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Supportive Community & Resources for Early Career Special Educators in Rural Communities

Looking for new ideas, guidance, and a community to support students who have challenging behaviors?

New cohort starting November 2023


of Professional Development

Virtual Coaching: Laptop displaying a person talking

Individualized, Virtual Coaching from an experienced special educator to enhance behavior management skills

Virtual Community of Practice: Three icons of people connected with lines

Access to Virtual Community of Practice (CoP) that includes other educators and highly skilled coaches

Surveys and Calls Participation: Mobile phone with a checkmark icon over it

Receive compensation for your participation

If you are interested in participating in Project ACRES or if you would like to learn more about this opportunity, contact:

Rebekka S. Olsen, PhD
Acres Project Coordinator


“[Project ACRES] is an excellent place to go for resources, both in coaching and CoP. It helps to have a whole team of experienced educators to guide me through challenging situations and to give me strategies and tips. It’s also a place that feels judgment free and encourages me to share things that I’m struggling with and to reflect on what I can do differently.
I have seen benefits in my own teaching because of what I’ve learned so far… growing in my teaching abilities, which therefore helps my students to do better. One specific example is how I’ve been able to do some social skills coaching (an area I knew little about) with a high schooler who I was at a loss about how to help. Through several coaching sessions, I have learned and practiced strategies to help this student make some positive social connections with his peers.”
Special Educator, Past ACRES Participant

“I have gained confidence in my work as a special educator. I feel like I have gained insight on how to deal with difficult behavior situations. I feel like I have been able to gain confidence in myself which has allowed my to stick to my techniques and learn to wait things out. I don’t let students intimidate me.”
Special Educator, Past ACRES Participant

“At first, I thought Project ACRES would take up time that a new special educator did not have, but Project ACRES turned out to be a great support to our new special educator as he was starting out. I highly recommend the program.” 
Emily Rhode, Director of Special Education/Pupil Services, Northland Pines School District

“Participating in Project Acres significantly increased my understanding and application of evidence-based best practices in special education. The feedback from individual coaching sessions and the support I received through an online community of practice helped me improve my own management and self-efficacy skills as a new special educator.”
Special Educator, Past ACRES Participant