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NECTAC Technical Assistance Model for Long-Term Systems Change

Kahn, L., Hurth, J., Diefendorf, M., Kasprzak, C., Lucas, A., & Ringwalt, S.

The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) was charged by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) from 2001-2006 to develop, implement, and evaluate an approach to technical assistance that would result in sustainable systems change in state Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education programs served under the early childhood provisions of IDEA. Even with the individualized nature of the systems change work with states, and with the variation across plans on a number of dimensions, NECTAC was able to determine the most effective strategies relating to the development and implementation processes for producing better results. The most important lessons learned are incorporated into the description of the model in this paper and can be applied to future technical assistance with states on system change initiatives.