Community-Based Instruction (CBI)
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), Office of Special Education (OSE), in partnership with The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, provides training and technical assistance opportunities on Community-Based Instruction (CBI) for school personnel and families throughout the state to build capacity in the use of evidence-based practice of leveraging the community as a learning environment to improve student post-school outcomes.
Training opportunities and events are available statewide on an ongoing basis. Participants will learn fundamental skills, tools, and strategies to implement quality CBI practices.
|For more information about trainings and events, please visit The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities CBI Training Opportunities Page|
The Community-Based Instruction (CBI) project is a collaboration between the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers University and is funded with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part-B funds.
CBI is an evidence-based practice that supports the transition from school to adult life and promotes the successful inclusion of students with disabilities in their communities. When the community (traditional or virtual) is regularly utilized as a learning environment, it provides practical and meaningful opportunities for students to develop skills through authentic experiences. This helps to promote greater independence, interdependence, and enhanced quality of life once a student reaches adulthood. This is achieved through the acquisition, application, and generalization of skills utilized within careers, postsecondary education/training, and community activities, while still aligning to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals.
- Increased positive post-school outcomes in the areas of employment, further education or training, and community participation
- Authentic and meaningful secondary transition programming
- Improved partnerships between schools, families, and the community
- Strengthened culture of inclusion and interdependence within participating schools and communities
Students, families, and the school team are the immediate stakeholders of CBI. They work collaboratively to plan instructional experiences that are individualized and align with students’ preferences and IEP or postsecondary goals. Community businesses, organizations, services, supports, and even individual community members are also critical partners in developing quality CBI programming. Each stakeholder is a valued member of the team in creating meaningful learning opportunities that expand beyond the school while simultaneously fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging within the greater community.
The project supports educators in making the learning process increasingly more authentic and experiential as students prepare for adulthood. CBI provides opportunities for both students and educators in making better informed decisions during transition planning. CBI can also be used to support IEP and postsecondary goals as well as transition specific activities. Each school determines how they will incorporate CBI by collaborating with students and their families.
It does not cost anything to participate in the project. The application process for consideration to be a cohort school is open annually to all NJ schools. If selected, each school/district is required to sign a cohort school participation agreement, participate in an intensive training series, and develop a CBI Action Plan to guide implementation.
To maintain and strengthen a statewide network of support, the CBI Project offers a diverse range of opportunities beyond annual CBI school cohorts:
- Ongoing supplemental trainings are offered based on emerging needs and topics identified by practitioners and families. Paraprofessional and job coach trainings are also regularly available to prepare staff in utilizing best-practices and evidence-based approaches to support student learning while in the community.
- Tiered levels of technical support are available to support the development and expansion of new school cohort teams and maintenance of existing or established CBI teams. To meet the diverse needs of schools and districts throughout the state of New Jersey, a range of technical assistance formats are provided to facilitate development, expansion, and sustainment of CBI practices.
- Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) sessions are annually coordinated to facilitate a process of collective learning. Individuals can share experiences, resources, stories, tools, classroom lessons, problem-solving strategies, and other information to strengthen the CBI community.
- Information dissemination on CBI and relevant topics are provided to members of the statewide CBI network through mailing lists, emails, webinars, presentations, and collaboration with variety of statewide organizations to support the success of students with disabilities and their families.