021), Isabelle Woloson (Spring, 2021), and Nicholas Voelker (Fall, 2022-Spring, 2023).

photo of Aaron Schmidt

Aaron Schmidt enrolled in the GOAL program at UNC and hopes to become a Physical Education teacher after completion of his college program in the spring of 2022. According to Aaron, the GOAL program at UNC has prepared him for the real world outside campus. Aaron participated in GOAL activities such as “Greek life” and “Lamba Chi Pha” while on campus. Congratulations to Aaron, and we wish him success in all his future endeavors!

Proudly one of the first people with Down syndrome to graduate from a four-year college in Colorado in the Spring of 2021, Isabelle Woloson’s goal is to be a life-coach for parents with children with disabilities and to begin training to swim in the International Special Olympics. She took classes in communications, history, and living independently and had a job on and off-campus for the four years she was in the GOAL program. She was in a gender-inclusive fraternity at UNC called Phi Sigma Pi, a swimmer on the UNC swim team, and an active member of Bear Catholic, developing “friendships at UNC that will last a lifetime.”

photo of Nicholas Voelker

Nicholas Voelker was the recipient of the 2022-2023 Veronica Brennan Scholarship. He is currently a Freshman in the GOAL program at UNC and sees himself working with computers in Criminal Justice after he is done with college. Nicholas is involved in UNC’s Criminal Justice Society, Challenge, and UNC Unified sports. According to Nicholas, the GOAL program at the University of Northern Colorado prepares him to learn to live independently and make new friends.

Recently Funded Projects

The Bresnahan-Halstead Center supported technical assistance and partnership activities of the following faculty members of the School of Special Education at UNC:

  • Silvia Correa-Torres and Danielle Burden: Summer Day Program for Students who are blind or visually impaired (B/VI) within the Northern Colorado area. This unique specialized program was part of the Extended School Year (ESY) program in the Greeley-Evans School District, connecting students who are B/VI with peers in a space where they could work on self-advocacy skills. Lessons and activities addressed O&M, independent living skills, recreation and leisure, and social interactions skills. 

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