NCEDC TIPS: Distance Education

Leadership Education

The leadership (train the trainer) model we are using in Maine is a comprehensive model of education, technical assistance and ongoing support. While the project was directed at building the state's capacity to support high quality education for job coaches and employment specialists, we believe the model (and the materials we developed) have broad application across content areas.

A bit of background...

In collaboration with the Maine Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services (BDS) and the Bureau of Rehabilitation in the Department of Labor (VR), Maine's UCEDD spent more than a year developing a comprehensive curriculum in the area of employment supports (job coaches and employment specialists). The curriculum is comprised of 14 modules and is an enormous 1666 pages long (we provided it to the leadership institute participants both on CD and in two large binders).

Following a competitive application process (the applications were widely disseminated within the community rehabilitation community in our state), 16 people representing 16 provider agencies across the state were selected to participate in an intensive week-long institute on the UMaine campus in July. We had 28 applications but wanted to limit the group to a manageable 15--we almost did! Housing was provided to participants in the dorms and all meals were included. The days were long ones (at least one was more than 12!), but both learning- and fun-filled (honestly!) and the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There was no cost to participate--funding for the leadership institute was included in the contract with BDS.

The contract with BDS also supports TA and support to the group that we are calling the MEC Leaders (Maine Employment Curriculum) and we are doing that in a number of ways. Each leader was assigned a member of the co-instructional team as a mentor, we have established a listserv and we bring everyone together for day long meetings once a quarter. As mentors we are sharing resources from our lending library, copies of transparencies for those who don't have access to a projector and laptop, videos that are part of the curriculum, co-delivering the modules with the leaders across the state and maintaining a database of those each has trained for certification purposes (the state has mandated certification in the curriculum by Aug 1, 2003 for job coaches and employment specialists funded using long term care dollars). Additionally, our website is host to the statewide training calendar and we are working with rehab providers who may not have a leader on their staff or locally to assure that the modules are available to all who require them.

Our tech staff have posted a number of documents related to the leadership model so you can have ready access to them should you desire without clogging your emailbox. Included at the site are:

  1. The leadership application packet (where you will find the commitments required of participants);
  2. The pre-institute reading list (we mailed those selected the four text prior to the institute);
  3. Dusting Off the Toolbox: Tips for Trainers --a monograph we developed originally for leadership education in the area of early intervention (one whole day of the institute was devoted to teaching adult learners); and,
  4. The institute's agenda.

You can find the documents by pointing your browser here.

The whole project reflects the wealth of resources and capacity found within our network. I am grateful to a number of UCEDDs who willingly shared their curricular materials with us as well as Linda Tuchman at the Waisman Center (who will likely recognize the leadership application packet which was modified from one she designed for an effort in the area of early intervention).

If you have any questions or would like more information, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I hope you find these materials as useful as I have found all that you regularly and graciously share!

All the best,



Debbie Gilmer, Associate Director
Center for Community Inclusion, UCDD
5717 Corbett Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
(207) 581-1263 voice
(207) 581-1084 voice/tty
1-800-203-6957 voice/tty
(207) 581-1231 fax
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