Project Build Interdisciplinary Capacity to Yield Culturally Responsive Leaders in Early-Childhood-Special Education (Project BICYCLES) is a collaboration between programs in Special Education and Early Childhood Education in the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences.  

A critical shortage of diverse early childhood-special education (EC-SE) personnel exists in South Carolina. Through the project's meaningfully created activities and specialized courses, project faculty will prepare18 preservice students and 10 in-service teachers to design, deliver, and advocate for culturally and linguistically responsive intervention, instruction, and assessment practices for young children with high intensity needs and their families, including children who are multilingual, racially, ethnically, and/or culturally diverse. The project is supported by a nearly $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, of which 70% will be used to support scholars enrolled in the project.  

Project goals include: 

  • Recruit, retain, and complete a diverse pool of scholars, including scholars from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • Prepare EC-SE educators who can provide high quality services to young children with high-intensity needs and their families, including children who may be from diverse settings  (e.g., rural, poverty, disability, ethnically/racially diverse, multilingual learners).
  • Provide effective well-being support, skills, and strategies to scholars during and after the project to support retention in the program, project, and profession.  

We intend to recruit and retain scholars who may have experienced multiple risks and/or identify with high-needs communities (e.g., poverty, rurality, disability, Indigenous, racial, and ethnic diversity). 

More Information

For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Deborah L. Rooks-Ellis, Ph.D., at, or Rhonda Miller, Ph.D., at