The Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI)

“Profound! I was engaged and intrigued with all the vast range of topics, enthusiastic presenters and the collaboration of the group interactions was wonderful. As long of a day it was, I found myself daily wanting more, wanting to continue the discussions.” – PCTI Participant

The letters PCTI made up of images of smiling people.

Join us for the next Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI)! PCTI  is an intensive training program designed to provide all families and professionals with a solid foundation in special education laws and procedures. Participants have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, network with each other, and become part of a community dedicated to supporting children in special education. This course is open to people with all levels of experience and is a great starting place for those interested in bringing their advocacy to a higher level.

Registration for our Summer PCTIs has closed.  Click below if you would like to recieve updates regarding our PCTI schedule.

Through PCTI, you will develop skills and knowledge to effectively support students in special education. Knowledge in special education law and student rights will help empower you to be an effective member of a child’s team. By the end of PCTI, we hope participants will be able to:

  • Employ knowledge and understanding of special education laws, systems, and procedures, to support children and families in accessing a free, appropriate, public education.
  • Refer to a set of quality, useful, and relevant special-education-related resources and know where to go to find additional resources to use in the special education process.
  • Be a part of a community with other families and professionals and have access to ongoing networking opportunities.
  • Utilize effective communication skills to engage with families and school districts.

A woman sitting at a table with document in front of her.PCTI consists of 40-54 hours of instruction and includes topics such as:

  • Basic Rights in Special Education
  • Federal and State Legislative History
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • Writing Measurable IEP Goals
  • Effective Progress
  • Supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families
  • Healthcare and the IEP
  • Neuropsychological & Educational Evaluations
  • Discipline and Suspension
  • Transition Planning and  Assessments
  • Family Engagement
  • BSEA Mediation and Appeals
  • The Office of Civil Rights & Section 504

PCTI is made up of informative presentations led by attorneys, educators, parents, state agency representatives, and FCSN Staff. As well as attend workshops, participants have opportunities, to discuss and reflect on content, and network with each other.

We are excited to be providing 6 different PCTI’s in 2024! We have different options to fit various scheduling needs and will be offering programs in Vietnamese and Spanish. Please see the full schedule with a description of each program below.

Winter 8-Week PCTI

This 8 Week Session will begin on Saturday, January 6 at the FCSN Office (with a Virtual option) from 9:30am-3:30pm. The remainder of the course will be virtual and held Tuesdays, 9:30am-3:00pm and Saturdays, 10:00am-12:00pm, with a final in person celebration on Saturday, March 2.


  • Saturday, January 6, 9:30am-3:30pm (FCSN Office or Virtual Zoom Meeting)
  • Tuesdays (January: 9, 16, 23, 30, February: 6, 13, 27): 9:30am-3:00pm (Virtual Zoom Meeting)
  • Saturdays: (January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24), 10:00am-12:00pm (Virtual Zoom Meeting)
  • Saturday, March 2, 10am-1pm (FCSN Office or Virtual Zoom Meeting)


PCTI in Vietnamese

This PCTI will be offered in Vietnamese for Vietnamese-speaking families in partnership with the Vietnamese Circle of Families. Presentations will be virtual and take place on Thursdays, March 21 – May 16, 6pm-8pm. Registration will open in November.

Dates: Thursdays, March 21 –  May 16, 6pm-8pm

Summer Intensive:

The Summer Intensive will take place Monday-Friday during the last week of June (June 24-28), with pre-session workshops on Thursday and Friday, June 20 & 21. This session will be hybrid, with virtual sessions Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and in-person sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. There will be a virtual option for those who cannot attend in person. Registration will open in Spring 2024.

Dates: Thursday, June 20 & Friday, June 21, 2pm-4pm; Monday, June 24 – Friday, June 28, 9am-4pm

Asynchronous PCTI 

In this course, participants will have access to presentation materials which they will complete in their own time within Weekly Modules. Their may be opportunities to meet virtually on a weekly basis based on participant availability.

Dates: Monday, July 15 – Sunday, August 25

Latino Parent Leadership Program, Fall 2024

This PCTI will be presented in Spanish for Spanish-speaking families and professionals. This program will begin in mid-October, dates TBD

Dates: TBD

Parents: $275
Professionals: $295

Youth with Disabilities (Age 14-26) may attend PCTI free of charge.

PCTI often fills quickly and registration is required. Registration closes two business days prior to class or when the class roster is full.

Because we have limited seats in each course, we do not offer refunds after the start of the course.

If you have completed PCTI and would like to complete the course again as a refresher, you may complete the course a second time at half price. There are some opportunities to attend PCTI as a Teaching Assistant for anyone who has completed the PCTI within the last 3 years.


The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) Empowerment Funds provides a limited number of scholarships to eligible participants attending  PCTI. Individuals with developmental disabilities and family members / guardians of individuals with developmental disabilities may be eligible for PCTI tuition reimbursement totaling up to $250. Learn how to apply on the MDDC website.

We do not want cost to be a barrier for attending PCTI. We can provide financial assistance to family members of children and youth with disabilities. If you are unable to obtain the MDDC scholarship, please contact Emma Gregory at for more information.

Mature Students In Further Education Class With Teacher

Optional internships are available to those who complete the PCTI and wish to further develop their skills. The Information Center Internship includes training on the following topics:

  • Interview skills
  • Issue identification
  • Documentation of calls
  • Dealing with challenging calls
  • Orientation to our Information Center intake system

Interns are scheduled to provide 25 hours of assistance and learning in our Information Center.

The IEP clinic internship is available to the Information Center Interns. It provides an opportunity to practice the following skills:

  • Reviewing IEPs and related documentation
  • Working directly with parents to help them determine their child’s needs at school
  • Assisting parents in communicating those needs effectively
  • Documenting work done with parents

What’s New PCTI Newsletter

What’s New is PCTI’s Quarterly Newsletter, which provides all PCTI grads with useful information on special education policy updates, available resources, and upcoming events. Check out our previous issues below!

October 2022 Issue

February 2023 Issue

May 2023 Issue

August 2023 Issue 

More to come! Is there any content you would like to see in our next issue? Email Emma Gregory at to let us know your ideas.


Monthly Networking Series

The Network Series is provided for PCTI Graduates, Special Education Surrogate Parents (SESPs) and Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Chairpersons. Sessions are generally held on the second Thursday of each month during the school year (September-May) from 12:00 -1:00 PM as a Lunch and Learn conversation. The networking series provides opportunities to learn more about special education topics from guest speakers, ask questions, and share stories and experiences. All PCTI graduates, and SESPs, and SEPAC Chairpersons will automatically receive registration notifications for each session.