Cathy Haarstad, MS

North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities
Minot State University
Memorial Hall 203
500 University Avenue West
Minot, ND 58707
Phone: 701-858-3048
Email: [email protected]
Login to Update Your Profile
Last Updated: July 17, 2019

Cathy Haarstad

Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: SAFE Project, Dual Sensory Project
Discipline(s): Education/Special Education
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership
Research: Self determination, employment, parents with disabilities, family support, autism
Education: LEND certificate, 2007 - Utah State
MS Special Education, 1983 - Minot State University
BS Elementary & Special Education, 1976 - Michigan State
Service: family support, multi-cultural support


Empower diverse teams to achieve a mission by writing and developing grants or raising funds, effectively implementing multiple projects; evaluating results and strengthening outreach to diverse communities through strategic partnerships that will support people with disabilities and their families in living meaningful lives and achieving developmental educational, recreational and employment goals.

Skill Highlights

• Grant Writing
• Grants Management
• Leadership & Staff Management
• Written & Oral Communication
• Cultural Competence
• Strategic Planning
• Innovative Program Design
• Mentorship

Successfully increased core funding for a non-profit, effectively doubling the income available to support programs over a six year period, increasing statewide presence and reputation in spite of the loss of a major federal grant and an evacuation of the business during the flood.

Led a development team to create a new web-site designed to help youth with disabilities or limited literacy and their families to get information about potential high school classes so that they could experience greater choice and freedom.

Winner of numerous peer awards from the Arc of ND, Pathfinders, and Family Voices of ND for service to families of children and youth with disabilities and a recipient of a National Award - the Alexander Tymchuck award for excellence in service to parents with intellectual disabilities.

Created resources to support interpreters in explaining complex information about Individual Educational Planning Meetings to English Language Learners.
Authored numerous power-point and training modules on educational, vocational behavioral intervention and parenting topics for families, educators and adult service providers. Successfully written and awarded over twenty federal, state and local grants designed to improve services to people with disabilities and families.


2009 - 2016 Executive Director Pathfinder Services of ND - Led a small team of parents and support specialists to secure and implement ten federal, state and local grants needed to successfully carry out our mission to provide parents and youth with education, information and family support. Developed strategic relationships with over 20 special education directors, 40 rural schools and five American Indian educational partners. Successfully wrote and implemented Federal Grants as a Parent Training and Information Center from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

1998 - 2009 Research Associate ND Center for Persons with Disabilities - Secured and managed several projects of national significance in family support, rural health and transportation from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Health and Human Services and from the ND State Council on Developmental Disabilities and the ND Department of Public Instruction.

1983-1986 Director of Program Development for Kallix - Managed programs of over 90 direct service professionals designed to support people with developmental disabilities in achieving goals in employment, independent living and recreation. Secured accreditation and complied with state licensure requirements. Served as a behavior intervention specialist for adults with significant support needs. Launched a community-based volunteer program.

1976-1982 Special Education Teacher - Taught reading, math and life skills to students with intellectual and learning disabilities ages 5-21 working exclusively with minority populations in ND and Arizona in rural and frontier communities.


2005-2006: LEND Certification, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

1978-1982: Master's Degree in Special Education Minot State University Minot, ND

1972-1976: Bachelor's Degree in Elementary & Special Education with a Fine Arts Minor Michigan State University E. Lansing, Mi.