Research in Michigan - Early Intervention

Click here for the online directory of Michigan research and demonstration projects relating to infants and toddlers with disabilities.


Faculty Grants

Each year the Early On Center for Higher Education invites faculty from Michigan's two and four year colleges and universities to submit applications for mini-grants to support research in the field of early intervention focusing on infants and toddlers, birth to three with disabilities and/or special needs and their families and its practical application in the State of Michigan.

Who can apply?

  • Michigan faculty at two and four year colleges and universities from any discipline which prepares personnel who are likely to work with populations within the field of early childhood intervention.
  • Graduate students in any discipline which prepares personnel who are likely to work within the field of early intervention.

Applicants must be currently teaching courses that prepare early intervention personnel or engaged in research related to early intervention practices.

Since 41% of infants and toddlers are eligible for Part C of IDEA due to speech and language impairments, the Early On Center strongly encourages research, across disciplines, that contributes to a greater understanding of supports enhancing the development of communication abilities.

Scope and Purpose of Faculty Grants

All grant requests must address research questions related to early intervention birth to three and/or activities that support the preparation of personnel who are likely to have a portion of their work be with populations within the field of early childhood intervention.

Funded activities include:

  • a literature review of home-based early intervention practices/methodologies which result in positive developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers and their families
  • a study of early intervention practices in Michigan correlated to child outcomes data available for each service area
  • an examination of practicum programs at Michigan's institutions of higher education that prepare practitioners in specializations such as occupational therapy, social work, speech and language therapy, in order to understand opportunities for students to interact in the home with eligible infants and toddlers, including practice in consultative methodology in working with families of eligible infants and toddlers.
  • an examination of university programs and coursework that prepare Michigan supervisors and directors of special education, who are often responsible for supervision of Early On coordinators and early intervention services, to identify gaps in preparation.
  • a study of former enrollees of the Early On system to assess long term outcomes variables
  • a comparison of Michigan's pre-service personnel preparation model to that of other states in terms of cross disciplinary instruction and/or use of parents as co-instructors.
  • other innovative work that will lead to the advancement of the preparation of early childhood intervention personnel, across all disciplines, in Michigan


Applications will be judged on how closely they fit with the mission of the Early On Center for Higher Education. Grants will be limited to projects that clarify aspects of the Early On Michigan system and research that will enhance personnel preparation and contribute to theory, knowledge and practice in service delivery.

A range of methodologies is appropriate. These include:

  • Quantitative methods that can allow generalization and the testing of hypotheses;
  • Qualitative methods that can provide interpretation of meaning and dynamic processes which can provide deep knowledge.

Proposals must have:

  • clearly stated goals and objectives;
  • a specific feasible plan of action to accomplish well defined objectives;
  • a plan that will result in new information that is relevant to the understanding or improvement of early intervention as it is implemented in Michigan
  • a plan that will result in practical information/models for use by colleges/universities/early intervention personnel preparation systems
  • a reasonable, appropriate, and specific budget;
  • a demonstration of experience in conducting such research

Past Grant Awards


Tricia Foster, Eastern Michigan University, In-Home Observations of Early Intervention Services: Interactions Between Providers and Families

Holly Hoffman, Central Michigan University, Building Resilient Connections: Utilizing Touchpoints to Support Infant/Toddler Teams



Denise Ludwig, Grand Valley State University, Personnel Preparation for Administrators of Programs Serving the Birth to Three Population



Sarah Douglas, Michigan State University, Michigan Early Interventionists: Experience and Perceptions Related to Coaching Caregivers of Young Children



Claire Vallotton, Michigan State University, Knowledge, Dispositions, and Skills for Working with Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs (KiDS-WIT): Creating a Tool to Assess Student Competencies



Kalli Decker, Michigan State University, Understanding the Influence of Early Intervention on Parents and Young Children: Information Parents Receive and Utilize to Support the Language Development of Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Loss



Katie Strong, Michigan State University, Reflective Supervision Mentoring Program for Early On Speech-Language Pathology Supervisors to Support Family-Centered Practice



LaShorage Shaffer, University of Michigan Dearborn, Parents and Infants Playing Together



Nicole VanderZouwen and Meghan Klos, Grand Valley State University, Occupational Therapists' View Regarding Premature Infant Transition and Care

Harold Johnson, Michigan State University, Awareness to Prevention; Child Abuse and Neglect of Children with Disabilities



Lena Ceasar, Andrews University, An Analysis of Curricular Offerings in Early Intervention Personnel Preparations among Speech-Language Pathology University Programs in Michigan: Products versus Perceptions



John Palladino, Eastern Michigan University and Mark Geisler, Saginaw Valley State University, Foster care services for Early On toddlers; Voices from the trenches



Julie Ricks Doneen, Oakland University, Collaborating for Early Intervention in Early Childhood Settings

Harold Johnson, Michigan State University; Holly Hoffman, Central Michigan University; Katie Silverman, University of Michigan Dearborn, Using What We Know and Learning What We Need: A Technologically Facilitated Community of Learners for Michigan's Parents and Professionals










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