Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about Project BICYCLES.
What is Project BICYCLES?
This project will provide preservice teachers with learning opportunities that lead to personal growth, academic excellence, and holistic well-being, and will support retention and persistence in the education profession.
Which professional preparation programs are involved in Project BICYCLES?
Two professional preparation programs are collaborating to implement this project: early childhood education and special education (EC-SE).
There is a persistent and critical shortage of EC-SE personnel trained to support young children with high intensity needs and their families. In Project BICYCLES, high-intensity needs are defined relative to young children (birth – age 8) who have been identified with significant developmental delays. High-intensity developmental delays, as defined in South Carolina, refer to children who have significant needs across multiple domains of development (e.g., language, literacy, behavioral/social emotional) and who are supported by an interdisciplinary team. High-intensity also refers to the magnitude of impact of these needs, specifically that early difficulties place children at high risk of later difficulties in reading, behavior, academic success, and long-term health and wellness.
Therefore, the need for targeted training for early childhood educators and special educators to learn and implement collaborative, culturally relevant and family-centered practices is critical. Training is especially important for EC-SE personnel who work in highly diverse communities (e.g., poverty, rurality, disability, Indigenous, racial and ethnic diversity).
What are the requirements of the project?
Scholars will complete the program requirements for their specific preparation program (e.g., early childhood or special education). Additionally, project scholars will complete the 18 credits in early childhood special education and Praxis for ECSE (#5692).
Special Education Multicategorical 4-Year Plan
Early Childhood Special Education Program of Study
How many scholars will be selected to participate in Project BICYCLES?
A limited number of highly qualified applicants will be selected as Project BICYCLES Scholars. Preference will be given to students who identify with highly diverse communities (e.g., poverty, rurality, disability, Indigenous, racial and ethnic diversity) to increase the diversity of South Carolina's teachers to reflect the communities and students they serve. We anticipate selecting 18 preservice scholars and 10 in-service scholars.
How much financial support will be provided to Project BICYCLES Scholars?
Financial support will vary by student and the number of credit hours needed to complete the bachelor's program. Scholars will receive support toward tuition and fees to complete their undergraduate degree and the graduate courses in early childhood special education. In addition, scholars will receive funds to support textbook and course access, technology for virtual observations, and travel stipends to attend local/national conferences. Review tuition and associated fees.
Is there a service agreement?
Yes. Scholars must complete a service obligation or repay all or part of the cost of assistance. For every academic year (or the equivalent of), students must agree to work in the EC-SE profession for a minimum of two years. This service agreement will be completed electronically. Review the Service Obligation Pre-Scholarship Agreement for additional details.
What is the Project BICYCLES application process?
Interested students can find the Project BICYCLES application here.
When is the application deadline?
Applications for the Project BICYCLES funding opportunity will be accepted on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application closing date with an expected start date coinciding with the start of the next semester. This is a competitive funding opportunity. Submit your interest and application materials early.
- To be considered for cohort 1, applications are due December 15, 2023.
- To be considered for cohort 2, applications are due March 15, 2024.
- Additional cohorts will begin in 2025, and application deadlines will be posted at that time.
What career options are available in early childhood-special education?
The areas of study within this career focus on cognitive, behavioral, and social development of all young children, and include various activities that engage a student's abilities to flourish. These are just a few of the career choices that are available in the EC-SE profession!
- PreK–3 Teacher
- Early Intervention Specialist
- Preschool Director
- Curriculum Coordinator
- Early Childhood Consultant
- Parent Educator
- Program Supervisor
- Instructional Coach