Collaborative Technical Assistance and Support
What is CTAS?
The Collaborative Technical Assistance and Support (CTAS) Model was designed by CARE Consultants after reviewing the federal scaling-up literature along with the definitions and descriptions provided by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs for what constitutes intensive technical assistance and basic technical assistance.
Using the federal definition as a foundation, the CTAS model was designed to ensure that technical assistance and support would be provided with a clearly defined purpose and set of outcomes. CARE consultants ensure careful attention and planning are utilized to determine how those outcomes can be most efficiently achieved.
Although basic technical assistance (traditional training and support) is effective in many contexts, it may not be sufficient to achieve sustainable classroom / organization / systemic changes in other contexts. CTAS is a multi-pronged, long-term strategy to address this.
The CTAS model includes a purposeful, planned series of activities designed to reach an outcome that is valued by the school district. Intensive TA provided through the CTAS model typically results in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity and/or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.
This is typically a multi-year approach that includes the use ongoing evaluation and feedback strategies.
The CARE approach to CTAS allows us to divide the types of training we do into basic technical assistance versus intensive technical assistance activities through the CTAS model. This results in systems change and building capacity within an organization such as a school district.
CARE consultants agree that intensive technical assistance services require a stable, on-going negotiated relationship between the agency and the school-district receiving assistance.
Our professionals also recognize that there are times when there are issues encountered in education than can be solved by providing basic technical assistance via information and supports to already knowledgeable and skilled teachers and administrators. Recipients of this type of support take responsibility for making good and effective use of the information and training they receive through workshops and other professional development activities designed to enhance the knowledge of those participants.
- Office of Special Education Program’s (OSEP’s) recommendation: “to provide purposeful, planned series of activities designed to reach an outcome that is valued by the host organization” (June, 2009).
- National Implementation Research Network (Fixsen et al, 2005) concluded: “there is good evidence that successful implementation efforts require a longer-term multilevel approach.”
CARE’s entire multidisciplinary team participates in Collaborative Technical Assistance and Support (CTAS) with individuals, families, schools and organizations across the US.