Professional Development

Eunice Shishmanian

Shishmanian Fellowship

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is pleased to announce the Shishmanian Fellowship awards to support senior practitioners to expand their knowledge and skills in an area of interest, and students entering the field of Early Intervention during their internship in a DPH-certified Early Intervention Program.

Eunice Shishmanian, visionary and teacher

Fellowships are awarded each year to honor Eunice Shishmanian, whose vision and dedication to the needs of very young children and their families internationally serve as a model for all of us. As a nurse, Eunice has devoted her career to Maternal Child Health initiatives and has been a leader in supporting families who have children experiencing developmental challenges. As the first chair of the Massachusetts Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council, Eunice helped shape the foundation for a system which continues to individualize supports and services to young children and their families. Eunice is a former member of the interdisciplinary faculty team at Northeastern University, preparing students in five disciplines to be Early Intervention Specialists.

The Shishmanian Fellowships are funded by Early Intervention Services, Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

General Fellowship Information

Lifelong learning is essential to those involved in Early Intervention (EI), both seasoned EI professionals and students new to the EI system. By participating in opportunities to learn and grow we enrich our work. Specifically, we strengthen our ability to support the dreams and aspirations of families. By building our knowledge and skills we are better able to enhance the ability of families to encourage and celebrate the development of their babies and toddlers. The Shishmanian Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to obtain assistance for further professional development.

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Senior Practitioner Fellowship

Download an MS Word version of the application and information

Senior Practitioner Fellowships provide experienced Early Intervention specialists with time and resources to enhance their professional development. Applicants may propose enrollment in a course, a demonstration project, an apprenticeship related to the needs of young children and their families, or another mode of directed learning to expand their knowledge and skills in a particular area of Early Intervention. Applicants may apply as individuals or as a collaborative group.

The primary goal of these fellowships is for senior practitioners to take advantage of professional development opportunities, and, secondarily, to share new learning at his or her Early Intervention program, or with the broader EI community. DPH encourages professional development that includes a well-established model and that is relevant to EI services.

Fellowships of up to $2,000 each will be granted for use from December 2013 through May 2014. The majority of the funds must be used for materials, consultation, or to support release time. The majority of the fund must be used for course or conference costs, and materials. The remainder must be used for activities and/or resources that support the sharing of learning. Funds cannot be used for capital improvements or purchase of equipment or furniture or food and are taxable to the recipient.

Who can apply?

An individual with a minimum of five years of experience in Early Intervention, or a group of up to five individuals whose lead practitioner has at least five years of experience in Early Intervention may apply. Applications without a lead senior practitioner with five years experience in MA EI will not be reviewed. The lead applicant must work in MA EI 20 hours or more per week.

Other team members may include both junior and senior practitioners. Recipients must make a commitment to continue to work in the Massachusetts Early Intervention system for at least one year after the completion of their Fellowships.

If the Fellowship involves specific training for team members, Fellows may apply for competency education credits (CECs) to be used to document Entry 1 competency indicators in CEIS 2012.

How will applications be reviewed?

Applications are reviewed by a team that may include personnel preparation programs, families currently or recently involved with Early Intervention, and the Department of Public Health. Applications are rated for content, relevance to the field, enhanced collaboration, innovation and dissemination. Reviewers look for clarity and feasibility.

Timeline
DateEvent
October 18, 2013applications due
December, 2013awards announced
May, 2014 final written reports due. Reporting may also include a poster presentation session or workshop presentation at the conference of the Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium, or a presentation at the Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC).

What types of projects have been previously funded?

Examples of projects funded recently are:

Some examples of Senior Practitioner projects funded in previous years include support for:

  • training in infant massage;
  • assisted communication applications;
  • a music therapy curriculum;
  • the SCERTS model for assisting children with ASD and their families.

Senior Practitioners Required Materials

  • Application Cover Sheet, signed
  • Narrative answers to nine questions (limited to 1250 characters per question)
  • Budget Form detailing expenses up to $2,000
  • Current resumes of lead practitioner and team collaborators
  • Letters of commitment from any collaborators outside of your program
  • A letter from a supervisor or program director, clearly supporting the concept of the project and the qualifications of the applicant
  • A letter clearly supporting the concept of the project from a family who has received Early Intervention supports and services from the lead applicant
  • Letter from your program director documenting your length of employment in Early Intervention.
  • Note:
    • Awards cannot be used for capital improvements, purchase of equipment or furniture, purchase of food, or production of electronic media.
    • Awards are considered taxable income; if awarded, you will need to provide EITC with your social security number or other federal tax identification number in order that a 1099 can be issued.

Mail one complete applications by October 18, 2013 to:

Susan Breen
MA Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
617-624-5990 (F)

Susan.Breen@state.ma.us

Student Fellowship

Download an MS Word version of the application and information

Who can apply?

Fellowships are granted to individuals enrolled in an accredited college program that will lead to a degree in Early Intervention, early childhood development, special education, nursing, speech and language pathology, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy or psychology. Fellowships are granted in conjunction with the applicant's internship or practicum in an Early Intervention program certified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The practicum/internship must be at least 300 hours. Fellowships may also be granted to individuals employed in an Early Intervention program and enrolled in an academic program of study leading towards an advanced degree or in an Early Intervention certificate program. Again, these awards are granted in conjunction with the applicant's internship or practicum of at least 300 hours in a DPH-certified Early Intervention Program.

Up to five Fellowships will be granted for use during the 2013-2014 academic year. The recipient must use the Fellowship for tuition, fees, books or supplies related to their internship or practicum. This funding for the Fellowships is free from tax.

Recipients must make a commitment to work in the Massachusetts Early Intervention system for at least one year after the completion of their Fellowships.

How will applications be reviewed?

Applications are reviewed by a team that may include representatives from Early Intervention programs, personnel preparation programs, families currently or recently involved with Early Intervention and the Department of Public Health.

Timeline
DateEvent
October 18, 2013applications due
December 2013awards announced
May 2014final reports due

Students Required Materials

  • Application Page, signed
  • Current resume
  • Transcript of your academic work completed to date
  • Letter of reference from your academic advisor or an instructor who is familiar with your work
  • Letter from the director or clinical supervisor at a Massachusetts DPH-certified Early Intervention Program stating that a practicum placement is available to you at the site and for which semester(s)
  • A statement, up to two pages, describing
    • why you are interested in Early Intervention as a career
    • the academic program in which you are enrolled and the number of credits you have remaining to earn before your degree or certificate is granted

Send complete applications by October 18, 2013 to:

Susan Breen
MA Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

617-624-5990 (F)

Susan.Breen@state.ma.us

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