What Is Technical Assistance?

The Technical Assistance & Dissemination (TA&D) component of the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) implements a continuum of technical assistance (TA) strategies that are evidence-based, relevant, useful, and cost-effective in supporting states in developing, implementing, and sustaining an early childhood comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD). TA&D has three levels, depicted below, which are then complemented by programs we offer through our center.

General Technical Assistance

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) defines General TA as Universal. This passive TA is information provided to independent users through their own initiative resulting in minimal interaction with TA Center staff and includes one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by TA Center staff. This category of TA also includes information or products such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center's website by independent users. Brief communications by TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email are also considered Universal, General TA.

Our General TA primarily involves the dissemination of relevant and useful information and resources on personnel development for the early childhood workforce. This type of TA is generated through the knowledge generation component of our center and made available via our website, conference presentations, and publications.

Completed as of 2015: Targeted Technical Assistance

OSEP defines Targeted TA as services developed based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship was established between the TA recipient and one or more persons of the TA Center staff. This category of TA was typified by one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. There was also episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that were designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice were also considered Targeted, Specialized TA.

The completed Targeted TA Partnership program was designed to align national and state personnel standards and/or to align pre-service preparation with in-service preparation in a cohort of states. More information on the ECPC TA program can be found by visiting our Targeted Technical Assistance webpage.

Intensive Technical Assistance

OSEP defines Intensive TA as services that are often provided on-site and require a stable, on-going relationship between the TA Center staff and the TA recipient. TA services are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity and/or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

Our Intensive TA Partnership program is designed to assist states in developing and implementing an integrated, comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD). More information on the ECPC Intensive TA program can be found by visiting our Intensive Technical Assistance webpage.

OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network

More generalized information on Technical Assistance & Dissemination for children and families with disabilities can be found by visiting the OSEP’s Technical Assistance & Dissemination Network webpage.