Re-examining state part C early intervention program coordinators' practices through a positive lens on leadership: A qualitative secondary analysis

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Gupta, Sarika S.
Sherif, Victoria
Zhu, Xiaohan

Gupta, S. S., Sherif, V., & Zhu, X. (2023). Re-Examining State Part C Early Intervention Program Coordinators' Practices through a Positive Lens on Leadership: A Qualitative Secondary Analysis. The Qualitative Report, 28(2), 517-543.


Part C early intervention is a program administered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) that provides services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Part C coordinators oversee the program in states. This article presents an examination of state Part C program coordinators' leadership practices. We conducted a qualitative secondary analysis to explore the practices that Part C program coordinators described using in a prior study on the processes, barriers, and solutions during a systems change. The present study used two new theoretical frameworks - organizational drivers for systems change and a strengths-based orientation - to create a positive lens on leadership through which to view identified practices. We selected five interview transcriptions with five state Part C program coordinators that contained explicit reflections about leadership behaviors in systems as our primary data set. Five categories of leadership practice emerged from a progressive inductive-deductive coding process: meeting practitioners where they are, identifying leaders, establishing consistent procedures, readying professionals, and relationships. These themes aligned with organizational drivers of systems change and highlighted the consistent use of a specific type of leadership: facilitative administration. Implications for the study of systems leadership in early intervention are discussed.

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