A study conducted in 2006 by Debra J. Ackerman, Ph.D., National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, offered the following findings about the preparation of consultants:
"Consultants themselves may lack the skill set necessary to be effective. While they usually come to the field already possessing a college degree and some type of early childhood-related experience (Wesley & Buysse, 2004), as change agents they need an additional specialized knowledge base. Training may therefore be required not only in the content area of their work, but also in the consulting process, the kinds of strategies that can bring about change, and effective communication and conflict management skills (Buysse & Wesley, 2005; File & Kontos, 1992, 1998; Klein & Harris, 2004)."
Based on this study, the Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development created a curriculum and training to improve the effectiveness of coaching for education and human services organizations.
Developed around research on best practices from the business community and other fields, Strengths-Based Coaching® A Journey into Coaching is designed to build upon the knowledge, skills, and beliefs of technical assistance specialists, consultants and other leaders. The curriculum teaches individuals to integrate their knowledge into an effective approach for coaching or on the skills required to successfully incorporate coaching in their role as a leader.
Supervisors who focus on coaching are able to reduce the time they spend on crises management, and move from surviving to thriving as staff members become active partners in creating better programs for children.
"Strengths-Based Coaching® has helped our Quality Improvement Coaches to bring focus to each visit with the clients they serve. Our coaches now have the skills and knowledge they need in order to work as a team with their clients to develop and communicate a clear purpose for their quality improvement work together." -Jennifer Hecker, Director, Kansas Quality Rating System, KACCRRA
"Strengths-Based Coaching® changed the entire way I look at my job. I'm excited again because I see there is a possibility for positive change. It's working! This is going to improve the quality of the teachers and the program. I definitely feel more capable and I have more tools to work with. I have direction for forward movement." -Shalyn Martin, Director, Milestone Academy