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Graduating Students



The Division for Early Childhood Consortium for Innovations in Doctoral Excellence (DECIDE), strives to enhance the quality of doctoral education for DEC’s future leaders through the use of innovative approaches to learning. Doctoral student members of DECIDE are from disciplines related to early childhood intervention and special education. For a doctoral student to benefit from DECIDE, they must be a DEC member or have a faculty advisor who is a DEC member. Higher education faculty, researchers, and policy/advocacy members of DECIDE can have a role in the preparation of doctoral students as a contributor to DECIDE. 

DECIDE seeks to engage higher education faculty, researchers, policymakers, and early childhood special education advocates and current doctoral students in a reciprocal relationship that provides doctoral students with support and mentorship while offering participating leaders in the field an opportunity to collaborate with future leaders, thereby creating a meaningful community of practice. Together, professionals and students work together to help shape the future of the fields of early intervention and early childhood special education (EI/ECSE).

DECIDE student members are working together to:

  • Participate in webinars hosted by DECIDE on topics of interest to the students.

  • Have the opportunity to take doctoral-level courses specific to early childhood special education via distance learning at universities represented among DECIDE faculty.

  • Meet face-to-face at regional gatherings as well as the annual DEC conference.

  • Obtain “virtual internships” that offer preparation for leadership positions in the EI/ECSE community.

  • Identify and capitalize on opportunities for doctoral students to engage in research with members of DEC who have a research focus.

Opportunities to Get Involved 

DECIDE Mentoring Program

The DECIDE Mentoring program facilitates meaningful learning and networking experiences for doctoral  students by cultivating collaborative relationships with higher education faculty, researchers, and/or other professionals in the field  of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE).  

The DECIDE Mentoring Program is actively seeking mentors for doctoral students! We are looking for higher education faculty, researchers, policy makers, or administrators who previously had experience in a EI/ECSE focused doctoral program to be matched with a doctoral student mentee. The topics for mentoring can range from research, teaching, community engagement, policy/advocacy, to networking, self-care/management, and many more. Please email Nikki ( and Veronica Kang ( for any questions you may have.

Interested in participating in the DECIDE Mentoring Program?
Sign Up Here.

Matching will be completed in September 2023, during the DECIDE Mentoring Meet and Greet at the DEC Conference, and in January 2024. 

DECIDE and Young Exceptional Children

DECIDE is partnering with the Young Exceptional Children Editorial Board to provide graduate students mentorship in gaining experiences on the journal review process. Graduate students will be paired with a YEC editorial board member who will offer you the support you need to review practitioner articles submitted to Young Exceptional Journal.  

If you are interested in this opportunity, complete the YEC Editorial Board Mentoring Interest Form here.  


DECIDE Monthly Writing Groups

Interested in virtually gathering with fellow graduate students/faculty members within DECIDE to work on preparing a manuscript for publication? This is an optional academic writing experience in which we will gather together in a collegial and supportive environment to buckle down and simply write, write, write.

Monthly Writing Groups

Second Fridays of the month, 10:00 - 11:00 AM Eastern Time - Register here.

DECIDE Monthly Meetings

First Tuesdays of the month, 1:00 - 2:00 PM Eastern Time - Register here.

Get Involved
Mentoring Progrm
Mentoring Co-Chair
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