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About Us

Who We Are

Project Bridges 2.0, Project SPEECH, and Project CENTRAL are interdisciplinary preparation programs housed at the University of Central Florida and federally-funded through 84.325K grants awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The 84.325K grants through OSEP are intended to meet identified needs for serving children with disabilities by supporting personnel preparation programs in special education, early intervention, and related services through research-based training and professional development. Correspondent with the aims of this federal grant, Project Bridges and Project SPEECH support the interdisciplinary preparation of highly skilled special education teachers and related service personnel (e.g., school psychologists, speech-language pathologists) who provide intensive interventions for students with high-intensity needs (HIN).

Visit the websites for our three personnel preparation programs linked below for more information!:

The Projects




Recruit graduate-level Scholars, including those from traditionally underrepresented groups, who have potential to become highly effective special education teachers, school psychologists, and speech-language pathologists

Prepare Scholars in Graduate Degree Programs in Exceptional Student education, School Psychology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders that incorporate evidence-based, interdisciplinary Graduate Certificates in Intensive Interventions

Retain Scholars through completion of their respective programs and induction into the profession through ongoing advisement, financial and academic support, and mentorship.

Project Objectives:

Prepare Scholars to work within interdisciplinary teams to provide intensive interventions and specialized services to school-age children with high-intensity needs to improve college and career-ready outcomes.

Prepare Scholars to work within interdisciplinary teams to provide intensive interventions and specialized services to school-age children with high-intensity needs to improve college and career-ready outcomes.

Programs of Study Foci:

  • Evidence-based knowledge, skills, and resources for students with high intensity needs.
  • Mastery of professional competencies.
  • National and state instruction and intervention frameworks of Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS).
  • National and state educational policies.

Programs of Study Foundations:

In alignment with Project Goals, scholars in both programs analyze, highlight, and implement the essential components of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) within their schools using vetted resources from national and state-funded institutions, including: 

  • National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII)
  • PROGRESS Center
  • IRIS Center at Vanderbilt
  • Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center
  • Florida Problem Solving/Response to Intervention Network (PS/RtI)
  • Bureau of Exceptional Student Education (BESE)

Using their acquired knowledge and skills from these research-based sources, Project Scholars develop and initiate School Enhancement Plans within their schools to improve student outcomes. Scholars record and share their enhancements and results to support replication of their practices and student outcomes within their school and beyond. 


Our Mission

The purpose of the MDS is to highlight, celebrate, and share the implementation of the selected resources and evidence-based practices of our outstanding educators and scholars within their classrooms and schools in Central Florida.

There are several outcomes of the MDS initiative: 

  1. Schools selected as MDS sites are able to highlight their successes and challenges enhancing and implementing a responsive MTSS framework; School districts could receive accolades for the impactful services and outcomes they provide for students with high-intensity needs. 
  2. Neighboring schools and districts are provided with specific evidence, resources, and methods for creating similar initiatives
  3. Teachers are provided with access to expert scholars with specializing knowledge and skills who can provide consultation as educator leaders to enact systems changes that directly improve student outcomes; Project Scholars are recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. 
Cube wooden blocks on a table with black letters that spell the word Mission. The first two blocks re tilted forward to show the letters P and A on another side of the cube blocks, which creates the word passion.