Project CENTRAL is an innovative federally funded project from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and is designed to collaboratively prepare professionals to work with children with high-intensity needs. The project provides funding for qualified scholars to engage in courses leading to either a Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education or an Educational Specialist in School Psychology. Scholars who participate in the project earn a graduate certificate in Collaborative Intervention Specialist. The graduate certificate emphasizes interdisciplinary preparation of special education teachers and school psychologists to support students with high-intensity needs.
This project is designed to prepare scholars to work within interdisciplinary teams of special education teachers and school psychologists in order to provide intensive interventions and specialized services to school-age children with high-intensity needs to improve college and career-ready outcomes.
UCF’s traditional graduate degree programs in special education and school psychology have been enhanced to incorporate advanced, specialized preparation in intensive interventions including collaborative field-based experiences for Project scholars.
The program of study focuses on:
- Evidence-based knowledge, skills and resources for students with high-intensity needs.
- Mastery of professional competencies from the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association of School Psychologists.
- National and state instruction and intervention frameworks of multi-tiered system of supports.
- National and state educational policies.
Mentor Demonstration Sites
Mentor Demonstration Site (MDS) schools play a key role in our personnel preparation programs. Through MDS, UCF-based, federally-funded, personnel preparation projects are linked with exemplary Central Florida schools in learning partnerships which build capacity. The purpose of MDS is to highlight, celebrate, and share the implementation of selected resources and evidence-based practices by Project Scholars/Educators within their classrooms and schools in Central Florida. Schools selected as MDS are able to highlight their successes and challenges enhancing and implementing a responsive MTSS framework and provide evidence, resources, and methods to neighboring schools to create similar initiatives. The reciprocal relationship between UCF and community-based schools through MDS extends professional learning communities and bridges research and theory to practice in authentic educational settings. The MDS website houses videos from Project Scholars discussing and demonstrating key MTSS practices which can be used for professional learning. The website is also a great source for expert information and resources about MTSS, PBIS, and data-based individualization from district, state, and national leaders. Be sure to check out our MDS Website at projectmds.org.
Benefits of Participation
Scholars who participate in these programs gain:
- Enhanced education and training through interdisciplinary teaming from coursework in both exceptional student education and school psychology.
- Interdisciplinary professional teaming experience by working alongside special education teachers and school psychologists.
- Application-based opportunities to enhance and refine skills and knowledge.
- Additional credentialing through a graduate certificate to become a collaborative intervention specialist.
- Assistance with tuition and fees up to 36 credit hours (Office of Special Education Programs Service Obligation required).
- Opportunities to attend state or national conferences (as funding permits).
Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education
Courses in the Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education program are offered as a hybrid-course delivery. Therefore, in-person class meetings at the UCF main campus are required. Interested scholars must apply to Project CENTRAL and to the university. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview. Early application is encouraged as funding is limited.
Educational Specialist in School Psychology
The Education Specialist in School Psychology is a full-time program designed for students who wish to become certified school psychologists. The program is a unique combination of specialization in psychology and education. School psychology students learn relevant knowledge and skills and apply them to enhance the psychoeducational functioning of children. Early application is encouraged because admission occurs during the fall semester exclusively.