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 Parent Consultant Training Institute (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.

The training generally consists of 40-54 hours of instruction and includes topics such as:

  •   Basic Rights in Special EducationA woman sitting at a table with document in front of her.
  • Federal and State Legislative History (IDEA and MGL c 71B)
  • Special Education Advocacy and Implementation of the Law
  • Writing Measurable IEP Goals
  • Effective Progress
  • Supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families
  • Healthcare and the IEP
  • Neuropsychological Evaluations                                                   .
  • Academic Evaluations
  • Discipline and Suspension
  • Transition Planning and  Assessments
  • Section 504 Plans
  • Family Engagement
  • Effective Communication
  • Problem Resolution Service (PRS) Complaints
  • BSEA Mediation and Appeals
  • The Office of Civil Rights

Presenters include attorneys, and experts in the field of special education, representatives from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), Federation staff, among others.

An optional Information Center internship is available to those who complete the PCTI and wish to further develop their skills. Please click on this link or contact Ingrid Arvidson ( to learn more about our internships.

We highly recommend that PCTI attendees have some familiarity with special education procedures (i.e., FCSN Basic Rights Series Workshops: Evaluation and Eligibility, Understanding the Individualized Education Program, Transition Planning for ages [14-22]). A list of free workshops presented by the Federation can be found by clicking on this link.

Register Now! Winter 2023 Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI)

Register now for the Winter 2023 Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI). This intensive training course provides parents with information and resources in special education laws, procedures and related subjects, as well as an opportunity to network and develop a community dedicated to supporting children in special education. This 10-week session will begin on Saturday, January 14th in-person at the FCSN office (with a virtual option) from 9am-3pm. The remainder of the course will be virtual and held on Tuesdays (9am-3:30pm), with a final in person celebration on Saturday, April 1st. There will be optional weekly discussion sessions on Thursdays from 12pm-1:30pm, where we will cover key points from presentations, provide opportunities for discussion,, complete activities, and network. We will have a 2 week break in the middle of the session (February 21st and 28th to account for school break and the Visions of Community Conference.
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**Please contact Emma Gregory ( if you would like information on scholarships or financial assistance.
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